Mediavision’s e-sports analysis: Swedish gaming/e-sports viewers prefer DreamHack over LoL WC
17 November 2017
October was an eventful month in the world of e-sports with a multitude of events and tournaments. Major events included League of Legends World Championship (LoL WC) 2017, DreamHack Denver 2017, EPICENTER 2017 and 2017 ESL One Hamburg. The latter attracted 20,000 on site visitors and 25 million unique online viewers worldwide over two days (October 28-29), corresponding to a 250% increase in viewership compared to the previous ESL One in Frankfurt 2016. These numbers were achieved through broadcasting the event on multiple video streaming platforms, such as Twitch and the Chinese service HuomaoTV, but also through pushing video content on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Clips on social media generated 38 million impressions from around 8 million unique users for ESL One Hamburg content, an increase by 50% compared to ESL One in Frankfurt 2016.
Mediavision has been following the development of Nordic e-sports, both the consumption and the market, for some time (see the 2016/17 E-sports/gaming analysis). Our most recent analysis shows that among popular e-sports events, tournaments, and leagues, DreamHack is rated the most appealing by Swedish e-sports and gaming viewers. Approximately 3 out of 10 viewers state interest in following the event. This interest was reflected during DreamHack Masters Malmö, held in late September through to October 2017. DreamHack viewership broke previous records with 31 million unique viewers worldwide, thus becoming the most viewed DreamHack event to date. Other recent events, such as LoL WC 2017, scored lower in terms of interest among Swedish consumers of e-sports/gaming, despite being a far more popular event worldwide.
In 2016, the finals of LoL WC reached 43 million unique viewers – a number very likely to have been beaten by this year’s edition of the tournament, which ended November 4. Viewership figures for LoL WC 2017 are expected to be announced in the next few weeks. Overall, new record-breaking viewership numbers across the board solidify the view of e-sports as a global phenomenon that is rapidly gaining momentum, and becoming ever more commercialized. However, despite being an inherently digital and global market, e-sports does have certain local niches – one being Swedes’ preference for DreamHack. As the industry keeps growing and maturing, local markets and preferences will no doubt be of increased importance.