The Rise to Primetime: A Primer on the Global Esports Phenomenon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esports is a global phenomenon. Only a mere 1% of the global gaming market, esports was nearly a $700mm industry in 2017 and is expected to more than double by 2021. The esports ecosystem is developing with league franchising models and major primetime broadcast deals starting to more closely resemble traditional professional sports. While esports continues to experience strong growth in global viewership, with nearly half of viewers not playing the games they watch, highlighting the enormous entertainment appeal of the space, the industry remains under-monetized relative to traditional sports. Further "professionalization" of esports in our view will support key industry growth drivers, namely increased spend on media rights by primetime broadcasters and greater sponsorship and advertising by non-endemic brands looking to target esports' young, affluent, and global demographic helping to bridge this monetization gap. With inclusion of esports in the Asian games and prospects for it to be a medal sport in the 2024 Paris Olympics, we believe the industry is positioned for greater mainstream exposure and we are excited about the potentially massive growth opportunities that lie ahead. Evolving technology trends in streaming, mobile, and VR make the roadmap ahead further compelling.

This report is meant to serve as an introductory primer for investors with little prior exposure to esports, and we plan to follow up with future pieces as the industry continues to mature and develop.

 

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Dekker Hewett Group