Esports isn’t going anywhere, this is a revelation that has taken the world by storm – and it seems as though Canada is becoming a major player! In recent years, this is an industry that has catapulted into the stratosphere and has attracted investments from sporting organisations and even global celebrities. This is obvious everywhere you look! Even when you head over to the best casino online , you will find that esports betting is now becoming just as popular as traditional sports betting – if not more so.
What’s the attraction? Well, given the fact that a 16-year-old managed to win $3 million in prize money at the Fortnite World Cup, it’s pretty obvious. Then, back in 2019, the Dota 2 winning team walked away with $15.6 million in prize money. It’s big money! Djokovic wins $2.5 million for Wimbledon and a 16-year-old wins $3 million for Fortnite…
A Huge Market
This is all the evidence you need to see that the eSports revolution is at its peak. Big money tournaments attract millions of fans and massive revenues are at stake. Now, multinational corporations are even getting involved and everyone wants a piece of the action.
This is no longer kids playing their favourite computer games. In 2021, the industry revenue exceeded USD1.1 billion – a year on year increase of 26.7%. In fact, now, every year it contributes around CAD 4.5 billion to the country’s GDP. No wonder it’s turning heads in Canada.
But What is Esports?
Esports, short for electronic sports, is a type of organised sporting competition that is played out on multiplayer video games. There are major tournaments and video gaming events held both online and in-person at huge eSports venues and stadiums.
This has now become one of the global screen industry’s highest growing and most innovative sectors – and it has thus exploded in recent years. It has been calculated that viewership grows at around 8% every year and this is expected to reach 577 million by 2024.
The reason this stands out so much from other traditional sports is the attraction it holds for large technology companies and investors. This is something that brings together a variety of sectors to create one single industry. It has a very diverse ecosystem, made up of event managers, broadcasters, media organisations, sponsors, streaming platforms, software developers, hardware companies, leagues and even educational institutions.
An Emerging Opportunity
In recent times, the online gaming ecosystem in Canada has matured. In 2020, around 61% of Canadians actively took part in gaming – and this is still growing. Along with the country’s video gaming industry, combined they are expected to produce around USD 2.8 million in revenue by 2023. It is also expected that the Canadian eSports market will grow by around 14% between 2018 and 2023 which is almost double its global growth rate.
Investment in Canada eSports
Because of this undeniable growth, Canada has seen a wide range of investments enter the ecosystem. Most notably, Canadian celebrities such as Drake and Weeknd have invested in eSports leagues. Meanwhile, large companies such as Nike and Twitch have collaborated with eSports events via sponsorship deals.
In 202, we saw the highest number of industry investments ever. It raised over CAD 2 billion through M&A deals plus CAD 46 million through venture capital deals. Sea Group’s Garena, one of the largest esports platforms in the world, based in Singapore recently acquired Phoenix Labs in Vancouver for USD 150 million with its goal of connecting gamers across the globe. And this is just the start, the investments are flying in thick and fast.
The Future of Esports in Canada
As we can see, Canada has got what it takes to attract major investment in the blossoming eSports industry. From emerging eSports hubs to global game developers, with a thriving R&D environment, technology know-how, eSports knowledge and government support, the country is poised for eSports success.
Whilst some of Canada has been playing board games in these covid times, some people have been jumping on the esports bandwagon. As the phenomenon continues to grow, interest will grow with it- and there is no doubt that this will keep on driving billions of dollars in revenue every year.