2019 saw huge amounts of revenue brought to the esports industry, as it grew 3% – surpassing $120.1 billion. Mobile esports has become one of the fastest growing sectors in gaming, and it’s not slowing down. 2020 is the year of esports, here’s why:
Advancements in cell phones
Advancements in cell phones is a major contributing factor in the growth of the esports industry. Developers are aware of the fact that phone quality varies in developing countries, and have built “lite apps” (less intensive mobile apps) that have acted as a catalyst for growth in esports and mobile gaming in general.
A report by IronSource showed that half of mobile app users play games. Games are becoming more accessible, and affordable, and that means that esports have been impacted. Jason Ng, vice president of strategic partnerships at Garena, said “It was important that game developers brought games suitable for esports to mobile, which expanded the addressable audience significantly.”
The growth of mobile esports is reflected in Garena’s games. Their Free Fire World Series 2019 finals in Brazil saw more than 2 million viewers tune in at once, with a total of 130 million views overall. This smashed records for mobile esports tournaments worldwide.
Esports has had rapid global growth over the last few years. The revenue has exceeded $1 billion USD, and viewership is growing too. Last year more than 443 million viewers tuned into esports, according to a report from Green Man Gaming.
Esports already far exceeds American Football and rugby combined – and it’s forecast to reach 645 million people in 2020.
These numbers suggest that esports is already well on its way to becoming the most lucrative market in the world, thanks to massive exposure and huge interest in tournaments.
If esports continues its current growth rate, total revenues could reach $2.3 billion within the next three years – dwarfing the revenue of Formula One and the UEFA Champions League.
The number of pro esports athletes has grown by 43% a year since 1998. Furthermore, the financial rewards in esports are bigger than in other sports. Winning the Fortnite World Cup earns players $3 million, whereas winning Wimbledon amounts to a $2.4 million cheque.
Ian McGregor, CMO at Green Man Gaming, said, “Esports is a spectator phenomenon that has definitely arrived with a bang. Many mainstream media have started paying more attention to the topic but this is old news for the gaming community.
“The industry has been attracting players, teams and fans at a fast pace, filling up large stadiums to capacity and driving ever increasing online viewership numbers. It’s now a serious global rival to major sporting franchises.
“It’s clear that esports has captured the imagination of its ever-increasing audience.”
2020 is the year for esports – that’s pretty clear. Advancements in mobile gaming combined with a growing viewership puts esports on the map to becoming one of the most financially lucrative sporting markets in the world.
2020 is the year of esports. When we look at the figures, it’s clear that the market has some major financial success to look forward to. Having already cleared $1 billion in revenue in 2019, the next three years could see it more than double. As more pro esports athletes enter the field, and viewership grows, the rest of the world will have no choice but to perk up and notice. Don’t ignore esports – they’re already taking over.