Currently at $1.5B, global esports revenue will grow 26% by 2020 as it attracts an even more mainstream audience. This increase will be fueled by a viewership projected to grow 12% each year and a swelling number of third-party investments. In addition to receiving indirect revenue from investments, Overwatch and League of Legends are projected to grow their direct revenue by selling brand sponsorships, advertisements, ticket sales, and team merchandise.
Video game companies like Activision Blizzard, Riot Games and Valve continue to support their flagship esports titles with player franchising agreements and larger prize pools. Advertisers and brands like the The Kraft Group (owner of New England Patriots) and Mercedes-Benz are among the most notable, with several other sports teams and brands making financial commitments. Twitch and YouTube continue their battle for gaming video and esports dominance.
Nothing is certain just yet, but discussions are a positive step forward for the recognition of esports at the Olympics.
Esports will be present at the Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia announced in April. An event recognized by the IOC, the Asian Games’ esports program will likely help push along the Paris Olympic bid committee with their discussions.
Team EnVyUs has secured a major investment from Hersh Family Investment and Interactive Group, according to an ESPN report.
The group is led by Kenneth Hersh, an executive in the oil and natural gas industry, and is based in Texas. The company reportedly offered EnVyUs a $35 million deal, which would make it one of the biggest acquisitions in the esports sector. EnVyUs is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, but will relocate to Dallas to align with its reported Overwatch League slot, ESPN said.
L.E.K. Sports Survey found that Professional sports leagues “officially have a millennial problem.”
- 40% of millennials prefer watching esports to traditional sports
- 26% of millennial eSports enthusiasts reported a significant uptick in eSports viewing over the past year
- 61% of esports followers said they spent less time watching TV over the past 12 months, and 45% said they had cut back on traditional sports viewing
- Together millennials — ages 17-34 — and Generation Z peers — age 16 and under — comprise 45% of America’s consumer base
Major League Baseball’s video streaming company recently paid $300 million for the right to stream League of Legends through 2023.
PlayStation Vue is slated to get its very own, dedicated eSports channel with 24 hours content facility. Along with boosting the still nascent eSports industry and giving it a larger audience, this would also serve to give the players something to do between bouts of game play.
The Electronic Sports League (ESL) said that its EsportsTV will be coming to Sony’s TV streaming service later in the month.
The service launched in Europe last year and has already reached in excess of 5 million households. ESL is one of the largest names in the niche and organizes a whole host of programs including the likes of League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Users will have other options besides Twitch and the like to watch eSports events. With Vue available on PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, mobile, and other platforms, there will be a host of places where users can easily get hold of all the happenings in the niche.
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.