The European esports market


The European esports market

Let’s Play! 2022

The end of the year is hands down the best time to reflect back on what happened in the months before. The pandemic is slowly coming to an end and it’s interesting to see how the esports industry has continued its post pandemic recovery and how it moves towards the future.

Over the past few years, both the esports industry’s market capacity and its eminence have been growing. The more mature event organizers, increased engagements with viewers and the athletes’ greater professionalism across the industry, mark the esports ecosystem’s ongoing professionalization. One thing that makes the esports industry so unique is the fact that their audience consists mostly out of people in the age group of Milennials and Generation Z. These audience groups are typically hard to find and generate engagement with. This understanding increases the potential value of the esports industry as a vehicle for marketing expressions.
The audience’s relatively high income and education level compared to the peer group is another advantage, because the engaged audience thus has more money to spend on merchandise of their favorite teams or on attending events.

The pandemic made its mark on the esports industry, as more people started viewing esports in sync with expanding lockdowns across the world. With the lockdowns being lifted, we can see a drop in audience engagement. Remarkably, the industry as a whole does seem to better connect the audience to the games they host. Around two-thirds of those watching esports in the Netherlands do so more often, warranting the conclusion that that this allows the brands to have multiple touch points with their potential audience to convince them of their products or services.

Moving forward we believe that the industry will continue to professionalise. The mergers and acquisitions in the Dutch and other markets are increasing in both numbers and value. Gaming and esports as a whole are becoming more integrated into our daily lives – as are the competitions. We see this moving into the world of influencers as well. They are being engaged to bring the events to an even wider audience.

As a wise man once said, with great power comes great responsibility. As such, Deloitte will continue to support the esports industry in growing responsibly. Being innovative is only possible if you are aware of the changing risk landscape which may slow down your growth if they materialize. Think about the potential of for example experiencing a data leak or having your live broadcast interrupted due to a DDoS-attack. The typical audience of esports is unforgiving and there are plenty of competitors waiting to lure your audience to their platform.

If you want to know more about the Let’s play 2022 survey, wish to contribute to future editions, or if you want to discuss Deloitte’s approach on esports, feel free to contact Gerrit Kortlever or download the report following the link on this page.

If you are still not convinced that the Dutch esports industry is something to take seriously, have a look at below teams, players and organizations involved in the ecosystem:

  • Association: Branchevereniging Esports Nederland -
  • Event organizer: DUH Events –
  • Training/education and venue: H20 esports campus –
  • Team Liquid – Global esports organization with roots in The Netherlands –
  • Joris “Joreuz’ Robben (@joreuz_) – Dutch professional esports player (Rocket League)
  • Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs (@ViolentPandaRL) – Retired Dutch professional esports player, 2x World Champion Rocket League Championship Series

Let’s Play! 2022

Download the full report
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