Esports means Electronic Sports – a form of organised, competitive gaming between professional gamers. Competitions are organised by several local and international organisations around the world, and the sport is rapidly growing in popularity. In 2017, the combined revenue for Esports was over $650m and has grown steadily year on year. This increase in revenue has mainly been driven by the ever-growing number of sponsorships, totalling 81.5% of overall revenue in 2017. China and North America are heavily involved in this increase, as they contributed 52% towards total Esports revenues in the past year.
Esports is becoming so popular that traditional sports clubs are beginning to employ gamers to compete for them in tournaments. FC Basel, PSG and Wolfsburg all have over 4 professional gamers on their FIFA 18 roster, who often compete in local and international competitions for their team. It’s not just football teams that are employing professional gamers. In 2016, Philadelphia 76ers became the first North American sports team to purchase two Esports teams, Dignitas and Apex. The price was rumoured to be between $5m – $15m.
Another important comparison that shows the rise of Esports is the total prize money on offer for winning tournaments. The recent International 2017 tournament, which featured the best players in the world of Dota 2, offered a total prize pool of $24.7m, which eclipses the likes of the 2017 Masters tournament, the worlds premiere golfing tournament, which only offered a prize pool of $11m.