The esports market is a rapidly growing, with the presence of big and small players. The market is mainly dominated by the companies in North America and Asia Pacific (APAC) followed by those in Europe. Key players have organized a maximum number of high prize pool events, and they prefer partnering with other key players in the market. As of 2017, the overall esports market was dominated by key players such as Modern Times Group (Sweden), Activision Blizzard (US), FACEIT (UK), Nintendo (Japan), Gfinity (UK), Turner Broadcasting System (US), CJ Corporation (South Korea), Valve Corporation (US), Tencent (China), and Electronic Arts (EA) (US).
According to the new market research report “Esports Market by Revenue Streams (Media Rights (Subscription & Online Advertisement), Tickets and Merchandise, Sponsorship & Direct Advertisement, and Publisher Fees), and Geography (North America, Europe, APAC, and RoW) – Global Forecast to 2023″, the esports market is expected to be worth USD 926.3 million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 2,174.8 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 18.61% between 2018 and 2023. Media rights (subscription and online advertisement), tickets and merchandise, sponsorship and direct advertisement, and publisher fees are the major streams that contribute to the overall revenue generation of the esports market. The increasing popularity of video games and growing awareness about esports are the major factors driving the esports market.
These players have strong presence in the esports market, along with the operations in both mature and emerging segments. The market was valued at USD 694.2 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 2174.8 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 18.61% between 2018 and 2023. The market is mainly driven by the increasing popularity of video games and growing awareness about esports worldwide.
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Product launches, product developments, sponsorships, and events were the key strategies adopted by these players to grow and stay competitive in the esports market. These strategies collectively accounted for 61% of all the growth strategies adopted by players in this market to expand their product portfolio as well as strengthen their respective shares and positions in the overall esports market. Besides these strategies, companies adopted the strategies of partnership, investment, acquisition, and expansion. The esports industry attracts huge return on investment for tournament organizers and sponsors.
Various directives from government bodies across the globe are also contributing to the increasing awareness among audiences. As per the article published by the Government of UK in September 2017, the British Esports Association (UK) held a one-month children club pilot scheme at Maida Vale Library, involving parents, children, teachers, media, and governments, to increase awareness about esports. The association is also working with the local media, producing its own content and establishing relations with colleges and schools to increase awareness regarding esports as well as to have a positive impact on the aspects such as salary of players in competitive gaming.
Modern Times Group (Sweden) (ESL and DreamHack)
Modern Times Group (MTG) was a key player in the esports market in 2017. It is an international digital entertainment company. In November 2015, MTG acquired DreamHack (Sweden) for USD 28 million, and in July 2015, it acquired 74% shares of Turtle Entertainment (Germany) for USD 87 million to strengthen its esports business. Turtle Entertainment (Germany) is the owner of the Electronic Sports League (ESL) brand. MTG is driven by the strategy of partnership with global brands and event organizing companies. It is striving to be in line with the latest market trends by organizing major esports events.
Activision Blizzard (US) (Major League Gaming (MLG))
Activision Blizzard is one of the leading esports companies involved in the global development and publishing of interactive entertainment content and services. The company also organizes esports events, and leagues, and creates film and television content based on its games. In January 2016, the company acquired Major League Gaming (MLG) (US) for USD 46 million. The MLG business is operated as a division of Blizzard Entertainment. The MLG business deals with the esports events operations and broadcasting platform-MLG.tv—which serves as a multi-platform network for Activision Blizzard esports content and Overwatch League game. Activision Blizzard focuses on developing innovative games to cater to the needs of consumers in different countries. Organizing events is likely to help it retain its leading position in the esports market. Activision Blizzard has made some key investments in the esports business and is also looking forward to capitalize the revenues.
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