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eSports market in Italy - Statistics & Facts

Industry overview

eSports, also known as e-Sports or Esports, stands for electronic sports. They refer to video gaming competitions which are usually played among professional gamers at dedicated tournaments and events. Since 2016, the eSports market started to grow rapidly, as demonstrated by its increasing worldwide revenues. In 2019, revenues amounted to 957.5 million U.S. dollars and are expected to rise to over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. While North America, China, and South Korea held the biggest share of the market in 2019, this industry grew fast in Italy, too. In fact, it is forecasted that revenues generated by the eSports market in Italy would rise roughly eightfold between 2018 and 2023. Specifically, according to outlooks, revenue coming from media rights and sponsorships is expected to increase significantly by 2023, remaining the main source of income for the sector.

eSports audiences and events

When considering the audience of eSports in Italy, data from 2020 reveals that most Italian individuals who follow eSports events daily – the so-called avid-fans – were aged between 31 and 40 years and came from the South of Italy and the Islands. According to another survey, the most followed events by Italian avid fans were the Call of Duty World League, the Italian Esports Open, and the FIFA Global Series. However, while one of the most followed events related to football, it is interesting to note that only few Italian Serie A football clubs had an eSports division as of 2018.

Devices used for eSports

In 2020, while personal computers and smartphones were by far the favorite devices to follow eSports events, PlayStation Plus and Twitch Prime were the preferred online gaming platforms among Italian avid fans. Despite the rising awareness of eSports in Italy, data from the Statista Global Consumer Survey in 2020 showed that 71 percent of respondents who played video games regularly did not use any video game streaming sites, like Twitch or YouTube Gaming. However, more than half of those who used video game streaming sites also spent money on these platforms in the 12 months prior to the survey.

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