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eSports, a form of competition using video games is very much in vogue and has emerged as the most popular investment among billionaires. Colleges are adding competitive video gaming as a varsity sport, and esports tournaments are being covered on mainstream media outlets such as ESPN alongside traditional sports like football or baseball.
Market researcher, Newzoo, in its annual report predicted that the global esports revenue would hit $906 million this year–whopping 38 percent escalation over 2017.
The study explicates the jaw-dropping figure as below :
$359 million from sponsorships, $174 million from advertising, $161 million from media rights, $116 million from game-publishing fees and $95 million from the sale of merchandise and tickets.
The Newzoo CEO, Peter Warman said in the report “As a consumer phenomenon, esports continues to grow its huge base of passionate fans across the globe. As a business, esports is now entering a new and critical phase towards maturity. Big investments have been made, new league structures have been launched, sponsorship budgets have moved from experimental to continuous and international media rights trade is starting to heat up.”
The report estimates that the esports industry holds the potential to grow to $1.1 billion by next year and $1.65 billion by 2021. Warman, however, alarmed about the dangers of escalating player salaries and a reliance on popular, but limited number of teams and game franchises.
“Profitability and return on investment is, for many organisations at the heart of the esports economy, a challenge.”
Newzoo analysis also reveals that esports will reach 380 million fans this year, comprising 165 million die-hard enthusiasts and 215 million occasional viewers. Though North America still accounts for only 18 percent of the fan base, the United States and Canada generate 38 percent of the global revenue.
Cleveland has started to feel the impact of the booming industry. The Cavaliers are fielding a team in the new NBA 2K League, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is the primary investor in a League of Legends team, and colleges like Akron, Kent State, and Ashland are launching varsity programmes in esports.
Source: European Gaming Media and Events