We all know that eSports is growing in popularity all around the globe. No matter where you look, people are getting involved in playing video games online competitively. There are also more people than ever that are watching and even looking to bet on their favorite teams and players. Simply open up sites such as Casinos.com and you’ll find all the major games and events covered.
However, nowhere is it more popular than in Asia, which is still dominating the industry. Yes, certainly it is becoming hugely popular in European countries and across the United States, but no other region is close to hitting the heights that it manages to reach in Asia and the Asia Pacific regions… but how much does it still dominate the industry?
It’s so big that we are now looking to celebrate the very first Olympic eSports Week, which, unsurprisingly, is set to be held in Singapore between June 22nd and 25th. In the run-up to this exciting event, YouGov has released a new study which delves into where eSports games are the most popular.
The fact that the first Olympic eSports Week is located in Asia has proven to be the perfect place – given that, according to these reports, around 80% of the world’s eSports players and fans are living in the Asia-Pacific region.
This is way ahead of the next on the list, with the Americans coming in second place at 8% and the Middle East/Africa coming in third at 7% followed by Europe at 5%.
So, we can quite clearly see that most eSports fans and players come from Asia – but whereabouts?
Well, according to the same poll, there is a relatively even split. Out of the Asian eSports fans, around 20% reside in China, with another 20% coming from the Philippines. These are the two biggest eSports markets in the world.
These are followed pretty closely by Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan – all coming in at 16% – where one in six of the countries’ residents follow eSports.
Looking a bit closer to home, most eSports fans in Europe come from Hungary – with 7%, followed by both Bulgaria and Romania, with 6%. Over the pond, heading to the Americas, eSports is most popular in Brazil with 6% followed by Mexico with 5%.
But what about Singapore – home to the eSports Olympics? Well, surprisingly only around 5% of Singapore residents claim to watch eSports regularly.
So, what are these people watching? Well, according to data provided by YouGov, the most popular eSport for the majority of fans is League of Legends, by Riot Games. This is the most popular title in the Asia Pacific and Europe, the third most popular game in the Americas and the fifth most popular in the Middle East and Africa.
The second most popular is Arena of Valor / Honor of Kings. However, the main reason it sits in second position is due to its popularity in the Asian Pacific market, where it ranks as number 2. Outside of this region, it doesn’t even make the top 10 – coming in at 15th for the Middle East and Africa, 18th in the Americas and down in 21st place in Europe – which again shows the major impact of the Asian market.
A more familiar name sits in third position – Call of Duty. This game ranks first in the Americas, second in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and third in the Asia Pacific.
Coming in fourth place in the global rankings is the ever-famous Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) – ranking 4th in Europe, 5th in the Asia Pacific, 6th in the Americas and 7th in the Middle East and Africa.
Then in fifth and sixth spots, we have PUBG – PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and PUBG Mobile. Again, the franchise’s popularity is driven by the Asian Pacific region, where the desktop version comes in 4th place and the mobile version is the 6th most popular game. However, in Europe, the desktop version only comes in at number 16 with the mobile version sitting back in 23rd place.
Finally, we get a more sporty title at number 7- FIFA by EA Sports. Although this has global appeal across most regions (often in the top 3), the fact that it only sits in 12th position on the massive Asia Pacific market knocks it down somewhat.
Another popular title that ranks particularly well in the Asia Pacific market is Cross Fire by Smilegate Entertainment – although it doesn’t even make the top 15 in most other regions.
So, is eSports predominantly an Asian sport? Well, for now, it seems that it really is the most dominant region – and if a game is popular in the Asian Pacific region then it has the potential to be one of the most popular games in the world, even if it doesn’t attract big audiences outside that market.
Yes, eSports is growing massively, all over the world, but for now, it is certainly at home in Asia – and the rest of the world is still playing catch up. You can read up on what life is like for professional eSports gamers.