What are the most developing eSports markets of the moment? LATAM and Australia lead the list of the most active territories and according to some estimates, their business volumes will soon exceed those of the USA and Europe.
When we talk about videogames and in particular eSports markets, it’s easy to think: China, Korea, the United States and Europe. “Mother States” that represent the start of a movement that today reaches billions of users in every corner of the world!
However, in the light of new and interesting developments, there are territories such as LATAM and Australia which have registered an exponential growth of attention towards this market and with their large numbers in terms of population, they are at the top of a list of emerging eSports territories that could soon overtake big giants like the United States and Europe.
LATAM in particular has become a major player in recent years and according to some statistics, it is the most promising market in the world!
Great credit for this sudden “explosion” in southern America, must certainly be attributed to the pandemic (as for the rest of the world), but not only …
To significantly contribute to the push of the videogames phenomenon in those territories, there are important iGaming companies that with their bookmakers specialized in eSports betting, allow these competitions to become mainstream and safe from the point of view of legality.
It is indisputable that the interest of betting companies inevitably translates into investments in terms not only of visibility of events and sponsorships but also – and above all – supervision for the integrity and monitoring of matches. In order to open bets on a videogames event, a bookmaker must also be sure to be able to monitor it, from the point of view of the risk of fraud and match-fixing.
So, if the entire eSports movement is able to prove to be safe and well controlled, it is possible to give a positive image to the public. This is one of the main keys to the success of the videogames phenomenon in LATAM.
But let’s find out in detail, which are the main protagonist countries of this important revolution currently underway …
eSports in Peru owe the reasons for their massive growth to the pandemic, in fact, thanks to Covid19, video games have gradually conquered their place in people’s daily lives by introducing themselves to a new niche of young and passionate audiences.
The recent territorial modernization has contributed to encourage this rise, which for some years has guaranteed new technologies and plants throughout Peru.
A mix of advantageous conditions, which has allowed companies to invest in new business opportunities – such as videogames.
But what are the most popular games in Peru?
The list of popular games in Peru is very large but undoubtedly, the most played titles are Dota (the famous game – an expansion of Warcraft III – created by Valve) and League of Legends (the main title of Riot Games).
The popularity of these two video games has led to the creation of huge events both online and land-based, among the main ones we mention:
– The National Tournament organized by Dota2 and the Movistar Liga Pro Gaming, which brought together the best teams of Peru by delivering more than $ 23,000 in prizes.
– The National League of Legends circuit arrived in Peru thanks to LVP Spain, a European institution that, in addition to Claro and El Comercio, operates as a leader in those territories.
This latest initiative from LoL has led the country on the road to entering the League of Legends World Cup.
eSports enthusiasts have responded positively to these initiatives with millions of views in lives, hundreds of thousands on Video on Demand (VOD) and brands have found in these spaces and in the players themselves a business opportunity to invest in.
The previously announced events aren’t the only eSports competitions in Peru, just as Dota2 and League of Legends aren’t the only games in the area. There are many small-scale tournaments that equally appeal to a large audience.
It should be remembered that small organizers and sponsors prefer to invest in small local tournaments, where players participate to win smaller prize pools that encourage competitiveness and promote maximum visibility of the advertised products or services.
Sponsors, players and spectators
As with traditional sports, it’s the players and teams that bring visibility and fame to a video game, generating enthusiasm in the fans and becoming the main reason why viewers tune in to an eSports tournament. Names like Faker (League of Legends) or Dendi (Dota2) have already earned a place in the hearts of their fans and every event that sees them as protagonists, gains immense popularity all over the world.
Unfortunately, the situation of eSports players in Peru still remains unlawful. In countries like the United States and China, these players are recognized as athletes and enjoy the same legal advantages as a footballer. This is not the case in Peru, and the situation from this point of view requires a major reform.
This aspect, in the next few years, will be able to play a fundamental and delicate role for the consecration of eSports throughout the territory. Thanks to the investment of brands in teams and players, the community grows, players find new opportunities to survive and this generates more business and investment opportunities for new entrepreneurs.
As in Peru, also in Brazil, the real catalyst for the eSports phenomenon was the pandemic. With quarantine the population started playing video games more and more often.
Official data: according to Google Trends, the term “eSports” in Brazil has doubled the search rates.
Detail that certifies that the consumption of eSports in the area and with it the business of videogames has increased.
Speaking of business, a huge chunk of revenue is generated from brands advertising, media rights and sponsorships. A good example was Gillette, Dell and Redbull who invested a lot of sponsorship funds in Brazil in 2020.
While from the point of view you are media contents, much of the promotion of the phenomenon took place and still takes place today through Facebook, Twitter and SporTV (one of the best sports channels in the area).
Official Data: The Brazilian League of Legends (CBLoL) recorded 336k simultaneous spectators in the final between PaiN Gaming and Santos while on social networks the circulation increased from 8.3 million in February to almost 18 million in April 2021.
Another factor that helped eSports to find success in Brazil was the bond it developed with more traditional forms of sport. Flamengo for example founded their eSports division in 2017, which still competes in the League of Legend today. Ronaldo “the phenomenon” and Ronaldinho have invested in videogames, developing teams for FIFA and League of Legends.
But the most successful game in the whole area is Counter-Strike!
Counter-Strike is the most popular game in Brazil with professional teams spread across the territory; specifically, 115 teams earned $ 1,596,265 in prizes. Speaking of players, there are 91 pros who have won $ 3,550,195 in prizes over time.
Media growth of eSports in Brazil
With the growth of viewers on Twitch in Brazil, the general interest of the population has grown. In technical terms, this translates into the conversion of simple enthusiasts into full-fledged players that lead game developers to design and structure more tournaments on Brazilian territory to better cover the request.
In 2020, the videogames industry in Brazil earned $ 1.5 billion, climbing to 13th place in the rankings of business markets. Internationally, what is surprising is that the mobile market in Brazil is expected to bring in revenues of $ 878 million and a total of $ 1.75 billion.
Another aspect that tends to drive market growth is the number of game developers. In 2020, the digital game industry census found there were more than 375 developers in the country, which is 180% more than in 2014.
Major eSports events in Brazil:
The Brazilian League of Legends (CBLoL) is arguably the biggest tournament and it defines who will represent the region at the World League of Legends championships.
The Free Fire mobile game had over one million viewers on YouTube at the final. Incredible considering that it is only in its third season.
CS: GO regularly sees large numbers of spectators following the biggest national teams; MiBR and Furia eSport.
Rainbow Six occupies the 4th position among the most followed titles in Brazil! (Portuguese is the second most popular language in the Six Invitational). Additionally, Ninjas in Pajamas (an established Swedish team), has a Brazilian rosaster for this game.
The popularity of eSports in Brazil also continues to grow due to international interest. Team Liquid (USA) and Ninjas in Pajamas have already established rosters.
Why does this happen? Because some games are more popular locally than in the rest of the world. A smart move when you consider it’s an untapped way to grow the fan base. It is also much simpler from an economic point of view considering for example that Free Fire has had a million viewers compared to other games like Dota 2.
Another element is the popularity they have on various platforms. For example, the LOUD team is the first organization that has reached 1 billion views on its YouTube channel and has a constant presence on NIMO.tv with more than 300,000 viewers.
Another worldwide trend they follow is to become fans of some legendary players. For example, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo is a two-time champion in CS: GO. Or in LOL Felipe, there is “brTT” Goncalves who appeared in the documentary series “Legend Rising” alongside legends like Faker, xPeke, Reckless and Bjergsen.
eSports in Argentina, as in all of LATAM, are gaining a lot of interest. The catalyst as for the rest of the countries was certainly Covid19:
Before the pandemic in 2019, Newzoo estimated the eSports audience at 3.76 million, today those numbers have doubled.
Argentina is currently the third largest video game community in South America (after Brazil and Mexico), so it is a huge and profitable market, but the problem is that this territory still has a shortage of investments. “
However, something is changing, as demonstrated by some important sponsorships and partnerships that have seen investing in the territory, global brands such as Logitech (sponsor of Team 9z) and Cooler Master which sponsors San Lorenzo Esports (CASLA Esports).
Sometimes Argentines think: “First the regulations, then the investments”! But it’s only a matter of time before the scene gets completely professional. The entry of some of the country’s leading traditional sports clubs such as River Plate and Boca Juniors into eSports shows that the market has reached an important new level of maturity.
Unlike Brazil, Argentina has several language and cultural barriers. Obstacles that have not yet made this phenomenon explode 100%.
Argentina is part of the Spanish-speaking block, a linguistic problem that does not stop game developers who have created tailor-made events;
For example, Riot Games has created specific leagues for each block: The Brazilian League of Legends (CBLOL) and the Latin American League (Liga Latinoamérica, LLA).
Demographics, as anticipated, is another obstacle that initially blocked the expansion of eSports but some producers managed to convert this discomfort into an opportunity:
… the population is made up of individuals who don’t watch much TV, don’t watch the news, don’t listen to the radio, maybe they don’t even watch sports, but they watch eSports … This is the reward for the effort and inventiveness that the pioneers of videogames managed to get!
Speaking of the most popular titles, we find Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)! This game has featured a part of life of almost all Argentine adult males to date. A game that certifies the preference of Argentine players to focus on first person shooters.
“According to Newzoo, 49.8% of the PC market in Argentina, share mainly plays shooters, followed by Battle Royale games at 36.9%. It will be interesting to see titles like Battle Royale and Free Fire will earn significant ground in the coming months and years as mobile games become more popular. “
eSport famous in Argentina: Other reasons!
An important episode from the media point of view for the territory and which brought to light the videogames phenomenon to the various online communities, happened in 2019 when the then thirteen-year-old Argentine Fortnite player Thiago “k1ng” Lapp raised almost $ 1 million dollars in cash prizes. The story caught the attention of major media and was even featured on Argentine TV. The player is currently a player for FaZe Clan.
The last (not by popularity 😉) very interesting territory from the point of view of development – far from South America – is certainly Australia. This area is currently considered “the largest eSports opportunity in the world”.
In fact, Australia has been open for some time to new investors, and welcomes some of the best eSports teams in circulation: Dire Wolves and Sydney Drop Bears just to name a few!
In particular, the owners of the Esports High-Performance Center (housed in the Sydney Cricket Ground) are the protagonists of new investments in the area and are happy to be directly involved in one of the most interesting markets of the moment.
Dire Wolves are the only Australian team to compete twice in the League of Legends World Championships and boast nearly 200 million spectators. The team won a prize pool of nearly $ 6.5 million.
The Sydney Drop Bears have won the Blizzard Overwatch Contenders series multiple times, with experienced players often being transferred to the global Overwatch World League teams.
Leading Australian eSports lawyer, Mat Jessep of DWF Australia said global eSports revenues will reach $ 1.2 billion in 2019, a 34% increase from 2017. There has never been a ‘ better or bigger opportunity in the Australian eSports market. “