The global eSports industry?is currently at an all-time high and is well on its way to becoming a billion dollar industry. The market is expected to reach $952 million in 2019, growing more than 375% from its 2014 value of $199 million. This rapid growth rate would officially make eSports a billion dollar industry by 2020.
The increased popularity of eSports industry in emerging countries like India, Indonesia, Argentina and South Africa is one of the biggest factors for the market’s growth along with the increase in female eSports players and prominent sponsorships from companies like Coca-Cola, American Express and Intel.
eSports tournaments are played on a large scale, with millions of dollars on the line. These tournaments started to gain traction on a small scale in the late 1990’s with games like Quake and Starcraft, where the prize pools were between $50-150 thousand. Between 2000-2010, the popularity of games like Halo, Counter Strike, Call of Duty and Warcraft were awarding $500 thousand and sometimes upwards of $1 million in prize pool money. The next wave of games has now arrived with League of Legends and Dota 2 taking the world by storm. Dota 2 alone gave away over $29 million in prize pool winnings in 2015.
Where are?eSports industry the most popular?
The Asia-Pacific region is considered to be the hub of professional gamers globally. South Korea was the pioneer of E-sports, officially licensing pro gamers since 2000. South Korea used to be the largest market for eSports, has seemed to have reached its peak and is starting to decline. The market in Japan is trending negatively as it is one of the very few countries in Asia where console games are played more than PC games (where eSports are most popular). Despite the decline in these key countries, the region is still growing very fast as a whole thanks to China and the penetration of eSports in developing countries such as Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore.
eSports in the Americas is at its peak and will continue to grow during the forecast period. The Americas is the fastest growing region for eSports, and the United States has the largest chunk of the market at 28%. One of the major factors is the rising popularity of eSports leagues such as major league gaming. The league has a huge recognition worldwide with global viewers growing by 100% in 2014.
The popularity of eSports has been fostered thanks to easy viewing on channels like Twitch and YouTube, which are available for free. ESport gamers are also being given the same visas as professional athletes in the USA, encouraging aspiring gamers to take up the sport professionally.
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