The eSports revolution has taken hold around the world, and Canada has also shown much inclination towards the sport. In recent years, the industry has exploded, attracting investments from professional sports organisations and celebrities. It’s no surprise, as the stakes are high. Consider this: at the most recent in-person Fortnite World Cup, a 16-year-old won USD $3 million in prize money. Or that the winning Dota 2 team in 2019 received a prize pool of USD $15.6 million. To put it in perspective, Hideki Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters for nearly $2.1 million, while Novak Djokovic won $2.5 million for his sixth Wimbledon title. The gaming industry in Canada is expanding at a rapid pace. It contributes CAD $4.5 billion to the country's GDP each year. In fact, eSports revenue increased in Canada. Then there's Canada's vast pool of digital talent. The gaming industry in Canada is attracting attention, with nearly 28,000 game developers working in 700 studios. In terms of active play, some of the most popular eSports teams in Canada include Toronto Defiant (owned by OverActive Media), Lumosity Gaming (acquired by Aquilini GameCo Inc., which also owns the Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena), and Vancouver Titans. Conventional and professional sport teams and franchise owners see the potential in the booming eSports industry. Many have entered esports to create their own teams, to earn secondary income and create a regional base for investors. The advent of technology and an increasing number of internet users have given a boost to the gaming market too. Esports today, is not just limited to a computer or mobile but also in AR, VR, cloud gaming, and console gaming. Canada, being always ahead of technological developments, has definitely used this to its advantage to have a prosperous gaming industry too. Some of the famous Canadian eSports players and teams are, Artour Babaev, a Dota 2 player, earned $2,479,595.31, Kurtis Long, a Dota 2 player, earned $2,008,582.54, Williams Aubin, a Fortnite player, earned $1,327,731.42, Keith Markovic, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, earned $1,088,598.86, and David Tan, a Dota 2 player, earned $1,025,206.01. The total earning of these top 5 players from Canada sum up o over $1 million just from gaming. According to the research report "Canada eSports Market Overview, 2028," published by Bonafide Research, the market is expected to add USD 38.20 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 smartphone 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 right to broadcast the 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. The Canadian government has not officially recognised eSports as a sport in any capacity. In December 2021, 12 Canadian universities teamed up to launch the Canadian Collegiate Esports League (CCEL), a unified body for Canadian collegians esports gaming activity. BC School Sports partnered with GameSeta Esports Inc., in October 2020, to improve the British Colombian collegiate esports scene. Additionally, the collegiate esports league NACE Starleague and high school esports operator PlayVS cater to Canadian schools. Canada has increasingly become a regular stop on the international eSports circuit, with the capacity to host top-tier events. The 3 main eSports arenas in Canada are, The Gaming Stadium in Richmond, Esports Central in Montreal, and Amuka Esports in Toronto. There are a number of Cineplex eSports arenas under development across the country, with one already operational in Toronto. The esports industry touches almost every corner of Canada, from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Vancouver and British Colombia. Hundreds of communities benefit from this sector, that directly supports nearly 182,500 Canadian jobholders. Large multinationals such as Ubisoft, EA Games, Epic Games, and Nintendo have expanded their operations in Canada, drawn by Canada’s highly skilled talent, welcoming investment climate, and low cost of doing business. Since, the United States is a developed esports centre, investors are now looking up to strengthen Canada’s market. Organizations like Ubisoft and EA Games not only support large game development networks in Canada, but they are also expanding into eSports to engage the country’s younger demographics to find alternative revenue streams. Canada has exceptional VFX and technology sector, which are at the leading edge of R&D, and new technology adoption. Many Canadian cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto are developing eSports ecosystems that are essential for further game development. Other major centers, like Quebec, Calgary, Halifax, Victoria, Edmonton, and Saskatoon, are actively stepping up in the game. Vancouver overcame the gaps in the eSports industry to bring the ecosystem together by establishing the first eSports hub in Canada. Toronto and Alberta are also working on similar strategies to meet rising demand and create investment opportunities. Canada’s online gaming ecosystem has steadily matured; with 61% of Canadians, or 23 million people, actively gaming in 2020. Canada has seen a diverse range of investments enter its eSports ecosystem from celebrities like Drake and the Weekend who have invested in leagues, while large corporations such as Nike and Twitch who have collaborated with eSports through sponsorships. The pandemic in fact, led to a rise in streaming of eSports by all age groups. According to a study conducted by Invest Canada; nearly 65% of adults and 78% of teens who played video games during the stay-at-home pandemic improved their mental and emotional health. The sales of various gaming consoles also increased to 58% in 2020, with almost 250,000 units sold in Canada and similar trends are expected in future years too. ESports market is growing rapidly, within the world of gaming, supported by digitalization, penetration of smart phones, and influence of gaming. The advanced networks and connectivity is opening up new opportunities. Further factors like, formation of new teams, tournaments, and companies, are likely to create a broad 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. Further, the introduction of electronic sports college scholarships is also another concern, as youngsters can now justify their overuse of games as being the next electronic sports stars, even when in reality the chances of being one are extremely low. Considered in this report • Geography: Canada • Historic year: 2017 • Base year: 2022 • Estimated year: 2023 • Forecast year: 2028 Aspects covered in this report • Canada eSport 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 esports 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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