25 February 2015 - 18:49

Esports fans who attend live events love to spend

Eports fans love attending events, and a new study explains some of why
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Eports fans love attending events, and a new study explains some of why.

Event management platform Eventbrite, which provides tools to manage ticket sales and other logistics around hosting events large and small, published a new study titled “The Esports Effect: Gamers and the Influence of Live Events” profiling the people who attend esports events.

The study polled some 1,500 people who attended esports events on Eventbrite during 2013 and 2014, and asked questions like why people attended, who they are, and, of course, how much they’re willing to spend.

Perhaps the most exciting tidbit, at least in terms of the industry's health, is that esports events boost attendee’s desire to play the game more and to spend more money on it.

“Live events have the power to increase engagement and drive consumer spending behavior, and that is exactly what we’re seeing in the gaming community with esports tournaments and competitions,” Eventbrite’s Christine Bohle said.

Almost half of esports event attendees claim they are more likely to purchase game-related products the week they return from an event. That’s in part because 74 percent of them say they’re going to play the game more frequently when they get home.

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Eventbrite

Game developers are one of the biggest drivers in esports over the past few years, and this is a primary reason why: Esports actually boosts their bottom line. For anyone who has actually attended an event, that’s hardly a surprise. Go to a venue and soaking in the energy of a massive crowd hanging on every single moment of an important game, and it’s hard not to feel hyped about participating.

That also extends to ticket sales. A full 19 percent of attendees were willing to shell out a whopping $200 for an event ticket. A cheaper ticket by half appealed to twice as many attendees, with 78 percent willing to pay up to $49. Something that separates esports from traditional sports is the gate draw as a major source of revenue. Even the smallest drawing teams in Major League Baseball pull in $30 million in revenue, with the New York Yankees cracking over $260 million. Could esports do the same?

One key is just hosting more events. Luckily enough, 67 percent of people attending esports events want more of them, and 30 percent already attend three or more gaming events, with 10 percent hitting five or more. But while 38 percent are willing to travel internationally to attend, many want events closer to home—40 percent want to see events outside of major cities.

For those worried that the esports experience doesn’t match traditional sports, fear not: 80 percent of attendees came to see their favorite players and teams compete. That’s the real difference between an esports event and a general gaming one, and one of the things that really makes esports what it is—the emotional engagement it adds to the gaming experience.

“This passion and sense of exclusivity translates into real revenue,” the report reads. 

“These live events effectively market games while also driving incremental purchases in person or in-game the next time attendees play. Gamers have shown that they spend more money and become even more avid fans after attending a live event. This is good news for sponsors of live events as well, because gamers are more likely to buy items featured at the event, both during and after attending. And with gamers clamoring for more and more events, this mutually beneficial relationship leads to greater revenue potential for the industry as a whole.”

Last week, market research firm Newzoo released a lengthy report on the esports industry, claiming it could reach nearly $500 million in revenue by 2015. One primary way to boost that revenue? Events. Fans want more, and they’re willing to pay for it.

In 2014, esports events filled stadiums across the globe. After the Riot World Championships sold out the 45,000 seats available at Sangam Stadium last year, Riot Games said that it’d be tough to do a better event. But it could do more of them.

And that's what fans want.

Image via Riot Games/Flickr

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