eSports is a global phenomenon that is rarely observed by those in traditional media and investment circles because it represents a uniquely youthful sphere of experience. A 2019 survey found that 32% of Internet users aged between 16 and 24 watched esports regularly, compared to just 6% of those aged between 55 and 64. Yet by 2021 it is predicted that in the USA, esports will have more viewers than every sports league except for the NFL.
In 2020 Adweek reported that the $139bn combined annual revenue of the esports and gaming industry had outstripped the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL combined, with 20% annual growth. There are over 2.2bn active gamers globally, with esports audiences running into the hundreds of millions and on trend to be in the billions within the next few years.
Yet despite its large and fast-growing audience, esports monetization per viewer is fourteen times lower than the NFL and nine times lower than the NBA. Yet as esports audiences become the next generation of consumers, the spending power of global esports audiences is growing fast, whilst their size is also increasing all of the time. In the coming years the world will see its first $1 billion esports teams, with huge opportunities for investors.