How would you react if I told you that a 15-years old boy made over a million dollars in one night at TI 2015? ‘Shocking’ is the first typical response to such headlines as people start to learn how much eSports athletes make through gaming nowadays. According to one report, more than 250 million people now watch eSports or electronic sports, which are professional gaming tournaments.

It might come as a shocker when you see kids talking about Fortnite streamer Blevins, also known as ‘Ninja’ by his gamer tag as if he’s the Micheal Jordan or Tiger Woods of eSports. And why wouldn’t they? Blevins bag about $300,000 a month from streaming with over 12 million followers and 72 thousand viewers during competitions. If one person can make that amount, imagine what a tournament would amass during peak season.

Activate, a technology consulting firm, reported that over 70 million people watch eSports finals which is larger than the viewerships of professional US hockey, soccer, and baseball. Drawing from the current trend, the analysts predict that the online viewers would watch 3 billion hours worth of streams, accounting for 10 percent of views of all forms of sports. Therefore, if you are wondering how the video gaming industries are dominating the sports market, below is a list of points that may give insights as to how they are stealing the crowd.    

Streaming Has No Border

The biggest difference between traditional sports and eSports is that there are no geo-restrictions for broadcasting live events when it comes to gaming. A platform like Twitch, an Amazon-owned company, is considered by many as one of the biggest live-streaming networks, with over 1.2 million viewers. Players, as well as professionals, can stream their playthroughs on Twitch and YouTube from any part of the world without any limitation to geographical boundaries. And consumers as well can view those for free no matter from which IP address or device they log on. 

This global reach of eSports earns them over 84 million views on average, which is higher than 79 million MLB or 63 million NBA views. Streamers like Ninja or Shroud are now being compared to professional athletes in this modern age of the eSports revolution.

Improved Internet Bandwidth

Another important point worth considering is the constant improvement of internet connectivity throughout the world. This has made it possible for kids and adults to have much better access to fast internet with low ping for streaming their games online. You will see a massive surge of gamers from India and other third-world countries thanks to this internet evolution. 

It is becoming common to see online platforms like top Bitcoin casino sites India taking advantage of increasing internet consumers to cash in ad revenues and sponsored promotions. Though the internet is eSports’ root platform, big conglomerates like Disney are signing deals with game developers like Blizzard to broadcast the Overwatch League in mainstream media like ESPN and ABC. This just adds to the already massive industry built solely around competitive gaming.       

Young Demographic

Compared to traditional sporting events, eSports’ demographic is dominated by relatively young players and viewers. How does that contribute to the inflating popularity of eSports? Well, the young audiences are more likely to spend a large amount of their time playing games and adding views, which is unlike adults who are occupied with jobs and responsibilities to make time for entertainment. 

According to a research study, there were a whopping 495 million eSports global fans in 2020, many of whom were high school teenagers and kids. And to catch the hype of these hyperactive youths, developers are throwing big league tournaments with sponsors and side-events like TI of Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch League, and Rocket League, to name a few.  

Online Viewership

If you have any doubt as to how big the number of viewers is when it comes to eSports, then let us look at some data points that big sponsors are considering when throwing money for big tournaments.

  • There are about 250 million people around the world that watch live game streamings online.
  • Over 11 billion hours worth of eSports is watched live globally.
  • 10% of views of all US sports come solely from eSports, reaching 3 billion hours just in the US.
  • More than 70 million people tune in for an eSports final that dwarfs that of traditional MLB, NBA, or NHL finals.

Looking at these numbers, it is easy to see how playing video games – which many consider being childish – is set to be the next big thing on the block.  

Big Sponsors with Big Prize Pools

One of the biggest attractions of eSports is the big prize money that winners get in the finals. Just to give you an idea of how much that is, Valve Corporation offered a purse of $25.5 million to the winners in their flagship competition, The International 2018. In comparison, PGA Tour offered its largest winning bid at $12 million in its US Open 2018, which was less than half of what eSports finals offered.

If that is still not attractive to you, let me tell you about the next big plans. During the 2018 Asian Games, eSports was added for the first time as a demonstration event. That paved the way for it to be considered in the future Olympics as a possible category of Olympic sports, which in itself is huge for the promotion of eSports in mainstream entertainment.     

Love for Gaming

Last but not least, people, in general, love playing video games. It is inherent to every culture and country. Since the very early days of Nintendo and Atari, the leisure-killing video games evolved to be much more competitive to play against each other. It is very apparent from data and numbers that whether it is a kid or an adult, people love playing video games, enjoy streaming them online, and also have fun watching others play the same game with different tactics. Therefore, it should not be surprising to see eSports growing day by day as more professional systemic sporting tournaments rivaling that of traditional ones. This love for competitive video games is acting as a massive driving force for the promising future of eSports.

List of the Biggest eSports Tournaments

Since the argument is already settled in favor of eSports and how they are dominating in the entertainment markets, let us look at some of the biggest eSports tournaments in the world that are stealing the spotlights.

  • The International: It is currently the largest eSports tournament, with over $25.5 million in prize money in the Dota 2 tournament.
  • League of Legends World Championship: As the title suggests, this MOBA tournament is one of the biggest, with over 80,000+ spectators filling up an entire football stadium in China for a prize pool of $4.5 million in 2017.
  • ESL Intel Extreme Masters: It is a combined event of a number of big competitive games titles like Counterstrike, Starcraft, and League of Legends, amassing a total purse of $1,373,750. 
  • Fortnite World Cup Champion: This 10-week tournament offers the biggest solo prize win of any existing eSports tournament. 16-years old Bugha earned a grand total of $3 million in its only iteration in 2019, making him the youngest millionaire on the block.


Looking at the surging number of engaging viewers, enthusiastic streamers, big buck sponsors, and inherent passion for gaming, it becomes obviously clear why and how eSports industries are rivaling, and in some cases, dwarfing the traditional sports industries. Gone are the days when gaming was frowned upon and mistaken for a kid’s entertainment. With the fastest-growing audience, eSports is set to become the dominant industry in the entertainment market is not so foreseeable future.    

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