How Do Esports Companies Compare with Sports Teams?

February 1, 2021

How Do Esports Companies Compare with Sports Teams?

Are esports on the same level as “real” sports? These comparisons range from tricky to subjective, but the monetary value of companies speak for themselves.

The world’s largest esports companies have definitely risen to the occasion. Valued at almost half-a-billion dollars, they’ve started to pass some sports franchises in value.

In the above graphic, we compare Forbes’ valuation of the top 10 esports companies in 2020 against median franchises in the “Big Four” major leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL). Despite competitive gaming’s rapid growth, there’s still a long way left to go.

Esports Impress but NFL Teams Reign Supreme

The world’s top esports companies have grown quickly, and impressively.

As of 2018, there was only one esports company worth more than $300 million in valuation. By 2020, four of the top 10 were valued at more than $300 million.

Esports Company Games with Franchises Value (2020)
TSM League of Legends $410M
Cloud9 League of Legends, Overwatch $350M
Team Liquid League of Legends $310M
FaZe Clan Call of Duty $305M
100 Thieves League of Legends, Call of Duty $190M
Gen.G League of Legends, Overwatch, NBA 2K $185M
Enthusiast Gaming Call of Duty, Overwatch $180M
G2 Esports League of Legends $175M
NRG Esports Call of Duty, Overwatch $155M
T1 League of Legends $150M

When compared to traditional sports valuations, esports companies have already reached major league hockey status.

TSM, the world’s most valuable esports company in 2020, has a higher valuation than five NHL franchises. In fact, four esports companies were estimated to be more valuable than two NHL franchises, the Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes.

But other sports leagues are further away. While the median value of an NHL franchise in 2020 was $520 million, the MLB, NBA, and NFL all saw median values of over $1.6 billion.

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