The global e-sports market is set to reach new heights, according to a recent study.
Total revenue for the global e-sports market will hit $1.1 billion in 2019, representing a 26.7% year-over-year growth rate compared to the $897.2 million it generated in 2018, says a new study from gaming researcher NewZoo. If e-sports can reach that level, it’ll be the first time the industry has posted earnings of $1 billion in a single year.
According to NewZoo, the lion’s share of the proceeds—$456.7 million—will come byway of sponsorships that see companies paying players and venues to promote their brands. Media rights will hit $251.3 million this year, followed by advertising income of $189.2 million. Merchandise and tickets and game publisher fees will round out the spending with $103.7 million and $95.2 million in earnings, respectively.
The data clearly shows what many industry watchers have known for quite some time: e-sports have officially become big business. In competitions around the globe, video game players compete in e-sports tournaments in teams or individually. They compete in a variety of games, including Madden NFL, Fortnite, Dota 2, and others. Along the way, players can make a nice living just by being among the top video game players in the world.
The revenue growth is due in no small part to the industry’s rapid audience growth. In 2017, there were 335 million people interested in e-sports around the world, according to NewZoo. That figure will grow to 454 million this year and could reach 645 million in 2022.
That year, total earnings is expected to hit $1.8 billion, but if the industry continues to boost its monetization opportunities, it could hit a height of $3.2 billion in 2022, NewZoo said.