The Hungarian esports market: Let's Play! 2021

Gaming and esports are booming in Hungary

The Hungarian gaming industry is rapidly growing. In the last year alone, the gamer base has increased to 640,000 from 540,000, while the overall market has generated a turnover of HUF 50 billion. Esports, which refer to professional video gaming competitions and are therefore a subcategory of gaming, also enjoy increasing popularity. The sector shows great promise, as esports penetration rate in Hungary (i.e. the share of people who have watched esports competitions on the internet, TV or at live events) has reached 31% regarding general esports exposure among the 16 to 65 year-old population and 12% regarding consumers who watch esports regularly. In spite of the fact that these numbers are below average in a European comparison, the trend clearly points upwards for the Hungarian esports market.

Ecosystem players drive developments in the Hungarian esports sector

In 2021, there were two major Hungarian multi-game, league-based tournament series in which national esports championships were played out. The aim of these championships is to create a long-term competitive system – similar to the structure of traditional sports championships – which will provide regular competition for the best Hungarian esports teams and players. Fans can follow the tournaments from week to week through online streaming, with Hungary’s best gamers competing in the following games: ‘VALORANT’, ‘Rocket League’, ‘League of Legends’, ‘FIFA’, ‘Gran Turismo Sport’, ‘iRacing’ and ‘Rainbow Six Siege’. The total prize money of these two championships exceeded €80k. The events were sponsored by the industry’s biggest hardware and software providers, banks and Hungary’s biggest energy provider.

Furthermore, the Sport Association of the Ministry of Defence organizes a ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ (CS:GO) tournament with a prize money of €4,200. The aim of the tournament is to raise interest in the National Defence and to promote its programs amongst the younger generation.

Additionally, nationwide esports conferences are being organized. The aim of these events is to present the career opportunities in esports and to exchange experiences and insights in the national and international esports community, with a strong emphasis on the social and economic impact of esports.

Overall, the esports industry in Hungary is expanding while more and more esports clubs are getting established. Just like in traditional professional sports, esports teams have owners, franchises, endorsement deals, cash prizes from tournament winnings, and more—all contributing to their annual revenue and total valuation.

Millennials and Generation Z shape the market

It is no surprise that the Hungarian esports audience mainly consists of consumers between the age of 16 and 40 (70%). However, despite the growing popularity of esports among this digitally-native, above-average earning and well-educated target group, only 18% of Hungarians have spent money on esports-related products or services – even if 82% of the consumers are either fully or partly employed with a stable monthly income.

The pandemic boosted the reach of the sector

As most industries experienced a setback because of the restrictions caused by COVID-19, the esports industry showed positive signs regarding reach and awareness: 67% of the Hungarian audience watched esport for the first time in 2020 or 2021, while 39% of existing esports consumers increased their esport consumption during this time.

Even during the pandemic, esport competitions and events continued to provide a platform for players to compete and allowed fans to grow interest towards the industry. The positive impact of this is clearly visible in Hungary and now it is esports’ challenge to lock these new audiences in and turn them into long-term fans and supporters.

Let's Play! 2021 - Deloitte Insights report

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The European esports market: Overview of the esports ecosystems

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The European esports market

The 6th edition of the Deloitte study 'Let's Play! - The European esports market' focuses on the economically sustainable development of the European esports sector. The study was based on extensive consumer research and numerous expert opinions. In addition, there are 13 country profiles that outline the current state of the esports sector in different European markets.

To download the full report, click here. For the individual country profiles, navigate via the map of Europe.

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