China set to be 2019's global eSports earnings leader

China is set to regain its status as the global eSports earnings leader, according to a report by eSports online gambling tipster BetHut.

The report titled, ‘How to Become An eSports Champion’ shows that in 2019, Chinese players are estimated to take away US$45,750,768 in winnings from eSports. This would mean that it would knock the U.S from its top spot as American players are estimated to walk away with US$34,369,132.

China was previously riding a streak, leading the pack in eSports earnings since 2014 when it took the crown from Asia’s other eSports juggernaut, South Korea. Yet, in 2018, the U.S surprisingly became number one, taking US$28,194,895 from the US$151,948,381 grand total of worldwide prize money.

The report estimates that due to the rapid expansion of this industry and prize pool growth, China could be up to win $278,473,644 of winnings by 2023.

Growing from obscurity (outside of its impassioned online communities) to a worldwide phenomenon and recognised as a legitimate sport by audiences, media outlets, and audiences, eSports is an extremely important market worldwide. And the fight is still on between different regions to claim themselves as the defacto “Home” for the sport. China has seen the launch of dozens of leagues in recent years and the creation of new venues for events. In January, Hong Kong opened the Cyber Games Arena, a space spanning 25,000 feet that cost HK$30 million to construct.

Another notable trend of 2018 was the changing taste of competitive gamers due to the massive Battle Royale genre craze. While MOBAs (such as Dota 2 and League of Legends) and traditional FPS shooters (such as CS:GO and Call of Duty) have dominated online professional play, Battle Royale games Fortnite and PubG featured on the 2018 top played games. One feature of eSports that is argued as both a weakness and strength is the lack of consistency to the games played.