Esports is gaining mass – Hi-Tech – Kommersant

Esports will soon be as popular as traditional sporting events. The industry is already valued at $ 2 billion and is literally repeating the same commercialization path as conventional sports.

Computer games have long ceased to be just entertainment. Someone is filming the process itself and monetizing the game through online platforms (like YouTube or Twitch). Someone spends a lot of hours on training and battles with other players in order to become one of the best and receive a monetary reward for it. In the second case, we are talking about professional e-sports, which in its scope more and more resembles traditional sports.

According to research by Euromonitor International, by the end of 2020, the volume of the most significant eSports markets reached $ 1.6 billion.

This year it will reach almost $ 2 billion, and three years later – already $ 3.2 billion. The industry’s growth rate is impressive: on average, the esports market is growing and will continue to grow by 20% per year for the foreseeable future.

Market size was estimated based on the sum of four types of income: from media rights (income from streaming broadcasts and television broadcasts); from sponsorship (income from sponsors and advertising both during competitions and marketing campaigns); from ticket sales (for physical events); and other types of income (souvenirs, clothes and shoes).

Analyzing data from hundreds of countries, Euromonitor analysts have identified 16 key markets for the esports industry. Russia, despite the recent success of Team Spirit at International-10 (the most important and largest competition in Dota 2), is not among the e-sports powers, occupying only seventh place in the world in terms of market share.

China is the leader in the global esports scene, accounting for 28% of revenues. The United States is still in second place, but the share of the PRC will decline in the coming years, while American esports will attract more and more attention and money.

As a result, in 2024 there will be a change of the leader on the world stage – the USA will become the largest market with a share of 26%.

Now most of the income for esports players comes from sponsors and advertising. In the future, this will be matched by income from media rights, as esports becomes more popular among the general population. Younger generations are seriously addicted to online gaming.

About 65% of the people who play online games every day are Gen Z and Millennials. Those who are now over 60 are not interested in online games in general.

Ticket sales, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the inability to compete in the real world, will remain, according to Euromonitor analysts, only a small bonus to the basic income of professional players.

At the same time, analysts point out that the cost of tickets for major e-sports competitions already significantly exceeds the prices for tickets for such traditionally “expensive” sports as tennis and golf.

The average ticket price for an ATP tennis match is $ 74.5. Attending a major esports event will cost an average of $ 103.

You can see the game of the best golfers on the planet for half the price.

How the computer competition industry has grown over the past year

Finally, as noted by Euromonitor, esports is actually repeating the path of traditional sports in terms of raising money. The majority of esports sponsorship revenue now comes from computer and electronics manufacturers… They account for 33% of the total, which is not surprising given that people watching cyber competitions pay attention to what technique professional players use. The second and third places in terms of the share of sponsorship income are taken by non-alcoholic drinks (e-sportsmen are very fond of power engineers, and they constantly appear in the broadcast frame) and gambling (Bets can be placed on any sporting event, even if it is an e-sport).

Other industries are lagging behind in the list of sponsors of gaming competitions. And this is the fundamental difference between esports and the world of traditional sports – the distribution of income there is almost equal across all industries.

However, as noted in the report, everything has its time: traditional sports, too, once did not know how to make money, limiting themselves to sponsor money, primarily from manufacturers of sportswear, footwear and equipment. It took decades for the world of big-time sports to find a balance in cash flows, but e-sports will definitely repeat this path and become maturing, analysts are sure.

Kirill Sarkhanyants



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