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Global eSports Expected to Rake in Nearly $1B in 2018 Alone

Newzoo has published an interesting look at global eSports in the coming year and in the next several years to come. The biggest takeaway is the explosive growth in revenue in 2018 alone which is expected to bring in nearly a billion dollars. eSports is expected to grow to over 400M viewers, up 13% from last year.

In 2018, the global esports audience will reach 380.2 million. Esports Enthusiasts will make up 165.0 million of the total, up from 143.2 million in 2017, and will grow with a CAGR (2016-2021) of +15.6% to reach almost 250 million in 2021. The number of Occasional Viewers will reach 215.2 million in 2018, up from 191.9 million in 2017, and will grow with a CAGR of +14.0% to surpass 306 million in 2021.

The number of people who are aware of esports worldwide will reach 1.6 billion in 2018, up from 1.3 billion in 2017. China will contribute most to global esports awareness, with 468.3 million people. The increasing exposure of esports as a mainstream entertainment industry is driving the growth in awareness in most regions.

Audience and awareness growth in the emerging regions of Latin America, Middle East and Africa, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia is largely driven by improving IT infrastructure and urbanization. The rise of new franchises, such as PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, is an important global growth factor. The in?ux of young generations, to whom esports is a natural phenomenon, will further drive the growth of the industry’s audience

The report also lists the Top 50 Games by Non-eSports Hours Watched in 2017. The top 10 include:

  • League of Legends
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  • Hearthstone
  • DOTA 2
  • Overwatch
  • Counter-Strike: GLobal Offensive
  • IRL
  • World of Warcraft
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • H1Z1

Fortnite comes in at #11.

Want to know more about how eSports is shaping up in 2018 and beyond? Check out the Newzoo report.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom