Revenue / 02.12.18
Booming Business of E-Sports Sets Sights on Conquering Mainstream Audiences
Original article published on VentureBeat (02/12/18) by Chris O'Brien
A broad spectrum of companies and media are seeking to profit from the growing popularity of electronic sports (e-sports) and connect with its millennial fan base. The e-sports industry sees this as an indication of being on the brink of mainstream acceptance, but it must tackle some basic challenges. "To bring in an audience of regular viewers, there has to be specific content — like things that make the games easier to understand for people who don't play," says Reed Midem's Stéphane Gambetta. "And what are the business models? How do we make this interesting to everyone financially?" CB Insights forecasts e-sports will collect between $500 million and $1.1 billion in revenue in 2017, while in the last five years privately-held e-sports firms have raised more than $5 billion in venture financing across 350 deals. A major e-sports event in the U.S. was Blizzard's announcement of the first regional team for its Overwatch League, with the goal of cultivating more interest, loyalty, and passion among a wider fan base. Another key factor is the participation of venue owners, with AEG recently forging a deal with ESL to use its global venue network for certain e-sports events. However, Gambetta cites unresolved challenges to mainstream penetration, including drawing sponsorships, broadcasting deals, the Chinese market, the question of betting, and future e-sports platforms and technologies.
Read the full story on the VentureBeat website.
Tags: Sports , Live-Streaming , News