Mobile esports growth: Skillz surpasses $50m in prizes mark

Mobile esports firm Skillz, which boasts offices in both San Francisco and Boston, has announced that it has awarded more than $50m (£40.7m) in esports prizes since it was founded in 2012. 

Andrew Paradise, Skillz
Andrew Paradise, Skillz

Skillz is “bringing esports to the mass market” by expanding the industry’s player base and enabling competitive gaming for the mobile genre. Skillz has accounted for over 30% of all esports prizes in 2016, and when compared to 21% in 2015 and 8.4% in 2014, this shows what a year it’s been for the company. 

The company’s success is fueled by the growing number of players competing in Skillz tournaments – currently in excess of 10 million – and the millions more watching its broadcasts on platforms such as Twitch. In 2016, Skillz is projected to host more than 70 million tournaments, three times the number hosted last year, and will broadcast more than 40 million minutes of competitive mobile gameplay, up from 8.5 million minutes in 2015.

Andrew Paradise, Founder and CEO of Skillz said: “More than 2.1 billion people play mobile games daily, making mobile the most popular gaming platform in history. Despite such a large market opportunity, it wasn’t possible for game developers to easily implement fun, interactive and rewarding competition before Skillz. We’re dedicated to building the multiplayer social fabric that enables mobile eSports for everyone.”

From 2012 to 2015, Skillz awarded $20m (£16.3m) in prizes. So far in 2016, the company has awarded over $30m (£24.4m). By comparison, League of Legends tournaments have generated roughly $30.9m (£25.1m) in prizes to date. As an industry, esports are projected to exceed $4 billion in annual revenue by 2018, surpassing the NHL in the process. 

Esports Insider says: Astounding figures and growth of Skillz and mobile esports in general this year. $50 million awarded in less than four years is staggering, and the year on year growth means there will undoubtedly be some new competitors vying for a slice of this pie soon.