Overall, 2019 remains the best year for financial winnings, with $240.7m in total prize money. Back in 2017, the amount stood at $117m; it then grew by 42.7% with eeports players winning a total of $167m the year after. This growth continued steadily with another increase, this time by 44.1%, in 2019.
The following year saw a decrease of 48% from the 2019 total, to $124.9m in 2020; however, it bounced back up in 2021 to reach a total prize money amount of $201m.
The esports sector was experiencing a sharp upward financial curve before Covid-19 affected the market in 2020, with an increase of 106% from 2017 to 2019.
However, the entire industry took a big hit from the pandemic in 2020 due to lockdowns and restrictions, and inevitably tournaments and events were unable to go ahead. Within the Safe Betting Sites report, it is stated that the disruption has caused the esports industry to fall back a couple of years, to the levels experienced in 2017.
Interestingly, esports betting experienced the opposite during the pandemic, with a surge in growth.
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.“