The global e-sport market could, IDATE DigiWorld estimates, reach 1.2 billion EUR in 2018 and exceed 3.8 billion EUR in 2022 (+32.7% a year on average over that period). Sponsorship and advertising will remain the two main money-makers, growing from 796 million EUR in 2018 to close to 1.8 billion in 2022.

IDATE DigiWorld estimates the global e-sport market stood at 1,239 million EUR in 2018. It represents 1.3% of the revenue of the global video game market (94.2 billion EUR excluding hardware) – a share that could climb to 3% by 2022. As with regular sport, the market is structured around four segments.

Media rights and licencing

This segment includes media rights, which covers streaming or broadcasting events on the web and on TV. These are the fees that channels pay to the rights owners: i.e. the event organisers and promoters. It further includes the revenue that rights owners earn on licencing their games: estimated at 168 million EUR in 2018.

Tickets and merchandising

The revenue generated by ticket sales for the tournaments and merchandising revenue constitute this segment. The latter has taken on a new dimension in recent years thanks to the growing popularity of players and teams, who have become veritable stars with their young audience, especially in Asia. This segment will be worth an estimated 88 million EUR in 2018.

Sponsorship and advertising

This segment includes ad revenue (275 million EUR in 2018) and sponsorship revenue (521 million EUR in 2018). There are two forms of sponsorship: endemic sponsorship (137 million EUR in 2018) from companies that have direct ties to e-sport, and non-endemic sponsorship (384 million EUR in 2018) from companies that have no real direct ties to e-sport but recognise its tremendous potential.

Betting and gambling on e-sport

This segment includes revenue from betting on e-sport. This encompasses the net revenue earned by betting operators (gross revenue from which the gains are paid out to winning betters), the revenue earned by tournament sites, Fantasy League revenue and marketplace revenue. This segment will be worth an estimated 187 million EUR at the end of 2018. Looking further down the road, it could become the video game sector’s biggest money-maker. It is poised to explode over the next five years (growing by more than 60% on average per year), and is expected to be generating 1,270 million EUR in 2022.

Significant growth
Sponsorship and advertising:
e-sports' biggest market