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Esports stocks to watch

Esports, otherwise known as electronic sports, is where players compete in sports games or competitions by using video games. Following a huge rise in popularity and industry revenue in the 2010s, investing in esports companies and trading on esports stocks has become increasingly popular. With professional sports leagues and teams collaborating with video game companies, esports fandom has grown increasingly along with its reputation and industry investment.

Read on to explore the esports industry and discover some of the top esports companies based on overall stock value and market capitalisation. Additionally, you can find out how to spread bet and trade CFDs on esports stocks with our award winning* Next Generation trading platform​​.

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The esports industry

The world of competitive, multiplayer video gaming has seen a colossal rise in popularity since its origins of amateur organised gaming. Esports recognition began in Asia, with South Korea already licensing professional gamers since 2000. In the 2010s, esports became an extremely important sector of the video gaming industry. Online streaming platforms played a central role in the rise of esports and by the late 2010s, millions of people from all around the world were watching esports competitions.

As its popularity and viewership greatly increases, many companies are still seeking opportunities within esports. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has collaborated with video game holding company Take-Two Interactive Software and created the first esports league to be managed by a professional sports league, while Major League Soccer (MLS) followed suit in 2018 by joining forces with EA Sports and establishing eMLS.

Athletes investing in esports

Due to its meteoric rise, esports has captured the eye of the traditional sports world. Not only have professional teams and leagues looked to gain from the esports industry, but also individual athletes.

  • In 2019, former boxing superstar Mike Tyson became an investor of professional esports team Fade 2 Karma.
  • Basketball legend, Michael Jordan invested over $20m in franchise aXiomatic Gaming, which owns the popular esports organisation, Team Liquid.
  • American basketballers, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala teamed up off the court to invest in esports organisation TSM, who compete at a professional level in League of Legends and Fortnite.
  • NFL Hall of Fame legend, Steve Young, was also involved with investing in TSM.
  • NFL wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. is known to be an avid gamer, and together with basketballer Kevin Durant, made significant investments in Vision Esports.

The fact that athletes are increasingly investing money into esports perhaps makes investing in esports stocks more attractive to individual retail investors. As the industry grows, investors hope that esports stocks will return value for investors over the long-term, although this is not always the case.

Top esport stocks to watch in 2021

The shares listed below are some of the top esports stocks based on market capitalisation and overall stock value. All of the following instruments can be traded on our Next Generation trading platform through spread betting, which is a tax-efficient** way of speculating on the price movement of the underlying assets, and CFDs, which allow traders to buy or sell a number of units for an instrument, with the difference in price being exchanged at the end of the contract. Open an account to start trading on the below stocks.

Explore and trade on esports stocks

Electronic Arts (EA​)

Electronic Arts is one of the most prominent video game companies worldwide. EA stock is traded on the NASDAQ and the company was founded in 1982 by an Apple employee in the US. The company develops, publishes and distributes games for some of the most popular franchises, such as FIFA, The Sims and Medal of Honour. EA publishes games for a wide range of platforms and consoles including Xbox, PlayStation, mobile phones and PCs. As a leader in the sports gaming genre, many of EA’s games consist of licensed content, creating opportunities by connecting the esports industry with fans of established sports teams.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI​)

Californian-based video game holding company, Activision Blizzard was founded in 2008 when it merged with Vivendi Games and Activision Inc. It is one of the leading developers of interactive entertainment software, and since 2015, it has been one of the 500 stocks of the S&P 500 index. Activision is one of the most prominent companies behind the organisation of professional esport leagues. Its franchises include some of the most popular esport games worldwide, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Overwatch.

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO​)

Ryan Brant founded Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. in 1993. Based in New York, the video game holding company has a reputation for its history of remarkably extending the life of its franchises. It owns 50% of the professional esports organisation NBA 2K League and has acquired prominent developers in order to break into the mobile gaming market. Take-Two’s products are designed for an extensive range of consoles and platforms, including Xbox, PlayStation and smartphones. The company owns major labels such as Rockstar Games and 2K, and its franchise portfolio includes Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, and WWE 2K.

Tencent Holdings (TCEHY​)

Founded in 1998, Tencent Holdings Ltd is a Chinese multinational technology company. It surpassed a market value of $500bn in 2018 as the first Asian tech company to achieve such a feat, and it is recognised by many as one of the world’s most innovative companies. When Tencent turned its attention to the online gaming market, it founded Tencent Games in 2003 and released its first game in 2004 called QQ Tang. The company began hosting massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) in 2011 and went on to develop its own gaming console and flagship platform. In 2018, Tencent earned over $19bn in software sales and was considered the world’s largest video game company. It is a stakeholder of several major game publishers and has ownership in a range of developers, such as Riot Games, Epic Games and Bluehole. Read more about our Tencent stock forecast​.

Huya (HUYA​)

As one of the largest Chinese live streaming services, Huya focuses on video game live streaming. Huya operates globally as Nimo TV and gains by benefiting from a portion of the tips from viewers to broadcasters. It is the official broadcast of esports competitions and owns the teams Royal Never Give Up and the Chengu Hunters. The company is expanding its competitions into China and has signed exclusive coverage deals with several esports leagues.

Esports ETFs

Exchange-traded funds​​ (ETFs) are investment funds that consist of a compilation of assets, such as shares and bonds. On our platform, members can trade on esports ETFs such as the Global X Video Games & Esports ETF​​, which seeks to track the performance and reproduce results of the Solactive Video Games & Esports stock index. This enables traders to invest in baskets of stocks indirectly through spread bets and CFDs for companies that develop, publish, distribute, and facilitate the streaming of video gaming content. It also includes producers of esports gaming hardware and companies operating competitive esports leagues.

Investing in esports with CMC Markets

A traditional way of investing in esports is through buying and selling shares on a local stock exchange. This will require you to pay the full share value upfront, which can equal a large deposit. There are those who also choose to invest in esports stocks through ETF trading. Using our Next Generation trading platform, you can choose an alternative method by trading on the underlying price movements of stocks with spread bets and CFDs. This allows you to trade on margin, which means that you only need to place a fraction of the full trade amount, giving you exposure to the share market. It is important that you understand the risks of this process, so read more about leveraged trading. You can start trading on esports stocks by opening an account.

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Summary

In summary, the esports industry has seen a colossal rise in popularity and investment. With many professional sports teams and leagues collaborating with esports companies and organisations, this upward trend continues to grow. Keep up to date with esport industry news with our news and insights section, which contains fundamental analysis stock reports from Morningstar and news updates from Reuters. Explore more of our platform features through our library of platform video guides.

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**Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and can change or may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

FAQs:

How can I trade esports stocks?

On our Next Generation trading platform, traders can spread bet and trade CFDs on esports stocks, such as Electronic Arts and Tencent.

What are some of the top esports stocks to trade on?

Based on market capitalisation and overall value, some of the top esports stocks include Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive. You can spread bet and trade CFDs on these stocks on our Next Generation trading platform.

Can I trade esports ETFs?

On our trading platform, members can trade on an esports ETF, named the Global X Video Games & Esports ETF. This enables traders to invest in companies that develop, publish, distribute, and facilitate the streaming of, video gaming content. It also includes producers of esports gaming hardware and companies operating competitive esports leagues. Read more about trading ETFs.

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