“At $1.5B for 2017, global esports revenue will grow 26% by 2020 as it attracts an even more mainstream audience.
“This increase will be fueled by a viewership projected to grow 12% each year and a swelling number of third-party investments.
“The opportunities for revenue streams are also increasing as the market matures.
“In addition to receiving indirect revenue from investments, Overwatch and League of Legends are projected to grow their direct revenue by selling brand sponsorships, advertisements, ticket sales, and team merchandise.”
With the esports “market” pie being defined, measured, forecast, and cut in various different ways, it’s difficult for a league operator or team owner to know what to rely on in terms of where they may fit into the bigger picture. But any data may be instructive.
What the chart of revenue contribution breakdown shows below is that while external investments (50%) and sponsorships and ad sales (35%) continue to grow and dominate the mix, the direct contribution to revenue by the fans (5-10%) remains fairly small. These figures will only continue concerns of a “bubble” or sustainability in esports, until the model can be more fan driven.