E-sports are experiencing a worldwide boom. According to the latest Global Esports Market Report released by Newzoo, a provider of e-sports, games, and mobile intelligence, the e-sports economy is estimated to have grown to US$696 million in 2017.
Youth think tank Youth I.D.E.A.S., founded by the Youth Research Centre of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG), undertook a study on e-sports opportunities in the city.
It conducted the study between Nov. 17 and Dec. 3 last year, interviewing 1,407 HKFYG members aged 15 to 29 through online questionnaires. It also talked to 20 young stakeholders in the e-sports sector in the form of a focus group.
Results of the study reveal that 38.5 percent of the respondents have viewed e-sports tournaments within six months before the survey, and 13.4 percent have participated in casual e-sports tournaments, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
In the survey, the respondents were asked to score statements about e-sports with 10 being the highest and 0 being the least they agree with. To the statement that “e-sports can help diversify Hong Kong’s economy”, the average score was 6.9 while “e-sports can provide the youth with more career choices” got an average score of 6.62.
According to some professional e-sports contestants, e-sports have yet to take off in Hong Kong because the city lacks large-scale competitions. At the moment, income from e-sports competitions is not even enough for one to buy the basic necessities.
Thus, live streaming of various kinds of gaming tournaments is necessary for bigger earnings.
Some respondents blame the lack of professional e-sports courses in the city. They said that although they may have a strong interest in e-sports, they find it hard to enter the industry.
Youth I.D.E.A.S. said the Hong Kong government should regard e-sports as a formal sporting event.
To show its support for e-sports, the government should assist Hong Kong contestants taking part in international tournaments, and elevate the status of e-sports in Hong Kong through its recreation and sports policies, according to the study.
The authorities concerned should build a decent e-sports ecology by considering establishing an “e-sports hub” that offers integrated facilities including large-scale tournament venues and training facilities for contestants.
They could also help raise local overall e-sports standard and quality of e-sports players by regularly organizing large-scale e-sports leagues and running comprehensive training courses for players.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 31
Translation by Jonathan Chong
[Chinese version 中文版]
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