More information regarding myself can be found here (www.esportlawyer.com).
Shortly before Christmas I wanted tou publish part two of my comments on Esport and the related contracts.
As announced, this part of the series will deal with professional players. In the past, it was unusual for players to have their own contracts with clubs/teams. A large part of the esports scene operated in the hobby area. In the best case, the whole thing could be described as semiprofessional, because the player themselves had their own income via YouTube/Twitch, or because there was an agreement that profits from tournaments would be shared fairly.
As a general rule though, professional players should only work on the basis of a signed contract. Even if this is not yet customary in many cases,I must advise against this as a lawyer. Contracts generally provide security and regulate a fair coexistence.
The following list is intended to present a list of 10 problematic areas that I find important as a lawyer to discuss and to agree to. Drafting a contract is not so much a matter of whether each problem is mentioned individually, though. Topics can also be grouped together or, aftert careful consideration, left out. However, it is important to get a certain amount of awareness for problems of contract design – in case of doubt, everyone should contact a legal adviser.
For a more general summary, I refer to my first article on the subject. Unnecessary repetitions regarding the parties of contracts, notice periods and the like are therefore not mentioned in this article.
1) Rights and obligations
Basic rights and obligations should be clarified. This includes, in addition to the game that is being played and / or for which the player is deployed, his daily tasks and his time spending. Similarly, activities in social media channels, streaming platforms and at events should be regulated. Participation requirements for tournaments (whether online or offline), including details such as travel expenses, possible illness, possible technical disruptions and precautions to prevent them, are also to be included in this section.
Since tasks and organizations can change constantly, possibilities for amendments, as well as how these should be agreed to, need to taking into consideration. Contractual consequences in case of violation of obligations are also to be covered.
Of course, the rights of players are also important, whereby a meaningful and clean contract should differentiate between general rights and remuneration.
Let’s continue with one of the most important aspects. How, when and by whom is the player beeing paid? The remuneration should derive from a fixed salary for the duration of the contract and a variable portion. The variable portion is then usually calculated as a percentage of the advertising revenues of the entire organization, tournament revenues and sponsorship fees. If the player is still successful as a streamer himself, it should be determined who receives what revenues from the respective platforms.
The remuneration clauses need to include all payment terms. It is also important to rule what happens in case of violations of the contract or if the player violates general rules of conduct or damages the team in any other way. Complaints from the team, interest, action possibilities and the like also belong into a reputable contract. Of course, bonuses should be regulated, which are usually due when certain goals are reached, whether in tournaments or in social media channels.
If a “salary” is agreed, rules should be available regarding the respective conditions. In doing so, labour laws as well as rules of game operators, such as “Riot”, must be observed. It is also important to remember to clear what and how much salary is due in the case of gaming breaks and how the compensation changes when the team descends or ascends in leagues?
3) Place of work
It should be regulated where and how the player acts for the team. Is there a “clubhouse”? Does everything take place digitally? When will tournaments be held? Are there training camps (eventually even in other countries)?
Particularly in the case of international associations, these terms are directly connected with questions or clauses regarding jurisdiction, applicable law and the like.
Furthermore it also is possible for a player to change his place of residence for a new contract and the team to participate in the resulting costs.
4) Holidays and working hours
Vacation and working time (with international teams time zones should be taken into account) are need for a professional team and player. Recovery phases are an important tool not only for traditional employment contracts, but also for eSports. Of course, these can be made quite flexibile, as well as include overtime and the like. If necessary, however, legal requirements must also observed, which limit the daily number of hours, set break requirements and similar issue – at least formally. This also applies to minimum requirements for vacation periods.
5) Equipment of the team and rules
With the ever-increasing professionalization of eSports, rules and possibilities, which until now were known only from the traditional sports, come into consideration. Are there manager, coaches or teachers? Is there a training ground? Since there are now even providers of nutrition for professional player, the question could arise, whether there are nutritional requirements. Rules on questions of sleep time before tournaments, the way of getting to tournaments and event and so on could be ruled explicitly. If there already is a code of behavior or anything similar for the entire team, it is of course also possible to refer to such a code or to make it part of the contract.
6) Secondary employment / secondary income
In times of a “football leak” scandal, terms should also be established, if player are allowed contracts with their own sponsors and how revenues from activities, which are not related to the actual playing, are handled. Are they allowed at all? In which extent? Under which conditions? Is revenue getting shared?
7) Social insurance and other legislation
In parts I have already mentioned it, but in almost every country there are social insurance laws that need to be respected. In most cases social security and taxation laws affect only the team, it is sometimes necessary to examine and / or regulate vacation entitlements, working hours as well as health insurance, salary increases and pension entitlements. Some European countries, such as Germany, also have systems that share tax obligations and social security payments between employee and employer in some extent. This would have to be considered both in the remuneration clauses and negotiations and also when planning the contractual partner of the streaming portals and other sources of revenue.
8) Transfer of obligations
A mixture of questions of the contracting party and the termination of the contract are applicable in the case of investments, which are being made more and more in the eSports industry. What happens in the case of a merging of teams or companies? What happens if the team gets a new owner? Or if a new owner wants to set other priorities?
9) Termination of the contract
In addition to the regular termination of a contract, or the missing extension at a time limit, the Esport industry now also encounters problems and rules of transfer fees. Shall another team have the right to contract a player even though the current contract is still running? If so, what are the contractual consequences for the current contract, what compensation does the current team receive? It would also be necessary to clarify questions regarding the current leagues, tournaments, placings and the like. In addition to rules on dismissal, there could also be the need for rules regarding the descendants of a player, even if this topic always feels awkward to negotiate about.
Various other rules to be observed include jurisdictions, applicable law, terms, none disclosure terms, written from requirements as well as other formalities and contractual procedures. This iusually sounds extremely boring for legally uneducated people. Such details often can be particularly decisive though. Usually, just when there is a dispute, or if a party no longer wants stick to a contract, these terms take an important role. The question of the applicable rights often also affects the costs of setting up the contract and enforcing it, because while in some countries, like in Germany, lawyers’ costs are limited, they can quickly get out of control in other jurisdictions, such as in the UK or the USA.
Most important though is to discuss, negotiate and clear all the mentioned problems. Neither should a contract be unnecessarily sprawling and contain nonsensical regulations, nor should important aspects be ignored. As a player, the most important advice may be to read the goddam contract, understand the implications and obtain expert advice in case of doubt or uncertainty.
Due to the fact, that I am a fully qualified lawyer with a strong specialization for games, IT and media, I am very interested to explore the legal challenges of the esports industry. A similar article was posted a few days ago on my German speaking law blog (http://www.rahaertel.com/) here (http://www.rahaertel.com/2016/11/30/esport-ein-neues-rechtsgebiet-entsteht-teil-1/).
Even though it is kind of risky to call something a new legal field of law, I dare just once and call the content of the next articles “Esport Law”. In the past, I dealt with various issues related to IT, unfair competition and copyright, especially with the creation of contracts for publishers or with the foundation of developer studios and the like.
In recent months, a very different kind of legal problems has emerged: contracts for professional gamers, clubs and associations, as well as companies that want to invest into the Esports industry or who want to sponsor teams. New clients approached me for advice and legal drafting and legal questions came up, that never came up before.
The topic “Esports” has gained in importance in the last few months and can show above all a rapidly rising rate of investments. Classic sports clubs such as Schalke 04 or PSG have approached the industry and set up their own teams. The more professional an industry becomes though, the larger is however not only the interest in legal advice, but also the necessity.
The greatest problem has been the high internationality. Laws, jurisprudence and authorities are different in every country, even in a unified region like the European Union. While the IT sector and the games industry have been facing increasing internationality for more than 10 years, especially in the areas of TOS creation and the like, these problems have often been relatively easy to clear with the help of court agreements or judgements based on company seats. However, the Esports industry is still topping the difficulty, because not only the customers of a company are located in different countries but also employees, sponsors, investors and the like. Companies consist of multinational teams and a professional player does not necessarily has to live and work in the same country as the club does. Additionally the club might be officially established in one country, but the corporate structure is situated in another country. In such a situation, quite complicated questions arise in the fields of labor-, social insurance-, and ultimately also tax law.
This first of four articles deal with a summary of 10 problematic areas that need to be considered when negotiating and drafting contracts.
Above all though, there is an urgent advice:
Any person who acts professionally in Esports, which means anybody who plans to earn money with what he is doing, should make a contract, which regulates his/her activity and the consideration in detail.
But now lets talk about the relevant problems:
1) It is important to consider the legal system in which a contract is concluded, since such a term directly raises questions regarding the enforceability of claims, tax law, employment law and a lot more.
2) It should be clarified and finally ruled out what the performance and what the consideration of an agreement is. I remember a quote of one of my professors from the college, that contracts are the best way to avoid legal fights, which ultimately goes back to the “Pacta sund servanda”-term in Latin, which again translates to “Contracts must be kept”. In my career as an attorney, I have learned that people tend to have more scruples, to argue, or to refuse performance of a contract if there are clear contractual arrangements. Additionally courts in different legal systems also appreciate the fact that there is at least a possibility for interpretation of their own jurisprudence in order to assess what a fair decision might be.
3) In the case of a remuneration, not only the amount should be regulated, but also all secondary aspects such as taxes, payment targets, interest rates, regular intervals and the like.
4) The issue of expenses has to be clarified especially with international teams. Who pays for travel costs or other expenses? What about internet access, electricity, rent and the like? The cost of drafting the contract also should be cleared between the parties.
5) It is essential to clarify what kind of contract is planned at all. An employment contract? A cooperation agreement? A service contract? A shareholder agreement? In most jurisdictions an initial statement regarding the purpose of the contract will help courts either in doubting the interpretation of ambiguous contract terms or even in determining which legal norms are applicable at all.
6) The term of each contract, notice periods and, of course, the form and other modalities for amendments to the contract should also be clarified. The consequences of amendments to the contract need to be agreed on.
7) Important issues are also the consequences of failure to complete contracts, ranging from questions of the jurisdiction to the nature of the execution. In the case of service contracts, it should be determined whether a prepayment is due before any goods or services are delivered.
8) Non-compete clauses will usually be a bigger part of negotiation and should be ruled extensivly. Can the proposed services be offered to somebody else. Is the player allowed to play for more than one team? If not, how is this justified and, above all, remunerated?
9) At first, it sounds banal: But it should also be clarified and regulated who are the parties to the contract. Especially in the semiprofessional situation of many esport projects and teams, it often happens that no legal company exist yet. In this case it must be clear who is responsible for the obligations in a contract.
10) Lastly, there are numerous details to be thought of and which are often neglected for legally uneducated people. This ranges from definitions of different terms, none disclosure agreements or even rules regarding claims in case of death or changes in shareholder structures.
Since this list could be extended for quite a while, and the next parts will cover more issues, it is especially important that the essential points are clarified before a contract is being created. It is helpful, if the lawyer who draws up the contract does not only have experience in the drafting contracts, but also is firm in the IT or the game sector or, even better, has experience in the esport industry. This allows specific problems to be recognized, addressed and regulated. And, in the best case, there is also an entrepreneurial consultation.
In the next aricle, I will deal with questions of contracts of professional players. The third part will cover service providers of all kinds, and finally I plan an article with questions and answers in the area of competition law and IP.
This is part 2 of the article. Part one can bei found here. The objective of this list is to give you an insight on the best eSports teams from around the world. The industry of eSports is currently worth around $700 million and it is set to be worth over $1 billion by 2020. So, let’s have a look at the teams that have made the eSports industry a global phenomenon. The figures for each team are the (as much as known) overall earnings achieved by the team through participating in events and tournaments. The wording "semi-professional" should not be taken as something negative, we just tried to sort the teams in some way.
If there are correct figures, sponsors and anything else, please do not hesitate to come back to me and correct me. I take no responsibilities forthe correct information of all data, but I am more than willing to correct information, especially once they change.
Top 15 semi-professional esports teams
Overall team earnings
Based in South Korea, MVP joined the eSports industry as early as 2010 and since then, they have competed in almost every single division of eSports. They are currently under the sponsorship of Hot6ix, IB SPORTS, Azubu, DXRacer, GIGABYTE and IBISS PC. MVP has earned nearly 50% ($2,857,038.08) of their winnings through their Dota 2 roster, MVP Phoenix. They have also won 28% ($1,443,089.83) of their winnings through Heroes of the Storm. Aside from Korea where they completely dominated by earning 93% ($5,284,283.03) of their winnings, they have competed in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Finland, Canada and even Kyrgyzstan. Kim "QO" Seon-yeop happens to be the richest and most popular player of the organization. He has earned $559,413.22 in winnings. The Dota 2 roster has won Korea Dota League Season 2 and 3, Dota Pit League Season 4 and Pro Gamer League 2016 – Summer.
2. Team EnVyUs
Overall team earnings
The organization of Team EnVyUs or also known as "The Boys in Blue" was found in 2007 and is currently under the influence of managing director Michael "Hastr0" Rufail. They are currently under the sponsorship of renowned names which include GeForce, Gunnar Optiks, HyperX, Jack in the Box, Monster Energy, Nations, NZXT, Scuf Gaming, and Twitch. They are competing in a number of eSports division except for Dota 2 which include Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Halo, Overwatch, Paladins, PUBG, Rocket League, and Street Fighter. In Call of Duty, they have earned nearly 35% ($1,837,383.51) of their winnings, while in the CS:GO division, they have earned 39% ($2,011,801.36) of the winnings. They have competed on different grounds which include, USA, France, Canada, Korea Sweden, Finland, Spain, Germany and many more. They happen to be one one of the best organization in the CS:GO pro scene as they have won the DreamHack Atlanta 2017, WESG 2016: Finals, Gfinity CS:GO Invitational, Global eSports Cup – Season 1 and Gfinity Champion of Champions. However, their prized asset is Jordan ”JKAp” Kaplan who has earned himself $409,516.25 while in CS:GO, Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer has earned $401,060.74 in winnings.
3. Vici Gaming
Overall team earnings
In October 2012, under the influence of “Fengdidi,” Vici Gaming joined the eSports industry. They are sponsored by renowned names which include Monster Energy, HuomaoTV, HyperX, i-Rocks, DXRacer, VPGame, Republic of Gamers, and Cherry. They also have sister teams like VG.CyberZen, VG Reborn, VGJ.Storm, VGJ.Thunder and Vici Potential Gaming that are competing in the vast majority of tournaments. These teams compete in different divisions of eSports like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and League of Legends. Approximately 75% ($5,121,818.38) of their net worth has come from Dota 2. While approximately 5% ($335,923.86) has come from Crossfire and other 6% ($360,562.30) has come from Hearthstone. The biggest achievement of the side is the 2nd place finish at The International 4. Currently, they are performing exceptionally well under the leadership of Lu "Fenrir" Chao who has earned a respectable $1,164,864.52 in winnings which is still greater than the highest earner in League of Legends, Faker. Most of their net worth has been established by the domination in the Chinese region, 81% ($5,493,521.80). They have also competed in the tournaments that took place in the countries like Singapore, Korea, Germany, USA, Hong Kong and Macao.
4. OpTic Gaming
Overall team earnings
Also known as the Green Wall, OpTiC Gaming is based in the USA. "OpTic KR3W” and Ryan "OpTic J" Musselman found the organization in 2006 and currently Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez owns it. The organization competes in several divisions of eSPorts which include and Player Unknown: Battlegrounds (or PubG), Overwatch, League of Legends, Gears of War, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Halo. The organization has won the X Games twice and was awarded as the best eSports team in 2015. They have also won eSports team of the year title in 2017. Earlier this year, the CoD roster of Optic Gaming won the CWL World Championship in 2017. With that win, it made them the best CoD team of all time. Moreover, in the division of Halo, Optic Gaming did not disappoint their fans as they won the 2017 Halo World Championship. The winnings of Call of Duty make up 50% ($2,476,472.90) of their winnings.
5. Digital Chaos
Overall team earnings
Established in 2015, Digital Chaos is based in North America and is currently under the ownership of Shannon "SUNSfan" Scotten. The team is currently under the sponsorship of 100TB, Private Internet Access, LOOT.BET, eNgage, and PicsArt. They only competed in Dota 2 but have recently formed an active roster of PUBG. From Dota 2, they have earned 99.6% ($4,374,883.16) of the revenue. The biggest achievement of the roster is the 2nd place finish at The International 6. Currently there is no player on the active roster, however, before the roster shuffle, Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok was their star player as he won $784,734.60 in prizes.
Overall team earnings
Created in 2013, Alliance is sponsored by Monster Energy and GG.Bet. They have competed in several divisions of eSports which include StarCraft 2, Dota 2, FIFA, Fighting Games, League of Legends and Quake. There 86% ($3,382,892.74) have been generated through Dota 2. The star player is their captain Jonathan "Loda" Berg who has been on the roster ever since its formation and is admired as one of the best players in Dota 2. The biggest achievement of the organization is winning The International 3. They also won the Dota 2 Champions League Season 1, DreamLeague Season 1 and StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 1.
7. CDEC Gaming
Overall team earnings
Based in Shanghai China, CDEC was found in 2014. They are sponsored by DouyuTV. They have competed in Dota 2 with sister teams CDEC Avenger and CDEC Youth. The biggest achievement of the team is the 2nd place finish at The International 5 where they lost to Evil Geniuses. Their most well-reputed player was Liu "Garder" Xinzhou who has won $677,417.86 in winnings.
Overall team earnings
Founded in 2004, EHOME is officially rated as one the most vintage teams in China and is currently managed by Zheng "Galahad" Feixu. They competed in different divisions of eSPorts which include League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch and Dota 2. 96% ($3,233,722.52) of their winning have been through their Dota 2 roster. The biggest achievement of the team is the 2nd place finish at the first edition of The International. Zhang "LaNm" Zhicheng was the most successful player of the team with $634,598.98 in winnings.
9. Counter Logic Gaming
Overall team earnings
Established in 2010, Counter Logic Gaming is based in USA. They are under the sponsorship of CORSAIR, iBUYPOWER, Twitch, DXRacer, and Intel. They have teams competing in different divisions which include League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros, and Hearthstone. From Halo, they have earned 42% ($1,186,350.00) in winnings while almost 30% ($887,387.64) from League of Legends.
10. Team Dignitas
Overall team earnings
The North American organization was found in 2003. It has got sponsorship of some renowned brands which include Intel, Alienware, Creative, iiyama, SCAN, Western Digital, Twitch, Multiplay, Corsair Gaming and TP-LINK. Even getting these big sponsors, the organization has failed to deliver quality eSports teams. They have earned most of their earnings from Heroes of the Storm and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
11. Team SoloMid
Overall team earnings
Found in 2009 by Andy "Reginald" Dinh, Team Solo Mid is based in California, USA and is sponsored by CyberPowerPC, Geico, Gillette, HTC, and HyperX. They have got most of their earnings 53% ($1,373,221.02) from their League of Legends roster. Their biggest achievements are winning the 2017 NA LCS Summer Playoffs and 2017 NA LCS Spring Playoffs. However, the organization is yet to make a big mark in the eSports industry.
12. G2 Esports
Overall team earnings
G2 Esports is a well-known organization, which is sponsored by Paysafecard, Vodafone, Kingston HyperX, NEEDforSEAT, and Enea Andrei. They have competed in a number of eSports divisions which include LoL, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Vainglory, Critical Ops, Rocket League and FIFA. They received 50% ($1,267,619.00) from CS:GO and 34% ($875,736.41) from League of Legends. They are currently giving great performances in pro scene of CS:GO.
13. compLexity Gaming
Overall team earnings
Established in 2003, complexity Gaming is sponsored by SoundBlaster, CyberPower PC, Newegg, Corsair Gaming, Creative, Twitch, DXRacer, Scuf Gaming, Pwnit Wear and Loot Market. They have teams competing in Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty and Hearthstone. Their most successful divisions have been Call of Duty and Dota 2.
Overall team earnings
Based in Germany, mousesports was established in 2003. They are sponsored by ZOWIE GEAR, Unikrn, and Sennheiser. They have competed in a number of eSPorts divisions which include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and TrackMania.
15. KT Rolster
Overall team earnings
Rolster was found in 1999 and was one of the best organizations of their time. They have competed in StarCraft 2, StarCraft: Brood Wars and won several titles. However, they have failed to adapt to the recent modern-day eSports.
The objective of this list is to give you an insight on the best eSports teams from around the world. The industry of eSports is currently worth around $700 million and it is set to be worth over $1 billion by 2020. So, let’s have a look at the teams that have made the eSports industry a global phenomenon. The figures for each team are the (as much as known) overall earnings achieved by the team through participating in events and tournaments. If there are incorrect figures, sponsors and anything else, please do not hesitate to come back to me and correct me. I take no responsibilities for the correct information of all the data, but I am more than willing to correct information, especially once they change. Part 2 of the article can be found here.
Top 15 Professional esports teams
1. Team Liquid- $18,128,004.09
The team was co-founded by Victor Goossen and Steve Arhancet. They are currently sponsored by Twitch, HTC, Razer, Alienware, and monster. They were initially founded as a gaming community website. Team Liquid started their journey into eSports by sponsoring StarCraft: Brood War team in 2010. Since then, they have made investments in Halo, Heroes of the Storm, CS :GO and League of Legends. However, much of the success of the team has come from competitive Dota 2. They have managed to earn 7% ($1,266,921.72) of their net worth from StarCraft 2 and %5 ($914,121.68) from CS:GO. However, from Dota 2, they have earned an astonishing 79% ($14,258,294.51). This year they won the biggest event in the history of eSports, The International 7 and are arguably the best pro team in the history of professional Dota 2. They also have two the richest players in the professional eSports industry, Kuro Takhasomi and Amer Barqawi with earning digits of $3,480,788.35 and $3,061,076.48 respectively.
2. Evil Geniuses- $16,624,184.93
The team was founed by Alexander Garfield in 1999. EG is currently based in California, USA. They started out as Counter-Strike team in eSports from there they only got 1% ($158,086.74) of their net worth. They also have some success in the StarCraft 2 where they got 5% ($797,098.37) of the total net worth. However, the 89% ($14,723,047.05) of their profits have come from their Dota 2 team. They have managed to win a large number of titles in competitive Dota 2, however, their biggest achievement is winning The International 5. They have proven to be one of the best teams in Dota 2 since their arrival in the scene in 2011 and are currently living up to their fame. Saahil Arora is the most persistent player in the line-up and has been there for the team no matter how good or bad the circumstances are. He is currently the 3rd most valuable player in the eSports with a net worth of $2,935,860.27. They are currently sponsored by Monster energy and Xfinity.
3. Newbee- $12,121,225.80
Tong Xin is the owner of Newbee ever since its formation in 2014. They also have sister team like Newbee Young, Newbee Boss etc. They have invested in Hearthstone, Overwatch, and League of Legends. However, a remarkable 98% (11,889,401.49) of their net worth has come from their Dota 2 team. Newbee is arguably one of the best teams not only in China but also in competitive eSports industry. They have managed to win The International 2014 and have recently finished the TI7 and 2nd place, losing to Team Liquid in the Final. They have managed to grab a large number of podium place finishes mainly because of their captain, Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida who has won $1,962,677.82 from 23 Tournaments. Newbee is set to accomplish wonder under the sponsorship of Weibo.
4. LGD Gaming- $10,163,461.39
The team was found in 2009 under the ownership of Jie Pan. Like Newbee, they also have sister teams like LGD FY and LGD.CDEC. They are recognized as one of the best team in China because of their domination in competitive Dota 2. They have invested in League of Legends, Dota 2, and Overwatch. However, they are only successful with their Dota 2 roster as 93% ($9,667,518.42) of their success has come from the Dota 2. They have recently finished The International 7 competition at 4th place and their biggest achievement is finishing The International 2 at 2nd place. The team is currently lead by Yao, Zhengzheng who has earned $1,184,826.68 by competing in big competitions. They are under the sponsorship of Guizhou Laogandie Food, Taobao, Razer and Kingston HyperX.
5. Wings Gaming- $9,718,065.87
The team was found in 2014 by their former captain Zhang Yiping and were disbanded in the first half of 2017. In that team, Wings Gaming was a quite dominant squad because of their deep hero pool and unpredictable lineups. The managed to win The International 6, which summed up their Dota 2 earning to a remarkable 99.8% ($9,711,841.00). The squad was disbanded because of some problems with the player contracts. However regardless of the squad disband, they are still the 5th most prestigious team in eSports industry. They don’t have an active roster but are still sponsored by C5Game. During their active roster, the captain, and founder of the team, Zhang Yiping was the most prestigious player on the team with tournament winnings of $1,962,738.24.
6. Fnatic- $8,553,811.47
In 2004, Fnatic was found by Anne and Sam Mathews. Since then, Fnatic is one of the most flourishing organizations in eSports. The above mentioned have accumulated their net worth mainly through competitive Dota 2, However, Fnatic has most diverse teams of Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO. This diversity can be explained by the following stats. 26% ($2,192,963.05) of the winnings are through CS:GO while 14% ($1,154,094.19) through League of Legends and 30% ($2,546,074.91) through Dota 2. Their CS:GO team has won ESL One: Katowice 2015, Intel Extreme Masters X - World Championship and have finished at 2nd place at ELEAGUE Season 1. Their League of Legends roster has recently finished 5 - 8th in 2017 World Championship which is not at all a bad deal. While in competitive Dota 2, their team has finished The International 2016 at 4th place. So, judging from this small but strong stats you can see that Fnatic is crucial to eSports industry. They are sponsored by Seagate, Chillblast, Deezer, Newzoo, MSI, Monster, Strafe and AMD.
7. SK Telecom T1- $8,488,191.94
The unstoppable team in the League of Legends is SK Telecom T1. The team is under the ownership of a renowned telecommunications company SK Telecom, and this company also works as the sponsor for the side. SK Telecom T1 also has sister teams, SK Telecom K and S. They have earned 14% ($1,169,013.42) of their winnings from StarCraft 2 and 76% ($6,479,077.57) from League of Legends. They have been crowned the World Champion of League of Legends 3 times and have recently finished this year’s World Championship at 2nd place. They also have the best player in their team Lee, Sang Hyeok, who has an amazing set of skills and an amazing adaptability to the needs of the hour. He has won $1,161,829.69. Other sponsors of SK Telecom T1 include Pocari Sweat, New Balance, Corsair, Razer and KLevv Memory.
8. Virtus.pro- $7,872,829.04
Virtus.pro is a Russian organization which was found by Roman Dvoryankin in 2003. Since their formation, they won over 90+ gold medals, nearly 200 silver medals and over 210+ bronze medals in a variety of eSports competitions. They are under the sponsorship of G2A.COM, Vertagear, Mr.Cat, FragStore, Twitch, Adrenaline Rush and Media Markt. They have excellent lineups that are competing in Dota 2, League of Legends, Hearthstone, CS:GO, and many more. They also have a professional eSports women’s team. They have got 58% (4,530,180.09) of their winnings from pro-Dota while 33% ($2,595,358.87) from CS:GO. The unpredictable Russian strategies of their CS:GO and Dota 2 lineups have helped the Russian organization accomplish wonders. They are known to sign sensational players one of the most famous ones is Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev who only at the age of 18 has won The Summit 6, Dota Summit 7 and ESL Hamburg 2017.
9. Invictus Gaming - $7,194,428.41
The team was found in 2011 and is currently managed by Liu "Efeng" Yuan and Zhang "CuoJue" Guoqing. They have pro teams competing in Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Crossfire, and Overwatch. They have earned 78% ($5,435,826.56) of their winnings from Dota 2 while 11% $768,290.88 from League of Legends. They are sponsored by renowned names which include SteelSeries, Lenovo, Logitech, and W.Y.W.K. They have sister teams which go by the name of Invictus Gaming Fire, Ice, and Vitality. They also have a female squad of League of Legends. The biggest achievement of the organization came through their Dota 2 team that won The International 2 in 2012. IG organization also won the Demacia Cup Season 1, IEM Season VIII – Singapore and recently finished the 2017 Season China Regional Finals at 2nd place.
10. Natus Vincere- $6,874,697.90
Based in Kiev Ukraine, Natus Vincere was found in 2009. They have teams competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA, Paladins, World of Tanks and League of Legends. They are mostly known because of their exceptional performances in competitive Dota 2 and CS:GO. Their CS:GO team won the World Cyber Games 2010, Electronic Sports World Cup and Intel Extreme Masters in a single calendar year. While their Dota 2 squad won the first edition of The International. The have a long list of renowned sponsors which include G2A, HyperX, Jetradar, DXRacer, Twitch.tv, 3ОНА 51, Kiev CyberSport Arena, GG.Bet, Fragstore, Newzoo, and NVIDIA. The most famous player of the organization happens to be Danil "Dendi" Ishutin who was one time the richest player in the eSports industry, however, he currently sits at a respectable $774,449.40 in winnings. While the other most popular player in the organization is Daniil ”Zeus” Teslenko who has helped the team accomplish wonders.
11. Samsung- $5,133,156.34
Samsung was found in 2013 after signing player from MVP Blue and MVP Ozone. The organization is only sponsored by Samsung and HOT6, with headquarters in South Korea. They have sister teams which go by the names of Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Blue, Samsung Ozone and Samsung Khan. They are currently competing in only two divisions of eSports which are League of Legends, StarCraft 2 and StarCraft: Brood Wars. The most successful team is Samsung Galaxy which has solely generated 53% ($2,697,968.66) of the profits while coming in 2nd is Samsung White which has generated 22%( $1,139,112.96) of the profits. This year Samsung Galaxy has been quite successful as they have won 2017 Season Korea Regional Finals and 2017 Season World Championship beating the likes of KT Rolster and SK Telecom T1. They have mainly competed in the Korean region which has generated 99% ( $5,064,723.13) of their winnings. The star players of the organization are Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin and Lee "Crown" Min-ho who have been in the roster for a long time and have managed to earn $440,237.72 and $443,172.12 respectively.
12. Team OG- $6,112,963.00
Sponsored by Redbull, Team OG was formed in 2015 by Fly and Notail who happen to be two active players on the roster. This is the team that introduced the 9K MMR sensation Miracle-, to the 1st division of Pro Dota 2. They seemed to struggle at the start but after forming formidable chemistry they dominated the pro circuit. They won The Frankfurt Major 2015, DreamLeague Season 4, The Manila Major 2016, ESL One Frankfurt 2016, The Boston Major 2016, The Kiev Major 2017 and recently The MDL Macau. They have got 100% ($6,112,963.00) of their net worth from Dota 2. They got most of their earnings from Denmark 30% ($1,829,592.80). They have also competed in Israel, Sweden, Canada, Jordan, Finland, Australia, and Ukraine. Tal "Fly" Aizik is the most renowned player of the squad with an amazing net worth of $1,367,004.60. OG is currently delivering average performances however with stats like these we might soon see them again rise to the top of the chain.
13. Cloud9- $5,950,364.22
Located in Los Angeles, California, United States Cloud 9 was found in 2012 and ever since then they have flourished in different divisions of eSports. Cloud 9 has teams competing in Rocket League, LoL, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, CS:GO, Dota 2, Hearthstone: HoW, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Overwatch, PUBG, and Vainglory. Currently, they are sponsored by the top companies like Twitch, Logitech, HTC, Red Bull, iBUYPOWER, HyperX, Crunchyroll, MSI, NEEDforSEAT USA, LoLwiz, and T-Mobile. They happen to be quite dominant in divisions of Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO. They have earned 20% ($1,213,209.53) of their earnings from CS:GO while 31% ($2,110,208.98) from Dota 2 and 16% ($930,496.33) from League of Legends. They happen to have a significant number of sister teams in League of Legends which include C9 Eclipse, C9 Challenger, C9 Tempest, C9 Vortex and C9 Maelstrom. They have earned 46% ($2,781,264.58) of their winnings in the USA. They have also competed in Canada, Denmark, Romania, Sweden, Korea, Germany, Ukraine, Nether lands and many more. Their recent achievement in LoL is finishing 2017 North America Regional Finals at 1st place. While in CS:GO, they have won the iBUYPOWER Masters 2017, DreamHack Denver 2017 and finished the ESL One Cologne at 2nd place. In Dota 2, they were at 2nd place at the World Electronic Sports Games 2016. The most famous player in the organization is Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham who happen to be among the best players in CS:GO.
14. Team Secret- $5,308,388.87
Team Secret was found in August 2014 after the post-TI 4 shuffle under the influence of their team captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov. They are currently under the sponsorship of MetaThreads, NVIDIA, and GG.Bet. Their organization is competing in the different division of eSports which include Vainglory, Smash Bros, Rocket League, Fighter games and CS:GO. However, the Dota 2 roster has been tremendously successful as it has earned 98% ($5,211,963.61) of the winnings. They have competed in Sweden, Estonia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Malaysia, Jordan Korea, USA, UK, and Switzerland. They have always been in the currently amongst the best team in the world. However, at the moment they are arguably the best team in Pro Dota 2 scene as they are at the top of the Pro Circuit rank with 3690 points. They were victorious in The Shanghai Major 2016, MLG World Finals and DreamLeague Season 8. They also finished at 2nd place at the ESL One Hamburg 2017. The most influential player of the team has been their captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov who was the captain of the Natus Vincere side that won The International 1, ever since then the player has managed to earn a respectable sum of $1,045,980.02 in winnings.
15. SK Gaming- $5,059,875.34
Sk Gaming has been one of the oldest eSports organizations in the world. They were found in 1997 and have strived ever since their formation. The Headquarters are located in Germany as well as Brazil. They are sponsored by some of the biggest brands which include VISA, Razer, Medion Erazer, Intel, HyperX, Huawei Honor and Mountain Dew. Being one of the oldest organizations, they compete in large divisions of eSports which include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Vainglory, Smite, Dota 2, Bloodline Champions and WarCraft 3. However, most of their revenue 50% ($2,490,987.58) has been generated through their CS:GO roster which is arguably the best team in the World. The roster has managed to win a large number of titles this year, Intel Extreme Masters XII – Sydney, Esports Championship Series Season 3 – Finals, ESL One: Cologne 2017, EPICENTER 2017, BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2017 and ESL Pro League Season 6 – Finals. The star players of the team are Marcelo "coldzera" David and Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo who have each won $475,354.88.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a global system of "cryptography" and digital payments. It was created as the world’s first digital currency since the system operates without a central repository or a sole administrator. The system works in peer-to-peer philosophy with transactions being conducted directly among interconnected users without intermediaries. The digital coin was launched back in 2009. It was the idea of an unknown developer (or even a group of developers) under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Tons of thousands of businesses, millions of buyers
Since 2015, it is estimated that more than 100,000 online sellers of products and services worldwide have used bitcoin as a payment method. According to this year's Cambridge University survey, about 5 million users use electronically "encrypted wallets", and in their vast majority use bitcoin.
Although bitcoin remains a controversial trading method, JP Morgan Chase's CEO Jamie Dimon has repeatedly called it "fraud", more and more businesses are accepting it as a means of payment, and several experts predict that the Bitcoin will overcome even the $ 14,000 mark in 2018.
If you had invested $10 in 2010
On 2 June 2010, the first recorded exchange rate to the dollar was 0.06 dollars, which means that if someone had then invested $10 now would be at the disposal of 1.75 million a dollar.
Big Market despite 'Reactions'
The controversial method finds "opposing" the big states that "fight back" on the philosophy of crypto smiths: The central Russian bank threatens to close as many Bitcoins sites offer as opposed to other currencies while China has already closed several electronic bureaus.
For now, however, despite the "hostile" policies, the total value of those who have invested in Bitcoin is over $ 167 billion. The initial problems with cryptocurrency are very much synonymous with those of eSports as both have faced a lot of problems in their inauguration to become forces to be reckoned with.
Bitcoin Going Big in China
"One coin for one villa" is a recently popular phrase in the bitcoin circle, describing in a down-to-earth manner of the good expectations and imagination of the domestic speculators in the heart of Bitcoin. Recently, Jermain Li, the first investor in Snapchat, and Pete Smith, CEO, and co-founder of the Blockchain, also invested in the bitcoin cryptocurrency. It is estimated that the price of bitcoin per unit by 2030 is expected to rise to 500,000 U.S. dollars.
In China, on January 6 this year, after the Central Bank interviewed and stationed in and inspected a number of virtual currency exchange platforms in China, the volume and liquidity of domestic bitcoin transactions were found to be greatly affected. The domestic exchanges also announced the suspension of the provision of liquidity currency. However, bitcoin trading is still booming. Since early 2017, the market price of bitcoin has fluctuated between 6,000 and 8,000 yuan. However, compared with the same period in 2016, bitcoin has become a "fragrant fairy tale."
Veteran bitcoin players tell IT Times on their own experiences that making big money from bitcoin is not a nonsense, but not everyone can dream of coming true.
"When the price is low, electricity is not dug back, when mining a month's electricity bill about 2.000.000, and later put the miner sold, not dug." Zhao Dong was the industry's well-known "miner". Known as "East Uncle Between 2013 and 2014, it invested tens of millions of yuan to mine in Erdos, Inner Mongolia. Later, the price of bitcoin plunged. After the bitcoin price experienced a cut to 8,000 yuan to 9,000 yuan, the heavy loss of Zhao Dong made him give up and he continued mining.
Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2009, it has become a highly anticipated "Internet financial star." The production of bitcoin comes from a special calculation algorithm, in which the total amount of bitcoin is fixed at 21 million. Each coin is "scooped up" by the power of the computer. This process is commonly called "mining ".
"The amount of bitcoin that has been dug up is about 16 million and only 5 million can be dug up. Now all domestic mining operations are large-scale and the cost of mining is too high." Zhao Dong told IT Times reporter his mine during the peak period, there were nearly 6,000 mine machines. When the price is high, the profits for one month can reach 56 million yuan.
Bitcoin not consistent
The senseless value increase in bitcoin has made more and more people get upset for the cryptocurrency.
One can talk about a full-fledged bitcoin fever. Most people who invest are likely to do that for speculative purposes. But a thought behind the bitcoin, as the mythical pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto had when he created it in 2009, was that bitcoin would act as a digital currency. It would allow payments over the internet without the involvement of banks or the existing financial system.
Some companies have also sold their products and have been paid in bitcoin. Steam, a leading platform for digital distribution of computer games, opened the possibility of bitcoin transaction back in spring 2016. Among other things, it would help customers in developing countries without a credit card.
But now it's over with computer gaming by bitcoin as announced by Steam. On its company blog, it is written that the decision is due to high transaction fees and excessive fluctuations in the bitcoin rate.
Solution to the Bitcoin problem - Skrilla
Do you have any idea happens when a rapidly flourishing sport meets the rapidly flourishing finance technology? eSports Cryptocurrency in the answer.
eSports has been in the mainstream for a while now. Fans and enthusiasts watch their favorite teams competing in multimillion-dollar competitions and lift trophies. The world of eSports consists of blockbuster titles which includes, League of Legends, Dota 2, CSGO and so much more. The world is going digital and eSports might very well be the future of digital income. For example, in 2016 Leagues of Legends Worlds Championships, the crowd attendance was over 60,000 while over 50 million fans watched the event online. This was just one of many events where such an amazing attendance was recorded in recent times.
One of the most impressive digital phenomena’s that have taken the world by storm is Cryptocurrencies. A large number of organizations are well aware of their popularity. The common man is finding guides to learn the usage of the cryptocurrency while some nations are even considering them as a future currency. The eSports fans are also getting involved the digital currency because, since the dawn of the modern era, sports and money go hand in hand.
Combining Competitive Gaming with Blockchain
The eSports industry is now well established in the modern world. Now, the big guns are learning about how it will fare for them in future and what possibilities it holds on the horizon. In order to tackle the problem with the consistent rise of Bitcoins, initiatives have been taken in the eSports industry.
New eSports currencies coming your way
Bitcoin and Ethereum are what making the cryptocurrency popular among the masses. However, some new currencies are making their way for the betterment of eSports industry. The limits of Blockchain shouldn’t be a problem for the electronic gaming if the things go as planned.
Some initiatives are being taken to remove the constraints from the Blockchain. One of the initiatives is being taken by Skrilla. It happens to be a renowned betting platform.
The project was undertaken by two popular gaming companies, Puntaa and GAMURS. While Puntaa is a famous peer-to-peer social betting firm, GAMURS is a platform dedicated to eSports with a monthly user base of more than 3.5 million.
In order to place bets, buy items and earn in eSports, a new token has been created by Skrilla through the Blockchain technology.
The new ICO introduced by Skrilla is on the verge of the inauguration. The sales of this new token of eSports industry took place in the first week of November. In order to meet the regulations of ERC20, Skrilla has utilized the Ethereum Blockchain and will be labeled as Skrilla (SKR). The new token will be initially used for participating in contests, placing wagers and for some contests. They are also on their way to establish streaming platforms which will exclusively accept cryptocurrency.
eSports and Blockchain in the long run
The popularity of eSports has gown top of the charts in just a matter of few years. It is speculated that the industry should worth over $1.4 billion by 2020, according to SuperData Research.
So, for such a rapidly growing industry, the security risks should also be taken into account and some initiatives are set to be taken very soon. When there is so much money on the line, gamers, fans, enthusiasts, streamers, stakeholders should be able to trust the digital security.
Organizations like Skrilla are amongst the few who wants the games and their users feel safe while making a bet or just spectating their favorite game. The partnership of eSports with the cryptocurrency should reduce the security hacks and also remove the involvement of third parties from the trade.
With the immense risks of security, a passionate platform has emerged and have put up high quality online developing and publishing gaming services to good use to give the lovers of eSports, Play2Live(P2L). It happens to be the first decentralized gaming platform for enthusiasts of eSports.
The gaming is now more fun and exciting for everybody through the platform of P2L, because of its inauguration of Blockchain technology. They are providing exceptional services to both the fans and streamers with no hidden costs whatsoever. Through their digital monetization, they are giving their users modern day technology at optimal efficiency.
The fans can catch their favorite streamers broadcasting at exceptional quality. They are also coming up with innovative ways of using these digital tokens, to make a new leap into Blockchain and eSports. Normally streaming platforms have at most 8 or 9 streaming sources; however, this new cryptocurrency platform is offering 15 revenues. So, it doesn’t compromise on services.
Investing in the Future of eSports
Education institution and college are also paving the way for eSports in curricular activities. It is speculated that eSports might very well be an event in 2024 Olympics. Whosoever subjects eSports to criticism is always proven wrong. Gone are the days when eSports was thought to be a one-hit wonder.
With the association of Blockchain, eSports is all set to take the world by storm and companies like Skrilla are set to provide the security for this association to flourish in a long run. These tokens may very well become the only mean of escrow-like transactions in eSports.
In order to secure the future of eSports and your own finances, it is an exceptional choice to invest in Skrilla’s ICO. Over 10 million SKR tokens have been published, and from 6th to 20th November 60% of those were available for purchases. We can only wait and see what the future holds for this new eSports cryptocurrency.
Australia has launched the platform and it has received an exceptional number of responses. While in the near future Skrilla is set to launch in the USA.
Future is bright for Blockchain and eSports
The progress of eSports can’t be taken for granted, and same can be said for the cryptocurrency. The flourishing industry of eSports is all set to achieve wonders with the emerging Blockchain technology. Skrilla and Play 2 Live are just the beginning and by the look of things, they are sure to set a benchmark for the future hybrid organizations of eSports and cryptocurrency. The analysts are still concerned about whether this new cryptocurrency will make a mark in eSports business. However, judging from the past timeline of both cryptocurrency and eSports, both have made tremendous progress in a matter of years after facing a lot of criticism in the early days. So, arguably it is a safe bet to support the upcoming hybrid industry of eSports and cryptocurrency.
Five years ago, the word ‘eSports’ had no real significance and were nothing more than an illusion. A culture of hardcore video game competitive players existed, but they were nothing more than that — people with a quite practical interest in playing video games for pleasure. Seemingly out of blue, the eSports industry started to dawn was being taken seriously.
The dawning of electronic sports hasn’t escaped many, which can be witnessed with huge prize pools and a unique appealing to sponsors towards the industry. It doesn’t come as a surprise that 2019 looks set to continue the trend and has set new benchmarks in the competitive gaming industry.
Interesting numbers from eSports
Esports is the capital of the modern day, and it only just started to take its root. The world of eSports has a worthy of being a $678 Million industry. It is estimated that with the current growth in the eSports industry, it could pass a $1 billion figure easily by 2018, according to research firm Newzoo. Currently, the firm has predicted that more than 385 million people are following eSports in the form of players, casters, audience, or management. And this is just the beginning, as the firm also predicted the number to reach around 427 million by the end of the year 2019.
These records and facts have paved the way for investors to make eSports mainstream.
1. Sporting Agencies investing in eSports!
Mega eSporting agency WME | IMG is representing professional eSports players, enthusiast, and teams. One of the renowned Marketing and multimedia agency revolutions has made quite an investment in the space and have launched a new eSports consulting subdivision rEvXP. Getting into the mainstream, an award-winning global marketing agency GMR is taking quite an interest in the eSports community with the proclamation that it has launched its eSports consulting practice.
2. Big Brands making big eSports investments
Major multinational brands have already started to become a part of the eSports revolution. Such giant includes the like of Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Monster, which have profited from becoming early entrants in the industry.
The big company giants have already shown interest in the future billion-dollar industry. Coca-Cola along with American Express are the sponsors of one of the biggest tournaments in the eSports industry, the League of Legends Championship series.
3. Renowned personalities getting into the eSports business
Some of the renowned personalities with huge following and net-worth have entered into the world of eSports. This makes a huge impact on the other investors who are willing to invest in the industry. One big example is of Ashish Mistry. Ashish Mistry is a managing partner at private investment firm BLH Venture Partners. Although Ashish Mistry has an intermediate information about the eSports industry, he has done his homework quite nicely. He understands the needs of a gamer and the current demand of the eSports industry. Therefore, he developed a franchise, KontrolFreek that deals with the accessories for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers for the professional players prefer to use.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and renowned Shark Tank “shark," recently disclosed his intent to own a League of Legends franchise. It is also worthwhile to take into that he was a famous player in the Series A round of Unikrn, a company that creates betting options for eSports tournaments
USM Holdings, a renowned franchise founded by industrialist Alisher Usmanov, is pouring up to $100m into Russian e-sports team Virtus Pro.
4. Tech giants and Gaming franchises
Tech giants and big gaming firms are showing their interests in the eSports industry.
One example is a renowned company, Activision. They want to develop a general platform for the public where they could get information about the latest news in the world of eSports.
YouTube is another platform which is promoting eSports by offering streaming and other tools for the gamers free of cost. This has not only increased the viewership but also the attention of the people towards the eSports industry.
Let’s see how the business sector has received the rise of this industry. Well, in anticipation of the industry-wide revenue reaching approximately $1 billion by the year 2018, ESPN, knowing the outcome of the industry, launched their dedicated eSports coverage. Currently, their Twitter page has more than 392K followers.
5. eSports surpassing traditional sports viewership
Looking at the eSports industry as a whole has shown nothing but growth and promise. According to the 2017 research report by the SuperData Research, the eSports industry is already worth $1.1 billion. What’s more, major league gaming tournaments and competitions have attracted a global audience of well over 250 million spectators and have become as popular as other so-called “real” sporting events. In the year 2013, the League of Legends Championship sold out the Staples Center within an hour. And in 2015, the same championship sold out the Madison Square Garden, one of the most famous arenas in the world. In 2017, the online viewership for the League of Legends Championship scaled to an astonishing 0,1 billion peak viewers. In the year of 2017, the online spectator audience for DOTA 2’s “The International” crossed over around 11 million peak viewers. Putting these numbers into perspective, when compared with traditional sporting events, TV viewership/audience in 2014 was approximately 25 million for the Masters, a major Golf Tournament, 15.5 million for the NBA Finals, a major globally renowned basketball tournament, 13.8 million for the World Series and approximately 5 million for the Stanley Cup Finals.
6. Global investment Market
The eSports market and industry is setting new records in the history of traditional sports. According to SuperData Research, in 2015, the whole industry was worth $748 Million which was mainly due to the marketing and advertising of popular brands and companies. A total sum of sponsorships and advertising is around $579M this year. Asia is currently worth $321M and is slowly giving way to western investments, leading North America and Europe to account for approximately $400M, over half of the global proceedings. It is predicted that by 2018, the market is set to scale to $1.11 billion with the establishment of direct revenue origin sources such as betting sites and amateur competitive platforms.
It is also estimated that the current net-worth of the eSports industry will rise up to $1.11 billion by the end of 2018. Two regions combined in the world have the total domination in the eSports sector, North America, and Europe. Both of the regions have a 52% impact on the eSports market because of the rapid growth.
7. Investors taking interest
According to Newzoo, the investors and brands are expected to spend over $266.6 million this year, a year-to-year growth of around +57.7%. Fans remain more comfortable with betting virtual gaming skins, and content over cash, which cause real-money sites to gain resistance slower than anticipated.
8. The world loves eSports
According to the online magazine Fortune, with such a growth in an industrial state, China, and Korea, both carry 23% of all the revenue generated by eSports games and tournaments globally. The pride of the Asian region and the popular League of Legends player, Lee "Faker" Sang Hyeok has a current net-worth of $1.1 million.
As for Europe, the French Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire has proclaimed the formation of the government-sponsored “France eSports” federation which will oversee the government on regulating eSports.
The dawn of popularity of competitive multiplayer gaming in the UK is of such kind that a brand new 600-seated eSports arena - the Gfinity Arena – has been completed in Fulham, West London, at the end of March of 2015. The year 2014 saw G3, the UK’s biggest competitive eSports event, with 4000 audiences invaded the Copperbox Arena at Stratford Olympic Park.
8.3 North America
The North American region has quite a presence on the revenue in the eSports market. In 2017, as predicted by Newzoo, North American region generates the most revenue per eSports enthusiast. It was a matter of fact that the majority of the revenue in the eSports industry was based on the American region and as a result, it was gaining popularity over time.
American gamers are passionate about every eSports event that takes place in the states. From amateur competitive platforms to professional level tournaments, all the gamers are marking their presence whether they are gamers, casters, or audience. As a matter of fact, eSports is so popular in the region that 3/4th of the population that love eSports, participate in some kind of competitions whether they are on a national or international scale.
Currently, in the year 2017, the revenue that North America has generated through the promotion of merchandise, event tickets, advertising, sponsorships, and online advertising is almost $257 million.
9. Publishers gaining the attention
The publishers are playing a huge role in attracting investors towards the eSports industry. The storyline and the gameplay of the games are the two most important things that matter. The publishers of the big games like CS:GO, Overwatch, Call of Duty, League of Legends etc. lifted their titles to the big stage by investing their time and money into the game. This is the sole reason why 19% of the US audience is involved in the eSports industry. The eSports gaming is not only limited to PC and controllers but now the publishers are developing new Android/iOS mobile games which will enable further development in the eSports sector.
10. Betting industry in eSports
Since professional competitive video gaming has dawned as a sport, eSports betting has started to find its potential. For some years, the fans from all across the globe have put bets on their idol eAthletes, although, it's just recently that online bookmakers such as Bet365 and William Hill have caught the breeze and started to include the eSports in their list of offers.
Gaming industry research firm Eilers Research estimated that in the year 2018, eSports fanatics would wager more than $550 million on eSports tournaments, and the speculation was on point. eSports betting numbers are firmly believed to continue to rise, with the same firm projected that by 2020, more than $23 billion USD would have been wagered around the world on eSports annually.
Statistics from online sportsbook Pinnacle are the evidence to this eSports betting prediction. Its numbers have doubled each year, along with taking well over 350,000 eSports bets last year alone. The high amount of eSports gambling/betting on this and other betting sites rank eSports industry as the eight most popular sport to place bets on in the whole world, as stated by the Giants NBC. Esports betting has become so popular that online bookmakers have even initiated to dedicate traders and whole departments exclusively to eSports gambling.
Frankly, this is a very captivating topic to consider through the lens of a growing entertainment culture. There is just so much more investment and revenue in sports now than there was in the past, and it's hard to foresee a decline. The amount of money in sports has skyrocketed. We will see a similar development with eSports as more money and investments continue to get into it. Esports gaming is rapidly gaining sport-status through its leverage, hype, players, and fans and last but not the least sponsors. When considering the future of modern entertainment in the world, the digital age becomes more and more transparent. The promise of virtual reality gears and a lot of other technological developments provide a solid proof to believe that there are many more exciting breakthrough advancements to come in the kingdom of gaming, and many more sponsor partnerships and alliances will form in the future. Looking at the big picture, the dawning of the eSports community truly seems to be an indication of the all-time-increasing value that our modern-day society places on “sporting” in all of its types.
The reason some well-reputed people and organizations are trying to push eSports a sport along with traditional sports is that they want to authorize the community and make it mainstream. We have all the facts and numbers to believe eSports is already set to break into mainstream media and culture.
If there’s an industry that went better than expected, it´s definitely eSports. Today, more than 210 million people worldwide regularly watch competitive gaming, and the market is worth over $890 million, made up of 74% sponsorship money and the remainder directly from consumer spending. A lot of investors, advertisers and publishers have bet on the future growth of this segment, hoping to catch the wave.
And it’s getting better and better. With young audiences proving to be loyal when it comes to effective ad targeting, networks and broadcasters seek to increase their attraction by getting into eSports. Instead of knowing the audience, they move in this arrogant strategy as it is the incumbent’s staple audiences that are shrinking; TV needs eSports, not the other side.
As it grows fast in fandom, pro-gaming will need discipline and a sense of accountability. In Brazil, eSport is still growing. The most famous game is League of Legends, thanks to the support given by the producer Riot Games in official tournaments, such as the Brazilian Championship (CBLoL). Games like Counter -Strike, Street Fighter and Fifa also have local, but smaller tournaments. In addition, events such as Brazil Mega Arena and Brazil Game Show promote their own eSports tournaments, watching different games and various awards.
The growth potential of this market seems to suddenly have taken flight with hundreds of millions now regularly watching competitive gaming. But the biggest concern for eSports is sustainability, not size. And in Brazil, it’s not very different.
A country like the UK is not unfamiliar with this process. The UK games industry originated in the bedrooms of a generation of ambitious teenagers, some of whom became leaders in the field. After a period of local, entrepreneurial success, large American and Japanese publishers started employing the British innovative spirit, which, in turn, had to professionalize. What the UK industry learned then is what pro-gaming is learning now: it should focus on establishing a healthy network of professional teams, publishers and sponsors that work together on making the spectacle of games a better, more rewarding experience for its fans.
Marcelo Tavares, CEO of Brazil Game Show (BGS), the largest fair of video games in Latin America, believes that the success of e-sports segment in countries like China and the US can reach deeply in Brazil.
Marcelo is optimistic about the BGC this year and he was right: the event has a growth of 20%.
Earnings around the world for eSports remain tiny compared to the $104 billion in global games revenue. To grow, it has to overcome one of its biggest struggles in digital media today: the lack of credibility and reliability in assessing the ‘true’ eSports audience. This is not an issue exclusive to pro-gaming because brands all around the world are clamoring for more transparency when it comes to digital ad spending.
In Brazil, to be part of a team that travels the world as a pro you need to show above average performance: the higher your scores, the more chance there is to get to the professional level and be highlighted. Scouts are always looking for talent, whether to build new teams or to replace those that no longer brings results. So constantly gamers pressure themselves even more. In return, they gain lodging, food, maid and the latest equipment, in addition to fixed salaries.
The teams do not reveal numbers but it is estimated that a Brazilian cyber athlete earns between R$ 3,000 and R$ 10,000 per month, adding earnings from advertising, commissions on product sales, individual sponsorships and online broadcasts of their matches. A whole new lifestyle.
And the numbers of tournaments are far from negligible: the finals of CBLOL 2015 put 8.000 paying in Maracanãzinho Gymnasium in Rio. This year, the event of Allianz Park will receive 12 thousand people. Great numbers for a minor country, but there’s still a lot of issues that cannot be ignored.
Doping, gambling, the exploitation and abuse of female pros, preventing teams from selling merchandise at events, a lack of transparent rules that determine team participation, an unfair and unnecessarily strenuous tournament schedule, region-blocking, and generally poor communication between platforms, publishers, and Players.
Now that pro-gaming has moved into mainstream, all its petty problems are coming to light. At the same time none of the issues are insurmountable. Already we see the emergence of self-regulatory industry bodies like the eSports Integrity Coalition. It presents eSports’ first step toward becoming a respected, sustainable
The beginning of the year was great, and the numbers talk for themselves. Let´s take a look of CS:GO results:
Orena Century Cup – R30 000 (Winner takes all, won by Bravado)
DGL Masters rAge Cape Town – R100 000 (Won by Bravado Gaming)
Vodacom Gamer’s Fest – R67 500 (Won by CarboN eSports)
MGMS – R10 000 (Won by Bravado Gaming)
ESWC Qualifiers – Trip to Paris to compete (Won by Bravado Gaming)
Evetech Champions League – R150 000 (Won by Bravado Gaming)
There was also Bravado CS:GO’s performance at WESG which earned roughly R260 000, the largest prize pool of them all for a single team.
If we focus on Bravado’s performance alone, we can dig a bit deeper to see how much the CS:GO team has made over the past year.
Orena Century Cup – R30 000
DGL Masters rAge Cape Town – R40 000
Vodacom Gamer’s Fest – R20 000
MGMS – R6 000
WESG Qualifier – R260 000
ECL – R75 000
Moral of the story: the Bravado Gaming CS:GO team has made R431 000 from the above mentioned tournaments, and each player won R86 000, give or take (not accounting for travel, coaches or management fees). The year isn’t even over yet, with Bravado still traveling to ESWC in Paris in October, their trip to WESG in China in December, and the R500 000 Telekom Digital Gaming Masters tournament at rAge in October. There’s still a lot of money to be made. A lot!
In Brazil, there is no official data on how many championships are in the market, but according to the data collected by UOL Games report, adding the major championships published in 2015, over R$2 million was distributed in cash in various games like Combat Arms, FIFA World, Dota 2 and especially League of Legends, which alone has
given more than R$500 thousand just counting the CBLoL , the main Brazilian league match.
Although the teams placing second, or third, might not be making as much money, they are making considerably more than previous years, when they left without anything but pride. These teams are also filled in majority with players who are either in school, or at university, meaning it beats having to work as a waiter to make some pocket money. And this is all without considering whatever sponsorship deals these teams might have, which means everything to a lot of young gamers.
If you were asleep during the last few months, let me introduce you to one of the biggest games of the year: Overwatch is a first-person multiplayer shooter developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released in May for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and quickly become the new fever in the gaming world.
The game is quite simple: put the players into two teams of six, were each player can select one of several pre-defined characters, gaining attributes and skills; these heroes are divided into four classes: attack, defense, tank and support. Players on a team need to work together to secure and defend control points on a map and / or escort a payload across the map with limited time. Players earn valuable rewards that do not affect gameplay, such as character skins and victory gestures, and get better as they continue to play. Blizzard says that all Overwatch updates will remain free, with the only additional cost occuring for special attributes, which do not affect thebalance of the game.
The game sold sold seven million copies worldwide so far. Blizzard is doing a great job in several ways and guaranteed the publics interest. It is a success, of course, but some are questioning if Overwatch will pass the heat of the moment and become a real eSport game.
GAMING BEAUTY AND LOYALTY OF PLAYERS.
Like everything that Blizzard creates, the background story for Overwatch is described by short animation and other information distributed by Blizzard while promoting the game. The story is sixty years into the future in a fictional state, thirty years after the resolution of the “Omnic crisis.” Before that, humanity was in a golden age of prosperity and development of technology. Humans developed robots with artificial intelligence called “omnics”, which were produced in automated installations throughout the world and put into use to achieve economic equality. The crisis began when Omnic omniums began producing a series of robots, hostile and lethal, which at one point turned against humanity. The United Nations quickly formed a task force called Overwatch, to combat Omnic threat and restore order. In charge of Overwatch, two veterans: Gabriel Reyes and Jack Morrison. Although Overwatch repressed successfully robotic uprising and brought a number of talented individuals to the front, a rift developed between Reyes and Morrison and Morrison became the leader of the Overwatch while Reyes took charge of Blackwatch, a division of covert operations Overwatch. Overwatch kept the peace throughout the world for several decades. It was called “Generation Overwatch”, but the fights between Morrison and Reyes intensified, giving rise to several complaints of irregularities and flaws in Overwatch, led to public protests against the organization and fighting among its members, which forced the UN to investigate the situation. During this period, an explosion destroyed the seat of Overwatch in Switzerland, and both Morrison and Reyes were reportedly killed.
So when you start up Overwatch, you can see all the visual details of the game. In short, the game is beautiful: the game’s cast design is a huge potential. The comic style that inspired the cast keeps much more mass market appeal than typical soldier characters like they are standardized by similar games. While graphics are an important fact for gaining popularity, winning the viewer is a mission that goes beyond the beauty of a game, the story or even the difficulty: it is the gameplay that is important to the general audience. One can see though that Blizzard made a lot of design decisions to make things easier for the public to follow.
This includes the possibility of transmitting the game on various online platforms as well as the limitation to only 10 minute long games, which is shorter than most of the other current eSports titles – this guarantees for more attention of the viewer and makes the game more dynamic and competitive.
But not everything is perfect yet. There are already complaints that the current viewer mode of the game is limited, a mere spectator can get a bit lost watching the game. Professional players additionas are having some problems to grow into the game until Blizzard allows a ranking mode, which was pushed out of the open beta and was promised to be integrated after launch.
YES, Overwatch HAS FUTURE IN ESPORT
The biggest advantage of Overwatch will be the way that Blizzard supports the competitive scene in terms of official tournament runs, awards as well as allowing other third party to perform major tournaments like IEM or DreamHack. While the competitive landscape of Starcraft is not losing public interest, it even creates a chance for Blizzard to position Overwatch as a modern setting for their eSports tournaments.
Esport is really common in China. Common and, of course, popular. Most of the Chinese see gaming as a natural sport since 2011, but games are growing actively since 2004. In 2010, everything became clear: gamers are like superstars (such as their salaries), sponsorship deals are everywhere and also lucrative. There are tournament practically every week, with a huge audience and big prize pool, but still have a lack of acceptance by the traditional sport audience and, mysteriously, by the parents.
The only explanation for this kind of thing happens in China, it is because gaming is still seen as a bad habit and a huge waste of time. A kids hobby. With the establishment of a sports system and the rise of professional teams in the Chinese market, more huge tournaments will happen for professional players to compete. And hopefully the childish idea might disappear.
On the way to become a dream job
The CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) estimates that more than 400 million Chinese people play some kind of online games. China is known by its severe schooling system, including partnership between parents and schools that frequently control extracurricular activities, because the main objective in 90% of the families in China is to have a university degree. In the 90’s, the cafes in China were a way foryoung citizens to rebel against this idea. Years later, these cafes serve as training places to amateur teams –many of these places have become famous for bringing up professional gaming players.
Since the beginning, the Chinese e-sports market has been overwhelmed by the negative answer to digital gaming from mostly the older society. At amateur and professional tournaments, it is really usual to catch government officials state before the event (and sometimes, after as well) that gaming has a negative effect on the youth and it is a shame for the familiy. Despite all the pressure, China became, together with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong one of the leaders in this discipline producing video games, anime, martial arts films, popular music, and television series worldwide. Because of that, the popularity became inevitable.
Also, the “pastime” has gotten greater social recognition in recent years, becoming one of the major attractions at the Golden Eagle TV Art Festival. To achieve a better acceptance, the esports market started to aim the real public: esports audience symbolizes a very valuable demographic scale, mostly boosted by online advertisement, which is the fastest growing revenue segment with up to 99.6% compared to 2014. In 2015, the global gaming market revenue increased 67.4%, gaining USD $325 million. The expectation until 2019 is a revenue growth to more than a USD $1 billion. Although U.S leads the world in terms of revenue with USD $175 million (38%), this amount is generted through merchandises, event tickets, sponsorships, online advertisement and media rights. hina represents 23% of global esports revenues with a total of USD $106 million in 2016.
However, the leader of gaming audience is Asia, which obviously includes China. So,it’s fair to recognize the power of Chinese audience by seeing that the global esports audience was 226 million gamers and the audience of esports enthusiast reaching up to 115 million. Not only audience increases, but China topped the list of winners in several gaming categories – the most recent (and the major of all) was the Dota 2 International Tournament, with a prize pool over USD $9 million. It’s quite an incentive to minor teams and players.
By that, the pastime became a dream job, incuding an extrme routine by having the whole team live together under one roof almost 24/7. They don’t even consider practicing unless all players and the manager are in the same room, working as a team.
It is not coincidence that 4 of the 10 highest-paid players in the world are Chinese.
Gaining more respect
Knowing all this, how does a country that has an austere (not to say a total censorship) ruling about television broadcasts of digital games become a leader in the esport industry?
Noticing that they cannot fight against the growth, the government has used esports tournaments to increase tourism and positive press for certain locations. And since 2013, esport has been officially recognized by the General Administration of Sport of China as a sport. By doing that, the government is trying to build an image that China is a tech-savvy nation as well as a nation that recognize the world to be changing fast and with lots of additional options besides manufacturing industry and olympic sports.
Also to prove a major respect to the esport industry, the Chinese Administration of Education formally announced the recognition of Esports Gaming and Management as an authorized college-affiliate majors and activities in September of this year. In other words, the Chinese government now recognizes the potential of gaming and the esports industry in the country. This surely can be considered a lot of respect. And its the official begin of a new era.
No doubt, the esports industry will keep growing for a long time. Especially in China.
The eSport association in Brazil is the first step to professional recognition. However, is it going on the right way?
Since 1920, Brazil’s greatest love is, without a doubt, a single sport: soccer. The country has, today, over 780 professional teams, and the biggest (Flamengo, a team from Rio de Janeiro) has more than 30 million fans. Since the 20’s, Brazil has an association and a federation to organize the tournaments, take care of the selling and payment of players, coaches and all the professional regulation. Besides the long history, Brazilian soccer business has many problems, mostly related to corruption disguised as bureaucracy. However, for good or for bad, the soccer market, as a whole, reaches over R$ 3 billion in revenue.
About eSports in Brazil, the history is shorter, of course, but it shows a determination to grow fast. The industry started in 2000, but only in 2007 teams in Country Strike had won big international championships and put Brazil into the eSports map. The national business started with 10 tournaments in 2000, having now over 150 in 2015. Its revenue surpassed R$500.000 in 2014.
With this growth, the teams became professionals and the games were getting serious business. In addition, serious business has to move forward.
“We want the union”.
In August, the best eSports teams from Brazil have announced the creation of the Associação Brasileira de Clubes de eSports (the ABCDE). They are:
The board has Lucas Almeida (IntZ) as president, Bob Vides (paIN Gaming) as vice president and Paulo Souto (Operation Kino) as Chief Financial Officer.
The association wants to present a more merged front for the eSports scene, to help to establish tournament organizers. TV networks and sponsors are the main objectives of the ABCDE. In their “book of rules”, are five priorities:
-Strengthening the Relationship and professionalism of teams;
-Investments in-person events with competition;
-Investments in Leagues and Championships online;
– Global sponsorship negotiation that serve to all or more than three teams in a mode;
– Image rights to broadcast channels.
In a statement on Facebook, the association explained their goals:
It will act as a single voice allowing “sponsors to be able to sponsor all our teams at once,” according to the association’s president, INTZ’s CEO Lucas Simões de Almeida.
United, but not some much.
However, Tadeu Coelho also questioned some points of the politics, such as “The possibility of unilateral change of policy, including on the term of assignment of the players image rights and clubs.”
Another questioned point of the political participation (and maybe the most criticized) is the ABCDE’s minimum requirement prize of R$ 100,000 and the participation rate of R $ 60,000 for the associated teams to participate in online competitions. Another legal arrangement ist the ABCDE requirement of awarding R$ 10,000 and R$ 24,000 for joining. Additionally there is a further charge of 15% for tax costs.
Felipe Campos, eSports manager of Xtreme League, complained about the requirements:
, he said.
It is just the beginning.
Although they are in the market for a long time, the founders of the association have no experience in creating guidelines covering the scene as a whole. It is too early yet to say if the initiative will be good or bad for the business, but at this point, they solved two problems between player and organization.
According to the statute of the ABCDE, affiliated teams will need to keep all their players registered with it while also notifying them of any terminations or new hires. They will also only be able to “hire and retain contracted athletes who are duly registered with the Associação and respect the Statutes and regulations of the Association.”
The ABCDE is launching itself as a unified eSports scene in Brazil and one of the most professional to date. Their announcement puts them in divergence with the ongoing LCS vs Riot controversy, but they seem open to establish a clear conversation with the entire professional of the business and to help the growth of the Brazilian eSports in and out the country. It is just the beginning.
What is your opinion?