it estimates the entire industry to be worth $600 million. It could be even bigger when Blizzard Entertainment — maker of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft — launches Overwatch League later this year:
Industry growth continues to be dynamic, but eSports is still early. Nearly 200 million people watch eSports regularly, which is likely to fuel at least about 50% year-over-year growth in the eSports market to about $600 million in 2017, according to NewZoo. The significant increase in interest and investment capital, combined with the launch of the Overwatch League, could accelerate that growth rate in 2018. Although eSports is still a frontier market, we believe its high growth, large audience and attractive demographics warrant investor attention.
The $600m valuation is up from a Goldman Sach’s estimate last year at $500m, noting 22% growth in the space, according to a Business Insider report:
Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.
And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group’s $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter’s Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.