Karen Low, EMEA Managing Director at The Story Mob, is bridging the elusive gap in esports demographics. Despite the industry’s reliance on data-driven partnerships, precise demographic insights have been lacking. Now, in partnership with YouGov, Karen’s team is unveiling the demographics of esports audiences, particularly among millennials and Gen Z, in the latest UK esports report by Ukie.
“The key addition to our partnership was working with YouGov,” Low stated. “While we value insights from industry experts, data doesn’t lie. I firmly believe in supporting our insights with solid data.“
Beyond YouGov’s data, the ‘Esports In the UK‘ report by Ukie and The Story Mob offers a directory of British esports businesses in PR, investment, and more. The report, authored by Dominic Sacco, Founder of Esports News UK, also delves into emerging trends, such as the rise of mobile esports and the construction of esports facilities across the UK.
The Data Foundation
YouGov, Ukie’s data partner with a panel of around 2.7 million people in the UK, provided insights from its regularly updated Profiles platform. This platform covers various consumer metrics, including demographics, psychographics, attitudes, and behaviors. The data was collected in July 2022.
Unsurprisingly, YouGov’s demographic polling revealed that a majority of fans are young, with over 50% falling between the ages of 18 and 34. Esports viewers are also overwhelmingly male, with approximately 83% identifying as men. Low acknowledges that this gender disparity mirrors the fact that fewer women compete in gaming, but she highlights efforts to address this issue, such as VALORANT Game Changers and Guild’s ‘No Room for Abuse’ campaign.
Key titles from YouGov’s data include the Call of Duty League, watched by 15.5% of UK esports fans, followed closely by the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS). FIFA, soon to be EA SPORTS FC, also enjoys substantial viewership, driven by the UK’s passion for football, the most-watched sport among esports fans at around 46%.
Esports viewers remain a niche segment within the broader gaming audience. Low believes it will continue to grow but will always maintain its unique appeal and dedicated fanbase.
Ukie’s report presents both qualitative and quantitative data, offering insights into the UK esports landscape. It features key players like the University of Warwick and The Story Mob, as well as teams and tournament organizers, providing options for professionals entering the UK esports scene.
Low emphasizes the importance of personal experience: “My first piece of advice to aspiring esports professionals is to attend an esports match and immerse yourself in the fan experience.”
The report also looks ahead to the potential of Web 3 and the Metaverse in esports, acknowledging the industry’s tendency to embrace emerging technologies. NFTs continue to be a source of sponsorship revenue for some British esports organizations like Fnatic.
The UK esports scene has room to grow, from converting mobile gamers to constructing physical venues to attract an international audience. The report offers a dynamic yet realistic vision of the UK’s esports future, aiding aspiring professionals in understanding the scene and its opportunities. Until then, British spectators await the chance to witness esports up close once more.
Betting on Esports: Riding the Wave of Enthusiasm
The insights provided by Ukie’s report and the collaboration with YouGov offer valuable data for both esports enthusiasts and betting operators. Understanding the demographics, preferences, and trends of esports fans can inform the development of responsible and engaging betting experiences.
Esports betting is not merely a spectator sport; it’s a dynamic component of the esports ecosystem. As the UK’s esports scene continues to evolve and capture the imagination of fans, it’s likely that esports betting will evolve alongside it, offering new opportunities and challenges for both enthusiasts and industry stakeholders.
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