Business of Esports 2023 – Property Profile, Sponsorship and Media Landscape

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Business of Esports Report Overview

The biggest growth markets for esports are Southeast Asia & the Middle East. This growth can be attributed to an accelerated interest in mobile gaming in these regions as well as greater accessibility and improvements in technological capabilities. More money is being spent on mobile gaming than on traditional forms of gaming such as consoles and PC. The idea of mobile gaming also has many other positive traits to user engagement with esports/gaming. with easier methods of transferring interest/content online or to social media channels. For betting brands, esports is a growing market as more bets are continuously being accepted across more games and markets. The easy collection of data, as a tech-based sport enables these brands to offer more easily and accurate sports odds than with traditional sports.

Playing across different gaming titles and acquiring the best players to play under their name, teams, and franchises are quickly catching up to the earning streams which have been seen associated with traditional sports such as soccer and basketball. The sponsorship market remains the most fruitful and important revenue-streaming method available to esports teams. The growing excitement and popularity of esports means that brands are keen to partner with teams and players as a way to increase visibility in the market. The youthful demographic still associated with esports makes it a highly lucrative sponsorship opportunity like no other sports.

The Business of Esports 2023 report provides a clear and in-depth look at the key commercial entities linked to the teams, publishers, athletes, and tournaments themselves, including social media, viewing figures, and key sponsorship deals.

Esports Market Dynamics

Sports betting has long been a running pastime of sports fans within the world of traditional sports. Despite the affiliation to traditional sports such as soccer, there has been a growing sense of taboo over the betting market’s influence on sports, with many sports introducing new rules and regulations to limit their influence. It is the question of morality and ethics that plays a big part in this debate, with most sports trying to prevent issues linked to addition and glamorizing betting to younger audiences, who could be susceptible to strong marketing. Despite the issues and complications around this topic, the influence of the market has continued to grow alongside the popularity of esports in general around the globe. With the majority of esports fans engaging in live competition through devices linked to the internet, it is in many ways much easier for these fans to place bets or source betting odds.

Additionally, one of the biggest trends to hit the esports market in recent years has been the cryptocurrency industry, which invested hard into all areas of sport, signing huge deals and partnerships across all global sports properties in 2021 and early 2022. The surge in interest between esports and cryptocurrency came on the back of shared interest and the use of technology. Another unexpected trend in esports is the growth of fashion and the popularity of partnerships between esports properties and fashion brands. As teams continue to explore new revenue streaming opportunities, the introduction of fashion makes sense, as teams look to capitalize on their popular support and develop their own clothing ranges.

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Esports Market Analysis by Social Media

Some of the esports teams are FaZe Clan, Team SoloMid, Natus Vincere, Fnatic, and OpTic Gaming. FaZe Clan is the most popular team looked at, with a huge following across the five main social media platforms. The organization has become hugely popular on the back of its original content creation away from gaming and the collection of popular personalities used in its videos. Fortnite, LOL, Call of Duty, Mobile Legends Bang Bang, and PUBG are some of the biggest esports gaming titles on the market. Fortnite retains a huge and unrivaled popularity in 2023, despite some limits around its competitive esports landscape. As an individual first-shooter game, it is an easy game to play for gamers at all levels making many people invested in following the game updates online.

Electronic Arts, Riot Games, and Blizzard Entertainment are gaming publishers of the biggest titles in the esports market. Among them, Electronic Arts is famed for its titles which depict gaming versions of traditional sports such as its FIFA series (soccer) and NBA2K (basketball). In the esports market, professional gamers and influencers/content creators can be hard to distinguish. At present, there has become a big market for influencers who create content around them playing esports titles.

Social Media Following per Team, 2022 (Million)

Social Media Following per Team, 2022 (Million)

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Esports Market Analysis by Media Landscape

Some of the biggest esports titles on the market in 2022 were League of Legends, CS:GO, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, and Valorant. The peak viewership audience for League of Legends came during the Grand Final of its flagship event which was the World Championships. Overall, the popular game saw over 617.7 million hours of its content watched over the course of 12 months. CS:GO emerged as the second most watched esports, followed by Mobile Legends Bang Bang.

Team DRX emerged as champions of the League of Legends World Championships. This peak audience figure is the second most-watched event in esports history, behind only the Free Fire World Series in 2021. Away from the obvious popularity of gaming on the Asian continent, other tournaments to feature in the top ten include many of the usual suspects such as the International 2, the PGL series, and Valorant Champions.

Most Popular Esports Tournaments, 2022 (By Peak Viewership)

Most Popular Esports Tournaments, 2022 (By Peak Viewership)

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Esports Market Analysis by Sponsorship

The South Korean League of Legends team, T1 currently boasts the biggest earnings from sponsorship at a team level in the esports market. South Korean teams have long been associated with many of the most successful in competitive esports, which has helped the Korean market really grow into one of the busiest and most popular for esports around the world. The team is made up of many highly popular players, most notably, Lee Sang-hyeok (Faker). The team has been able to grow its sponsorship takings by signing a plethora of deals including many big global names such as Nike, BMW, Samsung, and Red Bull. The appeal of esports is diverse but the younger audience is a much harder audience to reach. All brands are searching for ways to reach them, and this is where esports holds the key for many.

Austrian beverage brand Red Bull is a big sponsor of sports globally but is primarily more closely affiliated with extreme sports. This ties in with their own brand strategy of fueling high-octane energy that the most daring athletes would want to drink. Despite this primary focus on sports sponsorship, the energy drinks brand continue to diversify its partnership portfolio and esports is just another area where they have targeted growth as a means of reaching new customers.

Esports Market Analysis by Active Brands, 2023 (%)

Esports Market Analysis by Active Brands, 2023 (%)

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Business of Esports Report Overview

Leading Esports Teams FaZe Clan, Team SoloMid, Natus Vincere, Fnatic, and OpTic Gaming
Leading Esports Gaming Titles Fortnite, LOL, Call of Duty, Mobile Legends Bang Bang, and PUBG
Leading Gaming Publishers Electronic Arts, Riot Games, and Blizzard Entertainment
Biggest Esports Titles League of Legends, CS:GO, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, and Valorant

Scope

The report has been produced to offer expert insight and analysis around one of the more unique global sports which continues to hold a different commercial appeal.

Reasons to Buy

The report provides an in-depth look at one of the fastest-growing sports in terms of popularity which brands are keen to associate themselves with. It offers a strong understanding of the current market and highlights key trends and insights which are crucial to understanding moving forward in the space.

Key Players

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive Summary

    • 1.1. Executive Summary
    • 1.2. 2023 Tournament Calendar
    • 1.3. Market Overview
    • 1.4. Influential Sectors

  • 2. Social Media

    • 2.1. Team Social Media
    • 2.2. Game Social Media
    • 2.3. Publisher Social Media
    • 2.4. Player Social Media

  • 3. Media Landscape
  • 4. 2022 Tournament Breakdown
  • 5. Team Sponsorship Analysis
  • 6. Team Sponsorship Breakdown
  • 7. Appendix

    • 7.1. Sources

Table

2023 Calendar Table

Social Media Tables & Graphs

Figures

Most Valuable Esports Companies Graph

Market Revenue Graph

Player Breakdown Graph

Gaming Revenue Graph

Social Media Tables & Graphs

Hours Watched Graphs

Sponsorship Breakdown Graphs

Team Sponsorship Portfolio Graphs

Frequently asked questions

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Can be shared globally by unlimited users within the purchasing corporation e.g. all employees of a single company


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