YouGov and Nielsen have published new separate reports over the past week, both of which include new information covering the size of UK esports.
Four million Brits have watched esports
The report states that four million people in Britain have watched esports, though awareness of competitive gaming is low compared to other territories.
The Just a Game? Understanding the existing and future esports market in the UK report found that of those four million (7% of British adults) 57% are keen to do so again.
YouGov’s research shows that Britain lags behind other markets when it comes to viewership. In China, over four in ten (45%) Chinese adults who have online access have watched esports, while in the US, one in eight (12%) have and in Germany the figures are one in nine (11%).
One such barrier to esports entering the mainstream is the perception that it does not deserve the same recognition as traditional sports. YouGov’s data shows that 10% of British adults say it constitutes a ‘real sport’ compared to 59% who believe it does not (31% don’t know).
The total sample size for this research was 2,087 adults, and it was undertaken over the past two months. This means the four million figure above is weighted and a prediction based on the 2,000 or so questioned.
Average UK esports fan watches 4 hours of TV but plays games for 8 hours each week
Nielsen’s new 36-page report mainly looks at the demographic breakdown of esports fans, plus their spending habits and other details.
The report also looks to dispel some myths held by some outside of esports. For example, it shows that many esports fans are fans of other traditional sports (59% of esports fans in the UK like football, with boxing, motorsport, tennis and rugby other popular choices), and that esports fans in the UK still watch 3.8 hours of TV per week.
The average UK esports fan plays 8.3 hours of video games per week.
Nielsen also claim that just 15% of UK esports fans are interested in following esports sponsors on social media.
Brits’ most commonly followed esports teams are Cloud9, Fnatic and Optic Gaming
There’s lots of other data in the report including fans’ views on sponsorships in esports.