Interpret: Women make up 30% of esports audience, up 6.5% from 2016

Interpret- Women make up 30% of esports audience, up 6.5% from 2016

Women’s viewership of esports grew from 23.9 percent of all watchers in 2016 to 30.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a report by market researcher Interpret. That 6.5 percent change is a considerable leap, considering the heavy representation of men in both esports audiences and professional athletes in the past.

“Changing behaviors among a large segment of people is difficult. Progress of this size always takes time; however, a [6.5 percent] gain in gender share over a two-year period is a trend in the right direction,” said Tia Christianson, the vice president of research in Europe for Interpret, in a statement. “If two years from now, the female audience grabs an additional 6 percent in share, esports viewership will be in gender parity with what we consider standard among traditional console and PC games.”

She added, “As an industry, more progress will be made as females’ role in traditional esports titles continue to grow, given the efforts from some of the industry leaders. More likely than not, a lot of that growth may come in non-traditional esport genres, and especially games tailored to mobile and tablet devices.”

Interpret- Women make up 30% of esports audience, up 6.5% from 2016
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Christianson said that women’s viewership has consistently gained share nearly every quarter since 2016.Of those that play games considered an esport on console/PC, only 35 percent are female. Of those that consider themselves esports watchers, 30 percent are women. Of those that watch esports leagues, 20 percent are women.

Of those that play games considered an esport on console/PC, only 35 percent are female. Of those that consider themselves esports watchers, 30 percent are women. Of those that watch esports leagues, 20 percent are women.

But casual gaming (defined as those who log many hours on mobile and few on PC/console) is dominated by women at 66 percent.

Interpret said the slow increase in traditional female fans of esports may be due to an increased prevalence of mobile games in competitive gaming. According to Skillz, a platform that offers mobile competitive gaming and boasts a large selection of casual games, 7 of the top 10 mobile earners on their platform in 2018 were female.

Skillz has shown that one of the keys to increasing female participation in esports or competitive gaming may be through mobile and tablet devices, with games in nontraditional esports genres.

Extremely low female involvement in major esports titles like CS:GO (24 percent female), DOTA 2 (20 percent female), Hearthstone (26 percent female), Rainbow 6: Siege (23 percent female), and even Overwatch (26 percent female) highlights the core challenge in attracting more female esports fans, Interpret said.

BY DEAN TAKAHASHI @DEANTAK FEBRUARY 21, 2019 12:01 PM

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Newzoo Estimates eSports Revenue Will Eclipse $1 billion This Year

Newzoo estimates esports revenue will eclipse $1 billion this year

PHOTO: The crowd roars during the Overwatch League finals on July 27 at the Barclays Center in New York City. Market research firm Newzoo released projections for the esports industry Tuesday that include $1.1 billion in expected revenues for 2019. Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Blizzard Entertainment

The esports market is expected to eclipse $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2019, according to a market report from research firm Newzoo released on Tuesday.

The esports industry brought in $865.1 million in revenue in 2018, according to Newzoo, and stands to reach $1.1 billion in 2019 based on the company’s projections. With a growth rate of 22.3 percent year over year, Newzoo predicted that the industry will rake in $1.79 billion in revenue by 2022.

These numbers are more modest than previous reports from the firm, which outlined $1.5 billion by 2020. The industry will take an additional year, to hit those numbers, according to Tuesday’s report.

The audience for the space is also expected to grow to include 453.8 million people who consume at least one esports event per year in 2019, with 201 million of those fans watching at least one esports event per month, according to the firm. In 2018, Newzoo found 394.6 million people watched at least one esports event per year.

In October and November, more than 58.3 million hours of the League of Legends World Championship were consumed by viewers, with the majority of that viewership stemming from China. By comparison, the second most-watched tournament, the Dota 2 Asia Championships in February 2018, accrued a total of 12 million hours viewed.

The majority of the esports revenue will come from brand investments, which Newzoo categorizes as sponsorships, advertising and media rights. Forty-two percent of revenues are projected to come from sponsorships, which have hit record numbers in the past few years, according to the report. In the past few months, companies such as Coca-Cola, Alienware and others have forged global deals with the Overwatch League and League Championship Series respectively.

Newzoo also predicted an uptick in interest from media companies both on digital and linear TV. In late 2017 and throughout 2018, the League Championship Series and Overwatch League struck multimillion-dollar deals with ESPN, while the Overwatch League also finalized a two-year, $90-million deal with Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch. Other livestreaming platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Caffeine — which raised $100 million from Fox News in September — have committed to making bigger investments in the space as well.

Despite increased interest and revenues, average spending per fan will likely increase but still remain very low compared to traditional sports, Newzoo said. In 2019, regular esports consumers will spend $5.45 per year on esports, excluding the purchase of game titles.

Of the 173 million people who consumed esports more than once a month, 72 percent were men, while 28 percent were women, according to Newzoo’s report. The dominant age range for both was 21-35, including 39 percent of men and 15 percent of women. Of viewers who watched at least once per year, Newzoo found that 66 percent were men and 34 percent were women.

Although the benchmark of $1 billion provides optimism, there are some signs that the esports industry is struggling in other areas. Despite more than $500 million being committed to franchise fees in both the Overwatch League and Riot Games’ League Championship Series and League European Championship in 2017 and 2018, some investors have looked to sell, while some teams have made layoffs within the last six months.

In October, OpTic Gaming and Houston Outlaws parent Infinite Esports & Entertainment — which committed $33 million in franchise fees to the Overwatch League and League Championship Series in 2017 — laid off 19 employees and ousted CEO Chris Chaney. Their main shareholders, a group comprised of Texas Rangers owners Neil Leibman and Ray Davis, are now looking to sell majority stake of that company for around $150 million, ESPN reported in January.

Infinite’s ownership group is not alone. Vision Venture Partners, the parent of Echo Fox and Twin Galaxies, had layoffs in November after its H1Z1 Pro League began to unravel in fall 2018. The Overwatch League had layoffs, too, after it overspent its original estimates, league sources said. Its parent company, Activision Blizzard, also shuttered the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship in December, and Activision Blizzard is expected to lay off hundreds employees this week, per a Thursday report from Bloomberg.

BY JACOB WOLF, ESPN STAFF WRITER FEBRUARY 12, 2019 02:39 PM

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Esports’ College Epicenter Calls Kansas City Home

Esports’ college epicenter calls Kansas City home

The next time you see someone with eyes glued to a computer screen, fingers rapidly mashing buttons on the keyboard, occasionally twitching toward a pile of nearby energy drinks, don’t assume he’s wasting his life on video games.

That person could be just as talented at his (or her) respective passion as a Division I football or basketball player. There’s also a chance that person will go on to participate in a form of college competition, esports, and earn scholarships just as valuable as those secured by counterparts on the football field or basketball court.

And if college competition is in the offing, whether they’re in Seattle or back east or elsewhere in the Midwest, a lot of their direction will probably come from right here in Kansas City.

Esports originated as a free-for-all battlefield when it came to organized competition, especially at the collegiate level. But now, thanks to the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), competitive collegiate esports has a platform on which to build.

Based inside the NAIA’s offices on Grand Boulevard in Kansas City and working in conjunction with a host of NCAA and NAIA schools, NACE is the umbrella organization for collegiate esports programs nationwide, from four-year universities to smaller schools like Park University in Parkville, the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan., and KC’s Columbia College.

“It’s a lot of STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) majors, which is a whole different demographic than you would see in traditional sports,” said NACE marketing manager Victoria Horsley. “So we’re reaching out to a whole set of students and a whole different niche, and it’s really nice to be able to see them blossom in college like other people can.”

Since launching in July 2016 under NACE executive director Michael Brooks, the organization has grown to govern more than 120 schools — or 94 percent of colleges currently involved in esports.

Horsley said schools such as Missouri and Wichita State often start out playing Overwatch and League of Legends — two popular video games — when they submit their declaration of intent with NACE. Many later branch into games that are considered more niche, such as Rocket League, Rainbow Siege Six and Counter-Strike: Global Offense.

NACE has yet to see a groundswell of support for collegiate esports competing in traditional sports games — FIFA or Madden, for instance — because game developer EA Sports typically stages its own competitions.

But it’s not just the opportunity to play at the collegiate level that attracts prospective participants.

“Some of our schools don’t offer a whole lot, and then some offer full rides (scholarships),” Horsley said. “It just kind of varies depending on the school, and how much money they have.

“But we hosted a Smite and Paladins tournament in the fall, and we offered $100,000 in scholarships in partnerships with Hi-Rez Studios, which is the developer of those games.”

The relationship between participating colleges and NACE is a two-way street, with schools often incorporating esports into their official teams in order to draw in more STEM majors. The average ACT score of esports students governed by NACE is an impressive 30 out of 36.

“Traditional sports attract the other side of college offerings: School of Business, School of Journalism, those kind of things,” Horsley said. “It’s really beneficial to us to see that … a president of a university can ask, ‘How can I get more math majors?’ and then they see something like esports come in and they see that’s a way to draw attention to (STEM) students.”

At the start of 2018, NACE had just 50 schools in its books. A year later, that number has more than doubled.

Horsley looks forward to the continued growth of both NACE, here in Kansas City, and esports overall.

”For us, personally, it’s awesome,” she said. “We’re kind of on the ground floor of something that is really, really growing. I think it’s really, really great. I get to see the firsthand changes that it makes for students.”

BY SHAUN GOODWIN JANUARY 10, 2019 02:39 PM

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What Side of History Will You Choose?

What Side of History Will You Choose

Is this a good time to enter the eSports industry? That question is either yes or no. History will prove that the decisions people make today are decisions on which side of this line in history they want to be on.

I get asked this questions maybe two or three times a week, “Do you have any concerns about entering into the eSports industry”? And the answer is, No. As a matter of fact, it’s “No . . .” Check out this video to find out why.

What Side of History Will You Choose?

(Transcript) I get asked this questions maybe two or three times a week, “Do you have any concerns about entering into the eSports industry?” And the answer is, No. As a matter of fact, it’s “No . . . “ And the reasons why is just because it’s a one word answer. It’s a binary question and the answer it either Yes or No. And the answer is no because really, the decision I had to make was, “What side of history do I want to be on?” That was it. So I know that this is a defining moment . I know a lot of people don’t understand it. You know what? 1988 and 1989 and 1990, people didn’t understand the internet and now it completely controls everything in your life. It was a binary decision back then too.

Are you going to go all in or are you not going to believe it at all and believe it’s a fad? It’s “What side of history do you want to be on?” So I just want to encourage you if you’re trying to get the answer to that question. Sometimes people talk to me and they want me to convince them of what they should decide. I’m not going to try to convince you. As a matter of fact, I told my colleagues this week, “I don’t want you to spend one minute trying to convince anyone of this. Not one minute.”

People have to decide for theirselves what side of history they want to be on. And I want to encourage you to make that decision too.

If you’re interested in learning more about opening a Contender eSports franchise, Contact Us at any time.

The Big Three Questions of Opening an eSports Gaming Center

The Big Three Questions of Opening an eSports Gaming Center

When considering opening a gaming center, people often visit several locations as they research the pros and cons of an independent location vs a franchise. It is not uncommon to notice at many independent locations that there are a bunch of computers sitting around with wires all over the place, that the place is almost always empty and that the owners look downtrodden.

In the video below, I compare an independent hamburger restaurant (Taylor’s Hamburgers) to the McDonald’s franchise.

The Three Big Questions

At Taylor’s Hamburgers I noticed that it’s small, there’s no branding anywhere, there’s no training anywhere. . . good hamburgers, good people, but that’s about it. However, there are many McDonald’s locations surrounding Taylor’s. What McDonald’s did was they looked at an opportunity where individuals were passionate about a certain thing, in this case, hamburgers and they took their passion and turned it into a business and they were happy with that. There was nothing more to it. Ray Kroc and not necessarily the McDonald brothers, but particularly Ray Kroc looked at that opportunity and said, “Look. . . If we take this thing that people do love (the do love it), there’s a huge audience for this, there’s a huge consumer base for it and we apply standards, branding, structures and training . . .”

Have you ever seen the movie “The Founder”? You should watch it, because you’ll see the process that someone goes through to take something that is loved by people and to standardize it in order to expand and grow it throughout an industry or throughout a country.

Visiting one or two single hamburger restaurants is not a proof of concept. If you want to be part of a franchise, you can’t use independent locations as a proof of concept. You have to look at the industry, see what’s happening and see if you can capture it. You have to ask yourself:

  1. Can I get a better location?
  2. Will I provide a better service or product?” It doesn’t matter what franchise it is, these rules apply to everything.
  3. Can I be a better operator? i.e Can I execute better on marketing, on customer service, on managing building the brand, on PR?

It doesn’t matter what franchise it is, these rules apply to every industry.

We hope this is helpful to you. Honestly, it always comes down to the same three things; questions only you can answer. We hope that you’re able to do that.

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eSports Joins the Big Leagues

With one of the fastest growing fan bases in pro sports, a youthful global audience that’s already larger than Major League Baseball’s and top players who are quickly joining the ranks of millionaires – eSports have entered the mainstream phenomenon.

Did you know?

  • The eSports monthly audience in 2018 has reached 167M and is predicted to reach 276M by 2022.
  • eSports rivals traditional pro sports. eSports viewership is already outpacing some major league sport audiences. Unlike traditional sports, most eSports viewership is online.
  • Who’s Watching? A young, digital and global audience.
  • Lucrative monetization opportunities arise as a result. Like traditional sports, media rights will eventually become the largest source of eSports revenue, followed by sponsorships.
  • Landmark media deals are taking shape. To date, there have been several landmark media rights deals.
  • Player earnings are surging. Growing prize pools are a key factor in audience growth and player earnings are beginning to resemble other pro sports.
  • Traditional pro sports are joining in. eSports keep fans engaged during the offseason. For developers, tournaments can further grow audiences, engagement, and monetization
  • There’s no stopping eSports. Audiences, prize pools and monetization opportunities will be growing rapidly over the next five years.

Watch what happens when a Goldman Sachs analyst plays with the pros. 

View the Infographic and read the full article by Goldman Sachs.

The Rise of eSports: How Big Can This Business Get?

LendEdu recently did a survey to evaluate changing spending habits as it relates to eSports. The findings are revealing in a sport that is emerging to the forefront of cultures in every country.

When we talk with potential franchisees about eSports, the first thing many of them say is “What is eSports?“. After a brief explanation, we typically hear back about a week later with the same response: “Ok, I have no idea how I have missed this .. but ever since we discussed eSports, I see it and hear it everywhere around me!”. That experience will fade away in the months and years to come, as the trends become as much a part of the culture as buying $5 coffees (i.e. remember the first time you walked into a Starbucks and said, “$2.95 for coffee! No one will ever pay that”). Yep… it’s the same thing.

Here are some findings

They surveyed 1,000 self-identified eSport fans, and they came away with the following key findings:

  • 62% of respondents indicated that they have spent money on eSports before, with the estimated average eSport expenditure coming in at $566 per year.
  • 49% of respondents would rather spend money on eSport event tickets instead of sporting or concert tickets. Further, 51% of respondents would rather spend money on eSport merchandise instead of sporting merchandise.
  • If they only could afford one, 45% of parents would rather pay for their child’s one-on-one video game lessons instead of sport or academic lessons.

Read the full article by Mike Brown at LendEdu.

League of Legends on TBS

Turner & IMG’s ELEAGUE, in partnership with Riot Games, will show League of Legends – the world’s most-played PC game – in a 1 Hour TBS special set to show Friday, Oct. 19, at 10 p.m. CST on TBS. ELEAGUE’s Esports 101: League of Legends will provide a lighthearted, easy to understand intro to League of Legends – the fast-paced, team-based strategy battle game with millions of gamers worldwide and with 14 professional leagues.

This is just another example of eSports taking center stage in media around the world. The growth is outstanding.

The show – co-hosted by League of Legends experts Bil “Jump” Carter & Kelsie “KayPea” Pelling – will celebrate the culture, history and in-game elements of the title’s global esports scene. ELEAGUE’s Esports 101: League of Legends will debut during the LoL World Championship 2018 (Sept. 22 through Nov. 3 in South Korea).

Read the full press release on ELeague.

Building a Nationwide High School Esports League

Over the last several months much of the media coverage on the growth of the sports has been related to what is happening in colleges and universities. While the growth in this sector is rapid, there is a similar growth pattern in high schools.

The eSports Observer notes, “High schools could prove to be a crucial formative period for any future gaming star. For many institutions, developing a dedicated facility for gaming isn’t nearly as costly as in traditional sports. “Most people are surprised by how easy to build an esports program at their school, and how affordable too” said Parnell. “The biggest onboarding process we have to overcome is the IT equipment. Really understand how the IT network is set up, unblock certain websites…ports for servers, for particular games we’re rolling out.””

The ideal scenario would be for high schools to provide centers directly for their students. Obviously, there’s a financial barrier of entry for this, which leads the way for third-party gaming center to provide the same kind of services to the high schools.

Building a gaming center in a community is more than installing technology. It is the opportunity to provide easy access to all local universities and colleges, high schools and clubs throughout the city, not to mention those who simply love gaming and are not yet directly connected to the community.

Listen to the informative podcast on Soundcloud.

Ohio State University eSports Program

Imagine a world-class soccer team, such as Manchester United, deciding to build a stadium in a city that has never heard of soccer. First would come curiosity, then observers, then fans … And very quickly you would not find one person in the city who did not know what soccer was. It would affect all age groups, every part of society, and the general awareness of something that was previously not known would become standard.

This is precisely what is happening with eSports.

Major entities and influencers around the world are pushing global awareness like never before. We see it with celebrities, professional athletic teams, and Rockstars.

This past week Ohio State University became the next big influencer.

Ohio State University (OSU) is developing a new comprehensive esports program that will bring together academics, collegiate competition, and multidisciplinary research. The program will span across five of the university’s colleges, with a focus on game studies and esports.

The curriculum will include undergraduate and graduate esports degrees, an elective course in esports content production, and online certification programs for specialized credentials. Part of the program extends to the OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, where prospective students will study the relationships between the brain, bodies, and behaviors of esports athletes.

The phenomenon is about to happen Ohio’s only evidence of what will happen in key cities around the world. This is not something to be relegated in the United States to New York and Los Angeles … But rather it will touch every town in one way or another.

The same is true outside of the US. What city do you live in? Have you done a quick Google search for eSports in the name of your city? You might find some interesting developments.

Continue Reading the original story in The Esports Observer.

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