Esports Industry Report

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

We began developing this report before COVID-19. Then, esports was a burgeoning sector with exponential year-over-year growth. The commercial landscape was ripe with opportunities for all stakeholders in the esports ecosystem—from developers and publishers to tournament organizers, from corporate brands and media companies to players. Sponsorships and advertising drove esports revenues, with media rights predicted to eventually eclipse those streams and become the fastest growing esports revenue source.

Now, even in the midst of a global pandemic, esports is still projected to grow. Shelter-in-place orders have bolstered user engagement. Esports enthusiasts around the world are consuming more content with their extra free time, and new fans are coming on board as traditional sports events have been cancelled. This is not to say that COVID-19 has not impacted esports. Cancellation of live esports events has had the most pronounced effect on the industry, as they contribute significantly to the allure of the esports experience. Despite these challenges, the growth outlook for esports is positive, and monetization opportunities abound across multiple revenue streams.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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