The eSports industry has been growing notably over the years, and it’s bounced back from the COVID-19 crisis. According to data provided by Esports Earnings, the total prize money won in eSports tournaments in 2021 came at around $201 million, a rise of 60% y-o-y.
As you can tell, these money prizes can be staggeringly high, and we’d say that’s probably the biggest plus in terms of the benefits of playing eSports.
Let’s look at the annual prize money in the past five years:
- 2021: $201.4 million
- 2020: $124.9 million
- 2019: $240.7 million
- 2018: $167 million
- 2017: $117 million
We see notable growth from 2017 to 2018 and once again from 2018 to 2019, when the figure exceeded $240 million. That means it doubled (+106%) in two years.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic started, leading to restrictions on live events, fewer tournaments, and lockdowns. Unsurprisingly, the 2020 total prize money plunged by 48% compared to the year before.
Even though last year’s result didn’t go back to the pre-pandemic level, there was significant progress. In general, the eSports industry is reporting upward trends, estimated to have reached $1 billion in 2021.
Although we can’t exactly say we’ve seen a full recovery, these eSports trends are expected to remain on an upward path.