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Esports to see a massive revenue boost in next few years

Wessel Minnie

Jul 16, 2020 11:00 am

We all love esports and seeing some massive numbers. Last week, we talked about a report showcasing how the top 10 esports tournaments ever have a combined prize pool of over R3 billion. Now, it is time for some more happy numbers, this time, taking a look into the future.

Global esports revenue by 2023

According to data gathered by聽, the global esports industry revenue is set to hit $1.05 billion by the end of 2020. Keep in mind this projection is during the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes the projection even more impressive.


By 2023, the global esports industry revenue is set to hit $1.6 billion, according to the report. This suggests the increasing trend will continue in the next few years, jumping by 50%, which is a massive boost. To put the number into a local perspective, that’s around R27,000,000,000.


The biggest revenue growth, according to the report, will be in the digital and streaming areas. This is directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report explains:

“Due to cancelled or postponed events, the eSports digital and streaming revenues are expected to witness substantial growth. Statistics indicate the digital revenue stream is set to generate $21.5 million profit this year, a 60.9% jump year-on-year. Streaming profits are forecast to grow 44.9% in a year, reaching $19.9 million value in 2020.”


So what does all this mean for a gamer in a third-world country? Well, it means esports will continue to grow, and more and more investors will get on board. This is especially true since the global esports audience is set to grow to another massive, happy number.

The report reads:

“Recent years have also witnessed a surge in the number of people watching their favourite games and eSports tournaments. In 2018, there were 173 million frequent eSports viewers, and 222 million occasional viewers worldwide. Since then, the number of eSports fans rose to 495 million globally, with enthusiasts accounting for 45% of that figure.


Statistics show that by 2023, there will be almost 300 million frequent eSports viewers worldwide, a 75% increase compared to 2018 figures. Additionally, more than 350 million people are expected to occasionally watch eSports tournaments and events in the next three years.”


In short, esports is growing at a substantial rate, even when other sporting industries need to cancel events, and possibly lose revenue.


Header image via Valve.