Researcher NewZoo examines potential in four top eSports nations
The independent market researchers NewZoo has published its latest take on the eSports market in a white paper entitled “An Overview of Esports in Europe: Featuring an In-Depth Look at Four of Europe’s Most Vibrant Esports Ecosystems.”
The researcher examines future potential in four European nations known for their enthusiasm for eSports, namely Sweden, Poland, Spain and Germany, identifying factors that could influence the continued growth of the eSports phenomenon over the next two years as it approaches the billion-dollars-a-year annual revenue benchmark.
Depending on factors that include franchising, regulation, new game formats and competitions, sales of content rights, team success and viability, and the convergence of media, entertainment, telecomms and sports company interests, the industry could be worth between $1,1 billion and $2.4 billion by 2020, NewZoo predicts.
The study found that Europe now delivers almost a third of global eSports revenue, with over 70 million avid viewers of eSports competitions, rising by a further 7 million next year. They generate $22 billion in software revenue for games developers, and media rights revenue is set to soar 500 percent or more by 2020.
Germany tops the list when it comes to eSports viewership numbers, with 13.1 million eSports fans, followed by Poland (10.9 million), Spain (8.4 million) and Sweden (1.6 million).
In international terms Europeans make up around 20 percent of the global eSports audience at 34.4 million, a number that NewZoo predicts will grow to 45 million by 2020, generating revenues in Europe of around $209 million in 2017, rising to $403 million in 2020.
Interestingly, 26 percent of viewers are spectators who do not play the games themselves.
The audience numbers in a key demographic has attracted major brands to the vertical such as Manchester United which has an eSports team, along with Valencia in the Spanish La Liga and a number of French Ligue 1 teams.
Other giant corporates that have taken up interests in the vertical include Mercedes Benz, BMW, Vodafone and Visa in addition to a plethora of online gambling companies that are showing increasing interest in the genre, mainly through team sponsorships.
The white paper examines earnings of professional players in the four countries it has targeted, revealing that in Sweden pros earned an average of around $12,000 each (1,836 players divvying up $22.3 million in earnings)
Polish professionals earned considerably less at an average per player of $6,000 (1,086 players earning a total of $6.7 million), whilst German pros fared similarly on $6,000 (2,317 players/$13 million) and Spanish pros pulled in an average of $3,000 per player (689 player/$2,2 million).