Marketing To A Gaming Audience: A White Spot That No One Pays Attention To

Esports Audience Trends in Eastern Europe. What makes sponsorship of tournaments attractive due to the high share of the solvent audience.

According to newzoo’s forecasts, the esports audience in the world should grow from 191 million people worldwide in 2017 to 286 million in 2021.

Such growth trends cannot go unnoticed by advertisers and sponsors who target millennials and digital audiences. According to newzoo’s data, again, the growth in income from esports tournaments from 2017 to 2021 should be at least 2 times and amount to $1.5 billion. The main markets in which such a trend should take place are the USA, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia. To the extent of the insufficient number of local tournaments and still low level of involvement of the local audience, this growth is not so significant for us, but this does not mean that it will not happen, and it will not be possible to use it.

That is why in December 2018, once again, Ukraine hosted a qualification for the largest esports tournament WESG 2018-2019, which was organized by Starladder with the participation of the general partner 3NRG.

Also, in addition to 3NRG, sponsors were:

  1. Fishki.ua
  2. Impression
  3. Cougar
  4. Fornetti
  5. Tronsmart

The newage. team joined the audit and summed up the results of the last qualifying championship, which undertook to conduct digital research to find out, understand and measure the esports audience.

Overall Tournament Results

The tournament was held from 21.12 to 23.12 in Kyiv. In addition to the opportunity to attend offline, the event was covered online via Twitch and YouTube. Also, organizers were posting news on Facebook, Twitter, and the Starladder website (in the WESG section).

By the way, we have the manual on how to share access to a Meta ad account.

Having collected all the data from all sources and taking into account all possible audience overlaps between social networks, we can confidently say that about 1.9 million users viewed the tournament, making 7.4 million contacts with various kinds of materials during the qualifying stage.

Now we will share with you some interesting facts that we managed to track down during the analysis of the campaign:

  • The average frequency of user contact with the tournament was 4 times.
  • Of the total number of users who watched the tournament, 200,000 watched the tournament via Twitch streams or watched YouTube recordings, 1,400,000 were involved via social networks, and 300 were offline.
  • In total, about 33 million minutes of content were viewed during the entire tournament, which is an average of 18 minutes per person.

Target Audience: Gender, Age, What They Play And Watch

One of the key tasks facing the newage. team — it was to determine which target audience potential advertisers can work with and how to interact with it.

The main audience of the tournament is 18-34 years old (70% of all age groups) and the vast majority are men (95%).

Talking about games, the target audience, which was more pronounced in each of the games:

1. СS:GO 18-24

2. DOTA2 18-35

3. Hearthstone 18-35

4. Starcraft 25-35

Arranging games in the order of public interest:

  • CS:GO
  • Dota2
  • Hearthstone
  • Starcraft 2

Sponsorship Content Analysis

If we turn to sponsored content and its consumption analysis, we will see that 88% of the content included a manifestation with sponsored attributes (logo, banner, attributes), which in absolute terms is 30 million minutes.

For all time, 900 thousand users have been in contact with user manifestations.

At the same time, we received different levels of engagement in different content. For example, video —  an average user saw 34 minutes of custom manifestations.

In the social networks, on average, the user faced the manifestation of the sponsor 1.5 times, which were in the form of:

  • sponsored post
  • banner with the logo of all sponsors.


Based on the results, we can conclude that there is already a growing trend in the audience watching esports events in the CIS in general and in Ukraine in particular. And most importantly, the core of the audience 18-34 is already fully formed, which will be replenished every year with new viewers who are growing up. What makes the sponsorship of such tournaments attractive due to the high proportion of the solvent audience, which has high engagement rates.

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