The esports boom is definitely not abating according to new stats, and this has sent ASX stocks on a run in 2020.

SafeBettingSites and Statista estimated that in 2018 there were 173 million frequent viewers but in 2020 this will number nearly 223 million.

In the next three years this is tipped to rise to 295.4 million and the total number of esports viewers is expected to hit 495 million this year.

The biggest market for esports is the Asia Pacific, which accounts for over 50 per cent of the global market.

While the industry was already gaining momentum prior to COVID-19, people being forced into lockdown has accelerated growth in the industry.


The ASX beneficiaries

The ASX is home to just six esports stocks, as well as an industry-specific ETF, and half of those companies have more than doubled in 2020.

Code Company Price YTD % Return Market Cap
EM1 Emerge Gaming 0.041 156 $27.4M
ESH Esports Mogul 0.013 44 $26.6M
ICI Icandy Interactive 0.079 163 $36.6M
KNM Kneomedia 0.015 0 $13.6M
MSM MSM Corporation 0.041 193 $38.8M
SHO SportsHero 0.022 -30 $7.4M
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Leading the charge with a 193 per cent gain is MSM Corporation (ASX:MSM).

Prior to COVID-19, MSM partnered with Dubai-based Riva Group to help distribute its games.

The deal has ensured money has continued to flow with milestone payments coming through.

iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI), a company that has a portfolio of esports games, is up 163 per cent this year.

Much of this has come in the last two months, with most of its financial gains coming from in-app purchases rather than its games.

The company operates a freemium model allowing free downloads but allowing for in-app purchases.

In one particular game, Masketeers, the company told shareholders the average user spent $US25.99 (~$36).

Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1) has also taken off in recent months, off the back of multiple deals to deliver esports platforms to more consumers.

The company is also the first in the Southern Hemisphere to live stream an AAA game to a mobile device over a 5G network.

MSM, ICI and EM1 share price chart