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Newzoo anticipates global esports market will grow to $1.08b in 2021

Sponsorship and media rights are expected to account for 77% of esports revenue in the coming year

Market intelligence firm Newzoo says global esports revenues will surpass 1.08 billion in 2021.

In its 2021 Global Esports & Live Streaming Market Report, the firm anticipates revenues to grow 14.5% year-over-year from $947.1 million in 2020.

Last October, Newzoo revised its original forecast of global esports revenues hitting $1.1 billion down to $950.3 million, attributing the change to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic preventing in-person attendance at esports events.

Though esports attendance will still be impacted by the pandemic, Newzoo anticipates $833.6 million -- or 77% -- of 2021 revenues will come from media rights and sponsorship.

Newzoo also anticipates that the global live-streaming audience for games will reach 728.8 million in 2021, growing by 10% from 2020, and that by 2024 that number will climb to 920.3 million. It notes that the pandemic has accelerated -- and will continue to accelerate -- growth in the live-streaming audience, but the firm expects that will stabilize as the pandemic subsides.

China will continue to be the largest market for games live streaming, with an audience of 193 million in 2021.

Finally, Newzoo reports that 2020's biggest tournament by live viewership hours on Twitch and YouTube was the League of Legends World Championship, garnering 91.9 million hours. The LoL Champions Korea Summer was also the most-watched league by viewership hours on the same platforms with 53.9 million hours.