Esports is a catch-all term that refers to high-level video game competition that can be watched by spectators.
While esports audiences are inevitably stratified by choice of game and the broader scene around esports encompasses players, coaches, fans, viewers, analysts, sponsors, advertisers, publishers, regulators, casters, production professionals and more.
How big is esports?
Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.
According to a report by NewZoo, global esports revenues will reach $906 million in 2018.
“In the coming year, the global Esports Economy will grow to $906 million, a year-on-year growth of +38%. The majority of this, 77%, will be generated directly (sponsorships and advertising) and indirectly (media rights and content licenses) through investments made by endemic and non-endemic brands that will spend $694 million, an impressive 48% increase since last year,” the report says.
“Consumer spending on tickets and merchandise will total $95 million, while another $116 million will be invested by game publishers in the esports industry through partnership deals with white-label organizers.”
What games are popular right now?
As esports has become more popular, more and more games developers have tried to make their next title esports friendly.
However, results to this trend have been mixed with critics arguing that its best to allow esports communities grow naturally rather than try to forcibly cultivate or directly invest them into existence.