The global game industry is forecasted to reach $159 billion in 2020 with a 9.3% increase from the last year[1] and eSports betting is expected to reach $14 billion this year globally[2].  Besides betting, all segments of eSports are increasing globally with sponsorship the biggest portion.  According to Newzoo, eSports revenue was $957.5 million in 2019, is expected to be $973.9 million in 2020, $1194.8 million in 2021, and $1,598.2 million in 2023[3].

The development of eSports is accelerated by the pandemic caused lockdowns since March 2020, with overall gaming industry surged 59% during COVID-19[4], eSports showed decrease in tickets but higher viewing for over-the-top platforms, making the streaming revenues go up from $18.2 million to $19.9 million in 2020[5].

Based on audience and revenue, the three largest eSports markets are Asia, North America, and Europe, among which Asia market accounts 57% of the global viewship, and North America is expected to hit $300 million revenue and Europe $138 million in 2020[6].  The key players in eSports global market are:

  • – Riot Games Inc. (US)
  • – Hi Rez Stuidos (US)
  • – Activision Blizzard Inc. (US)
  • – Wargaming Public Co Ltd (Cyprus)
  • – Electronic Arts, Inc. (US)
  • – GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. (Japan)
  • – Kabam Inc. (US)
  • – King Digital Entertainment PLC (Ireland)
  • – Rovio Entertainment Ltd. (Finland)
  • – Zynga Inc. (US)
  • – Gamevil Inc. (South Korea)[7]

eSports in North American Market

In US, the state of Nevada is the only state that betting is legal. Nevada has the long history of regulating sport betting since 1949 and eSports betting since 2016.  Supreme Court ruling happened in 2018 promoted states such as Colorado, Nevada and New Jersey to be much more aggressive in advancing eSports offerings.

Advancing from the living athletes game betting such as football, some eSports battings are completely based on computer automated matches, for example, EA FIFA 20 game is doing automated soccer matches, and Madden NFL 20 is quite similar.

Because of the rapid increase in cases applying for betting, Nevada is developing a system of high-volume preapproval capacity for sports and eSports betting cases.  Although it is gaining more favor, betting for high school events are prohibited, and it is required at least half of the competitors for the betting events need to be 18 or older[8].

eSports in European Market

Since the pandemic from the spring of 2020, the increase in bookmakers in eSports betting increased more than forty times.  Sports betting is common in Europe and now betting on eSports somehow accounts half of all such wagering, being the top category not only in European market, but also globally[9].

Europe is distinct from other eSports markets in the world in the way that it has many different countries and cultures, therefore, more implications of cultures on games, teams and players, and it is represented by four dynamic eSports ecosystems: Germany as western Europe, Sweden as north Europe, Poland as eastern Europe, Spain as south Europe[10].

The European Esports Federation (EEF), Esports Europe, was founded in Belgium February 2020 to cover 23 national eSports organizations and 3 stakeholders (ESL, BCW, ESForce) in the European eSports ecosystem[11].

eSports in Asian Market

Asian market starts to be the most rapid emerging one globally, accounting more than half of the video game market according to Newzoo[12].  With 10% increase of Asian market over the year of 2019, it is predicted that Asian market may account for half of the market this year which is about $78.4 billion[13].

China and South East Asian (SEA) become a new region contributing to the renowned eSports league OMEGA[14].  China among all Asian countries is the leading largest force of eSports with the best talents[15].  In SEA, the growth of eSports is largely due to the growing tech-savvy young population and the flourishing economies, besides the familiarity with English; interestingly, SEA market shows the active participation of woman gamers, about equal to male gamers in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia[16].  Asian market no doubt is the most promising share in eSports.

eSports in Latin American Market

In Latin American region, both eSports infrastructure and teams are flourishing, especially in Braizil, Mexico, Peru, Argentian, Colombia, and Venezuela[17].

Mexico has been the center of eSports ranking the 12th globally, outperforming all other countries in Latin America, even growing with 9.1% year over year[18].

The blooming of eSports is largely due to the increase in high speed internet access[19].  The huge potential with mobile marketing in Latin American countries is triggering the strong trend to the increase[20].

According to Newzoo, Latin America’s scene of eSports will be rapidly spiked with the games, competitors and leagues to reach popularity[21].


Due to the pandemic, eSports industry is facing new challenges and opportunities.  Traditional sports are forced to make changes globally, especially because the sports events can’t be conducted the same way as before.  Therefore, traditional sports are trying to use stream media, as gamers and eSports athletes are doing.  Such change triggered competition between traditional sports and eSports[22].

eSports revenue on tickets dropped during the pandemic, however, streaming and online betting increased.  Due to COVID-19, Newzoo’s Global Esports Market Report indicated a $40 million drop from expected $1.1 billion revenue to $1.06 billion in 2020 with merchandise and tickets going down from $121.7 million to $106.5 million, media rights and sponsorship from $185.4 million to $176.2 million and $636.9 million to $614.9 million, respectively[23].  Therefore, eSports is embracing the future none like before, still promising and exciting.



[1] Eric Peckham, “Newzoo forecasts 2020 global games industry will reach $159 billion.”

[2] Seth Schiesel, “With real-life games halted, betting world puts action on Esports.”

[3] Via News Editorial Team, “Global Esports Market to Generate $973.9 Million in 2020.”

[4] Eric Peckham, “Newzoo forecasts 2020 global games industry will reach $159 billion.”

[5] Ed Dixo, “Study: Esports’ 2020 revenues take Covid-19 hit.”

[6] Mariel Soto Reyes, “Esports Ecosystem Report 2020: The key industry players and trends growing the esports market which is on track to surpass $1.5B by 2023.”

[7] Future Market Insights, “eSports Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026.”

[8] Seth Schiesel, “With real-life games halted, betting world puts action on Esports.”

[9] Seth Schiesel, “With real-life games halted, betting world puts action on Esports.”

[10] Newzoo, “An Overview of eSports in Europe.”

[11] Esports Europe, “Mission Statement.”

[12] Eric Peckham, “Newzoo forecasts 2020 global games industry will reach $159 billion.”

[13] Sam Desatoff, “Report: Games market to generate $159 billion in 2020 (Newzoo).”

[14] George Miller, “OMEGA League expands to Asia.”

[15] Research and Markets, “Global Gaming Accessories Market Outlook to 2025 – Rapid Growth of e-Sports has Accelerated Demand for Advanced Gaming Keyboards & Gamepads.”

[16] Umair Jamal, “What does the COVID-19 boom in gaming mean for Southeast Asia?”

[17] Jamie Wootton, “No one knows the LATAM market better than we do.”

[18] Ana Zapién, “Mexico leads the Gaming market in Latin America.”

[19] “The professionalization of eSports in Latin America.”

[20] Sounds and Colours, “eSports in Latin America is poised for growth, but how?”

[21] Newzoo, “The Esports Business in the Americas | Newzoo & Esports BAR.”

[22] Rebecca Benson, “How COVID-19 has changed the future of esports.”

[23] Tom Daniels, “The esports report – 2020 expected revenues drop however firms secure further sponsorships.”

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