The global market for eSports is poised to breach the $1 billion mark this year.
Gaming and eSports analytics firm Newzoo’s ‘2019 Global ESports Market Report’ projects that global eSports revenues will hit $1.1B this year. The North America and China markets will spearhead this race with $409.1 million and $210.3 million contribution respectively.
Commodity wise brand investments like media rights, advertising, and sponsorships will contribute 897.2 million – 82% of total revenue. The brand investment contribution is projected to reach $1.5 billion by 2022 and account for 87% of total eSports revenues.
China will remain home to 75 million eSports gamers this year – the most of all global markets – and is expected to register the equivalent of US$210.3 million in revenue. The report also hints that the total eSports audience will reach 453.8 million in 2019.
“These numbers cannot be ignored, and it will double in next 3 years. As per PWC Sports Survey 2018 also ESports tops the chart for “Top ten sports by growth”, says Lokesh Suji, Director, ESports Federation of India.
ESports has now left football and basketball behind as fastest growing commercial sports. The top ten chart for the fastest growing sports has cricket in the 10th position, a rank below tennis.
“Time has now come to just get involved in eSports, whichever way. Though the revenue numbers for India are miniscule, but India poised to become fastest growing market for esports. Our Infrastructure is getting better day by day and Skills of our esports athletes is improving every passing day,” adds Suji.
The audience will make a significant base to eSports growth, according to Jurre Pannekeet, a senior marketing analyst for NewZoo. Many eSports leagues are shifting their focus towards monetising their audiences having worked hard to establish a loyal fan base, Sportspromedia has quoted Pannekeet as saying.
“ESports has always provided an engaging viewing experience to an audience no longer tied to traditional media,” he said. “This has propelled the massive growth in esports viewership and audience numbers.
“This transition started in 2018, but this year, the industry will take its early learnings and expand upon them. As a result, 2019 will be esports’ first billion-dollar year, and its vigor has attracted brands and companies across every industry.
“Non-endemic brands sponsored eSports organisations in droves last year, which will continue in 2019.”
The League of Legends World Championship was 2018’s biggest tournament by live viewership hours on Twitch, with 53.8 million hours, while the Overwatch League was the most-watched league by live viewership hours on Twitch, generating 79.5 million hours.
The total prize money in 2018 reached $150.8 million, a significant increase from 2017’s $112.1 million.