Many people who have heard of eSports may not be aware of what a big business playing video games has become. Many might not even know exactly what eSports is or how you can become an eSports player. Yet, professional eSports players are making a very comfortable living, and some are even making millions from playing video games.
In this article, we start by looking at the definition of eSports before diving into the statistics of eSports in Canada. We have also included key global statistics for comparison. So, keep reading to find out the latest statistics on eSports in Canada and the world.
ESports Statistics for Canadians
- Canada ranks number eight in the world for gaming revenue.
- Canadian eSports players have won $39,428,533.78 USD in total.
- Luminosity Gaming is the most successful Canadian eSports team with $1,347,382 USD in prize money.
- The most successful Canadian gamer is Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, with $2,567,317.71 USD in tournament winnings. The most successful female player in Canada is Sasha Hostyn, with $442,478.91 USD.
- Sports games are the most viewed eSports genre in Canada, with 34.37% of the total eSports audience.
- Almost 500 million people watch eSports around the world.
- The United States has the most professional players, with 23,529 players.
What Are eSports?
ESports, in essence, is a term used to describe professional-level competitive gaming. It involves teams of the best players in their respective games competing against each other to win large sums of money, sometimes even millions. There are several tournaments and gaming events with types of games ranging from shooting to sports and battle royal games.
Similarly to, for example, ice hockey or football, the players are contracted to play for different organisations. Each competing organisation usually has a number of teams that take part in multiple games.
Can Any Game Become an eSports Game?
If the game is a multiplayer game, then it can become an eSports game. Most of the popular games started out as entertainment and then evolved into eSports games. To become an eSports game, the game needs support from both the game developer and the gaming community.
How do You Become an eSports Competitor?
Most multiplayer games have ranked modes and playlists that match players online. When a player reaches a stage where they frequently win in a ranked play, it usually means they are ready to step up.
When you are regularly winning, you can register for competitive matches and leagues, which often have cash rewards. If you want to compete in events, you must first prove yourself in online matches. The next step is to take part in open qualifiers to see if you can become a professional and get signed by an organisation.
Video Gaming in Canada
Video gaming is very popular in Canada, which has supported the development of players, teams, and events in Canada. In 2018, Canada ranked eighth in the world for game revenues.
There are approximately 21.2 million active players in Canada, and there is almost the same number of female and male players. The League of Legends is the most popular spectator eSports game. While no exact spectator figures are available, it is estimated that 1.5 million Canadians watch it at least once a month.
What Are The Most Popular eSports in Canada in 2023?
While the League of Legends is a popular spectator game, many professionals in Canada prefer other types of games. Based on the earnings and number of teams in international and domestic competitions, professional Canadian gamers are mostly playing games such as Dota 2, Fortnite, Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike.
What Are The Most Popular Spectator eSports Genres?
According to a survey published on Statista, Canadian eSports fans are most interested in watching sports games, with 34.37% of the people responding to the survey naming this as their preferred eSports genre. Real-time strategy games were the second most popular among Canadian spectators, with 32.66%, and first-person shooters the third with 26.2%.
There were also other genres that attracted eSports viewers in Canada. Racing games are the number one choice for 19,82%, fighting games for 19.21%, multiplayer battle arena games for 18.68%, and other genres for 13.2% of Canadians.
Demographics of eSports Viewers in Canada
The majority of eSports fans in Canada are young, and 28% of Canadians in the 16-24 age group watch eSports tournaments. Most of the eSports viewers in Canada are male. Men are 5.2 times more likely to watch eSports than any other demographic.
How Much Money Have Canadian Gamers Won?
So far, there are 3,609 professional Canadian eSports players, according to eSports Earnings. They have taken part in 7,738 tournaments and won a total of $39,428,533.78 USD. Dota 2 is the highest-earning game, with winnings of $7,641,849.52 USD and represents 19.38% of the total earnings by Canadian gamers.
The next biggest earning games are Fortnite with $5,602,420.17 USD and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with $5,276,237.31 USD.
The Most Successful eSports Teams in Canada
There are various eSports teams in Canada that compete in international events. The most successful Canadian team with $1,347,382 USD in prize money is Luminosity Gaming. They are followed by Vancouver Titans, who have won $950,000 USD so far, Team NP with $224,679 USD, and Toronto Defiant with $30,000 USD.
The Most Successful eSports Players in Canada
The list of successful Canadian eSports players is long, with at least 500 gamers who have won cash prizes. In the past, professional gamers’ earnings were solely based on their split of tournament winnings. However, now players earn a base salary which is topped up with their percentage of the prize money.
The three most successful Canadian players are Artour “Arteezy” Babaev with $2,567,317.71 USD, Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling with $2,008,582.54 USD, and Williams “Zayt” Aubin with $1,333,631.42 USD. While Babaev and Ling have earned 100% of the price money playing Dota 2, Aubin has earned 90% of his on Fortnite and the rest from other games.
Top Female Players in Canada
While there is almost the same number of male and female eSports players in Canada, women are not yet earning as much as men. The top three female players in Canada are Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn with $442,478.91 USD, Janet “xchocobars” Rose with $57,125.00 USD, and Mounira “GooseBreeder” Dobie with $49,912.85 USD. Hostyn is also the highest-earning female eSports player in the world.
99% of Hostyn’s earnings have come from StarCraft II, Rose has made just under half of her money from Fortnite and the rest from other games, and Dobie has earnt 100% of her money playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Global eSports Industry
The eSports phenomenon has continued to grow around the world since the first digital gaming competition in 1971. In 2021, the industry was worth an estimated US$1.1 billion and had grown 15.7% year-on-year.
How Many People Watch Esports Globally?
ESports are becoming increasingly popular spectator sports. Around 495 million people around the world watched eSports in 2021, and the viewing figures are expected to reach around 577 million by 2024.
Watching eSports is most popular in the 16-24 age group, with this group making up 32% of the global eSports audience. 25-34 make up 30%, 35-44 19%, 45-54 10%, and 55-65 6% of the eSports audience. The remaining 3% is a mixture of spectators younger than 16 and older than 65-year olds.
China Has the Largest eSports Revenue in The World
According to the eSports data from Statista, China’s market revenue is $360 million USD, making it the market leader. The United States comes second with $243 million USD, and the Western European countries are grouped together with $205 million USD.
However, the positions are predicted to change in 2023, with the United States overtaking China. The US is estimated to have 28.7% of the global income from eSports, with China having 21%.
Which Country Has The Most Professional Players?
The United States has the highest number of professional players, with 23,529 players, according to eSports Earnings. With 6,692 professional gamers, China is second in the world. France, Germany, and the Republic of Korea complete the top five with 5,553, 5,223, and 4,998 professional gamers, respectively.
The Highest-Earning eSports Countries
Despite the United States having almost four times as many professional players, it is behind China in total earnings. The total earned by eSports professionals in China is $236,257,304.92 USD compared to $223,146,637.98 USD earned by American players. The Republic of Korea has the third highest earnings, with $125,559,569.77 USD. Canada is number ten on the list with $39,428,533.78 USD.
The Most Successful Players in The World
There are several players who have made millions from playing eSports around the world. The highest-earning player is currently Johan “N0tail” Sundstein from Denmark, who has earned $7,184,163.05 USD in total.
The other players in the top five are Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka from Finland with $6,486,948.78 USD, Anathan “ana” Pham from Australia with $6,024,411.96 USD, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs from France with $5,823,909.40 USD, and Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen from Finland with $5,690,417.57 USD. All the top five players have made at least 99% of their earnings from playing Dota 2.
Canada’s highest-ranking player, Babaev, is at number thirty with his prize money of $2,567,317.71 USD. In total, there are currently 147 players who have earned at least one million USD from gaming.
Top Female Players in The World
As we mentioned earlier, Canada’s Sasha Hostyn is the highest-earning female eSports gamer in the world, with her earnings of $442,478.91 USD. China’s Xiao Meng “Liooon” Li ranks at number two with $241,510.00 USD, and Katherine “Mystik” Gunn from the US at number three with $122,550.00 USD. The top five is completed by Julia “juliano” Kiran from Sweden and Nina Qual from the US, earning $96,054.47 USD and $90,973.33, respectively.
While all the top male players made their earnings almost exclusively from Dota 2, the games played by the top five women are varied. Hostyn has made 99% of her earnings from StarCraft II, Li has earned 100% from Heartstone, Gunn has earned 81.6% from Multigaming, Kiran 51.59% from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Qual 100% from StarCraft II.
Highest Earning Player Groups by Age
As often happens with new trends, the younger generations are leading the way with eSports, too. The top earning age groups are all under 25 years of age. However, this list may not be entirely accurate, as it can only include the earnings of players who have recorded their date of birth.
The highest earning year group is the 21-year-olds, with 4,226 players earning a total of $81,664,560.71 USD. Other ages in the top five are the 24-year-olds, with 2,581 players and $74,931,734.17 in prize money, 22-year-olds with 3,739 and $74,762,871.37 USD, 20-year-olds with 4,418 and $73,954,575.49 USD, and 23-year-olds with 3,211 and $73,430,300.56 USD. The rest of the age groups in the top ten are also all under 30 years old.
Whatever your personal opinion of eSports may be, the fact is that they are here to stay. Players around the world are competing in international events, with many earning their living solely from professional gaming, and there are almost 150 eSports player millionaires.
While Canada ranks number eight in revenue and number ten in earnings, individual players are lagging behind their competitors from other countries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the highest-earning eSports player in Canada?
The most successful, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, has earned the most money, $2,567,317.71 USD, from playing eSports in Canada. The most successful female player in Canada is Sasha Hostyn, with $442,478.91 USD.
What are the most popular eSports in Canada?
While the League of Legends is the most popular game, the most popular eSport genres in Canada are sports, real-time strategy, and first-person shooter games.
What eSport games can you earn the most money from?
The highest-earning players in the world have all made their money almost exclusively from playing Dota 2.