ESports are still gaining popularity worldwide. The now billion-dollar industry has climbed at a 45-degree angle on the charts for the last seven years.
Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Europe, Britain, and the USA are all seeing the paradigm shift from a small niche group of LAN players to a huge juggernaut of an industry that needs all of the support roles that any other sports league would require to run effectively.
China is no different. Prize pools are getting bigger and eSports followers are even making money betting on the matches and tournaments.
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The Big Three
You might be wondering which countries are the worldwide leaders in eSports revenue?
As of 2016, the top three in sales revenue were:
- The United States at 98 million Euros.
- South Korea at 92 million Euros.
- China at 51 million Euros.
According to data published by the PwC, these were the top three leading eSports markets in the world. China, at No. 3 is a thriving market. They were followed by Germany at No. 4, France at No. 5, and then the UK, and Japan.
That said, as of 2018 China has climbed into the No. 2 spot when it comes to overall prize distribution. The top five countries with gamers bringing home cold, hard cash are:
- The United States 28.07 million dollars.
- China 16.02 million dollars
- South Korea 13.54 million dollars
- Denmark 10.4 million dollars.
- Finland 7.31 million dollars.
As you can see, the top three markets are also the highest earning eSports countries, just in a different order. With China sitting at No. 2, it proves that there is a vast pool of talent in the country and a thriving eSports community.
It also shows that there is a strong overall economy in these nations.
Because let’s be honest, esports isn’t something that you are making money at from the get-go as a gamer.
You have to get really good and establish a name for yourself. So, to have the amount of talent coming out of the US, China, and South Korea, there has to be enough middle class and upper-middle class that has enough time on their hands and capital to foster this rapidly growing community.
Back in 2012, there were about 58 million avid eSports viewers and an additional 76 million occasional viewers.
Since then the audience size has grown globally to 380 million eSports fans.
Surprisingly enough, the frequent viewer statistics are projected surpassed the occasional viewers in 2019.
By 2020 there are expected to be 589 million people making up the eSports audience.
You can bet that the eSports powerhouse, China will be providing close to a third of those numbers.