Esports – Part 4/5
Events & Tickets.
People now fill stadiums to watch esports. The largest ever esports crowd was at the League Of Legends finals in 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, where 45000 people turned up for the final match, it was opened by the rock band Imagine Dragons. DJ Khaled recently opened the Overwatch League Finals. The levels of production have been rising dramatically year on year, with a lot of major events now partnering with production teams who would usually operate in the traditional sports area. The Counter Strike ELEAGUE Major was opened by Metallica. This was also shown on US TV by Turner broadcasting, TBS. It had a peak viewership of 1.8 million concurrent viewers, just on Twitch, with over 100 million hours of content watched during the event. 
The image above shows the ticket prices for the recent Faceit Major tournament for CS:GO, held in the Wembley SSE arena in London,  which has a capacity of 10000 people, running over 4 days. You can also see the tickets for the ESL ONE CS:GO tournament in New York,  which took place at the end of September, with a capacity of 20000.
Events can draw a lot of footfall. IEM Katowice 2018, held at the Spodek arena in Poland, had 169,000 people over the weekend, to view 4 different games. 
Ticket prices aren’t too dissimilar in Europe and the US. Events like these are often attended by children with their parents, teenagers, and adults between 20-35 years old. There’s price points for everyone, with the cheaper tickets for a base experience, and the premium packages securing you exclusive goody bags, player meet and greets, and better seats closer to the stage.
Individuals and groups from different sectors are now investing in esports.
Traditional sports teams such as FC Copenhagen, who own a CS:GO team called North. Another football team, Paris Saint-Germain, have signed multiple FIFA players as well as a DOTA2 team.
A list celebrities are getting involved too. Rogue Gaming received early investment from A-list DJ Steve Aoki. Actor Ashton Kutcher has a stake in Unikrn, an esports betting company.
The NBA’s Rick Fox (owner of Echo Fox) and Shaquille O’Neal (stake in NRG Esports) are but some of the former and current athletes investing in esports teams.
Former esports players, as in the case of Optic Gaming (Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez), Tempo Storm (Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk) have made the transition from former pros, in to team owners.
Dedicated esports companies have begun to spring up, such as RFRSH Entertainment, which owns multiple assets within the esports space.
Public equity valuations in esports are up 150% over the last 3 years, compared to 46% for music and 29% for film and TV companies,  which indicates that for the most part, these have been good investments thus far.
The final part of this series will be with you tomorrow…
23. ESM.ONE, ‘ELeague Major 2018’, ECS. https://esc.watch/tournaments/csgo/eleague-major-2018
24. FACEIT, ‘Tickets’, Faceit. https://www.faceitmajor.com/tickets/
25. ESL-ONE, ‘Tickets’, ESL. https://www.esl-one.com/csgo/newyork-2018/tickets/
26. TRENT MURRAY, ‘169K Total Live Spectators Attended ESL One and IEM Katowice 2018’, The Esports Observer, March 27 2018. https://esportsobserver.com/esl-one-iem-katowice-2018-stats/
27. GOLDMAN SACHS, The Rise of Digital Gaming with Goldman Sachs’ Ryan Nolan, 2017 [Youtube]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8IoyRNP_5s