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What to Expect from Esports in 2019


What to Expect from Esports in 2019

Friday, July 5, 2019

Image courtesy of St. Louis Public Radio.

We’re already halfway into 2019, but that doesn’t mean esports is done growing. The industry has been predicted to surpass $1.1 billion by the end of this year. With games coming out of nowhere and being very successful to esports tournaments with massive prize pools, there’s still much we can expect from the esports industry for the latter half of the year. Here’s what we’ll talk about in this article:

  • What Games Are Doing Well
  • Tournaments and Events to Watch
  • Predictions for the Rest of the Year

What Games Are Doing Well

Real-time strategy (RTS) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games are the two most popular games in the esports industry. Warcraft and Age of Empires are two popular RTS games, while League of Legends and Strife are two MOBA games that players love.

In 2019, a few fighting and shooter games -- specifically battle royale games like Super Smash Bros. Melee -- are predicted to gain popularity. In addition, there is a growing interest in racing and sports games like FIFA 19 and Madden NFL 19.  

As mentioned in the introduction, there is a game that came out of nowhere and is now extremely successful. That game is Apex Legends. At the end of 2018 when analysts were predicting which games would be popular in 2019, no one listed Apex Legends -- because no one had ever heard of it. 

The game was only introduced in February 2019. With no marketing whatsoever, Apex Legends hit 25 million players only a week after its release. By the end of February, it averaged almost 218,000 viewers on Twitch, making it the #1 live-streamed game on the website.

Three characters are shown, two on the left and one on the right. In the center reads Apex Legends.
Apex Legends came out of nowhere and made it to the top of the charts -- quite the success story! Image courtesy of Forbes.

So far, the top three games of 2019 are:

  1. Fortnite
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  3. Dota 2

Fortnite currently leads the charts, earning over $10.5 million. Counter-Strike has earned $6.9 million, with Dota 2 at a close third with $6.8 million earned. 

Will any of these games change status as the year goes on? With Fortnite almost $4 million ahead of the second place game, it’s hard to imagine a game overthrowing it. But, as we’ve seen many times in the esports world, anything can happen.

Tournaments and Events to Watch

Tournaments and championships are on the rise. Here are a few events happening this year that you might want to pay attention to.

Fortnite World Cup Finals

When: July 26-28 

Where: New York City

Prize: $30 million prize pool

Organizer: Epic Games


League of Legends World Championship

When: TBD (usually around October/November)

Where: Paris, France

Prize: TBD (was $2.25 million in 2018)

Organizer: Riot Games


Overwatch World Cup

When: July 13-14 (player tryouts; finals usually around August)

Where: Anaheim, CA

Prize: $5 million

Organizer: Blizzard Entertainment


Predictions for the Rest of the Year

What can we expect from the latter half of 2019? Well, it’s hard to know for sure, but there are a few predictions that are similar across the board. Let’s take a look.

A $1.1 Billion Industry

Like mentioned in the introduction, the esports industry is supposed to surpass the $1 billion mark this year. In 2018, the industry made $906 million, so you can see that the industry is growing quickly.

A chart titled "2019 Esports Revenue Streams: Global" shows the amount of money made from sponsorship, media rights, advertising, merchandise and tickets, and game publisher fees.
Most of the revenue made this year is expected to come from sponsorships, making up almost half of the $1.1 billion. Image courtesy of Newzoo.

More Sponsorships and More Venues

Endemic sponsors are those whose products or services are somehow related to the esports industry. Non-endemic sponsors, on the other hand, are the opposite and, therefore, have nothing to do with esports.

Some examples of endemic sponsors are Alienware and Logitech, while Adidas and Geico are two non-endemic sponsors who have made their way into the esports industry.

There are also more venues being built. In March this year, Comcast Spectacor, who owns the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, is going to build the first esports arena in the United States. Aside from being home to the Philadelphia Fusion esports team, other gaming events will be held there, too.

People stand outside a Fusion Arena, a black and yellow building.
Comcast Spectacor’s vision for the new Fusion Arena. Image courtesy of The Morning Call.

Traditional Sports Teams + Esports Teams = One Big, Happy Family

Traditional sports teams have been dipping their feet into the waters of the esports industry for a few years now. For example, the Miami Heat invested in Misfits, a European esports organization formed in May 2016. The investment came in January 2017, not even a year after the team’s formation.  

Will more professional sports teams invest in the esports industry in 2019? Most likely, the answer is yes. We’ll just have to wait and see which ones step up to the plate.

Will North America Be the Largest Esports Market?

While China is predicted to become the second-largest region in terms of revenues in 2019, overtaking Western Europe, North America still remains the dominant market for esports.

In 2018, the United States of America reached esports revenue of $409.1 million. Sponsorship will make up the largest portion of North America’s esports revenue, totaling a predicted $196.2 million. Plus, there are 23.9 million esports fans in North America that are predicted to generate about $17 per fan. 

The esports industry is not slowing down anytime soon. So, if you’re sitting here after reading this article thinking about how you should get involved in the esports industry, Boosted can help. With knowledge of the industry and plenty of esports marketing tactics, they can bring your brand to life, help you get sponsored, and so much more.

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Friday, July 5, 2019




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