E-Sport is rapidly growing worldwide. Last year, the industry accrued collective revenues of over $1 billion dollars. About 380 million gamers watched tournaments regularly, and more than 20,000 players engaging in active competition.
While the industry is growing steadily, eSport is more popular in some countries than in others. The US leads with more than 11,000 active players and 10 million viewers. Europe is the second most popular destination while South East Asia is the third. Globally, Dota 2 is eSport’s favorite game, with players competing for prizes of up to $1 million.
The top five countries in the industry have players that specialize in different genres. Here is a breakdown of the best nations for eSport, number of players and revenues generated.
No. 5: Denmark
With more than 1200 players who participated and won awards in 2017, Denmark’s eSport league is world class. It consists of schools and a league where players earn thousands of dollars in rewards. Like in countries, Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offense are the most played games.
Apart from tournaments, eSports online gambling is increasingly common in Denmark. Many online casinos in the country also feature e-tournament betting. Overall, the country earned more than $1.5 billion through online gambling. That accounted for roughly half of the nation’s market revenue. Lotteries and sports betting are the biggest gambling activities in the nation, however, accounting for about 30% and 36% respectively.
Last year, three players from Denmark won at least $1 million or higher in eSport prize money. The highest earner was rewarded $3.7 million, more than any other gamer in Europe. At least 100 more gamers earned $20,000 or more in competitions. Surprising, Denmark beat countries like the UK, Canada, and Brazil in spite of having fewer players.
No. 4: The United Kingdom
There are only three countries that have more eSport players than the UK: the US, China, and South Korea. Known for its world-recognized gambling laws, iGaming companies compete to get licensed in the region.
Most of the globally recognized gambling companies all have licenses to operate in England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland. In fact, more than half of the English premier league teams are all sponsored by betting companies.
London is the most popular destination for eSports in Europe. Last year, about 2200 players participated in E-tournaments and earned a combined $10 million in prizes. Thanks to its flexible gambling rules, the UK is one region where you can freely participate in betting for any sports.
You can easily register on Free Bets and wager for your favorite eSport player in the UK. By contrast, countries like South Korea have stricter gambling rules and prohibit sports betting across the board.
No. 3: South Korea
The South East Asian country has been an e-gaming powerhouse for the last one decade. You won’t find any gambling companies in the country. But South Korea’s video gaming eSport genre is a dominant force around the world.
League of Legends is the most popular game among South Korean gamers. Dota 2 and StarCraft come in second and third respectively. In 2017, more than 2900 players participated in tournaments and earned over $65 million in price rewards.
Despite the high popularity for video gaming competitions, South Korean government persistently refuses to licenses iGaming. Participating in any gambling activities in the country attracts hefty penalties or jail time. Surprisingly, thousands of Koreans are members of overseas-based online casinos.
With the advancement of bitcoin casinos and virtual private networks, many South Koreans are able to participate in gambling activities albeit illegally. Surprisingly, if the government legalized betting in the South Eastern nation, it would attract hundreds of millions in revenues. Korea has nearly as many eSports fans as the UK, and the latter earns billions in gambling revenues annually.
No. 2: Australia/China
Melbourne is expected to become a world leader in hosting eSport tournaments by the end of 2018. With an average of 10,000 people attending live shows so far, it’s only a matter of time before Victoria catches up with cities like London where the prize pool can top $1 million.
A prize pool of at least $300,000 for each major tournament has been attracting top-notch players from all corners of the world. Supported by a techy government, the e-tournament sector of Australian cities is expected to boost the country’s economies by millions in revenues.
In the past few years, Australia has been a leader in iGaming. UBET and other major betting sites have taken the world by storm with modern slot games and excellent customer services.
Elsewhere, China is the most popular nation for Dota 2 players. Without the MOBA game, China falls down to position six in terms of specific games played. China has about 3000 players who actively compete in eSport tournaments. E-Sport gambling and all forms of online gambling are illegal in China, which leaves it with only sports tournaments and lotteries.
No. 1: The US
New York and LA are home to some of the biggest eSport companies in the world. In 2016, FIFA chose Maddison Square as the right destination for its interactive World Cup tournament and thousands of viewers showed up.
Since 2011, Los Angeles has hosted the CoD tournament that guarantees at least $1 million in prize money every year. LA has also hosted other major eSports championships, including the Halo Word tournament where the winner walked away with $2.5 million.
In 2017, 11,000 American players participated in eSport tournaments and won at least $80 million in prizes. The biggest winner earned over $3 million. Another 100 competitors won at least $160,000 each. Dota, Call of Duty and Halo are the most popular eSport games in the US.
Without China, which is the most popular destination for Dota 2 players, US players won more in eSport tournaments than the next 10 countries combined in 2017. China is the second most popular nation for video gaming competitions but ranks much lower for iGaming competitions.
Online gambling related competitions make up a huge part of the US’ eSports competitions. Ever since individual states began legalizing the industry, online casinos have increased rapidly in the country. It’s expected that by 2022, the iGaming industry will be a trillion dollar industry.
Esport is now a globally recognized tournament. And iGaming is part of it. Nearly every major gambling platform supports eSports betting. The US, China, and the UK are some of the most popular destinations for e-tournaments. Players compete for millions of dollars annually with the major games having prize pools of up to $1 million.