E-sports industry gains steam as young spectators spend more

2017-11-14 02:35:18 GMT2017-11-14 10:35:18(Beijing Time) Sina English

E-SPORTS in China is on course to extend by a compound annual growth rate of 26.4 percent rising from US$56 million in 2016, and is estimated to be worth US$182 million by 2021, according to a report released by PwC.

Figures from the accounting firm charted the dynamic expansion of e-sports in China, now the second-largest market in Asia and the third-largest globally after only the United States and South Korea.

“The evolution of e-sports is incredibly exciting and it’s unfolding at a staggering scale here in China. As a recent example, the World Championship finals for League of Legends (LoL) filled the national stadium in Beijing. And yet ticket sales are just the tip of the iceberg, with millions more watching the finals at home via live streaming,” said Frank Cai, assurance partner at PwC’s China division.

The upward trend of e-sports in China correlates with the country’s booming video game market, which generated revenue of US$15.4 billion in 2016. The market, which is expected to reach US$26.2 billion in 2021, is on track to rival the United States, according to an earlier report released by PwC on the outlook of the global entertainment and media industry.

Meanwhile, the rise of e-sports is leading to a variety of other lucrative income streams that not only include event admission fees, sponsorship and merchandise, but also advertising, alliances with sports and apparel firms, and new opportunities with other players in the media and entertainment field.

“The special appeal of e-sports stems from the fact that spectators are typically young, tech-savvy and eager to spend a lot of money accessing their favored entertainment on digital platforms,” said Sandy Xu, TMT partner at PwC’s China division.

According to the report, influential drivers shaping e-sports include technological factors such as faster broadband and more interactive interfaces such as VR and AR. Additionally, the behavioral and attitudinal shifts of young users and the endorsements of cultural icons are contributing to the popularity of e-sports in China.

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