The Incredible Growth of the eSports Sector
Over the past ten years, the eSports sector has evolved from a small, niche community to a global sensation. It draws in fans in their millions from all corners of the globe, showcasing high-profile tournaments and securing valuable sponsorship deals. In fact, eSports has mushroomed into a multi-billion dollar sector. But, just how massive is the eSports industry?
To grasp the enormity of the eSports sector, we need to start by understanding what eSports actually is. eSports, which stands for electronic sports, is the competitive arena of video gaming. This ranges from individuals challenging each other in games such as Fortnite or Call of Duty, to professional teams going head to head in games like League of Legends or Dota 2. These games are commonly streamed live on the internet, attracting millions of viewers globally.
A report from Newzoo, a leader in global games and eSports analytics, revealed that the global eSports market was valued at $950.6 million in 2020. It’s projected to hit $1.79 billion by 2022. This income is largely derived from advertising and sponsorship deals, along with media rights.
Furthermore, the audience for eSports is sizable and continuously expanding. Newzoo estimates that there were 495 million eSports enthusiasts globally in 2020 and predicts this figure to swell to 646 million by 2023. This audience is highly coveted by advertisers as it predominantly consists of young, technologically adept individuals, who are notoriously hard to reach through traditional advertising mediums.
The expansion of the eSports sector has also prompted the development of an array of related businesses. This includes game developers, streaming platforms, eSports teams, event organizers, and even betting websites. A PwC report reveals that the global market for eSports-related goods and services amounted to $194.9 billion in 2019.
The eSports sector has also gained substantial investment. According to a report from Deloitte, global investment in eSports totaled $4.5 billion in 2018, denoting a year-on-year rise of 837%. Investment has sourced from a mix of foundations including venture capitalists, mainstream sports teams, celebrities, and even universities.
Moreover, the size of the eSports sector is mirrored in the amount of prize money available. In 2019, The International, the largest Dota 2 tournament, offered a prize pool of $34.3 million, awarding it the status of one of the world’s richest sporting events.
To summarize, the eSports sector isn’t just large, it’s mammoth. With a global market valued at close to a billion dollars, an audience in the hundreds of millions, and investment in the billions, eSports has grown into a significant contender in the worldwide entertainment industry. Considering the ongoing growth of the gaming sector, the emergence of mobile eSports, and the growing recognition of eSports as a bona fide sport, the future of the eSports sector shines brighter than before.
Sources: Newzoo, PwC, Deloitte.