Sunil Bajaj

27 February 2020

Esports will become a $1bn industry in 2020, claims Newzoo report 

Newzoo has released its 2020 Global Esports Marketing Report, shedding light on the burgeoning competitive gaming industry

Esports revenues will increase 15.7% in 2020, surpassing $1.1bn, according to Nezoo.

The game industry analyst’s 2020 Global Esports Marketing Report states that the industry will continue to grow at a steady clip in the coming years, with revenues reaching $1.56bn by 2023.

Esports are a subsection of the global gaming industry, specifically the competitive gaming sector where the world’s top gamers complete for fame, fortune and glory on stages in front of millions of fans.

Brands are investing heavily in the space through sponsorship deals and media rights, which together make up 75% of the total industry revenue, or $822.4m.

This is the sixth year of the report, but the first with Remer Rietkerk at the helm as head of esports. Rietkerk previously worked at Riot games, which created League of Legends.

League of Legends is the most viewed esports game, with 348.8 million hours watched on YouTube Gaming and Twitch (where many streamers and personalities play games live for audiences) in 2019.

Counter Strike: Global Offence is the second most watched game, with 215 million hours.

To put those figures in perspective, the Battle Royale game Fortnite, which has dominated cultural conversations around gaming over the past two years, only racked up 27.5 million hours (although that figure is still up from 23 million last year).

Out of a total audience of 495 million, 272 million people claim to be esports ‘enthusiasts (meaning they watch competitive gaming content more than once a month), while 223 million are just occasional viewers.

The Newzoo report (you can download a summary here) also details the most popular esports events, the most watched games, tournaments, and leagues, and the 50 countries where esports is most popular.

China is presently the biggest market by revenues, with $385.1m, followed by North America, with $252.8m.

Contagious members can read our trend report on esports here.

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