Make Them Pay! The Evolution of Esports Monetization

Strategies and struggles in the quest for sustainable revenue

Michael Hassall
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Make Them Pay! A History of Esports Monetization</p></div>
Make Them Pay! A History of Esports Monetization


AFK Gaming

Throughout the history of esports, one of the most significant challenges has been sustainable monetization. Despite decades of high-quality competition, viewership growth and apparent advancement in esports, leagues, teams and other organizations have consistently struggled to maintain financial stability.

While some of the blame for this can be pointed at decisions made at the executive level, the fact remains that esports fans are unusually reluctant to pay for their pastime. A recent study suggests that the average esports fan spends just $5.30 per year on their hobby. When compared to traditional sports, the number is absolutely dwarfed. For instance, fans of the Premier League, one of the largest sports leagues globally, spend an average of $3,836 per season, accounting for up to 13% of their total salary. This comparison, though not perfect, underscores the vast spending gap between the average esports fan and the average sports fan.

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