Australian esports stocks are making moves. Here’s a look at five small- to mid-cap companies that are listed on the ASX right now.
With major esports tournaments garnering sponsorships from multinational companies, including Disney (NYSE:DIS), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), the esports market and gaming industry continue to gain traction worldwide.
Esports Earnings notes that prize money worth over US$955 million has been won within the esports industry over two decades, based on available public records. The largest prize pool was worth over US$34.33 million and was related to a Dota 2 competition in 2019.
Overwatch League, the largest esports league, has an impressive US$4.25 million in its prize pool for 2021, according to Esports Insider. Overwatch League is Activision Blizzard’s (NASDAQ:ATVI) official esports league for its hit first-person shooter game Overwatch.
Down in Australia, a recent report from PwC shows that the country’s interactive games and esports market was worth AU$3.18 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow at a 6.87 percent compound annual growth rate to 2024. The increase is expected to be driven by app-based games and esports.
Here the Investing News Network looks at five Australian esports stocks with market capitalizations between AU$10 million and AU$75 million. This Australian esports stocks list was generated using TradingView’s stock screener on April 30, 2021, and companies are listed in order of market cap.
1. iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI)
Market capitalization: AU$58.29 million
Originally founded as an investment holding company in 2015, iCandy Interactive develops and publishes blockchain-based games that have a global audience of over 350 million players. Games in its portfolio include Garfield Games, Astro Boy Games, Ancient Secrets of the Mummy and Dark Dot.
The Australian Financial Review ranked iCandy Interactive 25th on its 2020 Fast 100 list, which highlights the fastest-growing companies in Australia. The company’s new game, Rocky Rampage: Wreck ’em Up, won Google Play’s Best Casual Game award for 2020.
In late 2019, iCandy launched the Esports Players League (ESPL), which has now expanded to over 12 countries across Southeast Asia, South Asia, Europe and South America. The next year, ESPL hosted 136 tournaments involving 20,000 esports teams. Also in 2020, iCandy partnered with Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA,HKEX:9988) business unit 9Games to publish the musical game Groove Planet in China.
2. MSM (ASX:MSM)
Market capitalization: AU$49.7 million
MSM is a global software developer and online entertainment company. It is leveraging its consumer digital entertainment technology platform to build and launch new digital entertainment products. The company’s goal is to create a global media entertainment, esports and gaming business.
Australian esports stock MSM partnered with the Riva Group in 2017 and currently has a 10 percent equity interest in the company. Riva has a strong portfolio of esports and gaming interests, including Firefly Games, Galaxy Racer and OkLetsPlay. In March 2021, Riva invested US$2.5 million (approximately AU$3.2 million) for a significant minority interest in Rogue Games, a game technology company focused on the free-to-play mobile gaming industry.
3. Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1)
Market capitalization: AU$40.36 million
Emerge Gaming launched ArcadeX, its esports platform, in 2016. ArcadeX has now hosted over 10,000 online tournaments. The platform allows users to compete to earn rewards and prizes, including digital assets and merchandise, and enables users to develop rankings through sponsored tournaments.
The ArcadeX platform has been extended through a number of markets since launching. In March 2019, Emerge Gaming partnered with Digital Circus to bridge its esports platform into North America. In April of that year, the company reached an agreement with distribution agent Netsport Media to broaden its platform to Africa and the Middle East. Netsport Media currently has a network that reaches over 49 countries across these markets.
In March 2021, Emerge Gaming reported its first half year of profits following the launch of its Miggster social gaming platform. Miggster is a gaming subscription network through which users can win prizes.
4. Esports Mogul (ASX:ESH)
Market capitalization: AU$37.4 million
Esports Mogul, another Australian esports stock, has developed a tournament platform that focuses on the Australian and Southeast Asian markets. Mogul Spotlight allows users to watch esports players compete and gives them the opportunity to bet on matches.
In 2019, Esports Mogul launched its esports wallet, called Mogul Wallet, which allows users to store virtual rewards from competitions and withdraw and deposit funds. The company recently launched a new B2B website to target brands interested in harnessing the popularity of esports.
Esports Mogul partnered with tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2020 to launch a year-long esports tournament. More recently, the company was chosen to host snack and cereal company Kellogg’s (NYSE:K) Halo 5 Tournament Series in the US and Canada in 2021.
5. SportsHero (ASX:SHO)
Market capitalization: AU$10.83 million
SportsHero is a mobile app software development company targeting the sports gaming market and serving customers in Australia and Singapore.
In April 2021, SportsHero’s app OlahBola reached a milestone of 4 million new unique users. OlahBola is for Indonesian football fans who follow leagues like Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League.
The company’s latest endeavour is the development of an artificial intelligence-based live esports prediction platform that will incorporate deep learning and machine learning to provide increasingly precise predictions. “The development of this cutting-edge and innovative technology is expected to significantly complement SportsHero’s existing platforms and our co-branded esports focused prediction network partnership with ICON Esports,” said SportsHero CEO Tom Lapping.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.