How Top Gaming Tournament Platforms Monetized their 19M Web Visits in February 2022

Display Ads
Partnerships & Referrals
Advertising
March 25, 2022
Gaming

Key Takeaways

Gaming tournament websites, UMG Gaming, ESL Play, GosuGamers, FACEIT and Challonge, generated more than 19 million visits in Feb. 2022 and successfully earned revenue from this traffic. Here's how: 

Tournaments

  • Day & Time: The most popular starting times for tournaments were at 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 and 20:00. The most popular days were Saturday and Sunday for UMG, while ESLs were spread out equally throughout the week.
  • Registration Fee: UMG offers tournaments that require credits to enter (1 credit = $0.65). Tournaments that were 5 credits had the highest participation rate, followed by those that were 10 credits. All ESL Play tournaments were free to enter. 
  • Prize Pool: UMG's Prime Only tournaments averaged $600 per tournament. Whereas 5 Credit tournaments only averaged $9 per tournament. ESL Open Series offered a $100 prize for weekly qualifier tournaments and $1,000 for monthly finals. 

Revenue

  • Paid Subscriptions: All platforms except GosuGamers offer a premium account for members with ad-free viewing and varying perks. Prices range from $4.99 to $7.99 per month. 
  • Display Ads: Except for ESL, all platforms generate revenue from non-premium members by running display ads on their websites.
  • Brand Partnerships and Integrations: Platforms offer various sponsorship options, with the most popular being brand titled tournaments.

The following five gaming tournament platforms were included in the competitive set for this analysis:

FACEIT generated the most traffic from the competitive set with 14M web visits in February 2022. On the other hand, UMG Gaming had the least traffic with only 33K visits. 

UMG Gaming

In February 2022, UMG hosted 126 tournaments, with an average of 18 players per tournament. The top days were on February 19 & 20th when 14 tournaments attracted 278 players.

54% of UMG’s tournaments in February 2022 started at 13:00, 15:00 or 17:00 hours

*Tournaments start time grouped by hour

The most popular day UMG hosted tournaments on was Saturday (18%) and Sunday (18%), followed by Tuesday (17%).  

UMG directly monetizes its tournaments in the following four ways: 

1. UMG Credits

1 credit = $0.65. UMG Credits used for entry into daily tournaments on UMG.

2. UMG Cash

$5.00 UMG Cash = $5.40. UMG Cash is UMG’s online currency. It can be used to purchase items or be put up for cash out matches.

3. UMG Prime Membership

30 Days = $4.99 | 90 Days = $9.98 | 1 year = $44.99. Access to free-entry tournaments, fee free cash outs, match escalations and more.

4. UMG XP

1 Day = $2.00 | 3 Days = $5.00 | 5 Days = $8.00. Earn double experience points for matches and wins on UMG.

Additionally, UMG charges a flat fee of $2.00 on withdrawals for non-members. The daily withdrawal limit for non-members is $250 per day and $500 per day for members.

Additionally, some of UMG’s tournaments are supported by advertising revenue including display ad placements and brand promotions.  

In February 2022, UMG hosted Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific, Call of Duty: Vanguard and Halo Infinite tournaments. Warzone had the most number of tournaments, while Halo Infinite had the greatest participation rate.

The majority of the tournaments hosted costed 0 credits (60%) followed by 5 credits (18%). Tournaments that were 5 credits had the highest participation rate, followed by those that were 10 credits. 

*Prime Only are exclusive tournaments that are open to UMG Prime Member only.

Prime Only tournaments had the greatest prize pool, averaging $600 per tournament. Whereas, 5 Credit tournaments had the lowest prize pool, averaging $9 per tournament. The greatest prize pool was for a Prime Only COD: Vanguard tournament on Feb. 27th with a $1.2K prize pool. 

*Currency in USD. Prime Only are exclusive tournaments that are open to UMG Prime Member only.

Most tournaments were 2v2 (65%) followed by 1v1 tournaments (25%). 4v4 tournaments had the greatest participation rate, with 4v4 matches being 80% full.

ESL Play

ESL Play is a tournament platform offering 11M global members over 1K monthly tournaments in various games. All tournaments are free to play. The following are the three types of tournaments ESL Play offers:

In February 2022, ESL hosted 229 tournaments in North America. These tournaments averaged 93 players per tournament. The top days were on February 14th & 21st, featuring 12 tournaments with 1.2K players. 

50% of these tournaments started at 17:00. The next most popular tournament start time was 20:00, which accounted for 17% of all tournaments.

*Tournaments start time grouped by hour. Time is MST. 

ESL Play tournaments (North America) are spread out relatively consistently throughout the week, with Monday having the most (18%) followed by Saturday (16%).

ESL monetizes its tournaments in the following three ways: 

Premium Membership

ESL featured the following Open & Challenger tournaments in North America in February 2022:

Of the Open Series Weekly tournaments, Madden NFL 22, FIFA 22 and NBA 2K22 generated the most players. Whereas Madden NFL 22, NBA 2K22 and Apex Legends generated the most players per tournament on average. 

*North American Open Series Weekly Tournaments only.

In February 2022, ESL Play had two tournaments that had title sponsors — “StarCraft 2 Open Cup - powered by Shopify” and the “DPC NA Division II Tour 2 - ESL One Spring powered by Intel”. 

Dota 2 | DPC NA Division II Tour 2  | Qualifier Prize: Qualification for the DPC NA Division II Tour 2 | Final Prize: $75,000 Prize Pool

StarCraft (PS4) | StarCraft 2 Open Cup | Prize Pool: $800 Prize Pool

GosuGamer

GosuGamers is a platform that shares competitive eSport resources such as news, articles, streams and VODs, event data, rankings, betting tools and more.

In February 2022, GosuGamers featured 38 tournaments, only three of which were open to North American players. 

*Worldwide tournaments

Tournaments which included North American players in February 2022 were: Dota Pro Circuit, Team Liquid Weekly Finals, and North America Series 2022. 

Dota Pro Circuit 2021/2022 Tour 2 | Team Liquid Weekly Finals | North America Series 2022 Season 1

In February 2022, GosuGamers featured Wild Rift, CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Mobile Legends and Valorant tournaments. CS:GO made up 34% of all the featured tournaments, followed by Wild Rift which made up 16%

*Worldwide tournaments

Dota 2 had the greatest total prize pool, with the Dota Pro Circuit’s prize pool being $1.4M. Next to Dota 2, Mobile Legends had the next greatest average prize pool size at $38K per tournament. 

*Worldwide tournaments. Currency in USD.

GosuGamer monetizes its web traffic by publishing display ads on its website. In February 2022, display ads generated approximately $411K*. The top advertiser was Hasbro, Inc., which spent $84K on ads on GosuGamer’s site. GosuGamer’s top advertising sales channel was direct (63%), followed by Google AdX (30%).  

*Ad revenue is a directional approximation in USD and only includes US traffic. Total display ad revenue included GosuGamer’s ad spend on display ads on its own website. 

FACEIT

FACEIT is an online competitive gaming platform that allows gamers to compete in matches and tournaments for virtual and real-world prizes. The platform features leagues for games such as CS:GO, LoL, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege, Dota 2, and more.

*Tournament data for FACEIT is currently unavailable 

FACEIT directly monetizes its tournaments in the following three ways: 

FACEIT Premium | FACEIT CS:GO | Tournament Tickets | FACEIT Partner Organizers

FACEIT offers the following types of display and video ads

FACEIT offers the following types of brand platform integrations

FACEIT offers the following types of branded experiences

Challonge

Challonge is a competition management platform that streamlines registration, progression and record-keeping of eSport tournaments and events. It offers over 25 different tournament types and can be used on the web or integrated into other software applications through APIs. 

*Tournament data for Challonge is currently unavailable 

Challonge directly monetizes its tournaments in the following three ways:

Challonge Premier | Pro Community | Stripe Integration

Challonge offers the following advertising opportunities:

Added by: 

Recent Case Studies

Scroll horizontally to view more case studies →