Television

eSports viewers to cross 800 mn globally by '22; India’s share minor

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MUMBAI: In a new research, the UK-based Juniper Research has forecasted that unique viewers of eSports (competitive playing of video games) and Let’s Plays content (tutorials and talk-throughs of game content) will reach 858 million by 2022, up from 630 million this year with the Indian sub-continent too being a minority contributor.

The largest driver and most significant revenue source of the eSports industry has been the use of advertising and sponsorship deals.

Juniper said that advertising spend will dominate in terms of revenues and spend (accounting for 50 per cent in 2022), with this currently the preferred monetisation strategy. As more non-endemic advertisers come on board, this will only strengthen with a greater number of brands seeking to take advantage of a rapidly growing audience, the report explained.

The unique viewers forcast has been split by eight key regions, which include North America, Latin America, West Europe, Central and East Europe, Far East and China, the Indian sub-continent, Rest of Asia Pacific and Africa & Middle east. The region which contributes the biggest is Far East and China.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

The report highlighted that instead of having sponsorships from more traditional players in the market such as NVIDIA, the past year has seen increased prevalence of non-endemic advertisers, including brands such as Lynx, Gazprom, Visa, Xfinity, T-Mobile, Taco Bell and Mountain Dew. Juniper believed that this has grown purely due to the audience size and scale seen at major tournaments.

“While some brands show links to traditional gaming culture, i.e food and drink brands, others are more commonly associated with traditional sports sponsorship, ie Gazprom, and their branching into eSports shows belief that this will also become a major sporting industry,” the report stated, adding, “The issue is that eSports has been a volatile industry for a number of years, having previously had periods of growth and interest. In the mid 2000s, for example, where hype spiked, before furore around the market died down, only to be rejuvenated from 2010 onwards.”

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Meanwhile, eSports arrived in the Indian sub-continent later than other western countries and also regions in Asia like China. However, it has been announced as a medal event in 2022 Asian Games, which is a testimony to its rapid growth in this part of the world.

Indiantelevision.com’s research shows that U Cypher promoted the first multi-gaming platform on TV for eSports competitions in India. It comes under U Sport, which is founded by media tycoon-turned-angel-investor Ronnie Screwvala and his partner Supratik Sen.

U Cypher’s ambition is to present a platform to talented gamers that helps them achieve their maximum potential as well as shape their careers in e-Sports leagues.

When Indiantelevision.com spoke to eSports experts in India, one of them said, “The combined eSports and gaming market is estimated to be Rs 3,900 crore with more than 2,000 teams consistently participating in tournaments across India and abroad with over 500 million players worldwide. The industry has a number of major tournaments throughout the year with viewership in the tens of millions.”

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