Published 2022-06-25 22:07
Esports has, in only a few years, exploded into a billion-dollar industry. Today, esports can be compared with the biggest sports globally, like soccer/football, basketball and American football.
Abios, the world-leading esports data provider and Kambi, provider of one of the biggest sportsbook platforms, has released an in-depth research on today’s esports industry, the betting market and the future potential of esports.
A Billion Dollar Industry
According to the report, the esports industry is today valued at around 1 billion dollar.
NewZoo, the world’s most trusted and quoted source for games market insights and analytics, is the source for the market figures in the report. NewZoo also estimates that the industry will reach a value of 1,6 billion dollar by 2024.
Market size 2022
Market size 2024
500 Million Esports Viewers
The report states that there are mainly two types of esports fans that view events. Kambi and Abios categorise these as regular viewers and casual viewers. They estimate that 234 viewers are regular, out of the total 500 million that followed esports events on Twitch in 2021.
Millennials and Gen Z is the audience
The report refers to a study in 2019 by GlobalWebIndex, which shows that 37% of the esports fans are between 25-34 years old.
Abios and Kambi also state that a big part of the esports audience consists of millennials and Gen Z – generations that have been growing up in the digital world with the internet and modern gaming technology.
Esports audience age span
25-34 years old – 37%
The Esports Betting Industry
The report shows that the betting industry is the strongest growing market within esports.
H2 Gambling Capital, the leading market data intelligence within the gambling industry, estimates that the esports betting industry will grow from roughly $400 million to $960 million in 2026.
Esports betting revenue 2020
Esports betting revenue 2026
Exponential Growth Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
The esports betting market grew exponentially during the pandemic. The reason was that most traditional sports events were cancelled or postponed, while esports tournaments could be played online.
Sports game titles, such as FIFA and NBA2K grew substantially in popularity. The theory behind it is that these games naturally bear a resemblance to their real-life counterparts.
“Sports simulators have continued to act as filler products for traditional sports, and have as a result been the subject of a secular, upward shift in demand compared to pre-pandemic levels”
Top 3 Esports Games
It’s not a surprise to find these esports games in the top 3. Note that League of Legends is the biggest game globally within the esports industry. However, there are many countries where Counter Strike: Global Offensive is the most popular game, and some where Dota 2 is the most popular title.
Other games that are worth mentioning in terms of popularity, are Rocket League, which should have reached its peak. Valorant has literally exploded since the game was added to the sports books, and it seems to still be growing. Like the report mentions, FIFA is one of the fastest-growing esports games, since FIFA esports betting was discovered by punters that couldn’t bet on traditional sports.
Top 5 Esports Teams
Kambi shared their statistics for most popular esports teams to bet on during 2021.
Top teams 2021
|Natus Vincere – NAVI|
|Ninjas in Pyjamas – NiP|
Top 3 Odds Markets
Here are the biggest games and the three most popular odds market for each, individual game.
Image source: Abios & Kambi report – Bring esports into play