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eSports investment activity soars by 714% to $1.33bn in Q3 2020, M&A value surpasses $17.5bn


As a result of the disruption of traditional sports in 2020, eSports has enjoyed increased attention as is evident from the investment activities it is receiving.

According to the research data analysed and published by SafeBettingSites, eSports investment value rose by 714% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) in Q3 2020 to reach $1.33 billion. The total M&A and investment transaction value for the three-month period was $17.54 billion.

Based on a Bloomberg report, Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax at $7.5 billion in September 2020 was the second highest acquisition deal on record. The highest ever was Tencent’s $8.6 billion acquisition of Supercell in 2016.

During Q3 2020, there was a total of 179 M&A and investment deals globally, marking a QoQ increase of 32.59%.

According to The Gaming Economy Index, the number of deals in Q2 2020 totaled 131, reaching a total transaction value of $10.5 billion. Pre-IPO investment value in Q3 2020 shot up by 247.19% to $3.645 billion. The highest investment (non-M&A) into a private company during the period was $1.78 injected into Epic Games.

However, IPO activity dropped by 11.4% to $2.471 billion. Unity Software had the most valuable IPO, raising $1.3 billion at a valuation of $18 billion. Post-IPO activity declined by 97.17% with the deal volume going from 11 deals to 5 deals.

M&A value during the quarter was $11.65 billion, posting an increase of 262.0% QoQ. In fact, M&A accounted for 63.3% of the total transaction value during the quarter. September was the best month in M&A value, reaching a total of $11.77 billion courtesy of the Microsoft-ZeniMax deal. The deal saw Microsoft’s first-party game studios rise to 24 according to Games Radar.

Moreover, North America took the lead in transaction value, accounting for 80.6% of all received funds and 57.2% of all lead investment. It posted a 73.8% increase QoQ in terms of funding even as transaction value fell by 57% in APAC and 63% in EMEA.

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