Although eSports originated as a subset of sports culture, it soon became an industry. Digitalization redefined the market impact of the competitive, tournament-driven eSports culture. Today, the remarkable growth of competitive eSports gaming makes it worth a billion-dollar industry. A Goldman Sachs report predicted the gaming segment would reach $3 billion by 2022.
Games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Fortnite are household names. Even non-gamers can resonate these titles with eSports. It highlights the growth of the electronic sports industry.
This shift represents a massive opportunity for the industry to tap into new demographics.
Booming Engagement and Viewership
ESports has recently been one of the most-watched events creating record-breaking viewership worldwide. Newzoo states that the global eSports audience will reach 577 million by 2024.
Undoubtedly, an increase in number of viewers each year shows the industry has been growing exponentially. The pop culture vibes of the eSports sector led to this explosive viewership and engagement. The fast-paced action, adrenaline rush, and thrill of online video games garner massive traction from youth aged under 35 years.
The viewership grew when several streaming platforms started hosting eSports events. It includes Twitch, YouTube, Douyin, Huomao, PandaTV, and Huya. For example, The League of Legends World Championship garnered 5.15 million concurrent viewers in 2022. The advent of broadcasting tools also increased the watch hours on game-related video content.
Besides, the social component of live streaming allows fans to connect with their favorite eSports teams and players directly. Sponsorship, merchandise, and media rights to physical events also spurred its growth and revenue.
Further, the popularity of these new-age video gaming leagues also led to the introduction of dedicated esports arenas. Viewers can visit these locations for a live gaming tournament experience.
Growth of the eSports Industry Based on Demographics
A report by Newzoo indicates that the global eSports market is booming each year. The gaming segment earned more than $1.1 billion in 2019, with a 15% increase the next year. The esports industry’s overall growth evaluation includes gaming tournaments, streaming, and brand deals.
The COVID-19 pandemic also fueled the growth of eSports. During lockdowns, they became one of the vital entertainment sources for many.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions are the most promising eSports markets, contributing 43% of their global popularity.
The growth seems ripe for the coming years too. Japan, South Korea, and China are the key countries dominating this industry. Hence, a vast number of sponsorships and investments also come from the brand of these countries.
Americans prefer watching NBA and NFL leagues over eSports live streaming.
Nevertheless, PWC predicts the eSports US market can lock in revenue of $516 million by 2023. It’ll include earnings through streaming ads, sponsorships, event ticket sales, and media rights.
Sponsorships and Media Rights
Several organizations have partnered with gaming companies and gamers for sponsorship campaigns for the past few years. The rising interest of brands is further driving market growth for eSports.
Sponsoring eSports game streaming events is the most prominent branding strategy. Like any sponsorship campaign, an eSports event promotes the brand’s product or service. It becomes a win-win situation for companies and eSports to earn and reach a broader audience.
As mentioned above, APAC regions are the market players currently. For instance, eSports leagues attracted 185.5 million Chinese viewership in 2020.
Thus, sponsors target this demographic more often. Several brands consider video game streaming and sponsorships a profitable investment in one of these countries. Some eSports companies also launch merchandise to promote their brands.
Famous brands that sponsor global eSports leagues include Red Bull, Adidas, Nike, The Coca-Cola Co, Pepsi, Mastercard, Twitch, Spotify, Vodafone, Mercedes-Benz, and Intel.
Besides, media rights are the second-highest esports revenue stream contributing to its market growth. It’s the fastest-growing and second-largest eSports revenue stream.
eSports Betting Tournaments
eSports is also becoming mainstream in the online gambling world. That said, many bookmakers host eSports tournaments on major game events yearly. Betting legalization in the USA also created hype for eSports betting events among the masses.
Easy access to e-sportsbooks and convenient payment modes allow gamblers to participate in these million-dollar eSports tourneys.
As bettors used to learn about online gambling slots, people are now eager to understand wagering techniques for eSports competitions.
This growing popularity ensures enormous revenue sources for the online gambling industry. With a $40 million team tournament prize pool, the future is bright for the eSports betting market.
What is the Growth of Mobile eSports Games?
The advent of cutting-edge smartphones also accelerated the future of the eSports industry. Today, more gamers and fans can enjoy video game tournaments with one tap on the phone.
Unlike PC and consoles, smartphones make gaming more accessible. Thus, anyone can enjoy live streaming using their high-end mobile from the comfort of their couch.
5G technology, low latency, and optimum battery power will take eSports mobile gaming to new heights. These advanced features improve the viability and stability of eSports. Faster speed means faster game streaming.
Top mobile eSports leagues across Asia are PUBG, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Hearthstone. China again thrives in the mobile eSports market with nearly 173.8 million viewers.
1. What games are eSports?
eSports includes various games, such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Dota, CounterStrike, FIFA, and PUBG.
2. Do eSports gamers make money?
Usually, eSports players can earn good money. The income can range from hundreds of thousand dollars to millions every year.
2. Who won the first eSports?
William Salvador Heineman won the first Space Invaders Championships on October 10, 1980.
2. Who is the youngest esports millionaire?
Now 18, Jaden, aka Wolfiez, is the youngest and highest-paid English eSports player. The gamer earned a $1 million prize from a single tournament when he was 15.
The eSports industry is growing faster and stronger than ever, with a valuation of billions. With video games gaining massive traction among fans and brands, the momentum of eSports is evident.
Besides, the industry shows promising growth forecasts based on various studies and reports. Many revenue sources are accelerating the growth of eSports gaming. This evolution also opens new revenue opportunities for iGaming organizations and developers.
Hence, eSports leagues are here to stay and prosper!