Between advertising, sponsorships and more, esports as a whole make up an industry worth about $892 million, according to SuperData Research, and that number is expected to grow.
According to SuperData’s “Esports The 2016 Report,” the biggest money makers are advertisements and sponsorships, which means companies are paying big bucks to put their logos and products on streams and their names on tournaments. These two aspects make up about 74 percent of all esports value, equalling about $660 million.
SuperData expects esports to reach a value of $1.23 billion by 2019, with viewership increasing from 214 million to 303 million.
Biggest esports regions and games
Asia is currently is the biggest market in esports, totaling a value of about $328 million this year. North America and Europe follow with $275 million and $269 million, respectively.
The most-watched and highest grossing esport is League of Legends. In the first half of 2016, LoL had an average of 96 million users every month, and the game generates around $737 million a year, according to SuperData.
Overwatch, which is not even two months old, earned $269 million in the first month of its release and had an average user base of 10 million. It will likely grow into a very strong contender in the esports scene over the next year.
Besides sponsorships and advertising, esports’ value comes from tournament prize pools, small tournaments, live event ticket sales, merchandise and betting.
Ticket sales aren’t very strong simply because there aren’t many esports events throughout the year that can pull a crowd above 10,000.
Many esports fans aren’t willing to travel or pay to see games played live, especially when they’re available to watch on Twitch for free. Some tournaments aren’t even in LAN settings competitors just play from their homes and there is no way for fans to watch the action in person.
While that number will increase as the esports audience continues to grow, betting on games could fall sharply.
Esports betting will probably see a sharp decline in the near future and stay that way
After a number of controversies surrounding illegitimate esports gambling sites specifically Counter Strike: Global Offensive one of the leading esports developers, Valve, has been sending out cease-and-desist letters to gambling websites. Esports betting will probably see a sharp decline in the near future and stay that way.
But the rest of the industry is expected to grow. As more people become interested in watching esports, new tournaments will pop up in existing games to meet the demand of fans. New games like Overwatch and Rocket League are steadily cultivating fanbases who want to watch pro matches.
More games will come out over the next few months that continue to grow the esports audience, and their growing presence on TV will only help expand their reach.
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