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Greenlight: eSports Now Has Nearly 500M Viewers Worldwide

(Image credit: Peter Suciu)

LONDON—The emergence of eSports over the last few years is closing in on a major milestone, with nearly 500 million viewers tuning in to watch eSports competitions worldwide, according to a new report from Greenlight.

Greenlight details that over the last five years, eSports’ viewership size has grown from 120 million to 495 million. As far as revenue, in that five year span it has grown from $325 million to $1.1 billion. The industry is expected to be worth $1.8 billion by 2022.

With many traditional live sports impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, eSports was able to adapt its planned live events to virtual ones. As a result, popular streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube are reported to have experienced a 20% increase in the number of hours streamed during lockdown.

“[A]s the technical limits on game engines get pushed further and further back with breakthroughs in computing prowess, I think eSports and streaming is going to become more mainstream and I look forward to what the new technology brings us,” said streamer Chris Ball.

The complete eSports research is available online