The 2017 eSports Ecosystem Explained In One Chart

eSports For Beginners

Harry Alford
Oct 2, 2017 · 2 min read

Trying to understand or explain the inner workings of eSports or gaming, in general, can be difficult. Where the money flows and a true comprehension of the power dynamics isn’t always obvious, especially to non-endemics. Bryce Blum recently tweeted a great infographic designed by Catalyst Sports displaying all the stakeholders in the eSports ecosystem. Below are key terms and brief descriptions for each stakeholder involved according to the Catalyst Sports Meta Report:

PUBLISHERS

Game publishers create and distribute video games. Their main revenue sources are game sales and the sale of downloadable in-game content (DLC).

COMPETITIONS

Tournaments and leagues created and hosted by event organizers. Competitions are run either directly by game publishers, such as Riot’s ‘League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) and Activision-Blizzard’s ‘Overwatch League’ (OWL), or by third parties, such as Turner’s ‘ELEAGUE’, and Electronic Sports League’s (ESL) ‘ESL One’.

TEAMS

Esports teams are organizations which typically oversee multiple esports rosters/players under one unified brand.

PLATFORMS

Streaming networks and social media platforms. Twitch has dominated this marketplace since it was founded, but for the first time in more than five years it is facing meaningful competition from the likes of YouTube Gaming, Facebook, and Mixer.

PLAYERS

Professional esports athletes. Big names include TSM Bjergsen, C9 Sneaky, and Team Liquid’s JDM.

BRANDS

Companies that sponsor within the esports ecosystem. These include Coca Cola, Razer, Intel, and T-Mobile. Brand activations vary dramatically — team sponsorships, platform ad runs, individual player partnerships, league/competition sponsorships, and others have all been utilized to reach the often difficult to find millennial male demographic.

FANS

People who watch esports — both live and online. The esports audience skews male, educated, and affluent.

Visit Catalyst Sports for the full descriptions of key parties and economic interactions in the eSports ecosystem.


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humble words by humble ventures

Stories and lessons about venture capital, innovation, entrepreneurship, diverse founders and those building solutions for diverse audiences.

Harry Alford

Written by

Harry Alford is Co-Founder of humble ventures, a venture development firm accelerating tech startups in partnership with large organizations and investors.

humble words by humble ventures

Stories and lessons about venture capital, innovation, entrepreneurship, diverse founders and those building solutions for diverse audiences.

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