Esports has already established itself as a multimillion (soon billion) dollar business with a worldwide audience of over 335 million fans. Those millions of fans have many reasons to be optimistic about the future of the esports industry as it’s only going to get bigger, according to estimations from NJ Games.
In 2012, esports revenue reached nearly $130 million and it’s predicted that by 2021, that number will grow to a whopping $1.385 billion. Also, the number of people watching esports events was 335 million back in 2017, and it’s expected to increase to 557 million by 2021.
The origin of esports
Esports really originated in Asia where competitive gaming culture was born thanks to having fast internet and a high unemployment rate. Since then, the esports reach has crossed into other regions and countries across the world. Take the US for example where esports has really started to make a name for itself and has begun to compete with traditional sports. Several big-name esports clubs, teams, and organizations like Evil Geniuses (earned over $20 million on more than 734 tournaments) are based in the United States and made a name for themselves in competitive gaming.
Esports and olympic category?
Although traditional sports have the edge over esports when it comes to making money – the industry made nearly a billion dollars in 2018 and its 300+ million fans put it on the map as one of the globe’s most popular sports. On top of that esports might be given the highest sporting recognition and be accepted into the Olympics. The IOC committee will decide on whether or not esports will be added to the Olympic programme as an official medal sport in 2024. It was already announced that esports would be a medal sport at the 2021 Asian Games, so it seems that esports is definitely on the right track for being fully accepted into the Olympics.
The esports industry is a powerhouse with the potential to rival many established traditional sports. Arising out of that will be a gambling sector based on billions of dollar being wagered on the outcome of esports events. In 2016, $5.5 billion was wagered on major esports titles worldwide already.
It appears that the future is bright and exponential for the esports industry. If you want to hear more facts about the evolution of the esports market, continue reading the infographic below.