The world of eSports is growing at a rapid pace, and the competitive gaming universe could soon catch up to major sports in terms of revenue generated. Computer games have reached such an advanced level that players have been able to master them and become skilful, and this has led to exciting and intriguing competition. The global eSports market was worth $130 million in 2012, but by 2021 that figure is projected to rise to an astonishing $1.6 billion, according to Statista. Team Liquid’s recent earnings report reveals a lot about the business side of eSports, while sponsorship fees, prize money, and player earnings all show the incredible amount of money being pumped into the industry.
Team Liquid’s Report Reveals a Great Deal
It was recently revealed that Team Liquid has become one of the most successful eSports teams in history, and their total tournament earnings had exceeded $23 million. On top of that, the eSports unit posted a 465 per cent year on year growth. The professional team has been in the eSports business since 2000 when the Netherlands-based group of players started off as a Brood War clan. In 2010, they moved to StarCraft II during the SC2 Beta and became one of the most successful Western teams. Later on in 2012, the team also branched out into DOTA 2. While playing tournaments and earning prize money, the group of Dutch players has made a great deal from their website, Teamliquid.net. The site is the most-browsed StarCraft-related website in the world and has attracted thousands of members.
Team Liquid has found success from its constant quest for expansion. In 2015, the organisation merged with Team Curse under the Liquid banner and brought in all the former Curse staff and teams. In 2016 Team Liquid went on to become a part of aXiomatic, an entertainment and sports management company. This company was later selected by the Disney Accelerator programme and received additional support. The journey of Team Liquid to becoming the multimillion dollar organisation it is today underlines how much money there is to be made in the industry. The team credits its success to the growing industry and the fact that more money is being pumped into tournament prize pools. While the sector is still rising at a rapid rate, it is a good time for other teams to follow suit and emulate Team Liquid’s success.
Sponsorship Fees, Prize Money and Player Earnings
Looking at sponsorship fees and tournament prize pools can highlight just how much money there is in the eSports business.
Brand spending in the industry is growing at an extreme rate, with huge companies like Intel and Coca-Cola beginning to get involved with various tournaments. The computer company has sponsored the Intel Extreme Masters and the Electronic Sports League since 2006, while the soft drink giant sponsors the League of Legends World Championship – one of the largest eSports competitions on the planet. Betway has decided to get in on the act, as well. The online casino and sportsbook already sponsors football teams including West Ham United but has now also branched out into sponsoring the eSports team Ninjas in Pyjamas. In 2017, more than $517 million was spent on eSports sponsorship, and this figure is set to more than double in the next three years.
Aside from these amazing sponsorship deals, the prize pools available to tournament winners are starting to become huge. The world championships for DOTA 2, known as The International 2017, had the highest prize pool ever recorded in eSports history. The tournament hosted by Valve Corporation, which took place at the KeyArena in Seattle, had a prize pool of nearly $25 million. Team Liquid came first in the competition and took down over $10 million, while second-placed Newbee took home $3.9 million.
With technology and gaming still developing and eSports gaining more attention worldwide as the years go on, the industry has the potential to outdo traditional sports in terms of revenue in the next decade. These already impressive figures could be inflated ten-fold as the attraction to the sector increases.