Global Esports Revenue Reaches More Than $1 Billion As Audience Figures Exceed 433 Million

PUBG Global Championship 2019 - Grand Finals

Esports global revenues will soon reach the $1.1 billion mark

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Esports has continued its rapid global growth with revenues exceeding $1 billion and audiences of more than 443 million across the globe, according to research by Green Man Gaming.

That following is already greater than American Football and rugby combined—and is predicted to reach 645 million by 2020.

The numbers suggest that esports is fast on its way to becoming the most financially lucrative market on the planet, thanks to huge exposure and interest in major tournaments.

If esports continues to grow at its current rate, total revenues could total $2.3 billion (£1.7 billion) within three years, meaning it would financially dwarf traditional big-hitters Formula One and the UEFA Champions League.

Already, the $25 million (£19.235 million) prize pot for Dota 2’s The International is around times larger than what is available for competitors in the UEFA Europa League.

This is not an outlier. In line with its popularity, tournament prize money in esports is increasing at an average rate of 42% a year and will top $173 million (£133.1 million) in 2019.

The number of pro athletes in esports has been growing at a rate of 43% per year since 1998.

Such are the financial rewards available in esports, that the $3 million (£2.3 million) prize for lifting the Fortnite World Cup is greater than Wimbledon's $2.4 million winner's cheque.

Ian McGregor, CMO at Green Man Gaming, said: “Esports is a spectator phenomenon that has definitely arrived with a bang. Many mainstream media have started paying more attention to the topic but this is old news for the gaming community.

"The industry has been attracting players, teams and fans at fast pace, filling up large stadiums to capacity and driving ever increasing online viewership numbers. It’s now a serious global rival to major sporting franchises.

“It’s clear that esports has captured the imagination of its ever-increasing audience."

Esports has become such a dominant force in the global leisure and entertainment industry that even the likes of American sports behemoth MLS is left in its wake.

Paul Turner, EVP of performance marketing at Green Man Gaming, says: "Esports is at its peak right now, and we as a gaming retailer really wanted to see how far it had come compared to the more traditional sports we know and love.

"By processing the data we were able to track the meteoric rise of the scene, and also make predictions as to what the future holds. 

"As the interactive shows, the sky really is the limit, as esports continues to outgrow the more traditional sports, and the lucky professionals involved continue to bag bigger purses than their more traditional rivals."

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Esports has continued its rapid global growth with revenues exceeding $1 billion and audiences of more than 443 million across the globe, according to research by Green Man Gaming.

That following is already greater than American Football and rugby combined—and is predicted to reach 645 million by 2020.

The numbers suggest that esports is fast on its way to becoming the most financially lucrative market on the planet, thanks to huge exposure and interest in major tournaments.

If esports continues to grow at its current rate, total revenues could total $2.3 billion (£1.7 billion) within three years, meaning it would financially dwarf traditional big-hitters Formula One and the UEFA Champions League.

Already, the $25 million (£19.235 million) prize pot for Dota 2’s The International is around times larger than what is available for competitors in the UEFA Europa League.

This is not an outlier. In line with its popularity, tournament prize money in esports is increasing at an average rate of 42% a year and will top $173 million (£133.1 million) in 2019.

The number of pro athletes in esports has been growing at a rate of 43% per year since 1998.

Such are the financial rewards available in esports, that the $3 million (£2.3 million) prize for lifting the Fortnite World Cup is greater than Wimbledon's $2.4 million winner's cheque.

Ian McGregor, CMO at Green Man Gaming, said: “Esports is a spectator phenomenon that has definitely arrived with a bang. Many mainstream media have started paying more attention to the topic but this is old news for the gaming community.

"The industry has been attracting players, teams and fans at fast pace, filling up large stadiums to capacity and driving ever increasing online viewership numbers. It’s now a serious global rival to major sporting franchises.

“It’s clear that esports has captured the imagination of its ever-increasing audience."

Esports has become such a dominant force in the global leisure and entertainment industry that even the likes of American sports behemoth MLS is left in its wake.

Paul Turner, EVP of performance marketing at Green Man Gaming, says: "Esports is at its peak right now, and we as a gaming retailer really wanted to see how far it had come compared to the more traditional sports we know and love.

"By processing the data we were able to track the meteoric rise of the scene, and also make predictions as to what the future holds. 

"As the interactive shows, the sky really is the limit, as esports continues to outgrow the more traditional sports, and the lucky professionals involved continue to bag bigger purses than their more traditional rivals."

I specialise in sports news in the UK and across continental Europe. I also write for UK national papers and have a background in sailing, rugby and football as my main ...