Esports Revenue Will Hit $906 million In 2018, Says Newzoo Report

Posted on February 22, 2018 - Last Updated on January 17, 2023

A new report by the market research firm Newzoo predicts esports revenue will grow beyond $900 million this year. This growth, a 38 percent increase year-over-year, will be supported by strong brand investments, says the Amsterdam-based company.

Key insights

The report delivers insights and developments from the previous year as well as predictions for the future. Here are some key findings.

  • Esports revenues in 2017 amounted to $655 million. Newzoo predicts they’ll reach $906 million in 2018 and $1.65 billion by 2021.
  • Investments from brands amounted to $468 million in 2017, representing 71 percent of total revenue. Brand investments should increase to $694 million in 2018 and $1.4 billion by 2021.
  • Esports audiences, which encompasses occasional viewers and dedicated fans, reached 335 million in 2017. Newzoo projects this body will reach 380 million in 2018 and 557 million by 2021.

“As a consumer phenomenon, esports continues to grow its huge base of passionate fans across the globe,” Nezoo CEO Peter Warman said in the report. “As a business, esports is now entering a new and critical phase towards maturity.”


Let’s break the information above into a few percentages. Currently, for example, 71 percent of total global revenue comprise brand investments. That figure is expected to reach 77 percent in 2018 and 84 percent by 2021.

According to Newzoo, sponsorship is the highest-grossing esports revenue stream globally. Then, media rights constitutes the fastest-growing stream.

“By 2021, media rights revenues will more than double compared to 2018, making it the second-largest generator of esports revenues globally,” the firm estimates.

Moreover, China and North America combined are expected to account for 56 percent of global esports revenues, adding $509 million to the pool.


Esports’ audience is expected to reach 380 million fans around the world this year, adding 45 million since 2017. This group will consist of 215 million occasional viewers and 165 million esports enthusiasts.

According to Newzoo’s latest report, 53 percent of esports enthusiasts in 2018 will come from the Asia-Pacific region. Fans from EU countries will represent 18 percent of the total group, and 14 percent will come from North America.

Using projected figures, global average annual revenue per esports enthusiast should amount to $5.49 in 2018. That’s an increase of 20 percent over last year.

Other interesting insights

While the full report became available this week, the light version includes some other interesting findings. For example, there were 588 major esports events in 2017. These generated an estimated $59 million in ticket revenue. In 2016, the same source generated $32 million.

Additionally, the total prize money of all esports events held last year reached $112 million, of which The International tournament accounted for over 20 percent. Last year was the first in which the total esports prize pools totaled over $100 million.

Next to Newzoo, SuperData also recently reported how big 2017 was for esports and the video game industry in general.

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Dejan Zalik

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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