As the coronavirus pandemic aggravates in Brazil, most of the people spend their time indoors, and the stay-at-home policy has driven a significant increase in the consumption of digital products and businesses, especially the esports market.
The passion that Brazil exhibits for sports in clearly reflected in its thriving esports scene. The country possesses a huge esports audience with fans who are dedicated to their games and teams.
It has the third-most Esports enthusiasts in the world, with 7.6 million Brazilians watching professional content more than once per month. There is a total of 9.2 million esports fans, and only the U.S. (22.4 million) and China (75 million) surpass Brazil.
Esports awareness in the online population is 47 percent, and it seems to be growing as esports becomes more mainstream. The popularity of gaming is driving professional sports teams to enter esports.
Flamengo, a Brazilian soccer club, established its own esports division, creating a League of Legends roster and training facility. The famous Brazilian soccer player, Ronaldo, invested in esports and developed a team that competed in FIFA, League of Legends, and Arena of Valor.
Improvements and milestones
During the Brazilian League of Legends Championship on June 7, a record-breaking 336,000 people simultaneously watched the match on Twitch. Also, the country’s esports industry announced improved numbers and interest in several esports related spaces.
Vivo Keyd, one of the largest Brazilian esports organization, reported an increase of 25% in viewership and audience engagement for online action. Another organization, paiN Gaming, announced that the access and consumption at the organization’s online store increased last month.
INTZ also claimed that engagement milestones are being broken every month, as its reach on Twitter and Instagram increased from 8.3 million in February to 17.9 million in April.
Local media highlighted the difference between the gaming audience and esports fans. Barbara Gutierrez, editor-in-chief of the IGN Brazil website, said, “While the gaming audience is consuming less content and using their time to play more, esports fans increased demand and are consuming more than what would be expected today.”
According to Google Trends, the search for “esports” doubled in Brazil. The stats show that the number is 50% more than that of before the pandemic.
Unlike traditional sports, esports has been left relatively unharmed by the economic crisis. Organizations and teams have a virtual platform for them to communicate with fans.
Hence, teams like Vivo Keyd and INTZ are securing new deals as well as continuing to build a strong relationship with current sponsors.
Even though esports competitions have not been canceled or lost any sponsors, events have suffered the most from the crisis as 98% of the sector was affected. The lack of face-to-face events affected the content produced in esports.
The CEO of Vivo Keyd, Tiago Xisto, said, “We have (seen) a drop in quality since there are no post-game interviews nor many other forms of content that could be made.”
Brazil is hoping to mend the most affected areas and the economic effects by establishing initiatives like live streams and tournaments to raise funds for humanitarian causes.
Free Fire is the most downloaded, played, and popular mobile game in Brazil right now. The Brazilian Free Fire League was a success in 2019. Garena, a video gaming company that published Free Fire, decided to continue and launch another season.
However, the second season of the Brazilian Free Fire League was canceled as of April 23 due to the coronavirus. The company intends to bring the competition back during the second half of the year.