eSports revenue tops movie and music

Posted on Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 21:13 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Sports have been a source of entertainment for millennia but eSports is a relative newcomer. Video game competitions have been common practice for several decades now, but since the 2010s there's been a massive surge in popularity and professionalism.

Video gaming is the world's fastest-growing entertainment segment -- with revenue topping that of movie and music. A small number of video games dominate the eSports scene and popular events can draw massive numbers of online spectators. It's reported that the finals of the Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore was viewed by 5.4 million viewers around the world.

Johnathan Wendel, aka Fatal1ty, was one of the early professional esports players. He rose to fame in the late 1990s and countless others have followed in his footsteps. Just like physical sports players, good eSports players can earn a lot of money. Prize money and sponsorship deals can easily range into the millions of dollars range for the best of the best.

Similarly, there's also a large betting scene. Sports gambling is a popular vice and it's not limited to soccer or horses. In recent years, there's been a big surge in esports betting. Esports betting is found in various major economies, including popular eSports markets like the US, China, South Korea, Japan, the UK, and Australia.

Market Insight Reports estimates eSports betting could be a $13 billion market by 2025, a massive increase versus the $800 million revenue in 2019. The audience is typically quite young, which poses both risks and opportunities for bookmakers.

At the moment, the most popular eSports games include titels like Dota 2, Fortnite, League of Legends, Apex Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Some games stay in fashion for a significant number of years. StarCraft II for example is still a very popular eSports game, despite being released in 2010. Similarly, League of Legends and Dota 2 continue to be classics. And of course, Counter-Strike (and CS:GO) has ruled eSports for over twenty years now.

PC gaming is a massive market. At the moment, supply issues can be an issue if you want to get your hands on decent gaming hardware but I'm sure the best is yet to come for eSports.