Actually, there is no reason not to get involved with esports, says gaming expert Sabine Saeidy-Nory from ERGO. For //next, she has listed why she is so enthusiastic about videogames – and why there's no excuse for companies, not to care about it.
I admit: I am a fan of one of the oldest esport teams in the world: the Silver Snipers. The Swedish professional team is not one of the oldest teams because they have been around for so long. No – it's because the average age of its members is 73! They are Gamers of the upper age group competing against each other in videogames . For those of you who are wondering what esport actually is: Welcome to a little introduction. Let's start from the beginning.
The term esport (also E-Sports, eSports or e-sports) refers to the professional, competitive playing of computer and video games. Such as classic sports, esport is about competing against others in a discipline. The discipline is a specific computer game that is either played individually or in teams.
In Germany, esport has become a social mass phenomenon. According to data from “game – the German Games Association”, two thirds of Germans have already heard of these digital competitions and around 12 million Germans have already watched esport matches, either on site or via live streaming. More than 20 football clubs of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga already have their own esport teams, and esport classes are offered at universities or in sports clubs. Media companies have successively increased their involvement in esport coverage in recent years, be it Sport1, Spiegel Online or Sportschau. And other non-endemic brands, i.e. brands outside the IT and games industry, are also becoming increasingly involved in this area, be it beverage manufacturers, car manufacturers or even insurance companies like us. As you might know, we are the sponsor of the DFB ePokal.
But why all of this? First of all, because esport has an incredible market potential. What started out as private LAN parties in the 90s and turned into first events such as the Gamers Gathering in Duisburg or the DreamHack in Jönköping at the beginning of the 2000s became a worldwide phenomenon today. The prizepool at tournaments such as “The International” was about 40 Million US Dollars in 2021. By 2024, the global esport market is expected to grow to 1.6 billion euros through revenues from services, sponsorship, advertising, ticketing, merchandising and media rights. The three most valuable esport organisations in the world – TSM, Cloud9 and Team Liquid – are worth over one billion US dollars. And the esport audience is also expected to grow to over 640 million people worldwide this year. 640 million people that you can potentially reach with your messages, products and further.
Which leads us to the next point: Esport is a way to reach the digitally savvy target group that can hardly be reached by traditional media anymore. Esport tournaments and leagues are broadcast primarily on digital channels such as YouTube and Twitch. Professional esport players are the new rock stars, which makes them important influencers on all social media platforms; especially in the East Asian region, esport has a very special significance. In South Korea, for example, the first esport association (Ke-SPA) was founded as early as 2000, which from then on took care of the South Korean esport scene. Esport is one of the top professions in South Korea; nowhere else did gaming as a live sporting event receive so much attention so early on. And overall, the number of esport viewers will probably continue to grow worldwide as the number of gamers themselves continue to grow. And where do you pick up the next generations? Exactly, online, and at some point probably in the metaverse, for which games platforms form the basis. But that is a topic for another day.
Apart from all the facts and figures you should take a close look at esport because it embodies the core elements of computer and video games and makes games culture tangible: it is about playing together, about coordinating and working together as a team. People all over the world can meet to play, celebrate triumphs or to cheer up each other after losing. This is where strangers become friends that meet also in real life, for example at gamescom in Cologne, the world's largest event for computer and video games.
As you can see esport is fascinating from many perspectives. It is socially, culturally and economically relevant. It demands top physical performance from professional gamers, as already described in the article “Good Games: The positive effects of computer and video games”. And: as with computer and video games, you are never too old for esport. The Silver Snipers are a wonderful example of this.
Text: Sabine Saeidy-Nory
Esports: A complete guide by the European Games Industry Association:
Esport guide by “game – the German Games Association”:
Esports Player Foundation: support esports talents in Germany
The Equal Esports Initiative aims to promote equality, diversity and thus also inclusion in esports
If you want to join – here you can find information about events:
And of course, gamescom is not to be missed: