Video games are nothing new. Anyone born in the last four decades likely grew up playing video games, and plenty of older gaming fans have emerged in recent years. However, the idea of gaming as a fully-fledged sport in its own right is a little more novel. Until only a few years ago, the idea of watching someone else play video games would have seemed odd, never mind paying for the privilege of doing so.
But things have changed. eSports now generates serious revenue in markets across the world, and this has led gambling platform providers to take notice of the potential of this new field of sporting competition. Take a look at some of the key statistics from this market and gain a better picture of what this means for the future of betting.
Key eSports Betting Statistics
- eSports is now a huge market, generating around $1.08 billion worth of revenue from sponsorships and fan viewing worldwide.
- It is likely that betting on eSports has actually eclipsed this vast amount of revenue. In 2015, the global eSports betting market was projected to hit $1.81 billion in 2020.
- This represents an enormous increase in eSports betting over only five years. Back in 2015, the betting market was worth $24 million, equal to a rise of $1.786 billion in just half a decade.
- It is no surprise that the global eSports audience is growing alongside these figures. In 2019, there were 397.8 million eSports fans around the world actively engaged in watching the sport. This rose to 435.9 million in 2020, continuing this steady growth to hit 474 million in 2021. By 2024, figures are expected to be in excess of 577 million.
- There are some obstacles for betting platform providers though. China leads the way in terms of eSports market revenue, accounting for 19% of the global revenue total alone in 2019. But with gambling illegal in China, this does not help those in the betting industry.
- However, healthy growth in other markets does provide ample opportunity for betting companies seeking to reach a wider audience. South Korea accounted for 6% of the global market revenue, while markets across North America made up 37%.
- One of the criticisms of eSports — that it does not provide a spectacle for its audiences — is proving to be false. We’ve already touched on how many viewers eSports events garner in the current market, but what’s interesting is how these user groups are broken down. In 2021, the split was roughly 50/50 between those who identify themselves as eSports enthusiasts compared to those who identify as occasional viewers. This demonstrates just how much enthusiasm there already is for eSports, while also indicating substantial opportunity for growth among casual fans.
Growth continues to be strong in the field of eSports, and all indicators show that this growth will continue over the coming years, even increasing in pace. This meteoric rise of eSports has opened the door to a whole new world of potential for betting platform providers in markets across the globe.