According to BrandPulse research, 10% of Russians (12-64 years old) are interested in esports. 5% just keep an eye on esports, but do not make a bet, 4% place a bet on e-sports, and 2% participate in e- sports tournaments. The esports audience is younger, mostly male (74%) and digitally native.
Russians who are interested in esports regularly play video games, and the desktop and console games are the most popular. Among the e-sports audience 68% play desktops (against 60% among all the Russians who regularly play), and on game consoles — 32% against 16%. We conducted a study using data from our desktop (more than 15 thousand people) and mobile (more than 20 thousand people) panels, including BrandPulse research.
Most popular esports platforms Russia 2022
According to the Cross Web project and Mediascope analysis, Twitch is the largest video streaming service in Russia. According to Mediascope, in July 2022, the audience of the platform was 5,6 million people 12-64 years old.
Since March 2022, the audience of Twitch has slightly declined because of problems related to the monetization of streamers’ channels. The restrictions led to a small outflow of the Twitch audience to other services.
The Chinese platform Trova Live takes a second place in top 3 largest streaming services. In March, the audience of this platform has tripled. Despite the decline in the audience in April, in July, Trovo took the second place in the top with an audience of more than 800 thousand people.
The Russian service Wasd.tv takes the third place (MTS ecosystem). The audience of the site began to grow in April and in July reached 545 thousand people. Apparently, the main reason for the audience growth is the support program for streamers who are faced difficulties of earning money on other platforms. (Wasd.tv launched the project at the end of March 2022). It also can be a reason for the fall of Trovo audience.
The esports audience actively uses the content monetization platforms. In July, Boost.to was the most popular platform for donations. The audience of the platform consisted of 2,1 million people or 2,1% of Russians 12-64 years old. Since March, the Boost.to audience began to grow due to problems with monetization in Twitch and Youtube and cancellation of commissions in the service. DonationAlerts service is the other popular platform. The audience of the platform consisted of 1,2 million people or 1,2% of the total population 12-64 years old. Patron is a third popular donation platform. The Patron audience consisted of 1,1 million people or 1,1% of the population 12-64 years old. But since March the number of users of the platform has decreased due to problems with subscription payment and money withdrawal.
What esports content do Russians prefer?
Interesting for Russians Games and channels differ depending on the streaming platform, as well as the season and calendar of tournaments.
According to the results of the second quarter of 2022, the channels of two studios — CSGO_MC and DOTA2MC — are leading on Twitch. These studios can broadcast the largest Counter-Strike and Dota 2 tournaments in Russian. As a rule, personal channels of streamers dominate in the top game channels on Twitch. However, during the tournament period, the audience’s interest in official live broadcasts of matches is growing and the channels of organizers and analytics studios became more popular.
The popularity of Counter-Strike and Dota 2 in the Russian-speaking segment of Twitch may be associated with a large number of teams from Russia and Eastern Europe in these disciplines (Virtus.pro, Team Spirit, Natus Vincere, Gambit Esports).
In the spring of 2022 the most popular game on Wasd.tv was Counter-Strike. Pvaserhaps the reason of it was in a major international tournament on this game in the second quarter of 2022. In comparison with other services Wasd.tv has a large number of new games, which were released in the spring of 2022. Youtube is another important resource for the Russian esports audience. On this resource, games consist 14% of all popular search queries. Games are included in the top 3 search categories on the video platform. The young audience (12-24 years old) shows the greatest interest in games on Youtube. A significant share in the top search queries on Youtube is occupied by bloggers who shoot content on the Minecraft game, which may be due to the popularity of this game among the youngest audience.
How many Russians watch major esports tournaments?
Mediascope analyzed the audience of two major esports tournaments that took place in autumn of 2021 and spring of 2022. More than 400 thousand people 12-64 years old watched at least one of the broadcasts of the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 tournament (CS:GO game) on the desktop from May 9 to May 22, 2022.
The majority of the tournament audience were men (96%), and the average age of the broadcast viewers was 22 years.
Last year, the Russian audience of the Dota 2 tournament — The International 10 (from October 7 to 17, 2021) was even larger. 1 million Russians 12-64 years old watched at least a one broadcast of this competition on the desktop. The share of men in the broadcast audience was 83%, and the viewer average age was 25 years. Since the start of the tournament, the number of search queries related to Dota 2 has also increased. In final day of the tournament and the day after it, the number of search queries reached peak values, because of Team Spirit, which includes a large number of participants from Russia.
The team from the EU region (Eastern Europe) won The International tournament for the first time in the last 10 years.
On August 15, 2022, Team Spirit won the PGL Arlington Major 2022 and received a direct ticket to The International 2022.