Esports is a booming industry where skilled video gamers play competitively. Moreover, around 380 million people watch e-sports across the globe both online and in person. The E-sports sector is a fragmented landscape that offers a multitude of lucrative opportunities.
Esports, short for “electronic sports,” transforms online gaming into a sport. The offers an experience similar to watching a professional sporting event. Instead of watching a physical event, spectators watch video gamers compete against each other in a virtual environment. Just as traditional sports fans enjoy watching top athletes perform at the top of their craft, the same is true of those who watch top video gamers compete.
The Esports market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 18.1%, and the global esports market is expected to reach a value of US $ 9.5 Bn by 2033-end. The market is expected to offer lucrative opportunities due to the following factors:
Continued Growth of the Audience: One of the biggest opportunities in the esports market is the continued growth of the audience.
- According to Newzoo, the global esports audience is expected to reach nearly 600 million people by 2023. This growth is driven by the increasing popularity of video gaming and the growing number of esports tournaments and events.
Growth of Sponsorship & Advertising: Another opportunity in the esports market is the growth of sponsorship and advertising. Companies are recognizing the potential of esports as a way to reach a young, tech-savvy audience, and are investing in sponsorships, advertising, and product placement. In addition, the esports market offers opportunities for content creators, such as streamers and YouTubers, to monetize their content and reach a large, engaged audience.
Also, the esports market has been witnessing various key trends such as:
- Growth of Mobile Gaming: One of the key trends in the esports market is the growth of mobile gaming. The increasing popularity of mobile devices and the widespread availability of high-speed internet are driving growth in the mobile gaming market. Mobile esports, such as PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile, are becoming increasingly popular and attracting large audiences.
- Increasing professionalization and structure: Another trend in the esports market is the increasing focus on professionalization and structure. With the growth of the industry, there is a growing demand for professional teams, organizations, and leagues. This is leading to the development of more structured and organized esports competitions, with clear rules and regulations, and the establishment of professional teams and organizations.
- Advancements in Esports Technology: One of the biggest technological advancements in esports has been the development of specialized gaming hardware. This includes high-performance gaming keyboards, mice, and headphones that are designed to give players a competitive edge.
Many leading players in the market landscape are offering esports services:
- Tencent: Tencent has grown to become one of the largest technology companies in the world. One of Tencent’s key businesses is online gaming, and it has a portfolio of some of the most popular games in the world, such as League of Legends, CrossFire, and PUBG The company also owns a stake in several other tech companies, such as Tesla, Snapchat, and Riot Games.
- Activision Blizzard: Activision Blizzard was formed through the merger of Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games. They are one of the largest video game publishers in the world and have a portfolio of highly successful franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo.
- Epic Games: Some of the company’s most popular games include Fortnite, Gears of War, Unreal Tournament, and Infinity Blade. Fortnite has become a global phenomenon, attracting millions of players and generating significant revenue through in-game purchases.
To establish a substantial market share, key players in the e-sports market have adopted various strategies such as collaborating with other players and acquiring small players. For instance,
- Coca-Cola and Riot Games: In 2022, Coca-Cola, a soft-drink manufacturing company collaborated with Riot Games. The multi-year partnership between Coca-Cola and Riot Games was seen as a major milestone for the e-sports industry, as it demonstrated the growing recognition of e-sports as a legitimate form of entertainment and competition.
- Red Bull and Fnatic: Red Bull and Fnatic, a professional e-sports organization, have worked together to support players and events in the global e-sports community. This partnership was aimed at promoting and growing the e-sports industry and creating a new level of excitement for fans.
- Facebook’s acquisition of Beat Games: Facebook acquired Beat Games in 2019. The acquisition was part of Facebook’s broader push into virtual reality and the gaming industry. It allowed Beat Games to continue developing Beat Saber, while also giving the company access to Facebook’s resources and technology.
- Tencent’s acquisition of Riot Games: The acquisition of Riot Games by Tencent has been seen as a major win for both companies. Tencent has been able to further expand its reach in the gaming industry, while Riot Games has been able to continue developing its popular games with the support of Tencent’s resources and technology.
The Esports market comes with its own set of challenges, for instance, a lack of clear regulation and standardization. The lack of a clear regulatory framework can make it difficult for companies and organizations to invest in the industry. In addition, there are concerns about the long-term health and well-being of professional gamers, which can negatively impact the industry’s reputation.