Will folding screens be the next fad in Mobile esports?
Professional sports has always fallen victim to fads and passing trends, functional or otherwise. Whether it's Suction cup therapy, Kinesio Tape or GyroStim, athletes and teams are always looking out for new ways to gain an advantage over the competition. And if it's legal, then even better.
Therefore, with esports becoming a higher-stakes industry year by year, and its popularity growing to the point where it will inevitably rival traditional sports, the question is more when we will see trends develop, than if we will. Maybe we even already have.
Ahead of the Curve
Beginning in 2016, a stream of seemingly endless forum posts appeared across the web, all extensively weighing the pros and cons of curved monitors and seeking advice about whether to invest or not. The answer is different everywhere you go, it's subjective as to whether you are more immersed in the game, or your aspect ratio is warped, you keep walking into walls and want to smash the screen back into being flat.
Looking back, it was most definitely a trend, and one that has had its day. No esports tournaments in 2018 used curved monitors on stage, instead opting for top end flat screens provided by ACER Predator or ASUS. However we will always have a very sweet endorsement of curved monitors from Samsung's LoL Team in 2016:
In terms of cultural esports trends, rather than technological, we've already looked at the major move teams are making towards training facilities, independent from where players live. Dedicated esports arenas are becoming increasingly common, where tournaments can be held, along with training sessions for fans of any skill level to come together. Good examples of this are the locations created by the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty World League. It's a real boon to allow fans to have event spaces to visit even outside of tournament season, and will let companies become creative with the space all year round for the supporters. HyperX have even gone so far as to put together a 35-ton esports truck in time for CES 2019.
Into the Fold
Mobile esports itself can perhaps be seen as a trend, but with the rapid increase in what technology can be contained within a smartphone, it has been inevitable for some time that modern phones would reach the point where they would be able to run games that (almost) perform as well as a gaming PC. With handheld devices catching up to computers, and fully fledged 5v5 MOBAs appearing on app stores, mobile esports are carving a huge foothold in the industry.
This week Samsung, quite literally, opened up the possibility for a new way to play mobile esports, with the announcement of the Galaxy Fold, with pretty impressive specs that will appeal to mobile gamers, professional and otherwise. The Fold will feature a 7nm 64-bit Octa-core processor and 12GB of RAM, with 512GB built in storage for good measure and has a total battery capacity of 4,380mAh, via two batteries which are split on either side of the hinge. It's worth noting that the trend is already well underway, with rival foldables already appearing from Chinese giant Huawei and California-based tech company Royole.
Samsung are of course already heavily invested in mobile esports, being the main sponsor and hardware provider for the PUBG Mobile Star Challenge (PMSC) World Tournament in Dubai late last year via the Galaxy Note 9. With this in mind, it's not at all unfeasible to imagine their folding screen technology taking center stage at major mobile events. Either way, it looks a lot more comfortable to use than a suction cup.