Esports Will Be Bigger Than MLB and NHL, Says Goldman Sachs

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This will comes as a shock for those who still can't imagine watching people play video games, but Goldman Sachs published a report Tuesday forecasting esports viewing will soon surpass that of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. As reported by TheStreet.com, Goldman Sachs says esports will attract a monthly audience of 167 million in 2018. 

By 2022, esports will count 300 million viewers, which is roughly the size of NFL viewership today.

Once a niche pastime, esports viewing is going mainstream. The report forecasts audience growth of 14 percent over the next 5 years. 

Goldman Sachs credits multiple developments for esports' rise, including improved infrastructure, the growing popularity of live streamed video, and ballooning prize pools. Tencent Holdings has done the most to improve backend infrastructure, having invested heavily in two Chinese platforms: $630 million in Doyu and $461 in Huya.

As for prize money, the report notes that Epic Games recently announced it would offer $100 million in prize money for the first year of the Fortnight eSports Tournament. That amount is almost as big as the entire prize pool for all esports tournaments in 2017.

All of this will develop a lucrative market, with total monetization for esports growing to $3 billion by 2022.

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