PricewaterhouseCoopers US takes an in-depth look at the booming vertical. It seems hardly a day passes without some mention of the booming vertical that is eSports, with various predictions on the future of the business and its continued impressive growth.
The latest of these studies comes from the respected PricewaterhouseCoopers international business and professional services group's US offices, and immediately grabs the reader’s attention with a prediction that growth in eSports of 43 percent will create a $463 million niche industry by the end of 2016. The PWC report is the result of three months work and 750 interviews with people in the know.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Esports Report
The typical eSports fan is young, racially diverse, tech-savvy and often female.
Males tend to dominate, but only slightly, when it comes to playing rather than spectating. Assessing spectator motives, PWC found that males are interested in the competitive aspects, whereas females are more into the entertainment and social aspects of eSports.
One in five eSports fans watch competitions on a weekly basis with the general eSports fan averaging 19 days of viewing a year. Asian and Hispanic viewers tended to watch more frequently (27 days and 23 days respectively).
57 percent of respondents preferred to watch eSports competitions on laptops or desktop computer screens.
68 percent of fans said they were under age 35 years.
First-person shooter competitions are the fan faves at 63 percent, chased by multiplayer online battle arena clashes (MOBA) at 37 percent.
Viewership numbers are constantly growing, with predictions that fans will either maintain or increase their level of involvement in the next twelve months in both viewership (83 percent) or participation (72 percent).
Sponsorships are also on the rise, driven by the desire of corporates to connect with the millennial generation. Corporate involvement is extending beyond sponsorships into supply and support such as betting platforms, talent agencies, events companies, fantasy sports operators and technology companies. This has led to increasingly large commercial partnerships.
It's important for companies to thoroughly familiarise themselves on all aspects before tapping into an industry like eSports which has such a large and deeply interested following from an important age demographic.
The research flagged an important preference element in fans – the tendency to follow and support a particular title and style of a competitive game and its intrinsic quality rather than fixing on a particular player or team.
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