Singapore has developed into a world force when it comes to esports. Some 15 years ago, the Singaporean esports scene practically didn’t even exist. In 2019 alone, Singaporeans invested $327.2 million in games, and gamers on average spent 7.44 hours per week playing video games.
In May last year, the city-state hosted the Free Fire World Series, which saw 18 teams from 11 regions of the world competing. The esports tournament had a peak viewership of 5.4 million – which was a record for a gaming event outside the Chinese platform.
Further evidence of the popularity of gaming in Singapore can be seen in the rise of the local iGaming market. Only 15 years ago gambling was strictly forbidden in the country, and just a few years later, Singapore has become one of the important iGaming centers in Asia.
A huge variety of online casino games are legally available, as well as online betting on sports and esports. What is important is that the whole industry has greatly benefited from the very developed technological infrastructure, especially since blockchain technology became available.
The boom in the Singaporean esports industry has only been possible because of the development of the local infrastructure – a massive advantage that Singapore has over countries such as India.
The state has one of the fastest fixed internet connections in the world, an amazing 200.1 Mbps – compared with the world average of mere 73.6 Mbps. Singapore is also one of few Asian countries that has an esports gym. The esports gym was established to strengthen the local esports ecosystem, and it hosts the best gaming tech and facilities that can help gamers focus more on nutrition and physical fitness.
The company Esports Entertainment Asia recently opened a 12,000 sq ft esports experience center and is planning to open another integrated esports venue that would include facilities such as a multipurpose esports arena, esports business hotel, flexible co-working spaces, themed retail, and even a training academy.
The success of esports in Singapore wouldn’t be possible without the huge developments in technological infrastructure. But the esports ecosystem created by the Singapore Games Association has also had a very important support from institutions such as the Singapore Tourism Board. Today, the Board’s goal is to position Singapore as the number one global location for international esports events and an attractive place for gaming businesses to set up their headquarters.
In 2019, the first global governing body for esports, the Global Esports Federation, was launched, and it made Singapore its official headquarters.