The huge growth of esports is revealed in Futuresource’s forthcoming report

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Esports are very quickly rivalling some conventional sports in terms of viewing figures and prize money. Facts revealed by Carl Hibbert, associate director of research company Futuresource Consulting during the DTG Summit 2019 this morning, show how far esports have come in so little time.

In a short presentation at the event in central London, Hibbert revealed a range of very interesting facts and figures about esports, lifted from Futuresource’s forthcoming report ‘The esports phenomenon.’

Below are a selection of these facts. The full ‘The esports phenomenon’ report will be out soon through Futuresource.

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Esports : Facts and figures

  • The prize fund for esports tournaments last year totalled US$200m. The ATP’s prize fund was US$135m in comparison.
  • Esports reached a global audience of 410m last year, with 165m being described as ‘enthusiasts’.
  • 173k spectators visited the stadium hosting the Intel Extreme Masters in Poland.
  • Twitch paid US$90m for the rights to the Overwatch League.
  • 16-25year olds in the UK watch seven hours of esports per week, compared to nine hours of Netflix for the same age range.
  • A sizeable proportion of 35-45 year olds also engage in esports.
  • The total market is worth US$922m – which is revenue from fan spend, media rights and predominantly sponsorship and advertising. Sponsors include Coca Cola, Mercedes-Benz and McDonalds.
  • One of eSports’ biggest emerging stars is Ninja. He’s been on the cover of ESPN; he’s one of the Top 25 internet influencers; he’s worth US$6m; he will soon be worth a load more as he now earns US$500k/month; his sponsors include Red Bull, Samsung and Uber Eats.
  • VR competitions and immersive spectator experiences could be the next big thing in esports
  • So could mobile esports
  • Esports will break the US$1bn mark in terms of revenue generated next year
  • It will reach of global audience of 800m by 2023, including a lot more ‘casual viewers’