The eSports phenomenon is on the rise worldwide: no physical effort, competition and adrenalin are all in front of a monitor, a different way of having fun and getting excited. IIDEA, the trade association of the video games industry in Italy, presented the new eSports Report in Italy, produced in collaboration with Nielsen. According to the research, in our country 475 thousand people follow eSports events on a daily basis, a user base that expands to about 1,620,000 people if we include those who say they follow an eSports event several times a week. These are well-established trends, especially after the debut of covid and the consequent lockdowns, which people forced to spend a long time indoors, stimulating further interest in video games. Fans in Italy are mainly men (63%), between the ages of 21 and 40 with an average age of 28, and with a higher level of education and income compared to the average population. Among the most frequent fans, 56% declare a university education and 63% a monthly income of more than EUR 1,500. The passion for eSports appears to be long-lasting for those who follow more than one event per week (37% have been following them for at least 3 years) and is further consolidating in the wider fanbase, which on average devotes 4.8 hours per week to this passion, in line with other entertainment activities, such as listening to music, watching TV or online videos.
With numbers that can no longer be ignored, eSports are helping to draw not only a valuable market but a new type of media to reach a young, educated audience with good spending power. The most played video game genre on consoles is sports, followed by 'shooters', which are also the most played genre on PCs. On mobile, strategy titles are primarily played. eSports are catching up with the main forms of home entertainment: on a weekly basis, the time spent on this hobby is similar to that spent watching television or listening to music. 59% of fans spend 2 to 7 hours per week on eSports-related activities.