Esports industry is likely to grow significantly despite the pandemic. According to market researcher Newzoo’s Global Esports and Live Streaming Market Report, the esports industry is expected to earn $1.084 billion as revenue in 2021. Crossing the $1 billion mark will enable the industry to register 14 percent growth compared to last year’s $947.1 million.
In 2020, Newzoo revised its original forecast of global esports revenues hitting $1.1 billion down to $950.3 million as COVID-19 prevented in-person attendance at esports events. Although the pandemic is yet to end, Newzoo anticipates $833.6 million investment from media rights and sponsorship due to a sharp increase in esports viewership on platforms such as Youtube and Twitch. The report also predicts that the global live-streaming audience will hit 728.8 million by the end of 2021, 10% increase from 2020. The total viewership is expected to reach 920.3 million by 2024.
Emerging esports markets and regions such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Central Southern Asia, and Southeast Asia will be the key contributors to this predicted growth. China will be crucial for reaching the mark as the country is expected to remain the largest market for esports with an audience of 193 million in 2021.
In the report, Newzoo also reveals that 2020’s biggest tournament by live viewership hours on Twitch and YouTube was the League of Legends World Championship. This game garnered 91.9 million hours. The LoL Champions Korea Summer was also the most-watched league on the same platforms with the viewership time totaling up to 53.9 million hours.
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