What are esports?
Esports are leagues, competitive circuits, tournaments, or similar competitions in which individuals or teams play video games, for entertainment, prizes, or money, typically for spectators, either in-person or online.
Esports is one of the fastest growing pillars of the video games industry, with a global community of hundreds of millions of people who actively compete in or watch esports each year.
- Global revenues are expected to reach €1 billion in 2021.
- In 2020, the esports audience grew by 9.55%.
- In 2020, the total audience in Europe was 92 million people.
Find out more such data in the latest ISFE and EGDF Key Facts report
Guide to Esports
Esports, also known as competitive gaming, is revolutionising how consumers watch, follow and engage with video games. Everyone wants to be part of it, while many overlook that they are an important part of the video games industry.
So there you have it – representatives from video game associations all over the world and major video game companies have created the Guide to Esports, which outlines the state of esports play for all stakeholders, including publishers, developers, tournament organisers, teams, players and fans.. The Guide also outlines economic growth, demographics, job creation, educational and social opportunities, the current economy and their potential for growth, both locally and internationally. It also aims to facilitate dialogue between decision makers and the industry.
Read our Guide to Esports
Which principles guide esports?
These core principles were developed in a collaborative effort and form a set of values applicable in all aspects of the global esports environments: safety and well-being, integrity and fair play, respect and diversity, and positive and enriching game play.
Through mutual respect, understanding, and purpose, we strive to foster community that is responsible, welcoming, engaging, and of course, fun. By promoting a safe, fair, and inclusive esports environment, all members of the esports ecosystem benefit from sportsmanship, camaraderie, and other positive values that our industry actively promotes.
Principle 1: SAFETY AND WELL-BEING
Principle 2: INTEGRITY AND FAIR PLAY
Principle 3: RESPECT AND DIVERSITY
Principle 4: POSITIVE AND ENRICHING GAME PLAY
Are esports a sport?
The video games industry is highly creative. Unlike sports, each video game used in esports is a one-of-a-kind creation of a developer/publisher who in turn owns its intellectual property rights.
Video game competitions are held using IT infrastructures and networks, and often involve players located around the world, as opposed to the territorial organisation found in sports. While sports disciplines are based on tradition and fixed rules that are rarely subject to changes, competitive video games necessitate constant reworking, rebalancing, and adding new content to keep them updated, playable, and enjoyable, as well as constant player support and community management.
Video games exist in a different ecosystem than sports. Our members’ products are regulated under consumer and minor protection laws, consumer contract laws, IP laws, taxation and company laws, and much more, at European and national levels. Sport laws cannot, and should not, be applied to them. Applying sports laws would be detrimental to European esports stakeholders and their ability to compete in the global market.
What is ISFE Esports?
ISFE Esports was launched in August 2019 to promote esports and represent its European stakeholders. ISFE Esports will:
- Bring together esports stakeholders to discuss and find common ground on issues affecting the sector
- Coordinate and articulate the voice of esports at the highest levels
- Raise awareness of esports and of the opportunities it offers amongst policy makers and other stakeholders
- Encourage the exchange of views and intelligence, and the development of best practices
- Identify challenges to the growth and development of the esports sector
Who are members of ISFE Esports?
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A message from our chairpersons
ISFE Esports is a group that strives to promote the esports industry for the benefit of all its stakeholders and to provide a cohesive, reliable point of reference for this exciting sector.
Many of the video games played today in esports competitions have been developed and/or published by ISFE members or by members of its national trade associations. With video games publishers, our games and our players at the very heart of esports, we are best-placed to lead the growth and development of this new frontier for the video games industry, to meet its challenges, promote esports, and to provide an authoritative voice on the issues impacting our businesses.
According to Newzoo, global esports revenues are expected to reach $1,598.2M in 2023.