China is leading the charge by dominating the global eSports market and staying ahead of the game in the areas of eSports infrastructure and venues. ESports are associated with different video game genres, with the most popular being first-person shooters, real-time strategy, fighting, multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), and others. Those aged between 18-34 account for the majority of eSports viewers, with those aged 25-34 being more likely to be regular eSports viewers. YY, Douyu, and YouTube are the most popular video streaming sites for gaming in China. According to our research, China has the most enthusiastic eSports players and fans. The country's eSports fans stand out for their high penetration of online viewership, with around 84% of respondents having watched eSports online. This is driven not only by males (around 83% of male respondents) but also by females (around 86% of female respondents). Around 78% of the respondents from China have watched a gaming tournament or competition that was streamed online live, and around 78% have watched regular gamers' games online live. A similar figure of around 77% having watched professional gamers play outside of competitions online live and around 77% having watched regular gamers in action on recorded games In China, 41% of respondents spend 2 hours or more watching a live online gaming competition, and 41% watch professional gamers play outside of the competitions live online. Respondents from China are active participants in eSports, with around 40% of respondents having taken part in an international gaming tournament and around 47% in a domestic gaming tournament. Around 52% of respondents from China prefer a mobile device to watch others play video games, and 65% will use a mobile device to play video games online. According to the research report "China eSports Market Overview, 2028," published by Bonafide Research, the market is expected to add USD 603.27 million by 2028. Streaming is expected to dominate the segment share during the forecast period. The growing emphasis on fan engagement is likely to fuel demand for live sports events. Furthermore, the rise in smart phone users is expected to fuel demand for live sports tournaments. Media rights are making a significant contribution to the country's esports industry. Fans can now track live esports activity across the country thanks to easy access to communication technology. Media companies pay exorbitant fees to win the exclusive rights to broadcast live streaming of major sporting events. In recent years, the sale of broadcasting and media rights has been the most important source of revenue for most esports organizers. The revenue generated by the sale of media rights is used to fund major sporting events, renovate stadiums, and contribute to the grassroots development of esports. During the forecast period, sponsorship is expected to grow rapidly, followed by advertising. As the number of viewers grows, the sponsoring team invests in the platform to strengthen its brand image. Similarly, various gaming platforms include in-app advertisements to boost revenue generation. China is one of the earliest adopters of esports on an official, government level. China’s General Administration of Sports recognised eSports as an official sport category in 2003. The esports sector, however, has both a sporting and cultural dimension, linking sports, technological, social, and psychological considerations. Recognizing their significance for China’s economy, the Ministry of Education added the eSports management major in 2016, with more than 50 universities offering related programs. Students take courses on game development, esports events and services, esports media, and esports training. The first batch of esports management students graduated in 2021, eyeing future opportunities in the industry. Moreover, esports will make its official debut as one of the official sports to be played at the next Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China (postponed from 2022 to 2023). This newly emerging industry is now on its way to becoming a discipline at the Olympic Games. China is number one in video game revenues and esports tournament viewership. The recognition of esports by the Chinese government and scholars has led China’s esports industry to take the same development path as professional sports from the beginning. Since the No. 93 document issued by the State Council of China in 2018, the esports industry has been clearly established as a new form of sports consumption. Both League of Legends and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) are the clear front-runners as the most popular games being watched and most commonly played in China. Around 38% of respondents in China picked League of Legends as their preferred game to watch, while around 36% chose PUBG. ESports is a fast-growing market within the world of gaming, mainly driven by increasing digitalization, the growing use of smart phones, and rising awareness of gaming. Faster and better technology is opening up new opportunities, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been fueling the demand for eSports. As more teams, tournaments, and companies form, the market is expected to expand steadily, creating a large platform for sponsorship and advertisement. Due to the rising number of live-stream viewers and greater profitability, both the prize money from tournaments and the amount of money invested in different teams are projected to increase. Health and Addiction Concerns for eSports Impede the Market's Growth Gamers may experience metabolic disorders resulting from light-emitting diode computer monitors and psychological problems related to gambling addiction and social behaviour disorders. The health effects of electronic sports players have been studied, and it was discovered that they are more likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries in the back, neck, and upper extremities. In addition, spending excessive time in front of a computer monitor can cause metabolic disorders. Most of these issues arise from sedentary lifestyles and poor posture, which are common among these players. Furthermore, the introduction of electronic sports college scholarships is a source of concern, as young people can now justify their excessive use of games by claiming to be the next electronic sports stars, even though their chances of becoming one are extremely slim. Considered in this report • Geography: China • Historic year: 2017 • Base year: 2022 • Estimated year: 2023 • Forecast year: 2028 Aspects covered in this report • China esports market with its value and forecast along with its segments • Various drivers and challenges • On-going trends and developments • Top profiled companies • Strategic recommendation By Revenue Streams: • Sponsorship • Media Rights • Merchandise & Tickets • Publisher Fees • Digital • Streaming By Device Type: • Mobile (Smartphone, Tablet) • PC (Laptop, Desktop) • Gaming Device (Console, Handheld Devices) • Other (VR, Smart TV, etc.) The approach of the report: This report consists of a combined approach of primary as well as secondary research. Initially, secondary research was used to get an understanding of the market and list out the companies that are present in the market. The secondary research consists of third-party sources such as press releases, and annual reports of companies, analyzing the government-generated reports and databases. After gathering the data from secondary sources primary research was conducted by making telephonic interviews with the leading players about how the market is functioning and then conducting trade calls with dealers and distributors of the market. Post this we have started doing primary calls to consumers by equally segmenting consumers into regional aspects, tier aspects, age groups, and gender. Once we have primary data with us we started verifying the details obtained from secondary sources. Intended audience This report can be useful to industry consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, associations & organizations related to the esport industry, government bodies, and other stakeholders to align their market-centric strategies. In addition to marketing & presentations, it will also increase competitive knowledge about the industry.
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