- According to Niko Partners, the Asian esports market is currently responsible for more than half of the global revenues
- Despite the hurdles numerous industries have faced because of COVID-19, esports held their footing and even managed to grow
- Niko’s director of esports research analyzed that because of the pandemic, the trends in the industry have changed
Market analyst Niko Partners analyzes the situation of the esports industry in Asia and gives important insights on how it has been affected by the pandemic.
Asia Constitutes for More than Half of the Industry’s Revenues
Data from market analyst Niko Partners reveals that Asia is responsible for 54% of the global annual esports revenues. Capping at almost $544 million for 2020 from a total of more than a billion, the reported income is a 4,9% increase compared to the previous year. Statistics project additional 10,5% growth for 2021.
The numbers in question are based solely on competitive gaming events. Despite not being able to sell merchandise, esports flourished as interest in the industry grew, and the viewership increased substantially because of the quarantine – according to statistics, viewership had grown by 21% in 2020.
In a discourse with GamesBeat, Niko Partners’ director of esports research, Alexander Champlin, gave an insightful analysis of where the esports industry currently is and where it is headed to. According to him, the industry isn’t quite ready to return to live events, but that has benefits on its own – the online format has changed the industry’s priorities and has inspired interest in more brand partnerships and streaming deals. According to Champlin this will likely echo even after the quarantine is over.
According to Niko Partners’ analysis of the Asian market, partnerships and licensing are lucrative trends in esports.
The analytics company’s president Lisa Hanson detailed that esports initially took a blow because of COVID-19 but was much quicker to regain its footing than other industries. Not only that, but the quarantine inspired more interest in competitive gaming and led to an industry boom.
The Future of the Esports Industry
Champlin explained that some events have been taking steps towards a return to normalcy. Currently, China has almost taken back control over the situation and has once again begun to allow for the hosting of in-person events.
However, Champlin thinks that the online format that was created by necessity will not simply disappear but will rather continue to coexist with live events because of their own merits. Additionally, many people have already gotten used to the new format and don’t mind it as much as in the beginning.
The director of esports research explained that countries with strong esports tourism would likely open up faster than those who have an inner self-sufficient esports ecosystem.