Top esports gamers compete in a market that has now reached €240m (£222.7m), with some events even filling arenas.
A new report from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group looks into the recent and rapid rise of esports as a new market, particularly for younger generations.
Revenue comes primarily from sponsorship, advertising and media rights, as well as ticketing and game publisher fees.
Advertisers look to tap into the 380 million-strong market of esports fans worldwide, and Deloitte estimates that by 2020, 60% of the industry’s revenue will come from advertising.
The Big Four firm expects revenues from media rights to have increased by 500% between 2016-2020.
Germany is a particularly significant driver of growth in the market, with the League of Legends European Championship being headquartered in Berlin.
Sponsorship of teams is the primary factor behind revenue growth in German esports, and the country now has a 29% share of the whole European market.
It’s a new market, but Deloitte pointed out that traditional investors are increasingly interested in esports. Last year saw a record number of 68 M&A transactions in the space, compared with just four in 2014. Deloitte assumes that “this trend is only beginning”.
Broadcasters, often desperate to secure younger audiences, could be helped by esports luring viewers away from video-on-demand platforms, Deloitte says. The target group has been defined as young, male and well-educated.
There is speculation that esports could be included at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.