In 2020, global revenues for electronic sports were almost $1 billion. This figure may not be surprising appreciating that, in the same year, the video games industry as a whole was worth some $174.9 billion according to Bloomberg. This is some four times higher than the movie / film revenue. Gaming has, for some time, been the largest entertainment market in the world. Esports is therefore one element in a very well established industry.
This type of growth does not go unnoticed and Esports have become a target for cyber criminals. The digital platforms supporting the industry are repositories of personal data, including payment card information, and are therefore tempting targets.
In recent years there have been a number of successful attacks on Esports platforms. Hackers have stolen gamer account credentials from Steam and the E-Sports Entertainment Association League. The ESEA hosts professional tournaments offering cash prizes and 1.5m customer records were posted online when it refused to pay a $100,000 ransom. Notwithstanding the ESEA patching the affected database, the hackers also later accessed a different area of their environment and changed player statistics.
All digital industries are particularly vulnerable to attacks. And the growing Esports treasure chests will attract the bandits.
Esports' popularity 'only scratching the surface'