The Growth of the Esports Industry

Published: Apr 24, 2024

Year after year, the promises and hopes for the esports industry are becoming reality. With its ups and downs, the esports industry has undeniably grown over the years, learning some valuable lessons along the way. Let’s take a look at the numbers and statistics to demonstrate the growth in the esports industry.

The Growth of the Esports Industry

In 1972, the origins of esports were formed thanks to local Space Invader tournaments, with almost no prize pool on the line and very few participants.

Fifty years later, the esports industry has transformed drastically in every regard – the number of esports, viewership statistics, prize pools and the general quality of the industry.

Let’s skip the discussion and let’s start looking at some metrics, starting with esports prize pools.

Esports Prize Pools – Yearly Climbing

The Growth of the Esports Industry
Image Credits: Statista [Annual Prize Pools from 2017 to 2023)
Firstly, everybody knows that money talks – that has been the case for esports.

Moreover, prize pools are a means for esports organizers to demonstrate their commitment to the esports scene and their esports games. While money doesn’t always mean success, it’s a metric we can measure.

The above study from Statista recorded the total annual prize pool across six years.

Naturally, as is evident, 2023 saw over $550 million in prize pools which is over five times the amount in 2017.

In addition, the past few years saw the birth of multiple franchised leagues. While some were successful and some were not, these franchised leagues had $20 million buy-ins for teams to participate.

These franchised leagues offer esports players secure wages, regular tournaments and a more stable environment for esports.

For 2024, the Esports World Cup was revealed with $60 million in prize pools for over 18 esports titles – a new record for the industry. Learn more in our Esports World Cup betting guide.

Another top tournament is The International, offering $40 million dollars in the 2021 iteration.

Viewership Statistics – Global and Growing

The Growth of the Esports Industry
Image Credits: Statista [Audience Worldwide from 2020 to 2025)
Esports is entirely an industry based on viewership, broadcasting and bringing as many people as possible.

Simply put, the logic implies that more viewership attracts more sponsors which attracts more money.

As a form of entertainment, esports is more accessible than anything else, available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and also broadcasted on National Television services.

As esports has grown culturally, more individuals have tuned in to their favoured esport. The learning curve here was transforming gamers into esports enthusiasts.

Through tournament structures, esports organizers invite the best teams in the world to compete for epic prize pools to make the viewing experience insane.

Here are the most viewed esports titles of all time based on peak viewers:

Esports TitlePeak Viewers
League of Legends6,402,760
Free Fire5,415,990
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang5,067,107
PUBG Mobile3,801,998
Dota 22,741,514
Arena of Valor974,624

Year after year, as demonstrated by another study by Statista, the industry enjoys more and more viewership. This doesn’t look like it’ll slow down anytime soon thanks to tournaments such as LoL Worlds.

Esports Industry – Statistics and Facts

Image Credits: PUBG Mobile

Using studies from Statistsa, here are a few trends currently in esports:

Of course, here at EsportsBets, we have to mention that esports betting is also on the rise, with new markets, more esports betting sites and a lot to consider.

Gabriel Sciberras

Since: February 7, 2023

Gabriel is a content writer and editor at EsportsBets, covering every related esports scene and topic under the sun, apart from plenty of experience in the realm of technology and gaming. When he's not covering international news, he's focused on the local Maltese scene.

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