The latest market brief from research firm SuperData forecasts a nice bump for the worldwide esports market in the next several years. SuperData anticipates further mainstream adoption of esports, propelling global revenue for the sector up 26% by 2020 and reaching $2.3 billion by 2022.
The 2017 esports tally is expected to reach $1.5 billion, but the market will see audience growth of about 12% annually in the next few years "and a swelling number of third-party investments." Indeed, SuperData says that contributions from advertisers and investors now comprise about 85% of global esports market. More high-profile sports teams are starting to take notice and invest in esports, too. SuperData points to huge brands like the The Kraft Group (owner of New England Patriots) and Mercedes-Benz as highlights.
"The esports market has finally hit the mainstream. Once only large in core Asian markets like Korea, esports have expanded worldwide and are now top of mind of every publisher, platform, and brand," SuperData says.
It comes as no surprise that Overwatch and League of Legends are big players in all of this. SuperData expects those games to only get bigger on the esports scene, growing their direct revenue by selling brand sponsorships, advertisements, ticket sales, and team merchandise. Additionally, PUBG "rides a wave of esports performance with no formal strategy," SuperData notes. PUBG currently has 20 times more viewers than players.