When considering which of the thousands of publicly listed companies were deserving of a place in the top 10 best eSports stocks list, we had to set some clear eligibility criteria. We did not want this list to be so loose that a very small link to eSports would be sufficient; and as such this will include only those with a clear commitment to gaming, both present and future.
What Earns A Place as a top 10 Best eSports stock then?
The world of esports has been growing rapidly in recent years, with more and more people around the world tuning in to watch professional gamers compete in a variety of different games. This popularity has led to a boom in the esports industry, with new businesses and organizations springing up to take advantage of the growing market.
One area that has seen significant growth is the number of publicly listed companies that are involved in esports. These companies range from game publishers and tournament organizers to hardware manufacturers and streaming platforms. The majority of those that are earning a place here are publishers and service providers. This is largely due to the fact that there are more of these types of related Esports companies on the stock markets to choose from, and they are typically more well established businesses, and potentially less volatile as a result.
If you are an investor, or a stock trader looking to get involved in the esports industry, you have a number of different options available to you even outside of what we have shared below.
Now let’s take a look at 10 of the best esports stocks to buy, or consider adding to your watch list now.
Best eSports Stocks
1. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)
Activision Blizzard is one of the largest video game publishers in the world and a major player in the esports industry. The company owns a number of popular esports franchises, including Overwatch, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.
Activision Blizzard also runs its own esports leagues, such as the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty World League. These leagues feature some of the best professional gamers in the world competing for large prize pools.
Listed under ticker NASDAQ:ATVI, Activision is currently in the midst of a takeover by none other than Microsoft, agreed for the handsome price of $95 per share. At this time, ATVI share price is trading around $80, reflecting some upside of c.20% if the deal goes through on the expected timeline mid 2023.
The question you will have to answer as to whether this is the best esports stock for you, is whether you feel confident that the Microsoft acquisition deal will complete. If it does go through smoothly, there is plenty of upside through to the agreed price, but if not, you would likely expect some pullback on the current Activision share price.
2. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA)
Electronic Arts is another major video game publisher with a significant presence in the esports industry. The company publishes a number of popular games that are played professionally, including FIFA, Madden NFL, and Battlefield.
EA also has its own esports division called EA competitive gaming which continues to drive a wide range of engagement from the community. This division is responsible for running EA’s professional gaming leagues, such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, Apex Legends, and the Madden NFL Championship Series.
Although EA stock is down by around 6.7% in the past 12 months, this is a far cry from the 50%+ drops seen in many equities over the same period. The 10 year performance for EA shares is a real bright light, with an almost 1000% gain been achieved over that time. It could be expected that when more favourable economic conditions prevail, and as the esports and gaming industries continue to grow, that there is a lot of potential in EA stock to push on from here.
3. Tencent (HKG:0700)
Tencent is a Chinese conglomerate with a number of businesses in the tech and media sectors. The company owns WeChat, one of the largest messaging apps in the world, and QQ, another popular messaging app.
Tencent is also a major player in the video game industry with claims to be the largest gaming company worldwide. The company owns Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, and Supercell, the maker of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. In addition, Tencent has a minority stake in Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, and continues to run an annual esports summit with the recent announcement of the Arena Breakout Pioneer Series having a $150,000 prize pool.
This is a company with the potential for significant swings depending on the general outlook for Chinese stocks, which have come under a significant amount of pressure over the past 12 months as tensions between the two largest global economies (US & China) continue to rise. There are not too many great esports stocks that you can buy today at the prices of 5 years ago, but today Tencent is sitting some 6% down from 2017.
Whilst Tencent stock may be too high a risk for many, if you believe in the power of global esports, and the ability to unite through a mutual love of esports and gaming will continue to develop, then this could be one to add to your gaming stocks shortlist.
4. Sony (NYSE:SONY)
PlayStation is a gaming platform from Sony that includes both consoles and games, and likely needs no real introduction. The company’s PlayStation 4 console is one of the most popular in the world, with over 100 million units sold and the more recently launched PlayStation 5 selling out largely the world over.
PlayStation also has a strong presence in the esports industry and makes a good claim to be an esports stock to shortlist. The company runs the PlayStation Plus League, a professional gaming league for its PlayStation 4 console. In addition, PlayStation has partnered with a number of professional esports organizations, such as FaZe Clan and Team SoloMid and has last year become a part owner of the fighting game tournament Evo.
As PlayStation is not a PLC itself, but a division of Sony; should you wish to gain exposure or invest in PlayStation, the way to do that is by considering Sony shares. You will of course be gaining exposure to the whole Sony business ecosystem, as well as the PlayStation brand, but the fundamental business of Sony is a pretty strong one nonetheless.
Taking a look at the Sony stock price performance from the last 5 years, and it has delivered well compared to its’ peers, sitting higher by an impressive 175%. With supply buildup still pending for the PlayStation 5, it is likely that there could be further quarters of growth ahead, that is providing it can break the pattern seen over the past 6 months.
5. Nintendo (OTC:NTDOY)
Nintendo is a Japanese video game company that is best known for its Mario and Zelda franchises. The company’s Switch console is one of the best-selling in the world, with over 34 million units sold.
Although Nintendo has not been as active in the esports scene as some of the other companies on this list, it does have a number of competitive gaming titles, such as Splatoon and Arms. In addition, the company has partnered with a number of professional esports organizations, such as Luminosity Gaming and Redeye Esports.
Current Nintendo titles have not taken center stage in esports in recent times, but they can be said to be one of the forefathers of competitive gaming, having launched the Nintendo World Championships all the way back in 1990. For those that are passionate about esports but cannot carve out any personal success in the field, you can always turn to the Nintendo Switch game Esports Legend; putting you in the chair as the head of an Esports team in a simulation style game.
Nintendo stock has proved steady over the past 5 years, with an uplift of 55%, so whilst this is not groundbreaking, any additional moves into the Esports field for Nintendo could provide some upwards momentum in years to come. One to watch, seeing as the next likely console to roll of the Nintendo conveyor belt is not deemed to be anywhere near in the coming few years, such is the success of the current Switch.
6. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MFST)
Microsoft is a major tech company best known for its Windows operating system and Office suite of productivity software. The company does not gain an entry as one of the best eSports stocks for those reasons of course. As you may already know, this tech giant also has a gaming division called Xbox, which produces consoles and games.
Xbox is a major player in the esports industry, running the Xbox Live Gaming League, a professional gaming league for its Xbox One console. In addition, Microsoft has partnered with a number of professional esports organizations, such as Evil Geniuses and Fnatic.
Microsoft, as mentioned earlier in this article, is in the midst of the acquisition for Activision Blizzard, which will undoubtedly strengthen in place in the field of Esports, but until then, this is still a behemoth of a stock that doesnt seem to get it wrong. With gains of 300% over the past 5 years, and close to 1000% over the last 10 years, Microsoft stock is deserving of a place on most top stocks lists!
7. Ubisoft (EPA:UBI)
Ubisoft is a French video game developer and publisher with a number of popular titles in its portfolio. These include Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six Siege, and Tom Clancy’s The Division.
The company also has a dedicated esports division called Ubisoft Esports. This division organizes and runs a number of professional gaming leagues, such as the Rainbow Six Pro League and the For Honor Pro League.
Ubisoft stock has shown growth of around 400% in the past 10 years, which is not a bad return, but that does not tell the full picture. In the past 5 years, the companies’ share price sits some 17% below where it started, and as a result, you would want to see some significant developments on a fundamental level, or a technical breakout from this falling wedge pattern to have any confidence of an entry.
8. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
Amazon is a global e-commerce giant that also owns a number of other businesses, including Amazon Web Services and Twitch.
Twitch is a live streaming platform that is particularly popular with gamers and esports. The platform is home to a number of professional gaming leagues and tournaments, including the Twitch Rivals series.
Amazon stock is up more than 190% in the prevailing 5 year period, and although the stock has pulled back some 15% over the past 12 months as some of the earlier Covid accelerated growth fades away, the underlying business of Amazon is more about cloud computing these days and the fundamentals remain strong.
9. Facebook / Meta (NASDAQ:META)
Facebook is a social media platform with over 2 billion monthly active users. The company also owns a number of other businesses, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
Although Facebook does not have a dedicated esports division, the company has been investing in the industry in recent years. In 2018, Facebook acquired PlayVS, a startup that provides software for high school and collegiate esports leagues and has also acquired Oculus, for VR gaming and Metaverse development. In addition, Facebook has partnered with a number of professional esports organizations, such as Team SoloMid and Evil Geniuses.
In the last 12 months, Meta stock price has tumbled a little over 50%; either representing an opportunity for some amazing upside potential, or a fall that takes some time to recover from. NFTs, P2E games, and the Metaverse have taken a bit of a backseat in recent months as far as news goes. The name change, the rebrand, and the pivot to Metaverse first has so far failed to build confidence in investors, but things can quickly about turn should there be a ‘risk on’ return.
10. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
Apple is a major tech company that needs no introduction, known for innovation, smart design, and its’ iPhone and Mac devices. The company also produces a range of software products, including the iOS operating system and the iTunes media player.
Although Apple does not have a dedicated esports division, the company has been investing in the industry in recent years. In 2018, Apple acquired Texture, a digital magazine subscription service that includes a number of gaming and esports publications. In addition, Apple has partnered with a number of professional esports organizations, such as 100 Thieves and Immortals.
With Apple stock having been on a tear in recent years, driving 330% growth in the past 5 years, and bucking the trend to be 15% up in the past 12 months, there seems to be no slowing this one. Whilst Apple has less of an Esports presence potentially than the other names on this list relegates it to the bottom of the top 10 esports stocks, this is a company that you could do far worse than to have as a stable name in your portfolio for future.