Esports set for increased investment and deal activity on back of Covid-19, survey finds

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  • Investment to be driven by greater engagement with video games and growth of online streaming platforms
  • 77% say inability to hold large in-person events is esports’ biggest challenge; 65% cite declines in advertising and sponsorships
  • Respondents also expect traditional sports to look to gaming for ways to increase interaction and engagement with fans

A new study has found that esports executives believe competitive gaming is set for further investment and revenue opportunities following its time in the spotlight during the initial coronavirus lockdown.

The third annual Esports Survey Report, conducted by law firm Foley & Lardner LLP and The Esports Observer news outlet, received responses from 255 executives involved in esports, primarily based in the US and Europe, who gave their thoughts on the industry’s future.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents believe Covid-19 will lead to more investment and deal activity in esports over the next six months. Sixty-one per cent of those surveyed said that trend will be driven by more engagement with video games and esports due to continued social distancing, while the same percentage believe it will be down to the growth of online streaming platforms. Fifty-two per cent cited the increased movement of big brands into esports sponsorship as another main driver.

However, the survey also highlighted that esports is by no means immune to the impact of the pandemic. Seventy-seven per cent of those who expect a decrease in investment over the same
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