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A foundational component to the next generation of digital entertainment.


The term esports, short for “electronic sports,” refers to organized competitive video gaming played professionally. Esports draw in large audiences and often feature multiplayer human vs. human competitive games. The esports industry encompasses a complex ecosystem that includes game developers, leagues, third-party league organizers, team organizations, and broadcasting platforms, covering a host of gaming genres including multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), first-person shooter (FPS), battle royale (BR), and real-time strategy (RTS). MOBA games make up the largest genre by viewership and include popular titles such as League of Legends, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Dota 2.

Growth in social media and advancements in gaming infrastructure act as foundational elements in the industry, while a growing core audience of Gen Z and Millennials offer brands an attractive avenue to promote their products through sponsorship deals with esports teams. Moreover, the industry’s growing prize pools provide lucrative opportunities, enticing amateur gamers to turn pro. We expect the esports market in the US to reach USD 664 million in 2028, up from USD 233 million in 2022 (a 19.1% CAGR).

What's driving this industry?

Industry Updates

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Market Sizing

The US Esports market could reach USD 0.4 billion–0.9 billion by 2028

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Market Mapping

The developer segment in the esports industry is dominated by large incumbents, such as Microsoft (acquired Activision Blizzard, which developed the Call of Duty and Overwatch esports titles), Riot Games (developed League of Legends), and Valve (developed Dota 2 and the Counter-Strike series). SunSpear Games and Frost Giant Studios are notable startups in this segment, founded by former Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment employees.

The number of team organizations is growing quickly as esports become more popular while the segment is dominated by growth-stage organizations such as FaZe Clan, 100 Thieves, Optic Gaming, and Fnatic. Activity in the broadcasting platforms segment is dominated by a few incumbents, while disruptors are entering the fray as online viewership is growing to become the most preferred form of esports consumption. Tournament platforms account for a large share of the disruptors in the space, as this is considered the entry level to professional competitive gaming. The esports infrastructure segment is also populated with a handful of growth-stage companies deemed essential to the industry’s growth and accessibility. Guilded (acquired by Roblox) is a company to note in the communication platform segment, up against longstanding incumbent Discord.


The Disruptors

Funding History


Developers use in-house solutions to create popular esports titles, while tech giants adopt an acquisition strategy to enter the space

Incumbents are represented by established developers, streaming platforms, older esports teams, and popular communication apps for gamers. In addition to developing games, developers influence the industry by creating franchise models for esports leagues (e.g., Riot uses a franchise structure for League of Legends and Activision Blizzard does the same for Call of Duty and Overwatch). Gaming company Axiomatic entered the team organizations space via its acquisition of Team Liquid. Media and entertainment companies such as Enthusiast Gaming have also made key acquisitions in the broadcasting platforms and tournament platforms segments.

Large tech players such as Amazon and Google have also entered the esports streaming space, with Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch (USD 970 million in 2014) and the launch of YouTube Gaming by Google in 2015 (later combined with the main YouTube platform in 2019). These tech giants have also shifted their focus to offer cloud gaming services using existing resources from their cloud businesses. Notably, Microsoft’s USD 68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard (its largest  ever deal, as of November 2023) allowed the company to further deepen its operations in the esports developer/publisher segment, as it gained access to its Call of Duty and Overwatch titles.

Furthermore, Canadian ecommerce company Shopify announced its entry into the esports arena with the launch of its esports team, Shopify Rebellion, in 2021.

In House Development

Notable Investors

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