ESport has grown extremely strongly, especially in recent years, which is also evident from the worldwide turnover of around 906 million US dollars that is currently being achieved in this area. In Germany alone, the turnover that is achieved in this country on this market is already around 90 million euros per year. However, this market is by no means fully exhausted, which is why eSport is often referred to as one of the most attractive future growth markets of all. For example, the figures from the renowned market research company Lagadère show that 76 percent of people from the target group of 10 to 35-year-olds are interested in eSport events and encounters. In total, around 365 million people around the world are interested in the various eSports content. But the eSports target group is even larger with over 1.5 million active players worldwide, many of whom measure themselves against other players via the Internet. Experts even expect that the turnover that can be achieved with eSports in this country will grow to an amount of 130 million euros by 2020. And worldwide sales achieved with eSports are even expected to grow to 1.65 million US dollars by 2021.
When you hear that a total of 205 million people watched the final of a sport in 2018, you probably think of the final of the soccer World Cup in Russia or the superbowl in the North American football league NFL. But far from it, because only the final of the World Cup in League of Legends achieved this value in 2018, which was even able to relegate the two aforementioned major events to the lower places.
At this world championship in the extremely popular MOBA game, in which FC Schalke 04, among others, competes with its own team, the participating teams and players were looking for total prize money totaling $ 6,450,000.
In contrast, in the tournament "The International", in the MOBA game DotA 2, 2018 even more than 25 million US dollars were distributed to the teams, of which the winning team from OG alone took home 11,208,573 US dollars . For comparison: In the UEFA Europa League, the participating clubs in the 2017/2018 season were able to achieve an amount of 15.71 million euros in the best case.
This ever-increasing popularity of eSport has even led to the fact that even in Germany there is now a separate TV station with eSport1, which deals with the topic of eSport 24 hours a day.
And even on some channels on free TV, eSports broadcasts have already been seen in the past, including, for example, Sport1, Pro7 Maxx or even Pro 7, where the 2018 Intel Extreme Masters final was broadcast live from Oakland / USA.
A number of games are played in eSport, of which the two MOBA games League of Legends and DotA 2, as well as the tactical shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, are extremely popular among players and fans. The latter title has been in existence since 1999, when the first version of Counter-Strike was released.
This is followed by two sports simulations with the soccer simulation FIFA from EA Sports and the basketball simulations from the NBA 2K series, because after all, many sports fans cherish the dream of emulating the performances of their favorite players themselves. For this reason, there are also separate leagues and tournaments for fans of these titles, in which players can compete against opponents all over the world via the Internet.
Although the events in the basketball simulation NBA2K are still largely limited to the NBA 2K League in the United States, some clubs in Germany are already following the burgeoning eSports trend from the States. First and foremost the eSports department of FC Bayern Munich, which goes under the name Bayern Ballers. And some other well-known clubs from the German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) also already have their own eSport team. Only one eSports league is still a long way off in this country, at least so far.
On the other hand, a large number of the clubs from the first two German national soccer leagues already have a FIFA team and more and more clubs are also setting up their own eSports department in the leagues below. Among the pioneers in 2016 were VfL Wolfsburg and FC Schalke 04, which also competes in League of Legends. In the recently ended first season of the VBL Club Championship in FIFA19, in which SV Werder Bremen was crowned the first German team champion, even 22 of the 36 teams from the first two national leagues took part, which already clearly shows where the future will go in this area. And internationally, more and more soccer leagues and clubs are following this trend, which means that more and more clubs are joining eSports and in many countries, such as the VBL in Germany, there is already an official competition.
The highlight of every Fifa year for the players and fans is without a doubt the final of the Fifa eWorld Cup, which is a tournament that is officially organized by the world football association FIFA. In this final, at the end of each FIFA season, the player will be determined who will be the official FIFA world champion and who will be able to take home a total of 250,000 euros in prize money.
This is followed by a whole series of games that are also sporadically represented in eSports, but without having made the big global breakthrough so far. These include the football simulations from the MADDEN NFL series, which are particularly popular among fans of this sport in the United States, as well as the many racing simulations in which the players also play over the Internet measure with each other. But the first-person shooters from the popular Call of Duty series and the hero shooter Overwatch from Blizzard are also among the titles that are currently being played in eSports.
The battle royale shooter Fortnite is also played, and at times by up to 10.8 million players at the same time and around 78.3 million players per month. Fortnite live streams, such as that of professional player Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, are also very popular among viewers on the Internet. The popularity of the title even goes so far that the very Tyler "Ninja" Blevins was able to generate revenues of around 10 million US dollars in 2018, just through his work as a streamer. In addition to money from contracts with sponsors such as Red Bull, Samsung or Uber Eats, it is mainly money that the streamer was able to earn through his viewers.
All of these things show the great potential that lies dormant in many of the titles played in eSport, because if a Tyler "Ninja" Blevins alone has over 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and 12.4 million followers twitch entertains, then this clearly suggests that eSports will be one of the most popular forms of competitive entertainment in the future.
Something that often prevents potential buyers from investing in the development of eSport or from getting involved in this area is the fact that eSport is not yet a recognized sport in this country.
However, if you believe the statements of experts, such as those of the sports scientist and health expert at the Sport University Cologne, Professor Dr. Ingo Froböse, then this is only a matter of time.
Because who would have believed in 2002, after Counter-Strike barely escaped indexing in this country, that a German broadcaster (Pro7) would broadcast an encounter in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive live and in full length in 2018 or that In 2019 a virtual Bundesliga, with the participation of 22 professional clubs from the two top German football leagues, would be broadcast on TV for the first time? Exactly, probably only very few, but ultimately they were right and brought eSport to where it is today, also through their long-term loyalty.
Because in Germany, eSport, measured in terms of its popularity, is already ahead of some of the classic sports such as basketball, handball or ice hockey and, in terms of reach, has already overtaken the leagues BBL, HBL or DEL. And in terms of sales, these sports leagues are also already within reach. In addition, at the Asia Games 2020 in China for the eSport professionals in some disciplines for the first time the medals of an international sports association, even if both the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have so far been involved have not yet spoken out in favor of recognition of eSport.
Clubs and companies that are interested in getting involved in eSports of any kind should always consider which target group they can address with this. In 76 percent of the cases, these are people between the ages of 10 and 35, of whom the average eSports fan is usually well educated, has a high level of technological understanding and uses traditional media channels such as television , makes it harder and harder to achieve.
In addition, the widespread image of an eSportsman, who used to think of an overweight person who spends 24 hours in front of the PC and drinks Coke or eats pizza, does not correspond to the actual circumstances. Rather, fans and players from eSports can be found in almost all social classes, regardless of whether they are schoolchildren, students, trainees, businessmen, workers or even without a permanent job, because all these people have one thing in common, their common passion for eSports.
It is not surprising, however, that the majority of players are male and only around 35% of women who were questioned in an eSport study by Deloitte in 2018 could relate to the term "eSport".
Already today in the field of eSports around 90 million euros are turned over per year in this country and worldwide sales that are achieved with eSports even amount to around 906 million US dollars. And these sales will in all probability continue to rise in the coming years, so that experts are already predicting global sales of 1.65 billion dollars in 2021. By then, sales in Germany should also increase again by around 40 million euros, which means that sales in this country should then be around 130 million euros.
So bright prospects for those who are already fully committed to eSport and who will help in the coming years to bring it even further forward.
You should also always take into account that due to the generational change, the number of people who grew up with eSport will continue to increase in this country and for this reason, eSport will with high probability be a lot for the following generations have a greater impact than they do today.