E-sports are becoming a mass sport

E-sports are becoming a mass sport

• More than 4 million gamers in Germany have played in e-sports tournaments and leagues
• Sports and racing games rank alongside shooters as the most popular genres with amateurs
• ‘BIU Fokus: eSports’ report examines how digital sports have developed
Berlin, 22 January 2018 – E-sports are becoming a mass sport: almost one in ten gamers in Germany has played in e-sports tournaments and leagues. That equates to more than 4 million people. Almost 3 million of these gamers take part in tournaments or a league either regularly or occasionally. These figures were announced by the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, and are based on a survey by the market research company YouGov. In addition to those who already actively participate in e-sports, around one in five German gamers can imagine playing in e-sports events in the future: more than 9 million gamers in Germany (21 per cent) stated that they could envisage taking part in a competition. Furthermore, roughly a quarter of German gamers (23 per cent) can imagine joining an e-sports club.
‘If you take a look at how e-sports are developing in Germany, it’s clear that they have long since become a mass sport,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU. ‘However – unlike table football or chess – e-sports do not enjoy charitable status in Germany. This is a missed opportunity to interest young people in particular in structures which make an important contribution to society. Aside from the actual sporting element, they can inform, educate, train, help youth development or promote social engagement, for example. Policymakers finally need to create a level playing field here.’
Sports and racing games rank alongside shooters as the most popular genres with amateurs
Currently, players at professional e-sports tournaments are primarily competing in titles like ‘League of Legends’ (Riot Games), ‘Dota 2’ (Valve), ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ (Valve), ‘Overwatch’ (Blizzard) and ‘FIFA 17’ (Electronic Arts). Sports and racing games rank alongside shooters as popular genres with amateurs as well. When asked what games they had competed in, 42 per cent of the players who stated that they had taken part in e-sports tournaments and leagues replied with sports and racing games, while a further 42 per cent named shooters. In addition to this, almost one third of the gamers surveyed (31 per cent) have played real-time games like ‘StarCraft II’ (Blizzard) and about a quarter (26 per cent) have competed in combat games such as ‘Street Fighter’ (Capcom) or ‘Tekken’ (Bandai Namco). At present, the biggest difference between professional e-sports athletes and amateurs is in MOBAs, i.e. multiplayer online battle arena games. In professional e-sports, competitions featuring strategy games like this – such as ‘League of Legends’ (Riot Games) and ‘Dota 2’ (Valve) – currently boast the highest prize money and the largest number of viewers. However, this category only ranks third among amateurs. Just one in four gamers (26 per cent) said they had competed in these kinds of titles.

‘BIU Fokus: eSports’ report examines how digital sports have developed

E-sports have developed into a mass phenomenon over the last few years. As recently as the late 1990s, digital sports were largely unknown outside of gaming circles. Today, however, millions of people watch the competitions via livestreams and in packed arenas. The German Games Industry Association traces this development in its report ‘BIU Fokus: eSports’. On more than 40 pages, the publication offers a comprehensive overview of the status quo of digital sports, how they have developed both in Germany and around the world, and their potential. Interviews and short essays by experts also examine e-sports from a range of perspectives.
The report is available free of charge at: https://www.biu-online.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/game_Fokus_eSports_2017.pdf

About the survey data

All the survey data, unless otherwise specified, comes from an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH between 27 July 2017 and 3 August 2017, in which 2,000 people participated. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 and older.

BIU – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members are developers and providers of digital games and represent over 85 per cent of the German market. We are the sponsor of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, we answer questions on topics such as market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the leading location for game development.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
BIU, the German Games Industry Association
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408 77920
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408 77911
Email: puppe@biu-online.de
Twitter: @game_eV

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20