Esports is the Combination of Entertainment Value, Accessibility, And Widespread Support from Fans Is Driving

Tajammul Pangarkar
Tajammul Pangarkar

Updated · Dec 5, 2023

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Introduction

According to Esports Statistics, Esports, short for electronic sports, are competitive video game events where professional players and teams compete in popular titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS: GO. Esports have proliferated, becoming a global sensation with massive prize pools and large-scale tournaments held in arenas. Notable organizations sign and support players, and events are streamed on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

Esports offer diverse career opportunities, from players and coaches to commentators and content creators. This industry encompasses sponsorships, merchandise, and advertising, attracting major companies. Challenges include player well-being and maintaining a fair and inclusive environment. Esports is increasingly integrated into education and is poised for continued growth and innovation.

Editor’s Choice

  • The Esports market has witnessed remarkable growth at a CAGR of 20.9% in recent years.
  • By 2032, the Esports industry is expected to surpass all previous records, with a projected market revenue of USD 10,905.1 million.
  • In 2021, Sponsorships took the lead with an estimated market revenue of $641 million.
  • As of September 12, 2023, the leading player globally, based on earnings, is NOtail, also known as Johan Sundstein, who has amassed an impressive $7.18 million in winnings.
  • Among individuals aged 16 to 24, a substantial 32% actively engage in watching tournaments, indicating a strong affinity for this form of competitive gaming.
  • As expected, most enthusiasts in the United States are males, accounting for 72% of the fan base.
  • In 2023, it’s anticipated that the annual prize money in Esports will surpass the impressive milestone of $500 million.

Global Esports Market Overview

Global Esports Market Size

  • The Esports industry has witnessed remarkable growth at a CAGR of 20.9% in recent years.
  • In 2022, the Esports market generated a substantial revenue of USD 1,641.2 million.
  • Building on this momentum, the industry’s revenue surged to USD 1,983.4 million in 2023, reflecting a promising trajectory.
  • The upward trajectory persists with projections of USD 7,466.8 million in 2030 and a substantial USD 9,023.7 million in 2031.
  • By 2032, the Esports industry is expected to surpass all previous records, with a projected market revenue of USD 10,905.1 million, solidifying its position as a thriving and lucrative sector in the global entertainment landscape.
Esports

Esports Market Revenue- By Segment

  • In 2021, the global Esports market exhibited a diverse revenue landscape across various segments.
  • Sponsorships took the lead with an estimated market revenue of $641 million, reflecting the substantial investments made by companies to associate their brands with events and teams.
  • Media rights contributed significantly with $192.6 million, highlighting the value of broadcasting rights for competitions.
  • Publisher fees generated $126.6 million, showcasing the revenue stream from game developers’ involvement in Esports.
  • Merchandise and ticket sales amounted to $66.6 million, indicating the popularity of Esports-related products and live events.
  • The digital sector brought in $32.3 million, encompassing various digital content and in-game purchases, while streaming contributed $25.1 million, underlining the importance of platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming in delivering content to a global audience.
Esports

Regional Analysis of Global Esports Market

  • The Esports industry has been experiencing remarkable growth globally, with varying degrees of revenue generated in different countries.
  • The United States leads the pack, which has become a billion-dollar industry, amassing a staggering $1,076 million in revenue.
  • China closely follows, with an impressive $445.2 million, showcasing the immense popularity of Esports in Asia.
  • Canada and Germany also boast substantial revenue, with $121.8 million and $268.6 million, respectively, underscoring their strong presence in the competitive gaming scene.
  • Several other countries contribute significantly to the economy.
  • France, with $150.4 million, and Japan, with $141.8 million, demonstrate their avid communities.
  • Meanwhile, countries like Australia, Brazil, and Italy have firmly established themselves on the Esports map, each generating revenue from $89.6 million to $116.2 million.
Esports

Leading Players in E-sports

  • As of September 12, 2023, the leading Esports player globally, based on earnings, is NOtail, also known as Johan Sundstein, who has amassed an impressive $7.18 million in winnings.
  • JerAx (Jesse Vainikka) and Ana (Anathan Pham) are closely behind, with earnings of $6.49 million each.
  • These top players have made a significant mark in the world of Esports.
  • Additional notable figures in the earnings rankings include Ceb (Sebastien Debs) with $5.87 million, Topson (Topias Taavisainen) with $5.7 million, KuroKy (Kuro Takhasomi) with $5.29 million, Miposhka (Yaroslav Naidenov) with $5.26 million, Yatoro (Liya Mulyarchuk) and Collapse (Magomed Khalilov) both with earnings of $5.03 million, and Mira (Miroslav Kolpakov) with $5.02 million.

Cumulative Prize Pool of Different E-sports

  • In the competitive world of Esports in 2022, the cumulative prize pools for various games reached remarkable heights.
  • Leading the pack was DOTA 2, with an astounding cumulative prize pool of $32.85 million, making it the top title in terms of winnings.
  • Arena of Valor followed with $32.73 million, securing the second spot.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battleground Mobile claimed the third position with an impressive $23.43 million in cumulative prizes.
  • Other notable Esports titles included Fortnite at $16.35 million, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at $16.17 million, League of Legends: Wild Rift at $13.68 million, Rocket League at $9.42 million, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground at $8.42 million, Rainbow Six Siege with $8.04 million, and League of Legends with $7.71 million.

Most Valuable Esports Organizations Statistics

  • In Esports, the competition isn’t limited to players; organizations play a pivotal role, and the most valuable organizations of 2022 exemplify this.
  • Topping the list is TSM (Team SoloMid), with a staggering valuation of $410 million, followed closely by Cloud9 at $350 million and Team Liquid at $310 million.
  • FaZe Clan and 100 Thieves also make a formidable presence with valuations of $305 million and $190 million, respectively.
  • Gen.G, Enthusiast Gaming, G2 Esports, NRG Esports, and T1 further contribute to the robust Esports ecosystem, each valued between $175 million and $150 million.

Demographics of Esports Users

By Age

  • The viewership of tournaments among internet users exhibits distinct age-related trends.
  • Among individuals aged 16 to 24, a substantial 32% actively engage in watching tournaments, indicating a strong affinity for this form of competitive gaming.
  • The age group of 25 to 34 closely follows with 30%, demonstrating a significant presence of enthusiasts within this demographic.
  • As age increases, the viewership gradually decreases, with 19% of those aged 35 to 44, 10% of those aged 45 to 54, and 6% of those aged 55 to 64 showing interest in tournaments.

By Gender

  • As expected, most Esports enthusiasts in the United States are males, accounting for 72% of the fan base.
  • Looking at the global perspective in 2019, the average proportion of female fans worldwide stood at 22%.
  • In the United States, around 30% of male participants express some interest in, while only 11% of female respondents indicate a similar interest in Esports.
  • Additionally, 15% of male participants are unaware, which is 10% lower than the corresponding figure for female participants, where less than 1 in 4 have heard.

Esports Viewership Time Spending

  • During the third quarter of 2020, audiences collectively viewed a substantial 7.46 billion hours of Esports and live-streaming gaming content, marking an impressive 91.8% surge compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Notably, YouTube Gaming experienced significant growth, witnessing an increase of 156 million hours in watch time from Q2 2020 to Q3 2020.
  • In that timeframe, Facebook Gaming achieved a milestone by surpassing 1 billion watch hours for the first time.  
Esports

Esports Investment Statistics

  • In 2019, the North American Esports market primarily relied on prize pools, accounting for 38% of its revenue, followed by over-the-top (OTT) advertising at 22%, direct brand sponsorship at 21%, media at 17%, and tickets and merchandise at 2%.
  • However, globally, in 2020, the market’s revenue was predominantly driven by sponsorships, generating approximately $584 million.
  • Other revenue sources included media rights ($163.3 million), publisher fees ($108.9 million), tickets and merchandise ($52.5 million), digital sales ($21.5 million), and streaming ($19.9 million).

Sponsorship Spending – According to Industry

  • In 2019, Esports sponsorship spending was distributed across various industries, with notable contributions from key sectors.
  • Consumer goods led the way with a substantial sponsorship spending of $21.8 million, reflecting the interest of consumer brands in associating with events and teams.
  • The technology sector followed closely, investing $15.9 million, emphasizing the tech industry’s engagement with the community.
  • Clothing brands also significantly impacted, contributing $13.35 million in sponsorship spending.
  • Meanwhile, the beverage and financial services industries allocated $4.75 million and $4.65 million, respectively, towards sponsorships.

Esports Tournaments Statistics

  • In 2023, it’s anticipated that the annual prize money in Esports will surpass the impressive milestone of $500 million.
  • To provide some context, in 2017, the total prize pool for competitions amounted to $115.51 million, showing substantial growth.
  • By 2018, this figure had increased to $159.34 million, reflecting the industry’s expansion.
  • Interestingly, predictions in 2019 foresaw the total global prize pools reaching a substantial $543.69 million by 2023, underscoring the continued rise in E-sports’ financial stakes.
  • Regarding the biggest prize pools in history, one standout event takes the crown.
  • The International, an annual tournament, has consistently offered the largest competition prize pools. In 2021, after a cancellation in 2020, The International returned with an astounding $40.02 million in prize money, setting a new record.
  • In 2019, The International had a prize pool of $34.33 million, marking a notable year-over-year increase from 2015.

Top Esports Industry Growth Barriers

  • A surprising survey revealed that 81% of respondents in the United States are not interested in whatsoever.
  • Only 5% consider themselves passionate fans, while 14% fall into the category of casual enthusiasts.
  • Additionally, another report indicated that merely 4% of American adults strongly desire to learn more about Esports, with the majority (46%) displaying only moderate interest and a notable 32% showing no interest whatsoever.
  • Furthermore, a striking 75% of industry stakeholders perceive match-fixing and cheating as formidable threats that jeopardize the credibility and expansion of Esports.
  • Moreover, 60% of these stakeholders view the influence exerted by a select group of game developers as a significant obstacle hindering growth.
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Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar is a CMO at Prudour Pvt Ltd. Tajammul longstanding experience in the fields of mobile technology and industry research is often reflected in his insightful body of work. His interest lies in understanding tech trends, dissecting mobile applications, and raising general awareness of technical know-how. He frequently contributes to numerous industry-specific magazines and forums. When he’s not ruminating about various happenings in the tech world, he can usually be found indulging in his next favorite interest - table tennis.