The esports gaming industry has been on an upward trajectory for some time now, showing impressive year-on-year growth and reaching a combined global audience of 495 million people in 2020. The industry’s growth was slowed somewhat in 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic putting a halt on many live events across the globe. The global esports market revenue has been predicted to hit $1.1 billion in 2020, but ultimately fell just short of this, bringing in $1.06 Billion instead.
Esports prize pools continue to rise though, with Fortnite offering the biggest 2020 prize pool with a combined prize pool of $10.3 million. The top ten esports tournaments offered a combined prize pool of $177 million in 2019 – so it is clearly still a huge and growing industry to be involved in.
The esports worldwide audience totalled over
the worldwide esports market revenue was worth
The League of Legends World Championship Finals reached a record-breaking
Fortnite had the biggest esports prize pool in the first half of 2020
The Top 10 esports tournament prize pool totalled
Global esports revenues will grow to
Esports has moved on from being a niche industry that brought in a few thousand viewers for the biggest tournaments. Now, the worldwide esports audience totals over 495 million people, and is only expected to increase. One event, the Leage of Legends World Championship Finals, managed to pull in a record-breaking 21.8 million average minute audience when it aired in 2019.
Sources:Statista, Riot Games
As esports continues to branch out and grow as an industry, so do the games and teams involved, and the prize pots offered to winners. In 2017, Dota 2 accounted for the most distribution of annual prize pools, covering a total of 34.3% of the total worldwide prize pool. This has since been taken over by Fortnite that offered up a total of $64.42 million in prizes in 2019 compared to Dota 2’s $46.97 million.
Marketing & Advertising
As the world of esports continues to grow, more and more businesses want a slice of the pie. Because of this, we have seen the marketing and advertising side of esports grow alongside the industry over the last few years as well. Sponsorship and advertising spend has steadily increased from $124.41 million in 2017 to $277.29 million in 2019, and is expected to reach $634.03 million by 2023.
As the prize pools, and therefore the stakes, continue to rise in the world of esports, so does the world of esports betting. As with any sports, betting on the outcome of top esports tournaments is becoming a big business. While it still pales in comparison compared to sports betting, this is set to rise. In 2019, esports betting took up only 1.6% of sports betting, but by 2024 this is expected to 3.2%. Most of this betting takes place in Europe (with 44.5% share of the market) and Asia/ Middle East (with 40.7%).
Esport Startup Funding
The rapid growth of the esports market has seen a number of start ups appear within the industry covering everything from stat tracking to communication. The biggest esports-related start-up in the US has been the VoIP messaging service Discord, with venture capital of $50k, followed up by Skills which received $25k in venture capital. Investment in esports companies around the world is set to increase year on year with an 18.8% growth from 2016 to 2017.
Sources: CB Insights, TNL Media