Offering engaging content and lots of opportunities, eSports are now a fast-evolving phenomenon, which took off all over the globe. During the past few years, the market has been developing exceptionally fast, and the increased engagement is to be ascribed mainly to the fact that eSports share traits of gambling and virtual sports.
The number of eSports tournaments that are held around the globe is constantly increasing, so is the number of viewers that tune in. Gradually, they have turned into a profit-generating pastime, and figures for the development and growth of the market go to prove this.
eSports Share, Trends, and Expectations
Things have changed dramatically when it comes to participation and viewership of eSports, and they are no longer an activity to fill up free time players have on their hands.
It has now turned into one of the most thriving markets, grabbing the attention of an ever-increasing number of people around the globe. The number of eSports viewers is steadily on the rise, and as reported by sportingpedia.com, figures indicate that back in 2018, the audience size was 395 million people. The audience size continued to increase, and in 2019 and 2020, it reached 443 and 495 million people, respectively.
Although the industry is still in its formative phase, the increase in worldwide revenues is indeed overwhelming, as figures show that back in 2018, they amounted to more than $776 million, and what the size of the eSports betting industry will be in the future is a question many people ask themselves. Experts consider that the market is unlikely to slow phase soon, and according to the forecasts, the growth in revenues is expected to increase over in the years to come, and it is projected to hit approximately $1.6 billion in 2023.
Based on the data available, back in 2019, North America generated the most substantial part of the worldwide revenues, while China was a close second, closely followed by South Korea. What is interesting to point out is that the Asian and North American markets are the ones that take the lead, with China holding over 20% of the Asian market.
eSports have long stopped being something to watch in your pastime, and as a result, multiple professional organizations have emerged. Figures unveil that back in 2020, Cloud 9 alone, which is a player organization based in the USA, was worth approximately $350 million.
Worldwide eSports Revenue Based on the Segment
According to recently unveiled data, sponsorship will be the segment, which will generate the largest share of the revenues, and the projections are that they will hit $664 million by the end of 2021, which is an increase of around $100 million when compared to 2020.
Media rights also constitute a significant portion of the revenues the market produces, and the forecasts for this year indicate that they will generate $192.6 million. Just for comparison, last year, media rights have produced $163.3 million. Publisher fees and merchandise and tickets have generated $126.6 and $66.6 million, respectively.
The two segments that rank the lowest are digital and streaming, and according to the projections for this year, they will generate $32.3 million and $25.1 million, respectively. Back in 2020, these two segments held the last two positions in terms the revenues, bringing $21.5 and $19.9 million, respectively.
eSports Revenues Projections
Figures unveil that eSports attract huge amounts of attention in Canada, and back in 2019, more than 20% of all sports fans have pointed out that they are also intrigued by eSports. Interestingly enough, live eSports events have started to become an even more attention-grabbing option as around 60% of all fans of such sports have been to at least one such event back in that year.
The available data suggests that the USA will hold the leading position in terms of produced revenue in the years to come, and by 2023, it is expected to hold nearly 29% of the profits. Once again, China will hold the second-largest share of the revenues, accounting for more than 21% of all profits. South Korea is also expected to hold a sizeable share of the revenues, and expectations are that by 2023, its profitability will hit approximately 18%.
It must also be pointed out that back in 2019, the eSports industry was valued at around $957 million. The eSports market lowered phase a bit back in 2020, and figures indicate that back then, it was valued at around $ 947 million. As we mentioned already, experts consider that the industry will continue to gather momentum this year, and under the current projections, the revenues are expected to exceed $1.08 billion. The forecasts for the next few years show that the value of the market will reach around $1.6 billion by 2024.