The majority of esports executives believe that the industry will benefit from the impact of COVID-19 in the long-term.
A survey of more than 250 companies, conducted by the Esports Business Summit and Esports Business Research Group, found that 80% of esports executives were optimistic.
Of those, 56% said they expect to see a net positive for the industry overall, while 24% believe the pandemic will eventually lead to a positive outcome for specific industry segments.
3% said COVID-19 would result in a negative long-term impact for esports, while almost a fifth (17%) said it’s too early to tell.
With many traditional sports being on hold during lockdown, such as F1 and football, we’ve seen a rise in play-from-home tournaments and online esports shows, including the F1 Virtual Grand Prix, the ePremier League Invitational, NASCAR tournaments and lots more.
Survey respondents believe this increased coverage and interest in esports may boost the industry post-COVID. However, it’s also true that some companies have been hit hard by the outbreak, with a drop in ticketed live event sales, postponed events and social distancing measures presenting new challenges.
One esports exec said: “This is esports’ big moment. It’s a unique opportunity when traditional sports are shut down to attract viewers, sponsors and gain exposure on TV.”
The State of the Esports Industry Study also found that 56% of esports companies have changed their business strategy as a result of the pandemic, 67% say the impact has been significant, very significant or a major challenge, and 42% still expect their company’s esports revenue to grow in 2020 compared to 2019.
Many respondents also believe that awareness of esports will rise, streaming audiences will increase and the industry will further innovate following the pandemic.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.