The popularity of mobile e-sports in China is skyrocketing, with the number of mobile gamers expected to more than double and revenue forecast to grow 3.5 times through 2017.
The e-sports market covers revenue from ticket sales, peripheral products, crowd-funding, sponsorships, advertising and live streaming platforms. E-sports gamers are defined as people watching or participating in core e-sports competitions, both professional and non-professional. Mobile is a subset of the overall e-sport market.
Mobile e-sports revenue more than doubled to CNY13 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2016 and is expected to reach CNY46.2 billion by end-2017. The number of mobile gamers is on track to hit 285 million, up from 119 million in 2016, China-headquartered research company iResearch announced.
The company said mobile e-sport gaming is now in a period of fast development, eclipsing the client games market in terms of size. However, iResearch noted revenue from related mobile e-sport competitions and derived content was relatively small.
Thanks to the promotion of the most popular games, new players without e-sport gaming experience in the past have become the main driver of the growth of mobile e-sports, iResearch said.