eSports as a goldmine for data analytics

eSports as a goldmine for data analytics Electronic video gaming has extended from being a hobby into a serious sports and business. Earlier this year, eSports officially became a medal event in the 2022 Asian Games. Within Hong Kong, the government also recognized its economic development potential at the budget announcement in February. According to data analytics expert Andrew Pearson, the rise of eSports in Hong Kong and Macau presents exciting opportunities in data analytics and marketing.

The eSports phenomenon

The term eSports became a household name in Hong Kong only recently, but it has become a global storm over the past few years.

A media report stated that the viewership of the eSports tournament final for League of Legends (LOL) last June reached 36 million, larger than the NBA finals in 2015, which was reported to catch the attention of 31 million people.

Market intelligent firm Newzoo also stated the eSports global market size is expected to grow from US$194 million in 2014 to US$696 million in 2017. The market growth is expected to accelerate and reach US$1.5 billion by 2020. Newzoo also stated China is expected to contribute 15% of the global eSports market in 2017, the second largest after North America and double the size of South Korea.

“Situated right beside Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are uniquely positioned to utilize eSports as a marketing vehicle because they can straddle both worlds; they can be a meeting point between East and West,” said Pearson, managing director of Intelligencia, a Hong Kong and Macau-based consulting company focusing on BI and analytics.

Rising recognition in HK

Hong Kong has started to tap into this growing market with rising knowledge and recognition of eSports.

A study by Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation (HKIRC), which received 887 valid respondents, stated that 41% of those aged 36 to 55 are knowledgeable about eSports. This percentage grows to 52% among respondents that are aged 18 to 35.  More than half of the respondents (57%) also stated that they support the government’s development in eSports.

“eSports was a term unheard of just a few years ago, but now it has turned into a major event in Hong Kong,” said Eric Yeung, vice chairman of E-Sports Association Hong Kong.

Yeung was referring to the eSports and music festival in August. Organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, this three-day event attracted more than 50,000 visitors, including 10% from overseas.

“Having gone through various development stages, Hong Kong eSports is gaining international reputation,” said Gabriel Pang, chairman of Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association. “The outlook for the gaming industry is positive, as it will generate more opportunities for everyone, giving rise to experts in technology, programming and artificial intelligences, just to name a few.”