The esports sector in Southeast Asia is expected to hit USD 72,5 million in revenue by 2024, according to a report by Tencent and Newzoo. This explosive growth is likely to be fuelled by a preference for affordable mobile-first gaming in the region.
According to the report, Southeast Asia is expected to race past the rest of the world in terms of esports revenue, which is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20,8%. This is nearly double the global CAGR of 11,1%.
The report said that gaming titles like Tencent’s PUBG Mobile, ByteDance-owned Moonton’s Mobile Legends, and Sea Group’s Garena Free Fire were “disproportionately popular” in the region.
According to the report, about 39% of gamers in Southeast Asia use mobile phones as their primary gaming platform and 82% of the total online population play games on smartphones. The report also highlights the fact that esports is shaping up to be a viable career path for talents who can train to be professional players even while pursuing academics.
Esports has grown from a narrow community of enthusiasts into a global business. Industry players like One Esports, Bigetron, and Game.tv are working to reach younger audiences who have turned away from traditional media.
Singapore was found to have the largest audience for esports among Southeast Asian countries by a substantial margin, followed by Vietnam and the Philippines.
While the hours that gamers spent playing live on Twitch and YouTube surged by about 80% in 2020, the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic and return of outdoor sports has not arrested the industry’s growth. Average viewer numbers on Twitch roughly doubled in June from two years ago.