Esports revenue surpasses $1 billion, says Globaldata

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Esports has been surging in popularity with younger generations driving this trend, found GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company’s latest report, ‘Thematic Intelligence – Millennials and Gen Z in Sport’, reveals that a staggering 81% of Gen Z have played video games at some point, while 70% of millennials have reported the same.

Esports itself is a form of competition involving video games. The majority of esports tournaments revolve around competitive multiplayer games, which can be played either solo or as part of a team. Among the most popular Esports games include League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike, Valorant and Overwatch. Esports is primarily popular amongst younger generations including millennials and Gen Z, who have both grown up with the rapid evolution of the video game industry.

Part of the popularity of Esports is said to be due to its ease of access, with only an internet connection required. In comparison, many sporting events are locked behind subscriptions and paywalls. Accessibility is the key to boosting interest in any kind of sport, and younger generations who have grown up with video games and other technology are more likely to be swept up in the Esports craze.

Tanveer Aujla, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The popularity of Esports will only continue with platforms like YouTube and Twitch making Esports events incredibly accessible to watch compared to Sky, BT and Amazon Prime which charge subscriptions. Many fans also don’t feel as obligated to watch events live like they would live sports. The accessibility of online content means that fans are more comfortable with catching up in their own time.”

The pandemic opened up further opportunities for professional sports teams to begin investing significant sums of money into Esports teams due to increasing viewership. Many new fans of Esports were gained amongst younger generations during the lockdowns when there was little else to do but spend time online. While many have begun their own professional Esports teams, other teams like Wolves and PSG have taken the alternative option of investing in already established Esports teams.

Aujla adds: “Esports revenues have eclipsed $1 billion globally, and there is significant room to keep growing. The value of sponsorship deals will continue to grow, as evidenced by the Golden State Warriors and its Esports team’s recent sponsorship deal with DoorDash, which GlobalData estimates to be worth $1.5 million annually.”


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