4 min read

The most Successful Esports Countries in the World

The most Successful Esports Countries in the World
Hey there!

In last week’s newsletter we approached the topic of performance in Esports and gaming by looking at a framework. The framework combines all possible categories that either improve or hinder performance. If you missed it, here’s the link.

🌎 Environmental Factors - Country-Level Perspective

Today, we will take a look at an environmental factor that impacts individual and team performance outcomes. To be more specific: How does living in a specific country impact the success of an Esports player, team, or organization? What is the most successful Esports country?

To answer these questions, a study from Parshakov & Zavertiaeva from 2018 investigated how a country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) influenced prize money won by Esports players and teams by analyzing data from Esports Earnings.

Esports Earnings is a community website that lists winnings from tournaments per player, country, tournament, team, league, and game. The pictures above show general information about prize money from the website, as well as the current top 20 players and countries by prize money won.

🏆 Countries & Prize Money

Based on the data from the website (1999 to 2015), the authors visualized the most successful countries. As you can see in the picture below, the parts of the world that have prize money-winning players or teams are Westernized countries, which is not very surprising. The range of prize money goes from 0 to 26 million US Dollars. The top five successful countries were the US, Brazil, Sweden, South Korea, and China. If you compare it with today's data, China has become the number one, followed by the US, South Korea, Russia, and Denmark.

⚙️ The most influencing Factors

"[...] a 1% increase in GDP per capita will lead to a 2.2% increase in prize money per capita."
This means that if the GDP per capita increases by just 1%, the players and teams of that country will (on average) make 2.2% more in prize money. This is equivalent to performing better in tournaments because, in order to win more prize money, you have to achieve a higher tournament placement.

What most likely contributes to this is the infrastructure available in wealthy countries.
"Although having a proper IT infrastructure is important to developing an eSports industry within a country, it likely loses its effect after reaching a certain threshold."
This makes sense. If the internet (for example) in your country is almost non-existent, bad, or only properly available in bigger cities, your citizens (players) can't really compete. As a result, you will probably experience difficulties playing, such as lag, high ping, or even disconnects. Also, when there are fewer players who can play your games, publishers aren't eager to invest in servers in your country, resulting in further increasing ping.

🏆 The most Successful Esports Country in the World

On top of that, such countries (and citizens) can devote more time to Esports compared to poorer countries. This also explains why the increase affects countries differently. For wealthier countries, the prize money increases by $26,049, whereas the average for the entire country is $9,915. In that regard,
"Sweden is the most successful country in Esports."
Other factors the study looked at were population and life expectancy. An increase of 1 million in population increases the probability of being a more successful country by 9%. For life expectancy, one additional year raises the chance of being a more successful country by 0.8%.

One last interesting piece from the study is that
"Being a post-Soviet country (planned or post-planned economy) increases the probability of being a non-zero prize country by 51% (57%)."
💡 As we have just seen, on a country level, there are several factors (mainly a country's infrastructure) that contribute to a player's and team's performance and hence an organization's success in Esports. Besides these, there are a million other factors that are important and there for us to explore.

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Wish you friends an amazing week. See you next Sunday.

~Christian 🙂

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