The eSports industry has made a swift recovery from the impact of COVID-19 in 2021. According to the numbers presented by SafeBettingSites.com, the collective amount of prize money in eSports tournaments increased by 60% in 2021.
In comparison to a haul of $124.9M in 2020, $201M in prize money was won by eSports players in 2021.
2019 remains the best year with 240.7M
According to the numbers gathered from Esports Earnings, the annual eSports Prize Money haul was $201M in 2021.
We looked at numbers from the last five years, and in 2017, the figure stood at $117M. The amount of money increased by 42.7% in 2017, and eSports players won a total of $167M. The growth rate was sustained in 2019, and the yearly prize increased by a further 44.1%. In total, $240.7M was awarded in eSports tournaments. However, that has stayed the best year for the eSports industry so far. In 2020, the amount of annual prize money went down to $124.9M – a 48% dip from the 2019 numbers. The industry made a strong recovery in 2021, but it was still not at the 2019-level.
The eSports industry was on a steep upward curve before Covid-19 hit in 2020. The annual prize money up for grabs in eSports increased by 106% from 2017 to 2019. This was a significant growth as the annual amount of prize money more than doubled in two years. In 2019, the future couldn’t have looked brighter for the entire industry. However, the entire industry took a big hit from the pandemic in 2020. Due to lockdowns and restrictions on live events, the number of tournaments and events dried up, which is reflected in the amount of prize money won in the year. As per the numbers presented in the report, the entire disruption caused due to the pandemic sent the industry a couple of years back – to the levels of 2017.
Vyom Chaudhary, an editor at SafeBettingSites, commented: “The eSports trends in 2021 looked much better than the year before, but it would be wrong to say that a full recovery has been made. The annual prize money in eSports was doubling every two years before the pandemic, and it would take some time to reach that level of growth.“