Southeast Asia Tops Esports Audience Growth Rate in the World

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According to a Newzoo report, Southeast Asia’s esports audience has grown the fastest than any other regions in the world.
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Based on the data Newzoo released in end of last year, Southeast Asia boast the fastest growing region for esports audience. They predicted that SEA esports enthusiasts will grow with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of +36.1 percent between 2016 and 2019. With last year’s enthusiasts predicted at 9.5 million, then in 2019 there will be about the double of 2016’s amount (19.8 million).

If occasional viewers are added, then the total esports audience in SEA could reach 19.9 million last year and exceed 40 millions in 2019. That are phenomenal numbers. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, also known as the Big 6, account for more than 98% of Esports Enthusiasts in the region.

esport southeast asia

In comparison, the Latin American esports enthusiasts could grow with a CAGR of +24.7 percent between 2015 and 2019, while the global average is +19.1 percent for the same period.

In terms of big live events, Southeast Asia has also held more events in the past two years. There are Manila Major Dota 2 tournaments, CrossFire tournaments, and recently the rising mobile MOBA games, Mobile Legends, Arena of Valor (AoV), and Vainglory who held big tournaments with huge prize money.

esports southeast asia
Mobile Legends screenshot

Talking about mobile MOBA games, Southeast Asia seems to be one of the main, if not the main, market for those three games. Vainglory, which was first launched less than three years ago, will hold their 2017 World Championship in Singapore next December. Arena of Valor meanwhile will have its first major international tournament called AoV International Championship Asia in Seoul, South Korea this November. Mobile Legends also held regional tournaments with huge audience.

Mobile MOBA’s high speed rise in the last two years is not surprising, as these games are more accesible than their PC counterparts. AoV and Mobile Legends especially, are the two most popular mobile MOBA in the region. The reason behind it is because they can be played in a relatively low specifications smartphones, unlike Vainglory that needs mid to high tier smartphones.

Arena of Valor esports southeast asia
Arena of Valor screenshot

From Appannie’s data at the time this article is written, AoV and Mobile Legends are dominating the top 10 Google Play games in the Big 6 countries. Mostly, AoV and Mobile Legends are competing fiercely for the top spot of Top Free list. As for the Top Grossing, Mobile Legends mostly dominates the list in the Big 6.

So, SEA region clearly has big potential in terms of esports audience (and players).

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Edited by Devi