But 80% of Americans have never even heard of it
Rick Edelman: It's Thursday, June 15th. All this week. All next week, we're talking about video games. Games. No, no, no, no. I mean sports. Not playing video sports, watching video, sports. You know, 100 million people watch golf on TV, but 500 million watch esports worldwide. And 40% of these people are over the age of 35.
Consider the Free Fire World Series. Free Fire is a video game. 5.5 million viewers. People from all over the world are doing this. In China, 47% of the country watch other people playing video games. In Indonesia, it's 40%. Malaysia, 29%. Egypt, 20%. In Spain, 17% of the population watch others playing video games. This is called esports.
Do you know what esports is? Two billion people know what esports is. Electronic sports. But only 20% of adults in the US follow it. 80% of Americans have never even heard of esports. You can get a college degree in esports. You can get a full college scholarship in esports now. And although 80% of Americans have never even heard of this, 69% of Gen Z know all about it. These are people in their 20s. Esports is a $1 billion global business. The Chinese have the biggest share, $360 million, a third of the global market. The US is number two with about a quarter of $1 billion of that gaming market.
You know what the number one category on YouTube is? Number one music. Number two, gaming. The most valuable esports team in the world is a team called TSM Team Solomid. It's worth $540 million. Did you ever hear of a guy named Johan Sundstein? He's the top earning esports player. He's earned so far $7.2 million. The Dota 2 - Defense of the Ancients - championship has $48 million worth of prize money. How much money are they earning by playing the Super Bowl?
EA Sports has a lot of people watching and some of those watchers become gamers themselves. In South Korea, there's a chain of schools. They've got 3000 students aged nine up that are learning how to play video games. Their hope is to become a professional esport athlete. The school charges 500 bucks a month for three sessions a week.
Did that industry exist 15 years ago, even five years ago? This is the point. Now you know why we're talking about video gaming all this week and all next week too.
Every week my wife, Jean, produces her own podcast. It's available at Self-care with Jean.com and her new podcast premieres each week every Thursday. Jean's word of the week is Savor. You can listen to Jean's podcast anytime you like, everywhere that you get your podcasts. Subscribe at Self-care with Jean.com.