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MIDiA Data Spotlight: Esports Emerging Markets Driving Audience

Report by Karol Severin
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This is part of MIDiA’s data snapshot series in which we spotlight curated consumer datasets. 

Figure        Esports are Gaining Traction in Emerging Markets Percentage of Consumers that Attend Esports Events,        2018       

Esports event attendance among the        online population is level across the key English-speaking markets in Europe and in Japan and Mexico. With the exception of the latter, it is the emerging markets that are taking leadership in terms of esports event attendance penetration. Though emerging markets may over index slightly, due to the online population demographics, the difference is still significant. 

One of the drivers popularising esports events in Asia’s emerging markets is the fact that esports have been included as a demonstration sport discipline in the Asian Games 2018.  Asian Games are recognised as the world’s second largest multi-sport, after the Olympics. We expect further boost to esports event popularity and thus attendance in these territories, as esports are on track to become an official medal discipline in the Asian Games in 2022.

The significant attendance over index in Brazil is likely driven by the emergence of strong local esports team fandom. Some of the world’s top teams in Counter-Strike:Global Offensive (e.g. SK Gaming or Immortals) come from Brazil. Additionally, the country has been hosting major League of Legend events, attracting professional players from around the world, boosting local event attendance. 

Differences in esports attendees demographics further underline the gap between the countries in scope. In China and India, esports has successfully found its place among females (who represent        and        of esports attendees respectively), while in the US, UK and Canada, attendance still skews males much more significantly               and        respectively). Similarly, while most audience in markets with low attendance penetration are mostly concentrated in the 20–44-year-old segments, events in Brazil have found appeal across the whole age spectrum, with        of esports attendees in Brazil over        years old.

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