eSports Outlook 2020: a year of eSports in Italy

eSports Outlook 2020: a year of eSports in Italy
IIDEA, the trade association of the video game industry in Italy, presents the first Esports Outlook, a report of the last year of esports in Italy made through the voices of members operating in the sector, such as tournament organizers and esports team.

IIDEA for the first time in Italy aims to bring together the results obtained by esports operators and in 2021 this initiative will continue on a quarterly basis. According to the latest Report on esports in Italy in 2020, esports have started to consolidate in Italy with a fan base of around 1,400,000 people (+ 20% compared to the previous survey) who follow esports events several times a week and a pool of avid fan of 466 thousand people (+ 33%) who follow esports events daily.

The results obtained by the operators of the sector in 2020 grow in step with the growth of the fanbase, increasingly interested in emerging dynamics and national collaborations, which have certainly contributed to the progressive increase in supporters.

“2020 was a challenging year for operators in the esports sector in Italy. The pandemic forced us to review our projects, but it also offered us new visibility and business opportunities thanks to the growing attention that competitive gaming has been able to conquer at various levels in our country ", commented Federico Brambilla, Vice President of IIDEA and representative of the Association's esports members. "We are therefore pleased to close the year with a set of important results for the sector as a whole, such as the digital transformation of large esports events with significant reach, competitive successes for Italian teams at national and international level and partnerships with clubs. sports and leading brands. All this testifies to a new phase of development of our ecosystem and makes us confident for further growth in 2021 ".

PG Esports celebrated for the most followed PG Nationals of League of Legends ever (with a total audience of 2.5 million spectators and 275,000 hours watched), becoming the most watched Italian tournament ever on Twitch. Furthermore, the Amodei group, publisher of Corriere dello Sport-Stadio and Tuttosport, recently announced the acquisition of 51% of PG Esports, an operation that marks the entry into the gaming world of the leader of sports publishing.

Thanks to the partnership of ProGaming Italia with FIGC, on the other hand, its fanbase, which has more than 30 million fans, has been placed at the center. It was therefore possible to launch a real start-up, which led to the creation of an innovative and unique reality in the world of esports: the TIMVISION eNational of FIFA and PES, which in effect joined the other national teams of football and also creating a digital platform made up of different touch points, contents and events for the wide audience and community of esports with the aim of getting in touch with the new generations and at the same time ensuring that sporting values and cultural activities are able to permeate these targets.

To date it is a very successful project with great prospects seen with great attention and much appreciation by the main stakeholders in the world of esports and the world of football and considered by many to be a real case history. 2020 was a year of competitive successes for our country's esports scene.

MCES Italia was the only Italian team to qualify for the world finals of PUGB Mobile - RED BULL MEO season 3, which will be held in Turkey in February 2021. The Samsung Morning Stars have instead closed a season full of successes at the Italian level by winning the PG Nationals both on Rainbow Six Siege and on League of Legends, a feat that no one has ever managed since the two competitions , and gaining access to the European Masters.

A number of strategic agreements were also signed with important football clubs during the year. QLASH has partnered with AC Milan to collaborate on a brand and commercial development level and create synergies to involve the two fanbases and increase business opportunities for both realities. Outplayed Gaming will continue to support Hellas Verona for the second consecutive year, in the wake of the excellent debut season and the positive results achieved by the virtual yellow and blue, from the victory of a 'Waiting for eSerie A' on eFootball PES 2020, to the excellent results of the Verona Pro Club and up to several important placings in numerous national and international tournaments.

Still on the partnership front, this time with important endemic and non-endemic brands, NLE has started to collaborate with Lenovo for 360 ° support, which involves the use of Lenovo Legion products by the players of the team and the setting up of the Gaming House with Lenovo products and graphics. In 2021, the products will be used in all events, as well as joining an influencer marketing activity to present and launch the Lenovo Legion news on the market. Exeed was instead chosen by Adidas for the launch of the new ZX shoe. The esports team, already sponsored by the famous brand, was the protagonist of Adidas Gaming Hub powered by Exeed, three days of streaming events with its players and talents. Finally, the transformation of HSL Esports is deeper, which during the year began a process of transformation from a team to an esports service company.

2020 was also a very important year for the esports program of the Association, which organized in partnership with ProGaming Italia the first edition of Round One, the first international business event dedicated to operators in the esports sector, with the aim of promoting business development, promoting the professionalization of operators and giving visibility to the sector towards the media and institutions. The first digital edition, produced within the magnificent location of the Riva del Garda Congress Center, saw the participation of 15 national and international companies of the caliber of Riot Games, Fnatic, Team Vitality, Astralis, ESL, FIGC, F.C. International and many others.

The event also hosted the ceremony of the Italian Esports Awards (IEA), the award promoted by IIDEA to celebrate the protagonists of the esports world that this year awarded five statuettes to Team QLASH as Best Italian Team, Riccardo "Reynor" Romiti as Best Italian Player, Giorgio "POW3R" Calandrelli as Best Italian Content Creator, Simone "Akira" Trimarchi as Best Italian Caster and finally League of Legends Esports Game of the Year .

The Association has finally launched Play for Kids, a special awareness and fundraising initiative in favor of Gold for Kids, a project of the Umberto Veronesi Foundation to support research on pediatric cancer. An 8 in days in collaboration with Milan Games Week, QLASH, Exeed and Samsung Morning Stars, through which various streamers and influencers have sensitized their audience on the importance of the cause and of making donations.

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