Gaming is one of Russia’s biggest industries, and Russia has the largest market for video games in Eastern Europe. In 2016, Russia’s gaming market was worth 1.4 billion dollars, making it the 11th largest market in the world. This makes it no surprise that Russia would place second in the top 5 eSports countries in Europe. According to IHS Markit, China actually accounts for 57% of the world’s eSports viewership, but Europe’s eSport market has rapidly grown in the last few years. In May 2017, SuperData Research investigated the eSports marketplace in 12 countries in Europe and found that the region’s revenues totaled to $301 million in 2016. It is expected to reach $346 million by 2018.
According to eMarketer, in 2016 Sweden had the largest eSport market in Europe, which amounted to $40.8 million in eSports revenues. Russian eSports revenues follows closely behind Sweden with $35.4 million in revenues. France is the third top eSport country in Europe with $22.5 million in eSports revenue. An increase in recent eSports interests in Europe has helped drive revenues. According to SuperData Research, at the end of 2016 there were more than 22.6 million eSports viewers in Europe, which is projected to pass 27 million viewers in 2017, and 30 million viewers in 2018.
According to SuperData Research, the European eSport market is definitely male-dominated, with 84% of European eSports viewers being male. While only 16% of viewers are female. But some countries have sizeable female audiences, including Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, and Poland. 24% of Sweden eSports viewers are female, and 22% of France’s and the UK’s viewers are female. In countries such as Italy and Israel the viewers skew even more in the male dierection. 90% of Israel’s eSports viewers are male, and 88% of Italy’s viewers are male.
European eSport viewers are mostly between the ages of 18 to 34, making up 62% of total viewers. 12% of viewers are between the ages of 13 to 17. 33% of viewers are between the ages of 18 to 24. 29% of viewers are between the ages of 25 to 34. eSports definitely carry more popularity among European millennials. The largely male, millennial viewership offers advertisers an opportunity to reach with an audience that has been more difficult to connect with through former traditional media. IHS Markit predicts that eSports ad spending will be worth $1 billion worldwide by 2021, which is a $280 increase from the previous year.