In What Countries Is esports Popular?

Esports has taken the world by storm, captivating gaming enthusiasts and transforming casual players into competitive professionals. As this thrilling industry continues to flourish, certain countries have emerged as dominant forces in the esports realm.

From South Korea’s tech-savvy landscape to Denmark’s passionate gaming communities, global hotspots are competing for a piece of the action. In addition to these frontrunners, emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia show immense potential for growth.

Key Takeaways

  • South Korea, China, the United States, Western Europe and Brazil are among the most popular countries for esports.
  • Factors driving esports popularity include technological advancements, accessibility, growing fan base and gaming culture/tradition.
  • Emerging markets such as India, Southeast Asia and Latin America show great potential for growth in the esports industry.

Esports Popularity Around The World

Esports is popular around the world, with countries like South Korea, China, the United States, Western Europe, and Brazil prominently featuring competitive gaming as a part of their gaming culture.

South Korea

South Korea has firmly established itself as one of the leading countries in esports, boasting an impressive array of world-class players and teams dominating global competitions.

The Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) was founded in 2000, further propelling this small East Asian country into the international limelight as a breeding ground for skilled gamers.

South Korean players have consistently ranked among the top competitors globally, particularly excelling in games such as League of Legends and StarCraft II. Notable examples include Faker – often referred to as the “Michael Jordan” of gaming – who became synonymous with success due to his incredible skills across multiple championships.


China is undoubtedly the biggest esports market in the world, with a massive fanbase and top-ranked players. The Chinese government has long-supported esports as an industry, recognising it as a legitimate sport and investing heavily in its development.

As of 2020, China’s esports market size was around $140 million, making it one of the most significant contributors to the global esports industry. Not only that, but some of the highest ranked esports teams globally are based in China.

Moreover, many professional gamers from China have earned millions from their gaming skills on popular games like League of Legends and Dota 2.

United States

The United States is a prominent player in the esports industry, with the highest number of active competition players in the world. The country has also produced some of the top 100 best esports players based on earnings.

Esports tournaments and events are constantly being hosted throughout the country, attracting large crowds and online viewership. The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is one of the most popular professional leagues in North America, with teams from both Canada and US competing for a chance to be crowned champions.

Western Europe

In Western Europe, esports is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly popular. Countries like France, Germany, Spain, and the UK are at the forefront of competitive gaming in Europe.

Gaming culture has long been prevalent in Western Europe with an active community of gamers who participate in online gaming events and competitions. Gaming companies like Ubisoft have also emerged from this region, creating some of the most iconic video games such as Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry series.

The rise of live streaming platforms like Twitch has allowed fans to watch their favourite players compete against others worldwide.


Brazil is a country that has shown great interest in esports over the years, with a growing number of gaming communities and events. The Brazilian esports scene has become more prominent, thanks to notable teams such as INTZ and professional players like Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo.

Brazil hosted its first-ever Dota 2 Major Championship in 2021, which was attended by top players from around the world. The country has also seen a rise in online gaming due to its accessibility and affordability.

Factors Driving Esports Popularity

Technological advancements, accessibility to technology and gaming equipment, a growing fan base and the emergence of gaming culture have all contributed to the rise in popularity of esports around the world.

Technological Advancements

The rise of technological advancements has played a significant role in the growth and popularity of esports around the world. With more advanced hardware, software, and internet connectivity available, players can now engage in more complex games and compete with other gamers from different corners of the globe.

Additionally, the development of virtual reality technology has also led to exciting new possibilities within the gaming industry. In Thailand, for example, VR arcades have become popular among gamers who want an immersive gaming experience that takes them beyond traditional gameplay.

Gaming Culture And Tradition

Esports popularity can be attributed to the gaming culture and tradition of certain countries. For instance, South Korea has a long-standing history of gaming culture woven into the fabric of their society.

Gaming cafes known as PC Bangs are scattered throughout Korean cities, and it’s not uncommon for people to socialise over games with friends at these cafes.

Similarly, Brazil is another country where gaming culture runs deep. Although Brazil is known more for football than esports, this hasn’t stopped Brazilians from embracing competitive gaming as well.

The eGames tournament held during the 2016 Olympics was hosted in Rio de Janeiro, and Brazilian fans showed up en masse to support their teams.


One of the key factors driving the popularity of esports is accessibility. With advancements in technology, gaming has become more accessible than ever before. Online gaming and live streaming platforms have made it possible for anyone to participate in esports competitions from anywhere in the world.

Esports events are not limited to physical locations and can be watched from anywhere with an internet connection, making them highly accessible to fans worldwide. Additionally, many games are available on multiple platforms such as PCs, consoles and mobile phones which opens up opportunities for players with varying levels of experience to join in the competition regardless of their devices or location.

The growing reach of esports tournaments through online channels provides marketers access to millions, if not billions of viewers all over the world who come together around shared interests creating new revenue streams for sponsors interested in engaging these audiences directly while providing real-time data that helps brands better understand consumer behaviours specific countries’ markets where they may deploy targeted marketing campaigns aimed at specific demographics increasing brand awareness among consumers without geography being a limiting factor .

Growing Fan Base

One of the key driving forces behind the growth and popularity of esports is a rapidly expanding fan base.

A significant part of this growth can be attributed to advancements in technology that have made it easier than ever before for fans to engage with their favourite gamers.

As more people continue to discover the excitement and competitiveness of professional gaming, it seems likely that esports will only grow in popularity over time.

Emerging Esports Markets

Emerging esports markets include India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. These regions are showing great potential for growth in the esports industry.


India, the second-most populous country in the world with over 1.3 billion people, has seen a surge in esports popularity in recent years. The gaming industry is expected to grow rapidly in India, with market research showing that by 2024 it could be worth $2.8 billion.

One of the most popular esports games in India is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). In 2019, an Indian team called Entity Gaming represented their country at PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO) Global Finals held in Berlin and were placed 10th out of the top teams around the world.

However, India still faces some challenges when it comes to esports development such as infrastructure and limited government support.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is quickly emerging as a promising market for esports. Countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand have seen a surge in gaming culture, with online gaming communities constantly expanding.

In 2019, the Southeast Asian Games became the first multisport event to include an esports category. It featured six games: Dota 2, Starcraft II, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Arena of Valor, Tekken 7 and Hearthstone.

This highlights how esports is gradually being recognised as a legitimate form of competition by mainstream events across the globe.

Middle East

The Middle East has been an emerging market for esports in recent years. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have seen a rise in investment and interest in competitive gaming.

In 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever international esports tournament with a prize pool of $2 million.

Additionally, Dubai is home to the largest gaming convention in the region, GAMES CON Middle East, which showcases some of the latest games and technologies as well as hosting tournaments and workshops for fans.

Esports organisations such as NASR eSports are based in this region, building teams that compete globally across various game titles.


Africa is a continent that has been slowly but surely making its way onto the esports map. While still behind other regions, Africa’s gaming industry has seen some notable developments in recent years.

For example, South Africa’s Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) has been hosting local and international tournaments for over five years, with players competing for prizes up to 150k ZAR (around $10k USD).

Similarly, Nigeria hosted the first-ever African Video Game Festival in Lagos back in 2018.

Despite these positive steps forward, there are still significant challenges hindering further growth of esports on the African continent. One key issue is access to technology – many potential gamers do not have access to gaming PCs or consoles due to high costs or lack of infrastructure.

Connectivity issues are also prevalent, with internet speeds often being too slow for online multiplayer games or streaming platforms like Twitch.

Latin America

Latin America has emerged as a growing market for esports. The region boasts of passionate gamers who have taken the competitive gaming scene by storm. Popular games in the Latin American esports circuit include League of Legends, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Brazil is especially noteworthy due to its dedicated fanbase for competitive video gaming. Sao Paulo alone hosted multiple significant events in recent years, including both national tournaments and globally recognised ones such as DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019.

Additionally, with infrastructure improving across several countries like Costa Rica and Colombia, there will undoubtedly be more opportunities for emerging esports markets to thrive in Latin America.

The Future Of Esports Worldwide

As esports continues to grow in popularity, it’s clear that the industry has a bright future ahead. One major factor driving this growth is technological advancements, which are making gaming more accessible and immersive than ever before.

The growing fan base of esports is also contributing to its success. As more people embrace online gaming culture, esports tournaments and events will likely become even more prominent on the global stage.

Furthermore, live streaming has enabled fans from all over the world to watch their favourite teams compete in real-time and connect with other like-minded individuals. This constant connection between players and fans provides numerous opportunities for sponsorship deals and other revenue streams for both players and organisations alike.

Additionally, I Have Added A New Heading To Focus On The Future Of Esports Worldwide

As the popularity of esports continues to rise globally, it’s exciting to consider what the future holds for this thrilling industry. Looking ahead, we can expect emerging markets in countries like India and Southeast Asia to play an increasingly significant role in the world of competitive gaming.

One trend that has been gaining traction recently is the shift towards live streaming as a primary mode of consumption for esports events. This allows fans from all around the world to connect with one another and engage with their favourite players and teams in real-time.

Overall, while there are certainly challenges that lie ahead for this rapidly growing industry, namely around issues related to regulation and governance there’s no doubt that esports will remain a major force in global entertainment for years to come.


In summary, esports has gained significant popularity worldwide over the years. Countries like South Korea, China, and the United States have emerged as prominent players in the industry with high rankings and earnings for their top esports gamers.

The rise of technological advancements and accessibility to gaming platforms have played a crucial role in advancing esports globally. Additionally, emerging markets such as India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America show exciting potential for future growth of this dynamic industry.


Which countries are the most popular for esports fans?

Esports has gained a huge following in several countries, including South Korea, China, the United States, and many European nations such as Germany and Sweden.

What is the reason behind esports’ popularity in these countries?

In some Asian countries like South Korea or China where gaming culture was always strong this trend emerged due to high broadband penetration rates and government support. On the other hand in Western Europe & North America it’s youth culture that drives interest with focus on competitive play elements

Are there any specific games that dominate esports tournaments worldwide?

Yes – titles like League of Legends , Fortnite Battle Royale , Overwatch , Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have been popularised as competitive e-sport games globally.

Is watching or participating in esports considered a legitimate activity by mainstream society?

Esports has rapidly grown from niche entertainment to mainstream activity over recent years with various norms now taking notice. It´s being covered by major media outlets who recognise its potential for growth while also embraced by young generation which accounts for significant part of tournaments audience.. In addition universities/hobby clubs around world offer scholarships/programs specifically designed towards training given rise to more formal recognition within education space too!

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