The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on most industries, but has been largely beneficial to esports. A prompt transition into online formats has allowed them to weather the impact of the virus. As traditional sporting events remain on hold, prominent sports clubs and celebrities have taken to esports to keep in touch with fans online and raise funds for charity. This has pushed esports further into the mainstream and brought it to the attention of a wider audience.
Listed below are the key macroeconomic trends impacting the esports industry, as identified by GlobalData
The Covid-19 outbreak of 2020 has led to the cancellation of dozens of esports events, with many more postponed indefinitely. Some events are moving online to mitigate the spread of the disease. ESL’s CS: GO Pro League, Riot Games’ League of Legends championships, Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty League, and Take-Two Interactive’s NBA 2K League are all being launched in online formats. EA is also adopting the same approach for Apex Legend, FIFA, and Madden events. Epic Games and Activision Blizzard are already working on latency optimisation for Fortnite and Overwatch, which are played by teams and franchises from different regions.
A whopping $216m in esports prize money was awarded in 2019, according to Esports Earnings. The industry looks certain to eclipse this record in 2020. This creates a virtuous circle whereby large prize pools attract bigger and better teams, which leads to greater audiences, which leads to more ad sales, which leads to more sponsorship, which