Sweden has for many years been one of the countries in which popularity of eSports has been much bigger than in any other country in the world. Considering that Sweden currently has many respectable eSports teams competing in many different tournaments all over the world, this doesn’t come as a big of a surprise.
When it comes to the Swedish teams currently competing in League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and many other competitions, there are Fnatic, Evil Geniuses, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Western Wolves, SK Gaming, compLexity Gaming, mousesports, and several others. For many years, these teams have won accolades as the best in many different tournaments in all parts of the world. Consequently, the popularity of eSports in Sweden continued to rise with each passing year.
Besides that, some of the world’s most popular players also hail from Sweden. Players like Dota 2’s Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg, CS: GO’s Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, Overwatch’s Jon ‘Orange’ Westberg, and, of course, League of Legends’ Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson have been considered the top professional video game players in the world for a while now. All that led to Sweden becoming one of the rare countries in which eSports have outperformed traditional sports in terms of popularity.
Based on the rise of eSports popularity in Sweden during the 2015/2016 season, a market research company Mediavision has conducted the research on the popularity of eSports during the 2016/2017 and what they found hardly surprised anyone. The biggest revelation from that report is saying that more than 400,000 Swedes are somehow involved in eSports on a daily basis. This means that almost half a million people in Sweden are watching or consuming in some other way eSports’ content daily, which is a number rarely seen in any other country in the world.
Besides that, Mediavision and their report have also indicated that the popularity of eSports has become higher than the popularity of some traditional sports, which is yet another confirmation of the trend which eSports industry has been following for the last couple of years. In that regard, while more than 370,000 people somehow consumed eSports’ content during the last couple of months of 2016, only 280,000 people did the same when it comes to the traditional sports.
According to one of the analysts from Mediavision, one of the biggest reasons why eSports gained such popularity in Sweden is the involvement of Facebook and Twitter into the business of eSports. With event coverage and live broadcasting of eSports events from all over the world, social media provided a huge number of people with an opportunity to follow eSports events and to be involved in the eSports industry.
Besides social media, Internet streaming services like Twitch and YouTube Gaming have also contributed a lot to the enormous popularity of eSports not only in Sweden but also in other parts of the world as well. According to the same research, YouTube, or rather YouTube Gaming, is currently the leader in Sweden when it comes to the consumption of eSports related content.
With that kind of popularity, Swedish eSports teams and the players coming from Sweden will have huge benefits. However, eSports industry, in general, will also be benefiting from these numbers, and it is expected that more and more eSports events will focus on Sweden or rather be organized in the country.