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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.

A survey from 2019 found that over half of Swedish internet users played online games and roughly a quarter of them even played daily. The share of children playing video games on the internet daily was higher, at 60 percent of respondents. According to the survey, boys were playing online games more often than girls. More than two thirds of Swedish boys stated to play daily, while not even half of the girls did so. The same applies for respondents aged 12 years and older, despite the difference between the genders not being high. Thus, it is not surprising that the leading eSports players in the country are all men.

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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