E-sports is the fastest growing theme in the gaming sector. These organized multiplayer video game competitions have enjoyed spectacular growth over the last decade, with thousands of fans filling stadiums to watch live events and millions following them on streaming platforms. Although esports currently caters to a niche audience - almost 10% of the global online population of around 4.5 billion - its reach is expanding rapidly. Brands from a wide range of industries are investing in esports to reach a young demographic that is typically resistant to traditional advertising channels. E-sports revenue is set to surpass $1bn in 2020 with brand sponsorshi p the biggest revenue stream.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on most industries, but has been largely beneficial to e-sports. A prompt transition into online formats has allowed e-sports to weather the impact of the virus. As traditional sporting events remain on hold, prominent sports clubs and celebrities have taken to esports to keep in touch with fans online and raise funds for charity. This has pushed e-sports further into the mainstream and brought it to the attention of a wider audience.
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