Esports is a pretty serious business these days. Struggling for legitimacy compared with more well-established sports was a common theme of esports. Eventually as money and viewership climbed, it was taken more seriously by competitors. Now it’s everywhere.
While China, Japan, Korea, and the U.S. are considered the powerhouses of esports, there are plenty of other places with a massive investment in the culture. One region destined to become a powerhouse of esports is Greater Southeast Asia (GSEA) , comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
GSEA as a region has a huge investment in video games, especially in the area of esports. There are currently 154.3 million PC gamers in the area, a number expected to rise to 186.8 million over the next five years . Even more impressive than that, 95% of those PC gamers are taking part in esports in one capacity or another.
Mobile gaming is also a big part of the market. Forty percent of the 500 million smartphone owners play mobile games. Since mobile gaming has become such a big part of esports over the past few years, it’s easy to see the connection between these gamers and esports. Not to mention the fact that smartphone owners are expected to hit 628 million in the next five years.
Rapid expansion from both PC and mobile will see revenues skyrocket. GSEA is projected to hit $8 billion in income from these markets by 2023, increasing 60%. This massive projected growth makes GSEA the fastest growing mobile and PC market in the world. Plus, internet saturation is expected to hit 99% in the same time frame.
The true impact of these figures won’t be clear for a while. It’s sure to mean that esports companies start to take GSEA into consideration more often when planning and running global events. It’s also likely that we’ll see an increase in the number of teams from the region competing. It may also mean that we start to see more esports-centric games on the global stage coming from GSEA.
It’s time for Western countries to take note. This sort of growth will turn GSEA into one of the greatest regions for esports within the next few years. Both the competitors and spectators from these regions are going to have a huge impact on the global scene. As a culture esports can, and really should, be at the forefront of welcoming GSEA into a global community. Growth and stability on a global scale can only be achieved by working with other regions.
If professionals and fans alike want esports to keep growing, then GSEA is going to provide one massive leap forward – both for the community and the legitimacy of esports around the world.