THE ESPORTS ECOSYSTEM: The key players and trends driving the red-hot, fast-growing esports space that's on track to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023

Summary List Placement

Esports and gaming have burst into the mainstream in recent years, transforming from a vibrant Global esports revenue projections through 2022niche to a central form of entertainment around the world. While esports may have once stood for a subset of sports culture, it has grown into a full industry in its own right.

That shift has been powered by championing from mainstream celebrities like Michael Jordan, Drake, and DJ Marshmello, an increasing amount of coverage from traditional outlets like ESPN, and, at least in part, the breakneck rise of Fortnite.

As competitive gaming cements itself in the popular culture, global investors, brands, media outlets, and consumers are all paying attention. Total esports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023, per Business Insider Intelligence estimates. That puts the audience on pace to nearly double over a six-year period, as the 2017 audience stood at 335 million. 

The pop-culturization of esports has helped power the explosions in esports investment and revenue. Esports has hit this stratosphere in large part because of the social component of live streaming and gaming. Gaming-specific streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming give fans a direct connection to the players and teams, while more mainstream socials have allowed those connections to flourish. Certain esports organizations, like FaZe Clan, are also moving aggressively into areas like merchandise, lending their brands more notoriety than if they’d stuck to esports alone.

Rick Yang, partner at NEA — a venture capital firm that invests in esports — underscored this in a conversation with Business Insider Intelligence: “I actually think of esports as the mainstreaming of gaming, or the pop culture instantiation of gaming versus the pure idea of these players becoming professionals to compete at the highest levels.” It’s essential to think of the esports opportunity in this way — one inclusive of gaming, media, pop culture, and commerce — as it shines a light on opportunities beyond gaming events alone. 

As a result, the industry has seen a huge uptick in investment from venture capitalists, and more recently from private equity firms. The number of investments in esports doubled in 2018, going from 34 in 2017 to 68 in 2018, per Deloitte. That’s reflected in the total dollars invested, too: Investments are up to $4.5 billion in 2018 from just $490 million the year before, a staggering YoY growth rate of 837%, per Deloitte. These investments are distributed to players across the ecosystem — from esports organizations, to tournament operators, to digital broadcasters — allowing it to function and grow. 

The net result is that esports has matured from its roots in arcade gaming to the complex digital ecosystem it is today, and in this report, Business Insider Intelligence will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the key players involved in the space. This report will provide a high-level overview of the industry to clarify how the many moving pieces of the esports ecosystem fit together. It will also break down how money flows into the ecosystem.

The ultimate goal of this report is to give readers a clear understanding of how the major players and components of esports function so that they can more readily take advantage of the many opportunities this dynamic ecosystem presents. 

The companies mentioned in this report are: Activision Blizzard, Alienware, Amazon, Apple, AT&T, BAMTech, BMW USA, Bud Light, Caffeine, Champion, Chinese Mobile, Cloud9, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Deloitte, Disney, Douyu, DreamHack, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FaZe Clan, FIFA, G-Fuel, GamesBeat, Gen.G, Google, HBO, Honda, Huya, HyperX, Instagram, J!nx, KeSPA, Liquipedia, Madrinas Coffee, Manchester City, Marvel, Microsoft, Mixer, MLB, MLG, Monster Energy, NBA, NEA, NetEase, Newzoo, NFL, NHL, Nielsen, Nissan, NZXT, Old Spice, OnePlus, PandaTV, Pizza Hut, PlayVS, Postmates, Puma, PwC, Red Bull, Renegades, Riot Games, SAP, SK Telecom, Steam, StreamElements, Sunshine Soldiers, TDK, Team Liquid, Tencent, TJ Sports, Treyarch, Twitch, Twitter, Uber Eats, Ubisoft, Valve, Vivendi Games, YouTube, 1 UP Studios.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Most projections put the esports ecosystem on track to surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year. And revenue is expected to grow from here — Newzoo projects it to hit $1.8 billion by 2022. Money flows into esports through media rights, live event ticket sales, merchandise sales, and in-game purchases, but most of the revenue (69%) comes from sponsorships and advertising, per Newzoo figures cited by Statista.   
  • That growing revenue comes from around the world: 
    • Asia-Pacific (APAC), North America, and Europe are the top three esports markets, respectively, in terms of audience and revenue. APAC will account for over half (57%) of global esports viewership in 2019, up from 51% in 2017, per Newzoo. Meanwhile, North America is set to hit $300 million in esports revenue this year, while Europe is expected to reach $138 million, per PwC estimates. 
    • The rest of the world only accounts for about 15% of total esports revenue, but it contains several regions to watch. One of the fastest-rising regions is Latin America, which is expected to hit $18 million in esports revenue in 2019 before skyrocketing to $42 million by 2023, per PwC estimates.  
  • The future of esports will likely be powered by mobile, which will further reduce barriers to entry and allow even more gamers and fans to pour in. The mobile gaming segment is set to make up 45% of the total global games market this year. That popularity is already spilling over into some competitive spaces, as China already has a thriving mobile esports scene. 

In full the report:

  • Clarifies what the esports space is, who the major players within the ecosystem are, and what roles they play.
  • Highlights the key demographics within the space, their interests, and what spaces are ripe for brands or other interested investors.
  • Breaks down how revenue is generated and what the key areas of future growth are.

Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how to get access:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>  Purchase & Download Now
  2. Join thousands of top companies worldwide who trust Business Insider Intelligence for their competitive research needs. >> Inquire About Our Enterprise Memberships
  3. Current subscribers can read the report here.

Join the conversation about this story »

Related Articles

The Brand Investment in Esports Report

Summary List PlacementEsports viewership is on the rise.
Thanks in part to streaming services such as Twitch, the number of esports fans globally is anticipated to surge 59% over the next four to five years.
This rapid expansion, coupled with the tendency for esports spectators to be younger and more receptive to sponsorship, is driving brand investment into competitive gaming.
In The Brand Investment in eSports Report, Business Insider Intelligence details the explosive growth of the eSports audience, and breaks down the different channels brands can take to reach eSports fans.
This exclusive report can be yours for FREE today.Join the conversation about this story »

THE DIGITAL BANKING ECOSYSTEM: These are the key players, biggest shifts, and trends driving short- and long-term growth in one of the world's largest industries

Summary List Placement
This is a preview of Digital Banking Ecosystem research report from Business Insider Intelligence.
Purchase this report.
Business Insider Intelligence offers even more fintech coverage with Banking Pro. Subscribe today to receive industry-changing finance news and analysis to your inbox.

The banking industry is in the grips of an identity crisis. Leaders of the world’s largest banks — such as Citi, BBVA, and Goldman Sachs — have begun describing themselves as technology companies with banking licenses.
However, this description is still aspirational. Executing the vision will require billions of dollars in investments, the restructuring of teams, a reimagining of the entire banking technology stack, and the adoption of a far more customer-centric business view. 
The stakes of failing to transform are high: Accenture projects that 35% of all bank revenues could be at risk from more tech-savvy competitors like fintechs as soon as 2020 for incumbents that fail to up their game.
As a result, a wave of digital transformation is now sweeping the banking industry, as incumbents shore up against consumer demand and competitive pressures. Major banks have already announced multibillion-dollar, multiyear digitization projects: By 2021, global banks’ IT budgets will surge to $297 billion, up 14% from $261 billion in 2018, according to Celent.
Many incumbent banks are opting to decrease their branch budgets and networks and reinvest their resources in digital channels such as mobile instead to cater to current consumer preferences, and are enlisting the help of tech-savvy software vendors to modernize their tech stacks from top to bottom as part of this process.
In the Digital Banking Ecosystem report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the incumbent banking landscape as a whole, and the third parties banks are calling on to help their transition to digital. We then take a closer look at the three biggest drivers for incumbent banks’ digitization push: digital-native competitors like neobanks and Big Tech companies; changing consumer behaviors and banking channel preferences; and a growing array of cybersecurity threats.
Lastly, we examine what incumbents are already doing today to transform themselves into digital-first organizations to compete in a customer-centric, data-driven global economy, and how they are learning to meaningfully measure the progress of their transformations. 
The companies mentioned in this report include: Acronis, Amazon, Ant Financial, Apple, Ario, Banco Galicia, Bancorp, Bank of America, Bank of England, Barclays US Consumer Bank, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Caixa Geral de Depositos, CaixaBank, Capital One, China Construction Bank, Citigroup, Citizens Bank, Compliance.ai, CSI, Dave, Detroit Fintech Bay, Deutsche Bank, Diasoft, Emirates NBD Bank, Finastra, Finn AI, Finxact, First Direct, FIS, Fiserv, Flagstar Bank, Forcepoint, ForSee, Forward Networks, Geezeo, Gemalto, Goldman Sachs, Google, Grab, Hello Bank, Help Systems, HotJar, HSBC, IBM, ICBC, Infosys, ING, ING Direct, Intesa Sanpaolo, Jack Henry, JPMorgan Chase, Kenna Security, Lloyds Bank, Lyft, Midwest Bank, Mission Bank, Monzo, N26, Nationwide, NatWest, nCino, ObserveIT, OnDeck, Openbank, Osano, Personetics, PNC, RBS, Reciprocity Labs, Saga, Santander, Sberbank, Square, Starling Bank, Strands, Tanium, Temenos, Tencent, Thomson Reuters, Thought Machine, Tink, TSB, Uber, United Income, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Zelle, and Zopa. 
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

Incumbent banks are intensifying their digitization efforts in the face of changing consumer demands and growing competitive pressures.

The number of US consumers considering switching banks in the next 12 months increased by 86% from a year before, from 6.9 million to 11.9 million, per Resonate, with consumers citing the need for better digital banking services and more personalized products and tools as major motivators.
Meanwhile, tech giants like Google and Amazon are poised to grab up to 50% of the $1.35 trillion in US financial services revenue from incumbent banks, per McKinsey, leveraging their tech expertise to lure away customers.

Legacy channel usage is steadily dwindling, while digital channel usage is firmly on the rise. This turn to digital is being accelerated by younger, tech-savvy generations like millennials and Gen Zers quickly becoming banks’ largest addressable market.

Once the most widely used banking channel in the US, branch use will drop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -2.01% between 2019 and 2024, per Business Insider Intelligence projections.
Meanwhile, mobile banking, the least-used banking channel in 2008, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.83% between 2019 and 2024, the highest among all channels. 

To digitally transform, banks need to join forces with partners, enemies, and frenemies alike. Vendors will be key to the modernization of banks’ IT, with specialists catering to each layer: 81% of banking executives surveyed by Finextra and the Euro Banking Association cited working with partners as the best strategy for achieving digital transformation goals. Banks’ growing IT budgets reflect their changing priorities: By 2021, global banks’ IT budgets will surge to $297 billion, up 14% from $261 billion in 2018, according to Celent.
Banks’ digital transformations are already well under way, and incumbents are making massive changes to the way they operate and plan for the future to compete in a digital economy. They’re doing this by embracing digital-ready innovation models; adopting new business models like open and direct banking; and reorienting their tech stacks around the digital customer experience.

In full, the report:

Outlines the incumbent banking landscape and its components, and the structure of the banking tech stack and the vendors supplying each of its layers.
Explains the biggest drivers behind banks’ digital transformations, especially the rise of tech-savvy competitors, shifts in consumer behaviors, and a growing number of cybersecurity threats.
Highlights the steps banks are already taking to turn themselves into digital-first, data-driven, and customer-centric organizations. 
Evaluates the progress incumbents have made towards digitization, and how deeply they’ve embedded themselves in the emerging cross-industry digital banking ecosystem.

Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how to get access:

Purchase & download the full report from our research store. > > Purchase & Download Now
Sign up for Banking Pro, Business Insider Intelligence’s expert product suite tailored for today’s (and tomorrow’s) decision-makers in the financial services industry, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. > > Get Started
Join thousands of top companies worldwide who trust Business Insider Intelligence for their competitive research needs. > > Inquire About Our Enterprise Memberships
Current subscribers can read the report here.
Join the conversation about this story »

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about chronicles from TreatMyBrand directly in your inbox