Esports and video games are gaining popularity in Switzerland. For 27.6% of the Swiss population, esports is already considered as an actual, real sport, just like tennis or soccer. The “eSports Switzerland 2019” study, on the spread of esports, is the first representative study done in Switzerland.
The study “eSports Switzerland 2019” surveyed 1,011 Swiss people from 16 to 74 years old. The study was conducted in partnership with UPC Switzerland, Basler Versicherungen, and TCS. It should be noted that there already is an active Swiss esports scene, composed of many structures, teams, players, and organisations. 30.6% of the Swiss population is aware of what esports is and associate the topic with the term “competition”. This assessment comes close to the general esports definition, that is to play video games in special competitions, either alone or as a team, known by esports enthusiasts as “LAN parties”.
Respondents rated the topic positively, using terms such as “exciting“, “interesting“, and “attractive“. The majority of respondents believe that esports helps to promote analytical and strategic skills, and dexterity. Above all, esports is perceived as a sport by 27.6% of the Swiss population. Swiss Esports Federation’s chairman, Boris Mayencourt, is satisfied with the results. “This figure is very encouraging. Even within the esports World, there are currently discussions about which games are esports. These discussions are important, but also show that there is a long way to go before the structures of classic sports can be established. The latest evidence – also the consensus of this study – is very positive for us” he said.
Whether as player or viewer, people actively involved in esports watch weekly content on TV or on streaming platforms, such as YouTube or Twitch. Contrary to popular beliefs, the younger generations are not the only content consumers. The popularity is high up to the mid-forties. This interest is not expected to decrease in the coming years, as those already active in esports are likely to stay, and the next generation is already growing up right at its centre. “YouTube is the most popular information channel in Switzerland for esports. However, the figures show that there is still a lot of potential to reach the target groups” explains study author, Marcel Hüttermann.
This figure is very encouraging. Even within the esports World, there are currently discussions about which games are esports. These discussions are important, but also show that there is a long way to go before the structures of classic sports can be established. The latest evidence – also the consensus of this study – is very positive for us.
In Switzerland, non-competitive video games are also popular, especially among younger people. It is known as “gaming”. Unlike esports players, pure gamers do not actively compete against each other. The weekly playing time of gamers and esports players is about 11 hours each on average. “The Swiss population plays video games more often than they are active on social media. That alone shows how present this subject is in everyday life” explains study author, Marcel Hüttermann. Around 30% of the respondents described themselves as “gamers”. Both categories, gamers and esports players, spend an average of CHF 1,270 on equipment.
Smartphones are the most popular platform for video games, while most esports games are played on PC. In particular, the game “FIFA” acts as a link between gamers and esports players. It is the most popular game in Switzerland. In the game “Fortnite”, on the other hand, a change in consumption can be observed, as the focus here is no longer on playing, but on watching. Expert Marcel Hüttermann assesses this development as follows: “It will be exciting to observe whether, and to what extent, esports is moving in the direction of smartphones, and how esports consumption is developing in Switzerland, in terms of content on TV, on streaming platforms and other channels.“
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