Written by:
Alex Windsor
Fact checked by:
Oliver Dickinson
Updated:
June 11, 2024

eSports Viewership Statistics 2024: Global Audience Eclipses 600 Million!

Global eSports viewership in 2024 is estimated to be 540 million. The number of fans is expected to expand to 640 million in 2025. The sky’s the limit for eSports, with the market already generating $4.3 billion in annual revenue. Experts predict revenue will grow at a CAGR of 7.10% until 2028. 

57% of eSports fans are based in Asia, with 20% hailing from China, while North America and Europe make up 12% and 16% of global viewership. Esports is still dominated by men, making up 72% of viewership, and fans tend to be younger than other sports fans. 60% of eSports viewers are between 16 and 35.

🎮eSports Viewership Quick Facts
There are 540 million eSports fans globally
57% of eSports viewers are from Asia
12% of eSports fans hail from North America
Men make up 72% of eSports viewers
eSports viewership is growing at 50% annually in India

eSports Viewership Overview

eSports Viewership Statistics

eSports has come out of nowhere in the last decade and is now challenging the most popular sports on the planet. There are over 500 million eSports viewers across the world, while basketball, the 3rd most popular sport on the planet, has 2.2 billion.

eSports viewership is growing at a much faster rate than traditional sports. Viewership is expected to increase by a whopping 18.5% in 2024, and there will be an additional 100 million fans in 2025.

The majority of eSports viewers are based in Asia. North America is still responsible for the majority of the industry’s revenue, generating over $1 billion yearly. However, the industry is shifting rapidly thanks to the rise of India and China. In India, eSports viewership is growing 50% annually!

1. 540 Million People Watch eSports

Source: Statista

Almost 7% of the world’s population watches eSports, with over 500 million fans. This truly global sport has fans spread across Asia, Europe, and North America. eSports still has tremendous room to grow, particularly in Africa and India.

2. eSports Viewership Will Increase By 18.5% In 2024

Source: Statista

eSports viewership is far from plateauing. According to Statista, there will be 100 million new eSports fans in 2025. Global viewership will go from 540 million in 2024 to 640 million in 2025, which is a hefty 18.5% increase.

3. Majority Of eSports Viewers Are Under 35

Source: Statista

eSports is a young person’s sport, with 60% of fans aged between 16 and 35. Traditional sports have a much older fan base. For example, the average football fan is 47.5 years old. eSports is very much a sport of the internet generation, who grew up with high-speed wi-fi, smartphones, and streaming.

4. There Are Over 3 Billion Gamers in the World

Source: Statista

Even though eSports already has a massive fan base, only 16% of gamers tune into events and competitions. eSports is one of the few sports where participants greatly outnumber fans. With so many gamers out there who are still not watching tournaments, it’s no wonder why everyone is predicting eSports will continue to grow.

5. Only 6% Of eSports Fans Are From Africa

Source: Statista

There are approximately 200 million gamers in Africa, and of that number around 32 million view eSports. With 540 million global viewers, only 6% are from Africa. The continent is home to 21% of the world’s population and is, therefore, more than 3 times underrepresented.

China and America Battle for eSports Supremacy

America and China are in direct competition in a number of industries, and eSports is no different. China now has more eSports viewers than the USA, however, North America still generates more revenue, but for how long?

16% of eSports Fans Are From North America

Source: Statista

There are 86 million eSports viewers in the USA and Canada. Despite North America only making up around 4% of the world’s population, this highly developed region is home to 16% of globe’s eSports viewers.

20% of Chinese Residents Are eSports Fans

Source: YouGov

China has overtaken North America in terms of eSports fan base. There are over 100 million eSports viewers just in China. This rise in viewership is thanks to the rapid increase in internet penetration, which went from 8% in 2005 to 77.5% in 2024. Also, now 76% of Chinese own a smartphone, while back in 2018, it was just over 50%.

US eSports Market Generates Over $1 Billion in Revenue

Source: Statista

Even though China has more eSports fans and higher viewership, the money is still in the US. The American market pulls in over $1 billion annually, while the Chinese market grosses just under $500 million.

Chinese Prefer Mobile Gaming, While Americans Opt For Console Games

Source: YouGov

A key difference between American and Chinese gamers is their preferences for mobile vs. console. 63% of Chinese prefer to play and watch mobile eSports, while only 37% of Americans do. Americans are much more likely to play computer and console games.

India Is One of the Fastest Growing Esports Markets

Over the last 20 years, we’ve witnessed China’s incredible economic growth. However, as things stall in Beijing, India is ready for its own economic miracle, and this includes a takeover of eSports. Don’t be surprised if the Indian market has the most number of eSports fans in 10 years.

85 Million People Watch eSports Yearly in India

Source: EY – eSports in India

According to a recent report from EY, every year, 85 million Indians watch at least one eSports event. The entire industry is experiencing tremendous growth, with a 5x increase in the number of gaming studios, and there are currently 14 eSports broadcast platforms.

Indian eSports Fans Will Reach 143 Million By 2028

Source: Statista

With the world’s biggest population, it won’t be long until India has the most number of eSports fans. By 2028, expect eSports viewership to cross the 140 million mark. Within 20 years, there’ll likely be more eSports fans in India than in North America and China combined.

Indian eSports Market To Reach $140 Million By 2027

Source: Economic Times

India has a long way to go until it catches China and America, however, the industry is growing rapidly. The eSports market is growing at 7.4% annually, and the industry is benefitting from increases in internet penetration and smartphone usage in India.

The Most Popular eSport in India is Battlegrounds Mobile India

Source: Esports Charts

Indians prefer mobile gaming over console gaming. The most played and watched game in India is Battlegrounds Mobile India. The most watched tournament was The Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGIS), which had a peak concurrent viewership of over 500,000.

Gender Imbalance Plagues eSports

The vast majority of eSports fans, recreational players, and professionals are men. The sport has been trying to get more women involved but faces an uphill battle. eSports still lags behind traditional sports in terms of female fans.

72% Of eSports Viewers Are Men

Source: Esports Charts, Statista

Based on an IDC report, only 28% of eSports viewers are women. This is significantly lower than football, which boasts 37% female fans. Also According to Statista only 12% of women in the US are interested in eSports. For a while, eSports has been fighting the stigma that it’s male-dominated, but the facts don’t lie!

37% Of European eSports Fans Are Female

Source: Statista

The gender balance is more equal in Europe, where over two-thirds of eSports viewers are women. This is not surprising, eSports are particularly popular in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, which are famed for their gender equality.

Female Viewership Has Increased 47% Since 2016

Source: Nielsen 360° Gaming Report

According to a Nielsen report, in 2016, only 19% of eSports viewers were female. A jump from 19% to today’s viewership of 28% represents a huge 47% increase in just 8 years. Within 10 years, eSports may even be more gender-balanced than traditional sports.

Only 5% Of Professional eSports Gamers Are Female

Source: The Standard

A big barrier preventing more women from tuning in to eSports is the lack of female professionals. Shockingly, 95% of pros are men, and all the biggest games and tournaments are dominated by male players. Until female fans have more women to cheer for, the sport will continue to have a skewed male fan base.  

Final Thoughts on Esports Viewership

eSports is truly a force to be reckoned with. There are 540 million global viewers, which is predicted to increase to 640 million in 2025. If eSports viewership keeps growing at 18% annually, it will overtake football as the world’s most popular sport within 12 years!

FAQs

  • How big is eSports viewership?
    The global eSports viewership is 540 million. This is expected to increase to 640 million in 2025. China is home to the largest number of eSports fans, numbering over 100 million.
  • Who is the target audience of eSports?
    The primary target audience is 16 to 35-year-old males. eSports fans tend to be educated, tech-savvy, and spend large amounts of time online.
  • Which eSport has the highest viewership?
    The eSport with the highest viewership is League of Legends. Over 6 million people were watching the 2023 League of Legends World Championships live.

Sources

  1. Economic Times
  2. Esports Charts
  3. Esports Charts
  4. EY – eSports in India
  5. Nielsen 360° Gaming Report
  6. Statista
  7. Statista
  8. Statista
  9. Statista
  10. Statista
  11. Statista
  12. Statista
  13. Statista
  14. The Standard
  15. YouGov
  16. YouGov
AUTHOR
Alex Windsor

Alex is the Head of Content here at Minimum Deposit Betting Sites, leveraging his immense experience in the sports betting and iGaming industry to steer the boat and make sure all of our content is up to par and of the best possible quality.