Summary of our market study

The global esports market has demonstrated notable growth, with industry revenues reaching $1.38 billion in 2022 and a projected rise to $1.886 billion by 2025, powered by a CAGR of 13.4% from 2020. Dominant regions include China, North America, and Western Europe, collectively accounting for 83% of revenue. Sponsorship remains the largest revenue source, contributing $837 million in 2022. The esports audience has expanded significantly, growing at an annual clip of 8.1% expected between 2020 and 2025, and reaching a projected 640.8 million by 2025. 

The French esports ecosystem is diverse, seeing a return of face-to-face competitions in 2022 albeit more than half remained online. The sector is characterized by teams such as Team Vitality, Karmine Corp, and newer entities like Gentle Mates, all contributing to the vibrant market. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and a decline in the broader video game industry by 1.6% in 2022, the esports market continues to thrive and evolve with significant potential for further growth and professionalization.

Escalating Growth and Engagement in the French E-sports Landscape

The French e-sports landscape has witnessed a remarkable trajectory of growth and burgeoning consumer engagement over recent years. From around 2018 to 2022, the e-sports-related revenues in France catapulted impressively, more than doubling to reach a quantifiable mark between €45 and €55 million. This thriving market has captured the attention and enthusiasm of consumers, with the number of individuals embracing e-sports as participants or spectators roughly doubling from between 4 and 6 million to between 10 and 12 million, symbolizing a staggering annual growth rate above 20%.

The absorption of e-sports into the fabric of French digital culture is vividly illustrated by its wide fan base. The French e-sports audience, composed of casual spectators and avid e-sports enthusiasts, maintained a consistent split even amidst this expansion. In 2022, there were more than 260 million casual viewers alongside a similar number of e-sports diehards. Remarkably, both these segments swelled proportionately, signifying an unwavering division of interest across different levels of engagement with e-sports. Among French consumers, patterns suggest a transition towards more frequent e-sports consumption. The number of those categorized as occasional users has undergone growth albeit diminishing from 60% to 45%, while regular viewership figures have leaped significantly, underscoring a growing dedication among fans.

Another conspicuous shift observed is the genre of video games commanding the attention of stream viewers. Mainstream gamers—encompassing a wide demographic—gravitate towards titles like Fortnite, while those entrenched deeper in the e-sports domain, such as amateur and leisure players, show a predominant proclivity for games like League of Legends. This difference in viewership preferences reflects the varied layers of consumer taste within the French e-sports ecosystem. As for the e-sports practice, a multiplicity of player types exists within the French market.

The distribution of players spans from mainstream hobbyists to more seriously involved leisure and amateur competitors, outlining a vivid gradient of dedication and involvement in e-sports among the French populace. Looking ahead, the French e-sports realm is primed for continuity in its upward trend, fueled by unwavering spectator interest and a broadening base of practitioners who are becoming increasingly invested in this digital sport. This flourishing market not only underpins current industry success but also sets the stage for future developments and deeper market penetration in the years to come.

Major Players Shaping the Future of E-Sports

The e-sports market has burgeoned into an ecosystem teeming with competitive dynamism and strategic maneuvers by key players that have not only shaped the industry but also continue to push its boundaries towards new horizons. Here is a deeper look at some of the trailblazers within this high-stakes, high-energy domain.

Console System Developers Set the Stage

  • Sony (PlayStation): Sony’s PlayStation has always been at the heart of the gaming experience, providing a platform for countless e-sports endeavors. With the release of each new console, PlayStation cements its position as a leader in innovation and gaming technology.
  •  Microsoft (Xbox): Another giant, Microsoft's Xbox brand, has continuously evolved, offering gamers premium gaming experiencs that double as platforms for e-sport professionals and amateurs alike. While its broader revenue is vast, a significant portion stems from its dedication to the gaming community through Xbox.
  •  Nintendo: Known for iconic games and a distinctive approach to gaming, Nintendo not only contributes to the e-sports ecosystem through its platforms, such as the Switch, but also with family-friendly games that have a dedicated and passionate competitive scene.

Video Game Developers Drive Content

  • Electronic Art: With a portfolio boasting a plethora of sports and action titles, Electronic Arts has delivered some cornerstone games that serve as a bedrock for e-sports competitions around the globe.
  • Activision Blizzard: Best known for titles such as "Call of Duty" and "Overwatch," Activision Blizzard is synonymous with e-sports. Their games have not only drawn in participants in large numbers but have also garnered extensive viewership.
  • Take-Two Interactive: Makers of critically acclaimed series such as "NBA 2K" and "Grand Theft Auto," Take-Two Interactive creates worlds that entertain and engross, with competitive scenes that delight players and spectators alike.

Streaming Services Broadcast the Thrills

  • Twitch: The definitive streaming service for gamers, Twitch has been instrumental in bringing e-sport events into homes around the world, facilitating increased viewership and fan engagement.
  • YouTube: A broader platform that caters to a wider variety of content, YouTube has nevertheless carved out its niche in the e-sports streaming arena, allowing for live broadcasts and extensive content related to e-sports.

Esports Tournament Organizers Host the Showdowns

  • ESL Gaming: As one of the premier organizers of e-sport
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

E-sport is the practice of playing video games on the Internet, either alone or as part of a team, using a computer or video game console (notably Xbox and Playstation). E-sports first appeared in the 1980s, but the sector has now become professionalized, with a number of major tournaments organized and recognized worldwide, such as the Esports World Convention (ESWC) and the League of Legends Worlds, to name but a few.

Professional e-sports are financed by a variety of sponsors and brands , as well as by revenue from streaming competitions. The e-sport ecosystem comprises a number of interdependent players : video game publishers, game console manufacturers, tournament organizers, broadcasters, professional teams and sponsors.

E-sport is experiencing significant growth, amplified by the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, with streaming platforms such as Twitch setting new audience records. This rise in popularity has prompted advertisers to invest heavily, benefiting all players in the industry. The professionalization of the industry is also evident, illustrated by club mergers and the creation of new circuits. Growth prospects between now and 2022 are promising, and advertisers are playing a central role in the process of structuring e-sport.

Between 2018 and 2022, e-sport revenues in France more than doubled, with average annual growth of 20.14%. The number of e-sport consumers and practitioners rose from 5 million to 10.8 million.

France is home to a large number of e-sport clubs, and many web personalities, such as Squeezie and Gotaga, have recently set up their own clubs, capitalizing on their fan base. We'll take a closer look at Karmine Corp, a disruptive e-sport phenomenon.

Despite this significant growth, many clubs continue to have unprofitable business models, relying mainly on fundraising. How will the sector evolve with the arrival of these new players?




1.2 The global e-sports market

The global e-sports market is expected to experience strong growth through to ****, after a very slight dip in **** due to the Covid-** pandemic. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of **. *% between **** and ****, from $*** million to $*.*** billion[***].

In ****, global e-sports market revenues reached US$*.** billion, with growth of **.**% over ...

1.3 E-sport in France: a promising market

Estimates for esport-related revenues in France reached around ** million euros in ****, marking growth of over ***% compared to ****.

Esport revenue trends in France France, ****-****, Million € Source: ****

The number of people involved in esport as consumers or practitioners grew dramatically between **** and ****, increasing from * million to **.* million, equivalent to an impressive average ...

1.4 Impact of the Covid-19 crisis

While some assume that the pandemic has given e-sport a huge boost, this is not necessarily the case. Esport was an essential pastime for many consumers when the closures began, and traditional sports seasons were suspended while esport quickly adapted to the new environment and continued. The natural assumption for many ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The growing popularity of e-sport in France

The number of e-sports consumers/practitioners in France has grown steadily over the years, rising from just over * million in **** to **.* million in ****, an average annual increase of **. *%[***].

E-sport consumers/practitioners France, ****-****, in millions of people Source: ****

The **.* million e-sport consumers/practitioners in **** represented **% of all French internet users aged ...

2.2 Esports consumers/players

Practitioners and consumers of e-sports and video games in France can be separated into different categories[***]:

General public players - Players who don't take part in competitions and don't have a ranking Leisure players - Players who have rankings, but do not play in competitions Amateur players - Players who have ...

2.3 French consumer habits

Esports consumers can be divided into different categories according to frequency of consumption:

Occasional users - less than once a month Regular users - between once a week and once a month Regular consumers - at least once a week

By ****, the number of esport fans had increased by *.* million. What's ...

2.4 The video games consumers stream

For mainstream gamers, the most-watched video game via streams is Fortnite, with **% of these gamers watching it. For hobby and leisure gamers, the most popular video game to watch is League of Legends. It's important to note that hobby gamers tend to watch several games, whereas traditional gamers watch very few ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The video game industry in its broadest sense

In ****, the video game sector saw a *. *% decrease on the previous year, reaching sales of *.* billion euros. This reduction is partly attributable to the impact of the confinements in ****/****, which had boosted the market considerably at the time, but also to the decline in household purchasing power due to inflation in ...

3.2 The French e-sport ecosystem

The French Esports association defines Esports as "any type of practice enabling players to compete against each other through video games". Esports practices can be separated according to the objectives of the players[***].

Source: ****

The diagram below shows how the esports ecosystem can be broken down [***].

3.3 E-sports competitions and streaming

After the crisis of COVID-**, when eSport competitions were mainly held online, the year **** has been marked by a progressive return of face-to-face competitions, although more than half of them still take place exclusively online.

Where do e-sports competitions take place? France, ****, as % of total Source: ****

In the period from **** to ...

3.4 France's top teams and the world's most-watched competitions

Here's a compilation of the leading esport teams in France. Remarkably, many organizations have recently been created by popular Internet personalities, particularly on Twitch and YouTube. Examples include Squeezi and Gotaga for Gentlemate, Aegis with Mister MV, DFG and Shaunz, Karmine Korp with Kameto and Prime, and Job Life with JL ...

3.5 The Karmine Corp phenomenon

In this section, we'll look at the phenomenon that is Karmine Corp, a French esport club founded in **** by Kameto and Prime, two prominent Twitch and YouTube personalities. In a very short space of time, this organization has become a benchmark and model for the entire industry, backed by a considerable ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 The different platforms used

For esports competitions to take place, platforms/systems are needed where these games can be played. The main video game platforms are listed in the table below.

Source: ****

4.2 Types of video games

In ****, **.* million video games were sold on all platforms in France. The most popular video game genre in France is action (***)[***].

Distribution of video game sales by type France, ****, in Source: ****

As for the most popular games, Fifa ** was the leader for the whole combined market (***), while "Animal crossing: New horizons" ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations

What must an esport contract include?

The decree and the law for a Digital Republic establish rules for professional esport player contracts. These contracts must last at least one video game season (***) and can be renewed for a maximum of five years. However, fixed-term contracts of less than ** months are permitted ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Nintendo
  • Electronic Arts
  • Activision Blizzard
  • Youtube
  • Team Vitaly
  • Gamers Origin
  • GameWard
  • Karmine Corp
  • FaZe Clan

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the e-sports market
  • Breakdown of the e-sports market by geographic region
  • Sources of revenue for the e-sports market
  • Global e-sport audience trends
  • Breakdown of esports audience by type of spectator
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Latest news

FaZe Clan: the e-sport firm has lost 99% of its value in fifteen months - 24/10/2023
  • GameSquare will own 55% of the group consolidated with FaZe Clan after the merger.
  • FaZe Clan was valued at around $17 million at the time of the transaction.
  • Prior to this merger, FaZe Clan had been valued at $725 million when it went public in the summer of 2022, peaking at $1.45 billion a few days later.
  • Since then, they have lost 99% of their value in just over a year.
  • FaZe Clan posted a net loss of $168.5 million in 2022, $36.9 million in 2021 and $28.8 million in 2020.
  • FaZe Clan was launched in 2010 and has evolved from a collective focusing on the game Call of Duty to a major e-sports and entertainment company, including professional gamers, influencers, streamers and celebrities.
  • Former youtuber Richard "FaZe Banks" Bengtson will be appointed CEO of the FaZe Clan entity within the new group following the merger.
E-sport: Karmine Corp to join League of Legends Champions League - 20/10/2023
  • Launched in 2020, the French club will next year be part of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), one of the world's most popular competitive video game franchises.
  • KCorp joins French team Vitality in this ten-club league.
  • The LEC operates on a paid franchise system. Teams are guaranteed a slot, and pay an entry fee to join the competition.
  • To join the LEC, Karmine Corp acquired the guaranteed slot from Danish club Astralis
  • This agreement values the Astralis slot at 25 million euros
  • The price of the guaranteed slot has risen from 10 million euros in 2010 to 35 million last year
  • Several million euros raised from French entrepreneurs.
  • K Corp employs around 50 people (including around 35 players)
  • The company is profitable and will generate revenues of 6 million euros this year, up 50% on 2022, with a target of 10 million by 2024.
  • By June 2022, the club had filled the Accor Arena in Paris with 12,000 people attending live matches.
  • In mid-September, KCorp drew 30,000 fans to the Paris La Défense Arena
E-sport: Karmine Corp sets up in Evry-Courcouronnes - 28/09/2023
  • Year Karmine Corp was founded: three years ago
  • Date of Karmine Corp's planned installation at "Les Arènes", a 3,000-seat venue in Evry-Courcouronnes (Essonne): summer 2024
  • Public investment in the renovation of the "Arènes": over 35 million euros
  • Karmine Corp plans around twenty events a year at the "Arènes
  • Number of fans who gathered at Paris La Défense Arena in September: 28,000
  • The Evry region has invested in e-sport with initiatives such as Evry Games City (launched four years ago) and the "Level-Up" curriculum (inaugurated earlier this year)
  • Karmine Corp events can last from 3 hours to several days
Microsoft's $70 billion takeover of Activision: the trial of the century - 02/07/2023
  • Microsoft wanted to buy Activision for around $70 billion.
  • Nearly forty countries, including those of the European Union, China and Japan, approved the deal.
  • Activision's market capitalization reached $65.3 billion
  • The FTC sued Microsoft in an attempt to block the deal.
  • Microsoft previously bought ZeniMax for $7.5 billion.
  • Development costs for high-end games such as "The Last of Us Part II" and "Horizon Forbidden West" cost $220 million and $212 million respectively.
  • In some years, these high-end games accounted for up to 15% of Sony Interactive Entertainment's profits.
  • Sony has negotiated exclusivity for the much-anticipated "Final Fantasy XVI", which is not planned for Xbox.
  • Activision's mobile revenues passed the $3.5 billion mark in 2020, representing almost 50% of its total sales
  • Microsoft's share of the mobile gaming market is just 0.3%.
France in global e-sport - 13/05/2023
  • The "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" ("CS: GO") Major takes place in Paris for the first time, over a period of almost two weeks
  • 60,000 spectators are expected for the finals at the Accor Arena.
  • France hosted the League of Legends Worlds in 2019.
  • In September, the LEC and EMEA Masters finals of the League of Legends franchise will be held in Montpellier.
  • Launched in 2020, Karmine Corp filled the Accor Arena in Paris with 12,000 people attending live matches last June.
  • In early 2022, the Savvy Group, owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, acquired ESL Gaming and FACEIT for a combined $1.5 billion.
  • Saudi Arabia plans to invest nearly $40 billion in the video-game industry, part of which is to be devoted to e-sports.
Team Vitality: the French club that wants to win the Counter-Strike Major - 13/05/2023
  • Team Vitality launched in 2013.
  • Team Vitality, the only French club with an international dimension
  • 110 employees, including 40 professional players
  • Annual revenues of nearly €20 million
  • Objective of profitability in 2025.
  • Three fund-raising campaigns for a total of 50 million euros
  • Majority shareholder: Tej Kohli, via the Rewired.GG investment fund.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Electronic Arts
Activision Blizzard
Team Vitaly
Gamers Origin
Karmine Corp
FaZe Clan

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