Figures & Facts

Market analysis of esports: Increase in attendance figures, revenues and prize money

According to a recent market analysis by research institute Newzoo, revenues from eSports are going to surpass $250 million worldwide in 2015. In addition to that, the number of eSports enthusiasts is going to grow over 113 million. Newest findings suggest more growth in the eSports market, especially in China and the US.

Another indicator for the continuing growth in the eSports market is an increasing amount of premiums and prize monies. Endowments in prize money have almost doubled in comparison to last year. Should this pace be kept, estimates show that more than 71 million USD in prize money will be awarded this year. Also, key findings suggest the following:

Casual viewers are becoming eSports enthusiasts

Esports viewership is growing strongest in the US. Regardless of frequency, viewership has increased by 21%; annual growth of so-called eSports-enthusiasts is marked at 37%. The awareness of eSports in public saw an increase of 16%.

In comparison to an identical market analysis from 2014, the number of eSport viewers has increased by 6% in the countries analyzed. Worth mentioning is the fact that the number of viewers, who did not follow eSports on a regular basis saw a slight decrease, whereas the number of eSports-enthusiasts rose by 31%.

The estimated number of eSports-enthusiasts in 2015 is 113 million versus 147 million casual viewers who are only tuning into national tournaments or world cups from time to time.

In comparison to 2014, prize money will double worldwide

  • The grand total of prize money in 2014 was $36 million. This year, the total sum of prize money awarded for eSports-tournaments in the first five months worldwide was $15.7 million, displaying a growth of 97% in comparison to last year. If this pace maintains, the total amount of prize money will rise to over 71 million USD this year.
  • A great influence on the total sum of prize money has been Valve’s DotA2 world cup tournament ‘The International’. A total of 10 million USD could be distributed with the help of a crowdfunding event, which took place on the side of the tournament. The sum for this year’s tournament was already surpassed and is estimated to topple $15 million, which would mark a new prize money record for a single eSports event.
  • The significant increase of prize monies could be interpreted as an indicator for increasing revenues, as well as hinting at a growing anticipation on the sides of the publishers who expect to see greater recognition value and good reputation for the tournament, the games and the market by increasing their investment, therefore implying to increase ROI.
  • Apart from that they are expecting a growth of 30%, reaching 251.5 million USD. These revenues are made up of sponsoring contracts, online advertisement, media rights, (digital) merchandise, tickets and publisher’s investments, needed in order to cover emerging costs.


USA and China dominating eSports-revenues

  • The North American eSports market is going to generate $93.2 million, which is 37% of global eSports revenues. Revenues from the Asian markets and Pacific regions amount to 85.2 million USD.
  • A closer look at the Asian market reveals that China surpasses South Korea with 36.7 million USD. In 2015, revenue generated in South Korea will be approximately $28.9 million.


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Image sources: ©; ©, Photographer: Helena Kristiannson


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