37% of Brits are familiar with esports but engagement remains low – YouGov report on gaming during lockdown


Four in ten Brits (37%) are familiar with esports, but just 6% of them are engaged with these competitions in some way.

The majority of those who engage with esports are casual fans (61%) with just 5% saying they are passionately interested. That’s according to new research by YouGov.  

The data comes from YouGov’s Gaming and Esports: The Next Generation white paper, which provides an analysis of the global video games and esports landscape across 24 markets.

It’s similar to research YouGov produced three years back, where it found that 35% of British adults (18.3 million people) are aware of esports, just 7% (3.6m) have actually watched it.

The 2020 report also found that more than four in ten UK gamers say they’ve been gaming more during the COVID-19 outbreak (43%), while a further four in ten have been gaming about the same (42%) and 8% say they’re playing less. 

Additionally, a quarter of gamers say that once the pandemic is over, gaming will be “stronger and more relevant than ever before” (24%).

The leading markets for console gamers as a proportion of the population are Hong Kong (32%), Spain (29%), the US (28%), the UK (28%), and Australia (27%). 

UK gamers make up over two thirds of the population (67%). Six in ten of this group say they play mobile games (52%), a quarter PC games (25%) and three in ten console games (28%).  

Finally, the report found that Twitch awareness among UK gamers is at 37%, while a quarter are aware of YouTube Gaming (25%) and one in six are aware of Facebook Gaming (16%).  

Nicole Pike, global sector head of esports & gaming at YouGov, said: “This whitepaper offers a foundational understanding of gamers – which, given the number of countries, platforms, titles, streaming sites, and competitions at this audience’s fingertips is far from basic in today’s gaming landscape.

“Beyond our extensive industry expertise, we also explore key trends that will drive continued growth for gaming into 2021, all rooted in data from consumers around the world.”





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