According to Newzoo, of the 1.3 billion gamers worldwide, 256 million are eSports fans today. That number will grow to 385 million by 2017. ESports generated over $493 million in revenues last year and are expected to jump to $696 million this year.
When you look at the gaming landscape, the only thing as “hot “as eSports is virtual reality. Newzoo forecasts global virtual reality and augmented reality will generate $569 billion by 2025. And gamers will be a big part of that revenue, with projections of spending $100 million on VR hardware by 2018.
The Electronic Sports League (ESL), and one of the giants in both the tech and gaming markets, Intel, are already laying the groundwork for virtual reality eSports. The eleventh season of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) eSports tournament just concluded in Katowice, Poland over two sold-out weekends this month. Over 173,000 people attended and another 40 million people tuned into the livestreams across Twitch, Twitter, and a dozen television networks globally. IEM Season 12 will kick off its year-long tournament tour schedule on May 6 in Sydney, Australia.