The continued rise of eSports leagues

Monday 15 February 2021

If you grew up playing video games, at some point your parents probably told you that video games won’t help you get a job. Well, pick up the phone and tell them they were wrong because video games are now big business. 

eSports leagues around the world are starting to take the shape of more traditional sporting leagues. Much like the global market for footballers and basketball players, the best Call of Duty, League of Legends and Starcraft players from around the world are being offered millions of dollars to sign with professional teams. These professional gamers, much like their sporting counterparts, put in gruelling training hours to be the best – with some training 18 hours a day to hone their craft. 

At this stage, Asian countries like China and South Korea dominate the market. However, the US is catching up, with deep pocketed teams paying millions to recruit some of the best players from Asia and Europe. The average salary for a starting player is $460,000 per year, up from $300,000 three years ago. 

At the same time, the eSport fan base is growing. Nearly 46 million people watched the League of Legends world championship in October last year (for context, 4 million watched the AFL grand final, 22 million for Champions League final and 96 million for the Super Bowl). 

The explosive growth of eSports is a fascinating trend to watch. With more players, more fans and more money every year, nothing appears to be slowing it down. As investors, it is an exciting trend to watch.

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