Despite the impact of the recent coronavirus pandemic, China’s esports market is projected to reach 140.57 billion yuan in size by the end of 2020, with mobile games and esports events contributing most of the growth, according to a Wednesday report from market research company iResearch.
Revenues from China’s esports industry increased 25% year on year in 2019, raking in a total of 117.53 billion yuan from PC client esports games, mobile esports games, as well as offline events and esports livestreaming. This growth is likely to slow down but remain stable, helping the market reach a size of 140.57 billion yuan in 2020 and 165.14 billion yuan in 2021.
Revenues from esports tournaments and livestreaming, which are categorized in the report as revenues from the esports ecosystem, will be the main propellant of the market’s growth. Esports ecosystem revenue surged more than 60% year on year in 2019, and is predicted to jump 41.1% year on year in 2020 to reach 40.91 billion yuan, constituting close to 30% of the market’s total revenue.
Mobile esports games’ revenues will increase at a much lower rate of 16.8% in 2020 compared to 2019, but will still remain the largest segment, accounting for 46.1% of all revenue generated by the market.
While the revenue from PC games is also projected to increase at a steady rate, it has and will account for a smaller share of the market. By the end of 2020, PC esports games will likely comprise only a quarter of China’s esports market revenue. In comparison, in 2017, the percentage was 42.7%.
According to the report, the number of esports players and viewers will also expand to around 520 million by 2020, growing 10.3% year on year, with female users driving the increase. While females only comprise less than one-fifth of all esports players and viewers in China, they will make up 36% of all users by the end 2020, the report said.