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3.8 million web users had already watched or attended a live eSports competition

29/03/2018

eSports* are undeniably one of the hottest new online activities. In France, 3.8 million internet users aged 15 and over have already watched or attended a live eSports competition (3rd quarter of 2017).

Halfway between sports and a video game, eSports enjoy a huge potential pool of players and spectators: online gaming brought together nearly 35 million online users in December 20171 and sports competitions regularly beat TV audience records. Broadcasters, platforms and brands have all duly taken note.

What are the games we play ?

eSports spectators are not a homogeneous group: some are partial to a single game whilst others are more eclectic. Followers of eSports also exhibit somewhat varied preferences: among the types of competitive games enjoyed by online users, sports games are at the top (43%). However, eSports is not just for sports enthusiasts.

FPS, or first-person shooter games (34%) and online battle arena games (27%) rank second and third on the podium. Followed closely by multiplayer card, real-time strategy, combat, and role-playing games.

An influential community

Beyond the competitive dimension of eSports, a digital community has built up around gaming. We also seen the emergence of influencers** in this area: 4.9 million online games users (11%) say that they followed a gaming influencer.

Internet users primarily follow their favourite influencers online, and also on TV. They mostly use internet platforms and social networks, followed by specialised gaming actors : YouTube is widely mentioned (77%), ahead of Facebook (35%), Twitter (26%) and Twitch (14%). Game One (17%) is the only television channel to play its cards right in this area.

For online users, this content is not solely about entertainment. In fact, 2.3 million of them say they have purchased a specific product after seeing an influencer use it, i.e. almost half of web users who follow gaming.

Brands enter the arena

In just a few years, eSports have become a real market for advertisers, who are investing via advertising in the games and through sponsorship at competitions. In general, 61% of spectators have identified sponsor brands during an event, and 29% of online gamers have noticed advertising while they’re playing. In this sense, eSports represent a sector where economic stakes converge.

Although differences of opinion exist, many spectators view the presence of sponsors during tournaments positively. Furthermore, over a third of spectators consider that when a brand partners with an eSports event, then it improves its image (35%) or is modern (34%). Finally, 28% of them believe that sponsor support for a competition is essential to its success.

 

1 Médiamétrie and Mediametrie//NetRatings – Total Internet Audience – October 2017 – Base: 2 years and over

* Competitive multiplayer videogaming between professional or amateur players, as individuals or in teams
** An influencer is a person of some notoriety who is an active online spokesperson about specificto pics via platforms including: video, social networks, etc. A gaming influencer deals with subjects
related to the video games world.

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