80% of esports execs say the industry will come back stronger following COVID-19

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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.

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