The New Game in Town: How e-sports is Poised to Shake up the Sports Industry

February 2020

E-sports continues to solidify itself as a potential competitor to, and a definite opportunity for, traditional professional sports properties. As the sector continues to grow its live events offering to complement its already strong digital presence, examining the synergies between e-sports and traditional sports serves to highlight the opportunities for leagues, teams, and sports marketing, sponsorship and brand strategy departments.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Not only big digitally, e-sports has a large physical attendance

Despite having its natural environment in the digital sphere, e-sports events have grown to become greatly anticipated and exciting events that sell out arenas, in a unique blending of sports and entertainment.

Increasing ticket prices and prize pools reflect high interest in e-sports

The interest in e-sports live events has grown simultaneously with ticket prices for fans to attend, as well as prize pools for participants, turning videogaming into a professional sport and triggering an e-sports boom.

Streaming remains at the core and sets new standards beyond e-sports

Free-to-watch broadcast of e-sports content on streaming platforms continues to be the pillar of e-sports, and promising aggregated growth figures speak of OTT potential not only for e-sports, but for traditional sports properties as well.

Big companies compete for sponsorship and streaming deals

Despite the sector being relatively new, key players are already sponsoring some of e-sports’ top events globally. Tech giants are also greatly committed to streaming, competing for content to be streamed on their platforms.

Downloadable content disrupted the videogaming industry

Downloadable content has had a huge impact on the gaming industry and on e-sports, creating an entirely new purchase system that has drastically lowered the price for video games and attracts more casual players and fans.

Online gaming will be key to engage with Generation Z beyond e-sports

Sports properties have struggled to engage with the youngest audiences. As videogaming is growing in this segment, online gaming is key in engaging with casual and young fans. It is the case with football properties benefiting from FIFA’s e-league and NBA franchises from NBA 2K.

Key findings
Attendance figures for finals break records year after year
Ticketing is aimed at making events affordable
Prize pool skyrockets as e-sports experiences unprecedented growth
e-sports has an online head start on traditional sports
Already game on for streaming for big tech players
The hunt for popular streamers makes a gamer a pro
Younger audiences hunger for non-live content
Sponsorship is vital across all e-sports stakeholders
Broadcasting and ticketing are becoming increasingly important
Current and future e-sports sponsorship categories
Turning a profit from a free product
e-sports and traditional sports: who helps who?
Online gaming is key to engage with young fans
Understanding e-sports properties (1)
Understanding e-sports properties (2)
Geography of e-sports events
Trends to monitor


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