Trending market eSports

07 December 2016 / editorial

One of the most common questions when talking about eSports is: what differs eSports from „real“ sport? According to ESL (originally Electronic Sports League, which is the largest video game event company in the world) eSports combine abilities such as hand-eye-coordination, dexterity and reaction speed as well as tactical understanding. Players are organized in teams which take over the functions of associations and often are sponsored internationally.


Obviously there are many similiarities between eSports and real sport like the combination of motoric and cognitive abilities. As eSports is one of the most interesting topics within the sports industry, it’s gaining more and more attention from sponsors and media publishers. It can‘t be denied that there’s a high potential in the trending eSports industry. On the one hand there are huge events like the ESL tournaments, which fill stadiums like the football stadium of Eintracht Frankfurt. These events are streamed via platforms such as Twitch or Azubu. The streams gain millions of views live and as video on demand. On the other hand the eSports athletes are icons for their fans and have thousands of followers on social media.


Analytics from show that eSports fans are an extremely attractive target group for sponsoring companies. eSports fans are well educated and have an above-average household income. However, the average competitive gamers are 16-26 years old and 85% are male. They are students or young professionals. In addition they can be described as early adoptors and technology-oriented.


The overall eSports audience will increase from about 50 Million in 2012 to estimated 150 Million viewers in 2017. Summing up one can say that those numbers underline the rising importance of eSports for sponsors. The professional eSports players and teams are very interesting for Influencer Marketing as they have a huge followership on social media. It’s remarkable that their followers are highly interested and engaged for all topics around eSports itself. That’s why the players and teams can promote products and brands in a very authentic way. Thus they are much more attractive for companies as advertising partners and brand ambassadors compared to media advertising.