eSports become a pop-culture phenomenon

eSports become a pop-culture phenomenon
eSports-Event, Turtle Entertainment, ESL Arena, Halle 9
  • More than one out of five German internet users is familiar with eSports
  • Nearly 7 million Germans have already watched an eSports match
  • gamescom 2015 opens its doors from 5 to 9 August in Cologne

Berlin, 30 July 2015 – There is broad interest in eSports among German internet users. In total, more than one in five (22 per cent) is familiar with eSports – approximately 12 million Germans. Nearly 7 million Germans (12 per cent of German internet users) have already watched eSports matches, either in person at events, via livestream or as online recordings. Internet users in the age groups between 14 and 19 (27 per cent) and 20 and 29 (25 per cent) are particularly interested in these virtual competitions, as reported by BIU, the German Games Industry Association, in the run-up to gamescom, which takes place from 5 to 9 August in Cologne.
eSports refers to playing computer and video games in leagues or at tournaments. The focus here is on competition – international tournaments sometimes award millions in prize money to the winners. eSports are particularly popular in South Korea, where famous eSports players have attained a degree of prominence on a par with film and pop stars. In Germany, too, eSports are becoming an increasingly professional field, as VfL Wolfsburg’s recent involvement with eSports indicates.
[quotation cite=”Dr. Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of the BIU”] “Today, e-sports events attract audiences of sizes that other sports can only dream of.[/quotation]‘Today, eSports events attract audiences of sizes that other sports can only dream of,’ explains Managing Director of BIU Dr Maximilian Schenk. ‘Interest in eSports has grown steadily in recent years. eSports events are now held in huge football arenas, prize money awarded at international competitions sometimes totals in the millions, and millions of viewers watch live game broadcasts.’

eSports events attract thousands of spectators

Increasingly, eSports events are being held at enormous venues and stadiums. The ESL One tournament took place at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt just a few weeks ago; more than 20,000 people attended the event. In April, the Grand Finals hosted by online gaming company Wargaming drew 15,000 attendees to Warsaw, and 2.6 million more watched the online stream. gamescom will also feature several eSports events; during various Electronic Sports League (ESL) events, players will compete for prize money totalling 200,000 euros. In addition to numerous smaller competitions at trade fair exhibitors’ booths, the playoffs for the European qualifiers of the World Cyber Arena for various games will take place during gamescom.

Note on survey data

Market research institute GfK conducted a representative survey of 1,004 German internet users aged 14 and older regarding their interest in eSports.

About the BIU

BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (German Games Industry Association) is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and providers of digital games, and they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the sponsor of gamescom. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, the BIU answers all questions on the topic of digital games.

Press contact

Martin Puppe
BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e. V.
Charlottenstrasse 62
10117 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2408779 20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408779 11
Twitter: @game_eV

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20