Power up – number-crunching the incredible growth of esports

June 27, 2017

In 1980, Atari held the Space Invaders Championship across the United States, recognised as the earliest large-scale esports competition.

Almost 40 years later, the sector is projected by forecasters* to reach $696m in revenues this year as part of recent remarkable year-on-year growth.

As iSportconnect gears up for its inaugural esports masterclass this week, we take a look at some of those head-spinning numbers in the world of gaming from last year and the future.


The projected figure of annual revenues by 2020, based on market research on current sponsorship levels and event attendances.

385.5 m

Total global audience this year, made up of 191m enthusiasts and a further 194m occasional viewers.


The year that esports will officially become a medal event at the Asian Games in China.


How much esports enthusiasts will each spend on average. This includes all revenue streams, while the average direct spending per fan on merchandise, tickets, or subscriptions is $0.33 in 2017.

Touch the interactive image below to discover more about esports…


The number of global audience who are male. The demographic is, not surprisingly, skewed towards the younger generation too with more than half aged 18-34.


2016 saw this number of esports events with a prize pool above $5000.


Ticket revenues from such events.


Number of fans who say they buy more in-game content after a specific eSports event. Even 38% say they buy products from the sponsors themselves at these sessions.


Total prize money in 2016 globally.

*Information collated from Newzoo’s 2017 Global Esports Market Report