The esports market was valued at USD 926.3 million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 2,174.8 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 18.61% between 2018 and 2023. The esports ecosystem consists of game publishers, event organizers, players/teams, content broadcasters, and audiences and viewers.
The industry generates significant revenue from streams such as media rights, which includes subscription and online advertisement; tickets and merchandise; sponsorships and direct advertisements; and publisher fees. The increasing popularity of video games and growing awareness about esports are the major drivers for the esports market growth. The market for online games is growing at a healthy pace owing to factors such as growing adoption of advanced gaming technologies, changing entertainment preferences among consumers, elevating income levels, and rising demand for mobile gaming.The increasing smartphone penetration and better internet connectivity have led to rise in the number of gamers at a rapid pace. The lack of standardization in terms of players’ salaries and tournament authenticity would have a major impact on the growth of the esports market in the future.
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Product launches, product developments, sponsorships, and events were the key strategies adopted by players to grow and stay competitive in the market. In January 2018, ESL partnered with Micro-Star International to sponsor all ESL One events to be held in 2018. ESL One Genting 2018 was the first event to be sponsored by Micro-Star International. Further, in March 2018, Valve Corporation launched Dota Plus, a monthly subscription service, for USD 3.99 per month. Besides product launches and developments, sponsorships, and events, companies adopted the strategies of partnerships, investments, acquisitions, and expansions. In March 2018, ESL partnered with Caffeine.tv to broadcast its esports content, including live events, highlights, replays, and ESL talk show, via Caffeine streaming platform.
Among esports revenue streams, media rights is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The growth in the revenue generation from the trades of media rights is mainly attributed to the monetization of rights by increasing the network of partners and distributors. In March 2018, ESL, the esports company owned by Modern Times Group (Sweden), partnered with Social Broadcasting Platform Caffeine to broadcast Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) World Championship held in Poland.
APAC is the largest and fastest-growing market for esports owing to the presence of key game publishers and event organizers such as Tencent, Alisporst, and Nintendo. Further, the increasing investment from sponsors and advertisers is fueling the demand for esports in the region.
The growth of this industry can be attributed to the increasing number of esports competitions in the region. Asia has always been an attractive market for the gaming industry, especially owing to the ease of entry, compared to other markets. Moreover, a number of esports spectators, sponsors, and brands from the western countries are increasingly investing in the market in this region.
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