TEO Report: Esports Industry Sees Second-Best Quarter for Investments in Four Years
- Q2 2018 was the second-best quarter for esports investments in four years, despite funding being down $1.57B quarter-over-quarter.
- Chinese livestreaming platform Huya’s $180M IPO lead the quarter in disclosed funding raised.
- Get a full breakdown of esports investments, market trends, and viewership and social media data for Q2 2018 with TEO’s Esports Business Digest.
The Esports Observer has published its Q2 2018 Esports Business Digest, which covers the biggest financial moves made within the esports industry throughout the last three months.
Notably, while the amount raised in disclosed funding rounds is down $1.57B quarter-over-quarter, Q2 2018 remained the second-best for the industry when measured by the amount raised in the last four years. This potentially distracting disparity is due, in large part, to the $1.6B worth of investments Tencent Holdings made into the esports industry during Q1.
- Chinese livestreaming platform Huya raised $180M in its initial public offering, topping the quarter’s disclosed funding. Its competitor, Douyu TV , has reportedly changed its initial public offering plans from Hong Kong to the U.S.
- Discord’s $50M round enabled the company to join the so-called “Unicorn Club” of billion-dollar startups. The company is now valued at $1.65B.
- PlayVS raised $15.5M to support its nationwide high school esports program, which will operate in partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations.
- In total, $427M+ in capital was raised over the course of Q2 2018 from 75 investors.
- Discarding Tencent’s significant investments in Q1, investments into esports slightly increased quarter-over-quarter.
- Japanese developer Cygames became the presenting partner for the Evolution Championship Series.
- ELEAGUE added its first alcohol sponsor in Kraken Black Spiced Rum.
- The North American League of Legends Championship Series signed a deal with sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s Subs.
- Makeup brand Sephora entered esports by sponsoring the GIRLGAMER Esports Festival.
- Arena of Valor’s playoff series at E3 was sponsored by apparel brand H4X.
- During the quarter, the NBA 2K League and its teams signed 14 sponsorship deals.
Other Noteworthy Takeaways
- Blockchain and cryptocurrency are becoming increasingly significant in the esports industry through sponsorships, investments, and cloud gaming.
- Many esports-related companies posted record financial quarters due to the impact of Fortnite .
- Ninja and other Fortnite streamers have seen continued growth in viewership quarter-over-quarter.
- NBA 2K League viewership grew 224.4% from week one to week eight of the tournament.
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cygamesDiscordDouyu TVELeagueEvolution Championship SeriesFortniteGIRLGAMER Esports FestivalH4XinvestmentsJersey Mike’s SubsKraken Black Spiced RumNA LCSnba 2kNBA 2K LeaguePlayVSReportsSephorasponsorshipsTencent HoldingsTEO
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