Asia’s eSports popularity: Understanding a Changing Landscape
Ever since eSports took the global gaming community by storm, it was only a matter of time before eSports gaming competitions became popular in South-East Asia. With the spectator base increasing each day, eSports players are now taken seriously and rewarded heavily for their efforts. Recent global data from Newzoo pointed out that 51 percent of eSport enthusiasts were from the Asia-Pacific region in 2017.
So, what is it that is giving rise to the popularity of esports in Asia? What should we expect?
A Look At eSports Development in Asia
ASEAN introduced its very own eSports tournament back in 2016. The 2018 Asian Games included six demonstration games for its eSports event. One of the primary reasons why the eSports market has turned so many heads is due to the rising regional incomes in the area. Countries like Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore account for 99 percent of the eSports revenue in South-East Asia.
These countries have growing economies and an emerging middle-class population that enable more people to spend their disposable income on leisure activities. Asia’s familiarity with English also plays an important role when it comes to popularizing eSports. It’s why you have the rise of players like Betway88 casino, that also sponsors eSports endeavors such as Ninjas in Pajamas. Since there are more players online today, and the internet is pretty widespread, you see increased revenue.
The Changing Landscape with the Arrival of eSports
With the boom in the eSports industry in Asia, there has been an accompanying boost in the growth of gaming companies. This has resulted in tremendous job creation in the region. Recently, Ubisoft recently decided to open a production studio in the Philippines. Moreover, locals are also taking inspiration and launching their own startups in the gaming industry.
With mobile games becoming increasingly loved across the region, eSports has found another channel to attract fans. Gaming companies are desperately trying to secure a place in the Southeast Asian market.
What’s Special About Thailand?
Thailand supposedly has more than 18 million gamers, and the numbers are expected only to go up. Thailand’s eSports gaming market stood at Bt9.7 billion back in 2017, and there is no doubt that the country has only moved forward since then. Even though Thailand is new to the concept of eSports, it has managed to make a global impact on the eSports market. With games and technology coming together, it has opened up a lot of scope for businesses to benefit from promoting eSports, like Betway88 has done.
According to Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, who is the marketing director of Acer Computer, his company has focused on supporting eSports in Thailand in the last few years and contributed to establishing the Thailand E-Sports Federation. Acer also helped to introduce a regional and national eSports tournament named Predator League.
The Thailand E-Sports Arena offers an eSports tournament program for all kinds of players. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, you will have opportunities to master the game of your choice. The audience can also enjoy live streaming. As a result, eSports has become more commonly accepted.
Santi Lothong, who is the President of the Thai e-Sports Federation (TESF), has stressed the importance of distinguishing between eSports athletes and game addicts.
Thailand is surely one of the forerunners when it comes to the esports front, and it’s to be seen how big the esports phenomenon is going to be in Asia in the near future.