Newzoo: eSports to surpass traditional sports – latest report on eSports 2021 predictions

October 3, 2022

Market intelligence firm Newzoo released its latest consumer-centric eSports predictions, forecasting a number of interesting trends which may seem surprising, however the market research firm has been mostly correct in its past predictions.

Interestingly, the report states that the global games market will generate revenues of $180.1 billion by 2021 which overrides the professional sports industry. Unsurprisingly, eSports will be the major driver of this.

Having already experienced expeditious growth, many brands will invest in eSports to appeal to a younger demographic. Reflecting this, multiple U.S. media conglomerates such as Disney, Comcast and AT&T are already looking into content rights for eSports and will feature eSports on linear media platforms as well as nonlinear live-streaming platforms.

The financial boom within the gaming industry brings cultural change too. Newzoo predict that the term eSports will be used less frequently by 2021 as audiences will begin to familiarise themselves with individual games as opposed to ‘eSports’ tournaments.

Reflecting this, a quarter of the world’s population are predicted to be “aware” of eSports in the next three years in comparison to the 1.387 billion that Newzoo currently reports as “aware”.

Furthermore, the professional eSports team that generates the most revenue from sponsorships, media rights and merchandise is expected to gross over $10 million in the coming years. We could even see mobile eSports athletes on the rise, generating $1 million by winning just one event.

So, what is the likelihood of these predictions occurring?

It seems Newzoo has had a successful track record in the past. Most of Newzoo’s previous predictions were in fact correct, this included global eSports revenues reaching $465 million by 2017. Whilst we cannot determine which predictions will and will not occur, it is clear that the eSports phenomenon is only just beginning.