The eSports market will grow at highest pace owing to increasing prize money

The eSports market involves electronic sports which comprises of video game tournaments. It involves multi-player video games played competitively for spectators. Some of the popular genres of eSports include first-person shooter games, multiplayer online battle arena games, real-time strategy games and fighting games. With the increasing popularity and spectatorship, tournaments are offering large prize money to winners. For instance, the International tournament winner received $18.2 million in 2021. The involvement of sponsors and investors have increased the prize money substantially over the years thereby attracting more participants to the eSports industry.

The Global eSports Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 2123.48 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.7% over the forecast period 2024 To 2031.

Key Takeaways
Key players operating in the eSports market are Saipem, Subsea 7 S.A., McDermott International, and TechnipFMC plc. These players are focusing on partnerships and collaborations to enhance their offerings in the market. For instance, in 2022, Subsea 7 partnered with Anthropic to develop autonomous underwater vehicles for inspection activities.
The demand for eSports is growing significantly with the increasing popularity of video games and spectatorship of gaming tournaments. Many traditional sports organizations are also entering into partnerships with eSports leagues to leverage the fan engagement opportunities.

Technological advancements such as virtual and augmented reality solutions are being explored by market players to improve the experience of spectators. Startups are working on applications of VR and AR to provide an immersive viewing experience of Esports Market Demand.

Market Trends
Growing sponsorship revenue – With increasing fan engagement, eSports leagues and tournaments are attracting large sponsorships from consumer brands. It is emerging as an important avenue of marketing spends.
League expansion plans – Major eSports leagues are exploring opportunities to expand into new geographies and countries. Regional leagues are being planned with local broadcast partnerships and content in local languages.

Market Opportunities
Cloud gaming services – Cloud gaming platforms that allow video game streaming have the potential to take eSports to non-gamers and a wider audience.
Merchandising – Inspired by traditional sports, eSports franchises are yet to tap into the opportunities around licenced merchandise around popular game titles and teams. It can drive additional monetization.

Impact of COVID-19 on eSports Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the growth of the global eSports market. During the lockdowns imposed worldwide since early 2020, viewership and engagement for eSports tournaments and leagues increased massively as people sought in-home entertainment options. This provided a fillip to the market, with revenues growing at a fast pace in 2020 and 2021. However, restrictions on live events meant organizers had to switch to online-only competitions without audiences. This affected sponsorship deals and revenues.
With lockdowns now easing in most countries, the eSports market is poised to witness strong growth over the forecast period. Live events are resuming with safety protocols, helping regain sponsorship revenues. Meanwhile, the pandemic has expanded the consumer base for eSports globally as more people sampled it for entertainment during lockdowns and discovered their interest. This will support ongoing high viewer engagement even after the pandemic. Event organizers are also better prepared now to pivot quickly to digital formats if required.

Regions with Concentrated eSports Market Value
The Asia Pacific region accounts for the largest share of the global eSports market in terms of value. Countries like China, South Korea and Japan have very vibrant domestic eSports leagues and massive fan followings. Large corporations actively sponsor teams and events. Europe is the second largest regional market, led by Germany, France, UK and Poland. North America has also seen exponential growth in revenues and player base over the past decade due to the popularity of games like DOTA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch etc. Streamed tournaments attract millions of viewers.

Fastest Growing Regional Market
The Middle East and Africa region is poised to witness the fastest growth in the eSports market over the coming years. Countries in Gulf nations are actively developing infrastructure for events, leagues and training academies. Regional leagues are attracting native Arabic, Farsi and Turkish speakers. Growing Internet and gaming penetration will expand the potential consumer base. Sponsorship from companies and government grants are helping develop a sustainable eSports economy in the region. This makes MEA an attractive emerging market for investors, developers and publishers targeting future growth.


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