Sports digital agency Mailman Group has released the latest edition of Esports Red Card: China Digital Performance Index, a report that assesses China’s digital esports ecosystem as well as the popularity of international esports teams in the country.
In the report, Mailman estimated that there were 488m Chinese esports users in 2022 and that the country’s esports industry revenues topped $21bn (~£16.9bn).
However, other market research firms put industry revenue figures much lower. Newzoo estimated $1.3bn (~£1.04bn) for global yearly esports industry revenue for 2022, while Niko Partners also reported a figure of $1.3bn for 2023.
Mailman told Esports Insider that its esports industry revenue figure reflects any revenue generated from those working within the esports industry, for example, esports prize money, tournament media rights sales and vendor revenues.
Mailman’s report also found that esports games generated revenues of $16.7bn (~£13.5bn) in China, with a total of 108 esports events held in the country last year.
Topping the international team ranking in this edition is South Korean esports organisation T1, overtaking last year’s leader G2 Esports. The data was collected from January 1st – December 31st, 2022 and takes into account the popularity of international teams according to eight different metrics across their digital presence on Weibo, Douyin, Bilibili, Tmall, Huya and Douyu.
Two of the biggest movers in this year’s team ranking were OG Esports and TSM. Moving from sixth to joint third, Mailman’s report highlighted that OG Esports significantly strengthened its output in China. In 2022, the organisation published over 1,400 posts on Chinese platforms as well as launched on Bilibilli. This proved to be fruitful as the organisation increased its total following by 360,000 fans.
On the other hand, TSM’s popularity in China has seemingly dropped according to the ranking, going from third to seventh. This ranking may increase in the future though, with rumours that TSM is looking to enter League of Legends’ LPL, one of China’s most popular competitions.
Esports Insider reported on last year’s Esports Red Card report here. Mailman will also be attending Esports Insider’s next B2B industry festival, ESI Singapore, last this month.
Andrew Colling, Mailman’s Founder and CEO, highlighted the Chinese esports industry’s development in 2022. In the report, he stated: China’s esports industry continued to grow in the last 12 months despite the challenges in its way. Over the past year, we have seen the return of live events in the country with millions of fans turning up and tuning in to watch their favourite players compete.
“Looking ahead in 2023, we can expect China’s esports industry to continue to reach new heights.