It’s one of the fastest-growing industries of the modern era, but just how big has Esports got? Viewership figures are through the roof, money in Esports is at an unthinkable level, and the number of participants just keeps increasing and increasing. We’ve unraveled five Esports facts and figures which will blow your mind.
Esports Hit 454 Million Viewers In 2019
One of the most significant indicators of the astronomical growth of Esports is highlighted in the viewership figures. According to Newzoo, in 2017, there were a total of 335 million overall viewers of Esports.
This is divided into “occasional viewers” (those that may stumble across pro-Esports content and watch it less than once a month) and “Esports enthusiasts” (Those who watch pro-Esports content more than once a month). In 2017, there were 192 million occasional views and 143 million Esports fanatics.
The latest numbers in 2019 show Esports users at a combined viewership of 454 million. 253 million casual viewers and 201 million Esports enthusiasts. That’s a jump of over 160 million new viewers in a two-year period.
Newzoo also made predictions on 2020 and the two years following. In 2020, we can expect to see 518 million total viewers (285m casual viewers and 233m enthusiasts). This then increases again in 2021 to a total of 580 million.
By 2022, there could be 645m overall Esports viewers across the globe. To put that into perspective, 102 million people watched the American Football 2020 Super Bowl, which is seen as one of the most significant watched sports events in the world.
Dota 2 International Prize Money Hits $30 Million
Professional Esports is now a seriously lucrative business, and players of the big hits can expect to win millions if they are at the top of their game. For example, Dota 2 has had 1348 cash awarding tournaments, and the total prizes awarded have amassed to over $223 million.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CS:GO as known in the field) has had 4835 tournaments and almost $95 million awarded in prizes. Epic Games’ Battle Royale game Fortnite is a relatively new game on the scene compared to some of the Esports classics, but this is still the third-highest paying Esports game of all time, amassing $85 million across just 537 tournaments.
The most recent Dota 2 International held in 2019 awarded the high cash prize in the region of $30 million, the highest of any single Esports event. The 2019 Fortnite World Cup made Kyle “Bugha” Geirsdorf an instant millionaire at just 16 years of age with the Pennsylvanian taking home a cool $3 million.
Esports Revenue Surpassed $1 Billion Marks In 2019
Such is the growth of Esports from a financial prospective it is estimated that Esports is on its way to becoming the most lucrative market on the planet, due to its exposure and growing interest in its tournaments by young and old alike.
According to Forbes, total Esports revenues could total $2.3 billion within three years, which would eclipse some of the sporting behemoths such as Formula One and the UEFA Champions League. Sponsorships represent one of the biggest channels of money for the Esports industry, with 40% total revenue in 2018, and in 2019 sponsorships were up to $456.7 million.
Further comparisons to other traditional sports, is the betting industry. A report in 2017 claimed that the sports betting industry is worth a whopping $104 billion, and Esports betting has also taken off, with it claimed to be worth $12.9 billion in 2020.
Esports Specific Arenas And Training Camps Emerging
In March 2019, it was announced the United States was putting in plans to build its first-ever competitive video gaming arena in Philadelphia. Comcast Spectator, who own the NHL franchise, the Philadelphia Flyers were the brains and funding behind this project. The $50 million arena will house 3,500 spectators and will be the first of its kind, putting Esports on par with many other major traditional sports.
Similarly, to other sports, like soccer, basketball, and hockey, there are now Esports specific training camps available where players can connect with other aspiring gamers, being specially coached by Esports coaches in the best gaming facilities in the world.
With the end goal that players who partake in this training will become better Esports players, learn to train in a team, and develop benefits outside of the game such as fitness, mental preparation, and meditation to get players in the zone for when they play their video game.
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