The phenomenon that is esports has taken off in 2018, with viewership projected to grow 15% to 165 million and total yearly revenue on pace for $906 million.
A recent report on esports fundraising reveals that the 12 highest-value teams are collectively worth a whopping $1.7 billion with an industry total of 63 deals worth $2.34 billion conducted in 2018 alone.
These companies, which seem to be thought of more as media brands given their massive entertainment and advertising value, are currently bringing in tens of millions of dollars each year, on average.
Here are the top esports companies by valuation:
- Cloud9: $310 Million
- Team SoloMid (TSM): $250 Million
- Team Liquid: $200 Million
- Echo Fox: $150 Million
- OpTic Gaming: $130 Million
- Fnatic: $120 Million
- Gen.G Esports: $110 Million
- G2 Esports: $105 Million
- Immortals: $100 Million
- Envy Gaming: $95 Million
- 100 Thieves: $90 Million
- Counter Logic Gaming: $50 Million
Additionally, many notable investments have been made in recent weeks.
Last week, Drake reportedly purchased a stake in 100 Thieves, a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, apparel and esports company. And, in just the last few days, Michael Jordan made his first major investment in the esports industry, leading a $26 million financing round for aXiomatic, owner of TeamLiquid.
The significant influx of capital into esports has helped fuel the demand for highly skilled gamers, driving yearly salaries and tournament payouts to new highs. So much so that a number of esports gamers have been retiring at 30 as millionaires.