The most valuable esports companies in the world are now worth US$400 million, according to Forbes.
Cloud9 and Team SoloMid are joint top of the business outlet’s second annual list of the most valuable competitive gaming organisations, which claims 13 esports companies now have a valuation of more than US$100 million, compared to nine last year.
According to the study, which included input from company executives, industry analysts and investors, the average value of the companies on the list has climbed to US$217 million, a whopping 52 per cent higher than the 2018 rankings.
Cloud9, which has a franchise in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and operates the London Spitfire Overwatch League franchise, also topped the list last year, and has seen its value climb US$90 million despite only generating US$29 million in revenue.
Forbes’ valuation of Team SoloMid, which also owns a franchise in the LCS and runs a host of other non-franchise teams, has soared US$150 million, with the organisation estimated to bring in US$35 million in revenue.
New entries in this year’s list include FaZe Clan (US$240 million), NRG Esports (US$150 million), Misfits Gaming (US$120 million) and OverActive Media (US$120 million). The three teams that dropped out of the rankings are Infinite Esports, which was bought by Immortals Gaming Club, Echo Fox and Counter Logic Gaming.
The report comes with the global esports industry expected to achieve revenue of more than US$1 billion for the first time this year, according to Newzoo, with North America accounting for 40 per cent of that figure.
Despite the lucrative figures, competitive gaming is yet to convince everyone that it is a sound investment. Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Dallas Mavericks, recently described owning an esports team in the US as “awful business”, adding that he “absolutely wouldn’t” invest in the space.