eSports and online gaming in Sweden - Statistics & Facts
The history of early professional eSports is primarily linked to countries such as the United States, South Korea, and China. A country that is small in terms of population is often forgotten, despite its significant importance for international and especially European eSports: Sweden. eSports in this Scandinavian country has been recognized for a long time. It is even possible to study eSports there to become a professional eSports player. According to the most recent data from 2019, Sweden had over 400 active competition players and belongs to the highest earning eSports countries based on prize winnings.
Additionally, the male population in Sweden watches someone playing video games more often than females. In detail, a little over a quarter of men interviewed in 2019 watched gamers and eSports tournaments on the internet often or sometimes. The share of women using platforms such as Twitch, YouTube or other eSports services, amounted to only nine percent. The same survey found that 38 percent of girls aged 11 to 19 years streamed online gamers, while the share of boys was more than twice as high.
From 2020 onwards, the largest eSports tournaments organized by DreamHack and ESL will be broadcast on the above mentioned Twitch. With DreamHack, Sweden is home to one of the largest eSports events and gaming conventions. The tournament started in 1994 as a LAN party in Dalarna, middle Sweden and has since spread over the world. Now, the operators DreamHack and ESL are owned by the Modern Times Group (MTG), a Swedish company within eSports and online gaming. In 2019, MTG managed and controlled 108 competitions for professional players, semi-professional players, and free for all gamers. This was a small growth of over ten tournaments compared to the previous year. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak had also an impact on the gaming industry. Because of several eSports events being cancelled, postponed or moved to online only in the first quarter of 2020, MTG recorded a revenue decline of 11 percent in eSports.
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