As a follow up to our article on the online gaming sector in March 2017, we ask whether the industry of eSports will become the next Olympic sport?
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As noted in our March article, online gaming has become a significant industry with Intel estimating that the number of active gamers worldwide is around 711 million or about 25% of the world’s 2.6 billion overall gamers according to Electronic Arts. The gaming industry itself generated US$100 billion worldwide in 2016 according to Newzoo Resources.
The industry has evolved into a competitive sporting market known as eSports, where teams compete against each other in video games, often in tournaments or events with a prize pool. The eSports market generated US$493 million in 2016 and is expected to jump 41% to US$696 million in 2017 and US$1.5 billion by 2020. The majority of the value lies in the media rights, advertising and sponsorship of these eSports events and tournaments.
Although eSports is comparatively smaller compared to the online gaming industry as a whole, it has become a focal point for advertisers, video game publishers and media executives who perceive it as a growth industry with a particular focus on the younger demographic population. The increasing popularity is supported by the 100 million+ viewers per month on Twitch, the social video platform and community for gamers. The global audience for eSports is expected to reach 385 million in 2017, approximately half of which are eSports enthusiasts, and the other half occasional viewers. The number of the former is expected to grow by another 50% by 2020.
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