Esports on the rise
According to Newzoo’s global esports market report, the worldwide esports audience will reach 385 million in 2017. Although this dazzling number is only an estimation of what’s still to come, it puts a figure on what everybody sensed: esports is on the rise.
A welcome side effect of exploding viewer numbers in the esports business is the increasing attractiveness for investments from all sectors. Companies which decide to try their luck in the esports business won’t be disappointed, as the area personifies everything the current market is looking for: a young, digital and interactive target group.
A sport to unite
Effectively, the world of entertainment has shifted, leading to a huge recognition of gaming in our society. To take one of the cultural capitals of the world, France, as an example, one in two inhabitants declares to play videogames. Game developers have understood that creating competitive video games is the best way to generate passion in the gamer’s life and attract participants for tournaments. There are more than 2.1 billion gamers worldwide, and this number is constantly increasing. Since the birth of competitive gaming, players have found another way to show the world their strengths and abilities, by becoming professional gamers.
Moreover, the modern generation enjoy watching pro players fighting their way to the top ladder, just as much as real-life sport. In 2017, the esports audience will reach 385 million, including 191 million esports enthusiasts, and a further 194 million new viewers. Furthermore, the number of esports aficionados is expected to grow by 50% and reach 286 million by 2020.
To new shores
With that big an audience, how can a company ignore the potential of such a thriving market? Especially when we look at the spectacular figures related to the tournaments: last year there were 424 esports events in the world with a prize pool exceeding $5000, mainly in North America (28%) followed by Western Europe (26%) and Eastern Europe (18%). Following the same trends as esports in general, the total prize money in 2015 reached $61 million, an impressive figure, but this increased by 53% over a year, totaling $93.3 million in 2016. This massive growth of prize pools is due to the high competitiveness between the players, becoming more and more recognized, which leads to the professionalization of the sector.
Here come the real opportunities for the businesses willing to conquer new markets: sponsorship is the largest revenue stream in this sector and is expected grow to a staggering $655 million by 2020. The esports world has fast become a new way to touch communities, peak the interest of the media, as more brands, endemic as well non-endemic brands, join the esports market. The step into this scene is definitely one worth taking.