The European eSport market, i.e. videogames played in teams or individually competitively in leagues or tournaments, continues to evolve, claiming the role of a new entertainment tool for an increasingly wider audience.

After consecutive years of growth, the sector would have to exceed the billion dollars of global revenues for the first time in 2020, but the current economic dynamics make the reality still uncertain.

While most stakeholders in this sector have seen growth in 2019, the situation in 2020 is very different due to the health emergency, as shown in the report by Deloitte

The June 2020 study of 12,000 consumers wanted to gather data and primary information on developments in the European eSport market.

1,500 respondents from each of the eight European countries involved took part in the survey: Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

The level of knowledge and use of eSports has been deepened, both from the player’s point of view and from the passive content users, such as events and matches in streaming (research has also investigated channels of use, titles and intention of

The consumer analysis was accompanied by a further phase of investigation among 53 corporate representatives of organisations within the European eSports system, with the aim of representing all areas of the latter: events, championships, teams, media and online platforms

The growing popularity of eSports promotes the involvement of non-endemic companies.

Research figures show that more than 75% of eSport-related companies in Europe recorded an increase in revenues in 2019, of which about half (45%) saw an increase of more than 20% compared to the previous year. The global audience of eSports has grown by 12%, reaching around 443 million people on all channels, thus making a further step towards spreading to the general public. In addition, there are inevitable reflections on the growing impact of eSport activities on the consistency and performance of the network, already under pressure during lockdown by the intensive use of online streaming platforms.

Europe is one of the most active areas in eSports globally, after Asia and North America: 38% of the sample has already looked at eSport content, with Spanish (55%) and Italian consumers (53%) in the top positions of this ranking. Italy and Spain are the highest number of fans even with respect to the number of regular users, as the percentage of those watching at least once a week eSport matches is more than 20%. eSport fans are mostly young and well educated, a target

After the positive developments last year that allowed stakeholders in the industry to imagine optimistic prospects for 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has upset the plans of the whole industry. As a result of the restrictions implemented to contain the pandemic and the greatest time spent at home, there has been a sharp increase in the number of spectators of eSport broadcasts, both on the Internet and on TV.

The most significant increase was in Italy and Spain, where the government’s regulations were particularly strict, and where 44% of respondents said they had enjoyed more eSport content than before the pandemic. More than half of the respondents in Italy and Spain claim to have played more games since the introduction of the Covid-19 restrictions, while in the other countries interviewed, this share is between 30% and 38%.

Despite the great attention gained by eSports during this period, only 43% of the companies interviewed by Deloitte say that they could support their level of revenue or expand their business, while 38% say they have suffered losses.

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