27 Exciting Esports Statistics (2021)

by Josh Howarth - August 26, 2021

This article is a list of 27+ exciting Esports statistics for 2021.

Competitive gaming is becoming increasingly mainstream.

But is Esports popularity peaking? Or is the industry forecast to continue its rapid growth?

Find out more in our up-to-date Esports stats report.

Click for a specific section:

Contents

Esports Market Growth Stats

The Esports market is valued at over $1 billion (dotesports)

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Esports has surged in popularity in recent years. And its market value has followed suit.

In 2019, the Esports global market was valued at $957.5 million. This figure has grown to approximately $1.08 billion - an increase of over 10% in two years.

This Esports industry growth comes in spite of a slight pandemic-driven dip to $947.1 million.

As of 2024, the Esports market is forecast to be worth approximately $1.62 billion.

Esports sponsorship generated over $600 million in market revenue (Newzoo)

Esports sponsorships are estimated to account for $641 million worth of market revenue in 2021. This is the largest contributing segment of total Esports revenue, making up around 60% of total revenue.

Media rights are set to be responsible for $192.6 million worth of market revenue in the Esports space.

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Here’s a full breakdown of Esports estimated market revenue by segment in 2021:

Esports Market Segment Market Revenue 2021 (estimated)
Sponsorships $641 million
Media rights $192.6 million
Publisher fees $126.6 million
Merchandise and tickets $66.6 million
Digital $32.3 million
Streaming $25.1 million

Sponsorship & advertising generated the most Esports revenue in the US in 2019 (Strive)

An estimated $277.3 million was generated in the US Esports market in 2019. This was the largest single revenue-producing segment in the industry.

The next largest share of US Esports market revenue came from prize pools, accounting for $246.5 million.

This was followed by media rights, worth $108.9 million to the US Esports market in 2019. And event & merchandising, worth $14.3 million to the US Esports market in 2019.

Regional Esports Stats

China is by far the largest Esports market in the world (PocketGamer.biz)

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The Chinese Esports market is worth an estimated $360.1 million - over $100 million more than the next largest regional Esports market.

The US Esports market is worth an estimated $243 million. And is currently the second-largest Esports regional market.

Western Europe’s Esports market is estimated to be worth $205.8 million.

The US is predicted to have the top Esports market share by 2023 (PwC)

Forecasts predict the US to have a market share of 28.7% in 2023.

This is 6.9% higher than the predicted market share for current Esports market leader China (21.8%) in 2023.

South Korea ranks third in the Esports market share forecast with a share of 18.2%.

Esports Game Stats

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had the largest cumulative prize pool this year (The E-Sports Observer)

No game had a larger cumulative Esports prize pool in the first half of 2021 than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The first-person shooter offered a total prize pool equating to $7.98 million in the first six months of this year.

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Shooters dominated cumulative prize pools in Esports competitions with six of the top ten falling in this category.

Here’s a list of the top ten cumulative prize pools in Esports competitions in the first half of 2021:

Game Cumulative prize pool
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive $7.98 million
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground $7.8 million
Fortnite $6.12 million
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground Mobile $5.97 million
DOTA 2 $5.42 million
Rainbow Six Siege $3.63 million
Arena of Valor $3.33 million
Rocket League $3.01 million
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War $2.78 million
VALORANT $2.75 million

Fortnite is the most streamed game on Twitch (SullyGnome.com)

There is some overlap between the games with the largest prize pools and the most streamed games on Twitch. Fortnite, VALORANT, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive each feature in both top ten lists.

Fortnite was the most streamed game in March 2021 with 6.99 million streams.

This accounts for almost 2 million more streams than the next most streamed game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with 5.03 million streams.

In total, eight games registered over 2 million views on Twitch in March 2021.

Fortnite prize pools totaled over $60 million in 2019 (e-Sports Earnings)

Prize pools for the hugely popular battle royale game Fortnite grew by over 3x between 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, Fortnite tournament prize pools added up to $20.05 million. The following year, this grew to $64.42 million.

This cumulative prize pool fell to $7.88 million as a result of the pandemic in 2020.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive’s cumulative prize pool totaled over $15 million last year (e-Sports Earnings)

Cumulative prize money for Counter Strike: Global Offensive Esports gaming reached $17.26 million in 2016.

This figure increased to $19.26 million in 2017. And peaked at $22.65 million in 2018.

In 2019, the cumulative prize money for Counter Strike: Global Offensive Esports gaming remained above the $20 million mark at $21.77 million.

But the pandemic contributed to a fairly significant fall of $5.92 million in cumulative prize money in 2020 ($15.58 million).

Over 1 million people stream Counter Strike: Global Offensive last year (Esports Charts)

At its peak in 2020, Counter Strike: Global Offensive was streamed by just over 1 million people.

The game averaged approximately 273,000 viewers in 2020. This figure may have been partly inflated by the pandemic but remained largely stable the following year.

In 2021, the average number of viewers of Counter Strike: Global Offensive Esports slightly dipped to 224,000.

DOTA 2 was streamed by over 1 million people on Twitch in 2019 (ESC)

In 2019, DOTA 2 was streamed by over 1.07 million concurrent viewers on Twitch. This figure is over 2x more than any other streaming platform.

YouTube followed Twitch with approximately 471,000 concurrent DOTA 2 streams in 2019.

Cumulative PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds tournament prize pool is expected to surpass $25 million in a single year (Strive)

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) tournament is expected to grow year-over-year between 2017 and 2023.

In 2017, the cumulative prize pool for PUBG Esports totaled $1.01 million.

The following year, PUBG’s cumulative prize pool for Esports grew to $8.19 million - a rise of over 8x in one year.

By 2023, PUBG’s cumulative prize pool for Esports tournaments is expected to reach $27.53 million. That’s a rise of over 300% in five years.

Esports Tournament Stats

The most viewed Esports tournament peaked at over 5 million viewers (ESC)

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As of May 2021, Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore has been the most viewed Esports event with 5.41 million peak viewers.

The second and third most viewed Esports tournaments are League of Legends (LOL) World Championships.

The 2019 LOL World Championships was viewed by 3.99 million peak viewers. While the 2020 LOL World Championships was viewed by 3.88 million viewers.

To date, six different Esports events have registered over 2.5 million peak viewers.

The largest Esports tournament prize pool exceeded $30 million (e-Sports Earnings)

The largest Esports tournament prize pools have been dominated by The International. All five of the top Esports prize pools to date have come courtesy of the annual tournament.

The International 2019’s prize pool totaled $34.33 million. This followed year-over-year rises from 2015.

The International 2015 had a prize pool of $18.43 million - $3.14 million more than the next highest prize pool, the Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 - Solo ($15.29 million).

The Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 - Duo rounded off the top seven Esports tournament prize pools to date with a total of $15.1 million.

Annual combined Esports prize pools are expected to surpass $500 million in 2023 (Strive)

Combined Esports prize pools totaled $115.51 million in 2017. And rose to $159.34 million in 2018.

In 2019, it was estimated that cumulative worldwide esports prize pools would total $543.69 million in 2023.

Esports Organizations Stats

Four Esports organizations are worth over $250 million (Forbes)

A 2020 Forbes study found that TSM is the most valuable Esports organization with an estimated worth of $410 million.

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Cloud9 placed second on the most valuable Esports organizations with a valuation of $350 million.

Here is the full list of the top ten most valuable Esports organizations:

Esports Organization Value
TSM $410 million
Cloud9 $350 million
Team Liquid $310 million
FaZe Clan $305 million
100 Thieves $190 million
Gen.G $185 million
Enthusiast Gaming $180 million
G2 Esports $175 million
NRG Esports $155 million
T1 $150 million

The top-earning Esports organization made over $90 million last year (Forbes)

Enthusiast Gaming was the top-earning Esports organization in 2020, bringing in approximately $95 million in revenue - over 2x more than any other Esports organization.

TSM ranked second on the list of top revenue-earning Esports organizations with $45 million.

FaZe Clan rounded off the top three Esports organizations by revenue last year with $40 million in revenue.

In total, five Esports organizations generated more than $25 million last year.

Team Liquid has won over $35 million as a professional Esports team (e-Sports Earnings)

As of May 2021, Team Liquid is the leading earner in the Esports industry with $36.7 million won.

Team Liquid is closely followed by OG with a total of $34.42 million earned in Esports prize money.

Ten organizations have won over $12 million in Esports prize money.

Esports Players Statistics

The top Esports players have won over $6 million (e-Sports Earnings)

The top-earning Esports player as of March 2021 is Johan Sundstein popularly known as N0tail with a total of $6.97 million.

Currently, six Esport players have won totals exceeding $5 million. And a further three have exceeded the $4 million mark.

The leading female Esports player has earned over $350,000 (e-Sports Earnings)

The top-earning female Esports player as of March 2021 is Sasha Hostyn popularly known as Scarlett with a total of $393 thousand - 15x less than the top male Esports player.

Currently, three female Esports players have won totals exceeding $100 thousand.

Esports Viewer Statistics

There are an estimated 234 million Esports enthusiasts (VentureBeat)

Esports audience size has grown year-over-year between 2019 and 2021.

In 2019, there were an estimated 197 million Esports enthusiasts. And a further 200.8 million occasional Esports viewers.

In 2021, these figures grew to 234 million Esports enthusiasts. And a further 240 million occasional Esports viewers.

By 2024, there are expected to be 285.7 million Esports enthusiasts. And an additional 291.6 million occasional viewers

More than half of Esports views are from the Asia Pacific region (roundhillinvestments.com)

Estimates show that 57% of Esports views come from the Asia Pacific region - 41% more than any other region.

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Europe is responsible for approximately 16% of views. While North America accounts for 12% of views.

The rest of the world makes up the remaining 15%.

Almost half of the Philippines internet users watch video game live streams (GlobalWebIndex)

A 2019 survey found that the country with the largest proportion of internet users watching video game live streams was the Philippines with 49%.

Indonesia ranked second on the list for the highest proportion of internet users watching video game live streams with 40%. Followed by India with 39%.

A further six countries exceeded the 30% mark, all of which are Asian nations, including Turkey.

Mexico is the highest-ranked non-Asian country with 29% of internet users in the country streaming live video games. This figure is level with the worldwide average.

The highest proportion of internet users watching live video games in South America came from Brazil with 24%. And the highest proportion from Europe came from Romania with 23%. Level with Africa’s joint-highest Egypt and South Africa.

The United States posted a comparatively low 13% of internet viewers who watch live video game streams.

Esports US Viewers Statistics

Approximately four in five Americans have no interest or have never heard of Esports (Morning Consult)

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Despite widespread popularity across much of Asia, interest in Esports in the US is still lagging behind.

As of April 2021, 59% of US respondents claimed they were “not a fan at all” of Esports. A further 20% of respondents claim to have never heard of it.

In total, 20% of those surveyed claimed to be fans of Esport with 13% identifying as “casual fans”. And 7% identifying as “avid fans”.

US males are 3x more likely to be fans of Esports than US females (Morning Consult)

A total of 30% of male US respondents claim to have some level of interest in Esports.

Meanwhile, just 11% of female US respondents claim to have some level of interest in Esports.

15% of US male respondents claim not to have heard of Esports - 10% fewer than the one in four female US respondents.

US Esports viewers will surpass 45 million by 2023 (eMarketer)

Viewing figures for Esports in the US have grown year-over-year from 2018.

In 2018, US Esports viewing figures totaled 25.7 million. This grew to 30.3 million in 2019. And 34.8 million in 2020.

This year, US Esports viewing figures are estimated to be 39.2 million.

This figure is set to climb to 46.2 million in 2023.

Approximately one in seven US internet users will watch Esports by 2023 (eMarketer)

In 2018, 9.2% of US internet users watched Esports. This figure has grown year-over-year reaching 13.4% in 2021.

In 2023, it is forecast that 15.5% of US internet users will watch Esports.

Conclusion

That’s all for our Esports stats.

Clearly, Esports is a steadily growing industry across much of the world. But the US is still lagging behind in terms of both interest and viewing figures.

Having been negatively affected by the pandemic, the Esports industry is set to continue on its upward trajectory over the coming years.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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