Leading up to the International Olympic Committee putting on the inaugural Olympic Esports Week in Singapore June 22-25, YouGov has released a new study into where esports reigns as the most popular. And it turns out that having the first Olympic Esports Week located in Asia was the right choice with YouGov data finding that 80%of the world’s esports followers reside in the Asia-Pacific.
APAC was followed by the Americas in a far-off second place with 8% of the global fanbase, while Middle East/Africa and Europe contribute 7% and 5% respectively.
According to YouGov, the regional breakdown found that one in five residents in China (20%) and the Philippines (20%) who say they watch esports on a regular basis, making the pair the top two markets globally with the highest proportion of esports followers.
Three other markets in the APAC round out the top five globally – Indonesia (16%), Vietnam (16%) and Taiwan (16%) – where one in six residents are esports followers said YouGov.
In Europe, Hungary (7%) has the largest proportion of esports followers followed by Bulgaria (6%) and Romania (6%), while in the Americas, Brazil (6%) and Mexico (5%) have the largest proportion of esports followers.
Meanwhile, 5% of residents in Singapore – host of the inaugural Olympic Esports Week – say they watch esports on a regular basis.
Most Popular Esport Titles
YouGov data also reveals the top gaming titles among esports followers across different regions. League of Legends by Riot Games is the most popular game title among esports followers globally, and ranks #1 in Asia Pacific and Europe, #3 in the Americas and #5 in the Middle East/Africa.
Arena of Valor / Honor of Kings by Tencent Games’ Timi Studio Group is the runner-up among esports followers globally. But its popularity is driven by Asia Pacific where it ranks #2 – it is out of the top 10 in the Middle East/Africa (#15) and Americas (#18), and out of the top 20 in Europe (#21).
Call of Duty by Activision takes third place among esports followers globally, and the #1 title in the Americas, #2 in Europe and Middle East/Africa, and #3 in Asia Pacific.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment is the fourth most popular title globally and #4 in Europe. It ranks #5 in Asia Pacific, #6 in Americas and #7 in Middle East/Africa.
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) and PUBG Mobile by Krafton take the fifth and sixth spots globally.
The franchise’s popularity is largely driven by Asia Pacific, said YouGov, where the desktop/console version ranks #4 and mobile version ranks #6. The desktop/console version is also more popular in Europe at #16, compared to the mobile version at #23. The mobile version, however, is more popular in the Middle East/Africa (#9) and Americas (#13), compared to the desktop console version (#11 and #14 respectively).
FIFA by EA SPORTS, which ranks #7 globally, is among the top 3 games in most regions but is much less popular in Asia Pacific (#12). It is the #1 most popular title among esports followers in the Middle East/Africa and ranks #2 in the Americas and #3 in Europe.
Cross Fire by Smilegate Entertainment, which ranks #10 globally, is very popular only in Asia Pacific (#7). It is out of the top 15 in other regions: #17 in Middle East/Africa, #21 in Americas and #22 in Europe.
Valorant by Riot Games, which ranks #16 globally, is more popular in Europe and Americas (both #9), than in the Middle East/Africa (#12) and Asia Pacific (#18). Similarly, Fortnight Battle Royale by Epic Games (#20 globally), ranks #6 and #7 in Europe and Americas, but #13 in the Middle East/Africa and #25 in Asia Pacific.