The 5 Biggest Markets For eSports

These days, just about everyone knows how esports is trending exponentially at the moment and how it’s quickly becoming a billion-dollar industry.

But the value of the industry differs depending on what corner of the globe you’re at…

Most esport tournaments offer a staggering amount of prize money, even if you don’t get first place. But the amount that’s on the table can really vary according to where you happen to be.

The 5 Biggest Markets For eSports

So, if you’re curious to learn more about this aspect of the esports industry, you’ve certainly come to the right place.

In this article, I’m going to cover the 5 biggest markets for esports, and by the time you reach my conclusion at the end, you can consider yourself fully informed.

Please feel free to scroll ahead to any section that jumps out at you. Here goes!


While the origins of esports dates back as far as 1972, it is the advent of the internet, and online gaming and live-streaming that really catapulted the industry to where it’s at right now. 

By 2019 the esports industry had reached 1.1 billion dollars in revenue.

Back then, this was predicted to double by 2022, but this did not go to plan due to the cancellation of numerous in-person esport tournaments thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic.

But, it wasn’t hit too badly and the industry is still very much growing strong today.

When this article was written, the total revenue has continued to rise, and is expected to grow further still, pretty much in line with the rate it was prior to the pandemic.

According to the Fintech Times, the industry is predicted to be worth almost 1.6 billion dollars as soon as 2023.

(You may also want to check out our article titled “Why Is Esports Quickly Becoming A Billion-Pound Industry?” which you can access on this link.)

There are multiple revenue streams for the esports industry, including team sponsorship, advertising, media rights,  live tournament ticket sales, merchandise sales, and in-game purchases.

The greatest chunk of this sum comes from sponsorship and advertising, which accounts for a whopping 69% of the total global revenue.

And now, we’ll discuss what the 5 biggest markets for eSports are across the globe.

The Top Spot Goes To China – The Biggest eSports Market Of All

Given that the recognition of esports first took place in China, it should be of no surprise whatsoever that China has become the biggest esports market of all.

According to Statista, the market size of the esports industry reached approximately 147 billion Yuan in 2020, which works out at about almost 22.1 billion US dollars.

What’s more, approximately 4,000 professional esports gamers have earned around a million dollars worth of Yuan while playing in China.

China has hosted roughly 250 million people for esports tournaments and gaming over the years, and there are several games that are growing in popularity there, including the likes of League of Legends, Dota 2, and many other genres of games besides.

There are several very popular esports clubs in China, including IG, EHOME, Royal Never Give Up, and many more besides. Strangely, these teams tend to show very similar tactics in their gaming.

They play hard, and they’re super quick to adapt to any new challenges that arise as they play.

In Second Place, It’s South Korea

Despite esports being officially recognized as a sport in China before anywhere else, many people still see South Korea as the true creator of the industry.

Truth be told, the esports industry is not quite as financially strong or profitable in South Korea as some of the other countries, but its esports teams are incredibly successful, and they have a HUGE following.

They have great teams for games such as Dota 2, Starcraft II, CS:GO, League of Legends, and many more besides.

The strength of these teams comes from the individuals being able to adapt to game challenges in real-time as soon as they arise.

The prize pot usually isn’t as high in South Korea as it is in a lot of other countries. But what you do see a lot of is the same few active players winning (or doing very well on the leaderboard) in multiple tournaments.

South Korean players are thought to be worth around 80 million dollars.

In Third Place It’s The Grand US Of A (You Knew It Would Be Up There)

The esports business is booming in America, with about 14,000 gamers earning upwards of a whopping 127 million dollars, putting the USA firmly on the map when it comes to esports profits.

This is thanks to the popularity of such games as Fortnite and Call of Duty. And the formation of superstar teams like EchoFOx, Team SoloMid, Cloud9, and CLG to name but a few.

Sweden Takes Fourth Place

Sweden is basically the esports gaming capital of Europe. This is partly because it’s home to DreamHack, which is known to be one of the biggest esports tournaments the world over.

In Sweden, professional esport competitors have won almost 35 million dollars in their earnings. This includes the likes of KRimz, forest, and Olofmeister, who all play the ever popular game CSGO.

Last But Not Least: Denmark, In Fifth Place

When this article was written, there were around 1,500 professional esport gamers in Sweden.

But better yet, these players have successfully earned around a whopping 30 million dollars each! Not bad, hey?

There’s a particularly well known team in Denmark known as the Copenhagen Wolves, a versatile team that tends to dominate in multiple tournaments there.

Wrap Up

So, as you can see, the esports industry has really taken off all around the world, earning big bucks for those involved in Asia, North America and Europe.

And going to see a live esports tournament is a great excuse for traveling!

Or better still, actually taking part in one! Can you imagine the thrill – it would be electric!

Ashley Newby