In recent years, Esports, also referred to as electronic sports, has seen a notable rise in popularity across Europe. This has led to an increase in esports tournaments, professional esports athletes, and viewership of esports events within the region. As per Newzoo’s report, there were 23 million Western Europe esports enthusiasts in 2018, reflecting a 20% growth from the prior year. Moreover, the overall esports revenue in Western Europe witnessed a 24% spike, reaching $169 million in 2018 from 2017.
There are numerous factors fuelling the growth of esports in Europe. One of the primary factors is the increasing interest in video games, particularly among young individuals. According to a survey by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), 54% of individuals between the ages of 6 and 64 in Europe are video game players. This surge in interest lays a solid groundwork for esports growth.
In addition, the fact that esports has garnered recognition as a legitimate sport has further amplified its popularity in Europe. In 2019, esports gained recognition as a sporting activity from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This acknowledgement has helped in legitimizing esports and bolstering its acceptance amongst the masses.
Further, the development of dedicated esports infrastructure across numerous European countries has significantly contributed to the growth of esports within the region. Countries are setting up exclusive esports arenas, which serve as venues for hosting esports tournaments. These arenas provide an excellent platform for esports athletes, as well as an opportunity for fans to experience the exciting competitions first-hand.
In addition, a variety of European universities are launching esports programs. These programs focus on providing an understanding about the technical and business aspects of esports, thereby driving the industry’s growth. They play a crucial role in training the esports professionals of the future.
Despite the swift growth of esports in Europe, several challenges remain to be addressed, including the need for standardized rules and regulations for esports and ensuring the safeguarding of esports athletes.
In summary, esports has seen impressive growth in Europe, owing to the growing popularity of video games, legitimization of esports as a true sport, and the development of relevant infrastructure and education programs. The future of esports in Europe seems bright and promising.
– Newzoo, “Global Esports Market Report 2019”
– Interactive Software Federation of Europe, “GameTrack Q4 2018”
– International Olympic Committee, “Statement on the Future of Esports”
– Various European universities offering esports programs.