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Industry Trends
December 10, 2021
min read
Blake Zeve

What is the data saying will happen in eSports in 2021 and beyond?

To begin to understand eSports, first and foremost requires understanding how the industry is making profits, at its core. Advertising is not only one of the most practical forms of revenue in a magnitude of industries around the globe, but also extremely lucrative. All the way from Instagram post sponsorships for a few thousand dollars all the way to SuperBowl ads for millions. The eSports industry is no different.

According to ThoughtLeaders data complex,  ads target viewers consuming this content mostly on YouTube, currently the home for eSports content! Twitch is a close runner up, with high potential to overtake YouTube in the next 5 years. Though our estimates show that YouTube and Twitch will hold their place at the front of revenue generation for eSports. 

Increase in eSports content on YouTube

Here we can see extreme growth on all fronts of eSports related content on YouTube alone. Not only is the amount of content being published growing incredibly YoY, but also the number of YouTubers publishing this content with more and more brands being mentioned in this content.

Here is some inside info that is entirely accessible with ThoughtLeaders data complex:

Brands spsoring eSports content on YouTube

This shows the amount of brands that are ACTUALLY sponsoring this content! Brands are truly finding success in this space of sponsorship and that is great news for eSports and it’s future. More and more creators continue to emerge, the need to advertise relevant content will also rise proportionally. Industry revenue will also grow thanks to these ads. As this revenue generation continues to grow, it’s importance to the sport will continue to take center stage in terms of reliance and overall growth of the sport.

Let's talk about the international eSport leader

The true leader in eSports is without a doubt, China. The government has proven to support the growth of this industry with multiple multi-billion dollar investments into the city of Hangzhou with the plan to construct 14 eSports facilities by 2022. Hangzhou is also hosting the 2022 Asian games with eSports being an official medal event. This is due to the eSports market disrupting popularity amongst the Chinese youth and all signs are pointing to the world's most populous country as the KEY global player in the eSport industry.

There have been some real recognition and even partnerships amongst other prominent sports organizations. When one wraps their head around the popularity of eSports, they begin to understand the unique opportunity eSports presents. Companies wanting to break into this growing industry with that in mind gain a clear competitive advantage. Some industry leaders have already internalized this market shift, and are not wasting any time to take full advantage through league acquisitions, partnerships, and even organizing leagues of their own.

FIFA, for example, partnered with EA inc in 2019 launching FIFA 20 Global Series, a prominent eSport football game. There were more than 20 leagues that participated in this event with 60+ countries, each with millions of participating athletes.

I’m here calling a spade a spade. An emerging market, or in this case, an explosive market. Brands that can recognize this shift sooner rather than later will find themselves at the helm of one of the most lucrative industries to exist to date. On the other side of the table, the talent management agencies. This is the time to take full advantage of data complexes like ThoughtLeaders as information intelligence is becoming increasingly vital to grow your revenue and protect your talent as this market becomes oversaturated with hungry, and sometimes unreliable brands.

Any questions? Interested in more insights and trends surrounding this intriguing market? Feel free to contact me at

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