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How big is esports in the US?

by | Jul 27, 2022

Reading Time: 3 min.
Reading Time: 3 min.

The esports sector is expected to generate $1.8 billion in sales by 2023 and esports viewership has continued to grow.

While the number of people watching esports in the United States continues to rise, the country’s success in multiplayer games has long trailed behind other regions. As a result, the best teams and players in the world’s most popular esports tend to come from South Korea, China, or Europe. The League of Legends World Championship, the most-watched esports tournament in the world, has never seen an American team take first place in its 10-year history.

In terms of viewership and revenue, North America is the second-best esports region in the world, estimated to reach $300 million by 2021. Almost 222 million individuals in the United States describe themselves as gamers. However, there aren’t many American players who are ready to compete with the world’s finest. 

The dearth of recognizable and imagination-capturing American winners might be a concern for the industry. Though some of the world’s largest streamers are Americans, that success is purely rooted in entertainment and not competition.

So what’s holding America back? There isn’t one definite answer that applies across all games but the culture, infrastructure, and economics of North American esports all play a role.

How to find a good online bookie for esports

There aren’t many brick-and-mortar bookies and sportsbooks accepting esports wagers. Only places like Nevada and the United Kingdom, where sports betting is completely legal, have them. As a result, the vast majority of esports bettors must do so through an online bookmaker.

If you’re looking to bet on esports, online sportsbooks are a great option to consider but it’s critical that you use the right sites.

Esports betting sites are all over these days, but not all of them are of the same caliber. While many are acceptable, some should be avoided. Some foreign online bookies in 2022 stand out as being much better than others, mostly due to the fact that everyone can use them. 

It’s always recommended that you take some time to research before committing to a betting site. There are many sites that offer reviews on bookmakers and breakdowns of what they offer for both deposits and withdrawals.

Culture

The United States is hugely successful in traditional sports, but it does have a long way to go when it comes to cultural acceptance of esports. This is true even though esports organizations are now as well-funded and devoted as their traditional sports counterparts.

Esports programs at colleges and universities are a relatively recent phenomenon, compared to traditional sports. A legitimate college-based esports talent pipeline still hasn’t emerged, despite the media attention surrounding collegiate athletics. In fact, there is yet to be a collegiate player that has gone on to enjoy success at the top.

Gaming-related equipment brands, sports drinks, unhealthy foods, and fast food have been the most common sectors for corporate brands to join the market. This does little to erase negative assumptions about gamers, which can keep esports from gaining general popularity. There are also a variety of other factors including the NCAA’s amateur requirements, game publishers restricting the ability to set up leagues, and more.

Finances

Many of the most popular esports titles in the world are published by companies based in the United States. They control the licenses and broadcast rights for games and even change the games themselves which, in turn, influences the entire strategy.

Top US-based esports companies have paid huge franchise fees to publishers to compete in major leagues, sometimes backed by major finance firms. The League of Legends Championship Series in the United States, run by publisher Riot Games, cost esports organizations $10 million for each franchise space while rookie teams had to pay an extra $3 million.

Riot Games had sold broadcast rights to BAMTech, now known as Disney Streaming Services, two years ago for at least $350 million over 7 years. Even though the agreement was historic, it was terminated when BAMTech was purchased by Disney for $1.9 billion in 2018, ending the original contract. Renegotiated terms have not been made public.

Infrastructure

Esports infrastructure in South Korea was built from the ground up in part with government help. The Korean Eports Association was created by the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism in 2000 to make esports an official sport in the country. It also aimed to boost the economy of the gaming sector and established guidelines for talent contracts.

Esports were officially recognized as a sport by both the Chinese Sports Council and the Chinese Sports Federation in 2003. The Directorate General of Sport of Taiwan endorsed this announcement. It appears that esports’ early legitimization paid dividends some years later since Chinese esports teams have performed well in several competitive games.

That sort of legislation has not yet been introduced in the United States.

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