The number are out and esports has beaten projected revenue. With expert opinion varying anywhere between $350 to $750 million dollars, a report by the iTECHPOST says that the research firm SuperData has found that esports has generated a total of $892.8 million in revenue for 2016.
With esports in its infancy, this is good news in a market that isn’t yet course corrected and still looks to have its ups and downs. With sponsorships and advertisements making up the lion’s share of the revenue, the report gives the total numbers broken down by region stating, “Asia holds the largest contribution to this figure having a total profit of $328 million. North America follows with $275 million and Europe with $269 million,” making Asia the top market in esports.
League of Legends and Dota 2 are the two main titles contributing to the over money total in Asia, “League of Legends, which is recorded as the top grossing PC game, has its top teams from Korea. And Dota 2, the largest esport prize pool provider, has a prominent number of teams from China.”
The increase in advertising is directly related to the substantial climb in the esports audience. According to the report, esports audiences increased from 188 million to 214 million in 2016. This is largely in part to popular, yet smaller titles such as Rocket League and Hearthstone becoming esports titles. The report does caution the industry admonishing it to note, “SuperData, however, reported that the added number of viewers is not necessarily an indicator of growth in revenue.”
The demographics of the report are not very surprising as the audience is dominated by males age 18-24. Perhaps the most alarming item in the report by SuperData is that they believe that, “online toxicity discourages female gamers from becoming professional. This is evident in the case of pro female player Maria "Remilia" Creveling who dropped out due to online harassment.”
You can find the complete SuperData statistics here.