2022
9
UK eSports Market Report 2022
2022-11-15T03:05:23+00:00
OX1100551
2195
157449
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Report
en_GB
“Esports continues to be a male-dominated industry, but scaling back the ‘win at all costs’ mentality could prove an effective way of making the industry more inclusive and getting more…

UK eSports Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Esports Market Report 2022 examines how consumers are engaging with esports, diversity and inclusion in esports, and how the market fares in the cost of living crisis. This report covers consumer attitudes and behaviour, market size, market forecast, and industry trends for the UK esports market.

Current UK Esports Market Landscape 

Due to the affordability of tickets, esports event ticket sales and attendance are expected to be resilient through the cost of living crisis. Additionally, intention to attend concerts, sporting events, or the theatre has remained similar since 2021. This indicates that the esports market is proving adaptable to current income constraints. Not only this, but up to 43% of UK consumers who game currently watch esports. With video gaming being such a large market, this presents a vast audience for esports.

Importantly, the esports market continues to be male-dominated. Despite the fact that almost half of women who have games consoles or computers at home play video games, just 18% of female gamers watch esports compared to 39% of male gamers. Concerns over online abuse may be a cause for this, as fewer women than men state that esports streams provide a sense of community.

UK Esports Industry Statistics, Trends and Opportunities

The majority of UK adults use their smartphone to watch esports, but more engaged fans (i.e. those who purchase merchandise) use bigger screens. In this sense, smartphones can be considered a key entry point into the world of esports, and advertisers have the opportunity to promote esports in mobile games. There is also opportunity in the free-to-play market, with a variety of tournaments catering to this. As over half of static console gamers state that the cost of living crisis has increased their likelihood of playing free-to-play games, there is opportunity in the esports market for watching free-to-play game tournaments.

With esports struggling to capitalise on the female market, event organisers can consider female-only tournaments as a way of inspiring women to engage more. The ‘play to win’ mentality in esports also appears to be holding women back from participating, especially as women are less likely to be interested in the competitive element of sports. Some brands are tackling this, for example Burberry in collaboration with Gen. G have opened a dialogue, with their video series on diversity in esports. David Beckham’s Guild of Esports is also paving the way, with all-women esports teams.

  • UK esports market opportunities: 59% of esports viewers engage with sponsored posts from video game streamers, indicating the highly-engaged nature of esports viewers and the potential for brand tie-ups.
  • UK esports market size: 22% YoY increase in esports market value in 2022, with merchandise and ticket sales behind most of this growth.
  • UK esports market share: 71% of Facebook users who watch esports on the platform have bought merchandise, compared with 52% for YouTube, indicating an opportunity to focus advertising efforts.

Looking Into the Future of the UK Esports Market

Building a community will be key for broadening the appeal of esports. As major brands approach and promote diversity in gaming, esports can become more inclusive and therefore attract an increasing audience, including women in esports. There’s also positive signs for the future in making esports more accessible and mainstream in other ways, such as with the introduction of a demonstrative esports tournament in the Commonwealth Games.

Netflix have started a new video game studio, with reports they are building a game streaming service, signalling the possibility of esports coverage in the future. This may indicate a further growth in appetite for esports in the mainstream. The metaverse is also a notable player in the gaming market, placing second only to shopping as a reason for consumers to use it. There is room for esports in the metaverse, in particular if major teams integrate.

To discover more about the esports market, read our UK Video Games and Consoles Market Report, or take a look at our extensive Sports Market Research.

Quickly Understand

  • Viewership of esports or game streams and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the UK esports market.
  • Devices and platforms used to watch esports and the differences in the type of viewers.
  • Measures to improve the diversity of esports and to make women feel more comfortable entering the community.
  • Engagement with esports, including buying merchandise, attending events in person and donating to game streamers.

Covered in this Report

Products: This Report analyses the competitive gaming market, also known as esports, covering console, PC, tablet, mobile and VR gaming. The Report also discusses gameplay streaming and watching.

Brands: Netflix, Yesports, Riot Games, Renegades, BOOM, Team Empire, Infinity, Talon, Immutable Games Studio, NAVI, SK Gaming, Cloud9, TI, Team Liquid, Fnatic, NRG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, League of Legends, Guild of Guardians (GOG), Guild Esports, David Beckham, and more.

Expert Analysis From a Technology Specialist

This report, written by Zach Emmanuel, a leading analyst in the technology sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the UK esports market and add expert context to the numbers.

Esports continues to be a male-dominated industry, but scaling back the ‘win at all costs’ mentality could prove an effective way of making the industry more inclusive and getting more women involved in watching gaming content. Women-only tournaments with exhibition matches can provide a better sense of community for women as well as showcase the ability of the best female players.

Zach Emmanuel - Research AnalystZach Emmanuel

Consumer Technology Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five-year outlook for esports
      • Figure 1: Category outlook for esports, 2022-27
    • The market
    • Merchandise and tickets contribute to significant growth in esports market revenue
      • Figure 2: Newzoo global revenue for esports, 2018-22
    • Cost-of-living crisis to boost interest in free-to-play esports gaming
    • Companies and brands
    • Netflix’s mobile gaming offering could point towards esports coverage in the future
    • Yesports’ NFT platform can access over 30 million esports fans
    • Commonwealth Games runs first Commonwealth Esports Championship
    • Burberry and Gen. G release video series on esports and gaming diversity
    • The consumer
    • Interest in social activities and mobile gaming steers some Older Millennials away from gaming
      • Figure 3: Frequency of gaming, 2020-22
    • Game viewing habits have declined marginally following pandemic boost
      • Figure 4: Video game viewing and playing habits, 2022
    • Smartphones provide key point of entry into watching esports
      • Figure 5: Device used to watch esports, 2022
    • Advertising merchandise and tickets could be more successful on Facebook than YouTube
      • Figure 6: Platform used to watch esports, 2022
    • Build a more welcoming community for women
      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards esports communities and sponsored posts from gamers, 2022
    • Funding towards esports training programmes can build the next generation of players
      • Figure 8: Attitudes towards esports events and merchandise, 2022
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Affordability ensures esports ticket sales will prove resilient during cost-of-living crisis
    • Use mobile adverts to entice casual gamers into esports
    • Reduce the ‘win at all costs’ mentality to attract more women to esports
  4. Market Size

    • The five-year outlook for esports
      • Figure 9: Category outlook for esports, 2022-27
    • Merchandise and tickets contribute to significant growth in esports market revenue
      • Figure 10: Newzoo global revenue for esports, 2018-22
      • Figure 11: Western Europe esports revenue breakdown, 2021-22
    • Ticket sales will prove resilient during cost-of-living crisis
  5. Market Drivers

    • Nearly four in ten consumers have a static games console
      • Figure 12: Ownership of static games consoles, 2018-22
    • Cost-of-living crisis to boost interest in free-to-play esports gaming
    • Rollout of high speed broadband makes esports accessible to more consumers
    • NFTs and metaverse could bring fans closer to esports teams in the coming years
  6. Competitive Strategies

    • Netflix’s mobile gaming division could point towards esports coverage in the future
    • Yesports’ NFT platform can access over 30 million esports fans
  7. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Commonwealth Games runs first Commonwealth Esports Championship
    • Guild of Guardians starts partnership with eight major esports brands
    • Broadening esports audience is a key objective of Sky and Guild Esports’ partnership
    • Santander becomes lead sponsor for League of Legends European Championship
    • Burberry and Gen. G release video series on esports and gaming diversity
  8. Frequency of Playing Video Games

    • Interest in social activities and mobile gaming steers some Older Millennials away from gaming
    • Social aspect of gaming is key to getting Older Millennials back on board
      • Figure 13: Frequency of gaming, 2020-22
      • Figure 14: Frequency of gaming for Older Millennials, 2021-22
  9. Watching and Participating in Esports or Game Streams

    • Game viewing habits have declined marginally following pandemic boost
    • Esports coverage on TV can tap into the idea of watching gaming as a family activity
      • Figure 15: Video game viewing and playing habits, 2022
  10. Devices Used to Watch Esports

    • Use growth in mobile games to advertise esports
      • Figure 16: Device used to watch esports, 2022
    • Smartphones provide key point of entry into watching esports
      • Figure 17: Buying merchandise, crossed by device used to watch esports, 2022
  11. Platforms Used to Watch Esports

    • Advertising merchandise and tickets could be more successful on Facebook than YouTube
      • Figure 18: Platform used to watch esports, 2022
      • Figure 19: Attitudes towards merchandise and events, by platform used to watch esports, 2022
    • Families are a key audience for esports on Facebook
      • Figure 20: Platform used to watch esports for dual parent families, 2022
  12. Attitudes towards Esports and Game Viewing

    • Build a more welcoming community for women
    • Reduce competitive aspect to encourage a more inclusive experience
      • Figure 21: “I think esports streams provide a sense of community for fans,” by gender, 2022
    • Social media giveaways can be a powerful tool for spreading brands’ name
      • Figure 22: Attitudes towards sponsored posts from video game streamers, 2022
    • Funding towards esports training programmes can build the next generation of players
      • Figure 23: Attitudes towards esports events and merchandise, 2022
  13. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

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Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

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*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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