Reasons why Singapore is attractive to professional eSports tournaments
Large gaming community
Singapore has about 5.9 million people, but the proportion of gamers is quite high. According to Statista, the island nation has 4.2 million mobile game players, with revenue reaching 288 million USD. Data from Newzoo also shows that last year, 46% of the country’s population watched video content about games; 21% of people in urban areas follow e-sports.
This is also the country with the highest average revenue per mobile game player in the region, reaching 50.75 USD in 2022. This number is forecast to continue to increase by an average of 5.41% per year until 2027. Meanwhile, Indonesia – the country with the most gamers in Southeast Asia, stopped at 10.36 USD per person and Thailand at 19.66 USD per person.
Thanks to the level of “spending” on online games, eSports in Singapore is very favored by brands. In 2019, Singtel – one of the four largest telecommunications corporations on the island invested in the national e-sports team during the 30th SEA Games held in the Philippines. This is the first edition to include eSports in the list of official competition subjects.
CEO Singtel emphasized that this investment activity is aimed at building and developing the gaming ecosystem in the region, aiming to increase recognition in Asia. The Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Singapore Esports Association (SGEA), becoming a sponsor of training and competition costs, player subsidies, as well as Scholarships help athletes access educational opportunities.
Government promotes support
Singapore’s achievements at sports competitions such as the Olympics and SEA Games are not outstanding. But the small island nation is a familiar venue for many professional eSports tournaments thanks to its advantage in infrastructure, technology and supportive policies from the Government.
In May 2022, Singapore will host the Free Fire World Series championship. The highest number of views for the final match at one time reached 5.4 million. According to Esports Charts, this is the largest total view count ever, not counting platforms from China. In the same year, the Dota 2 world championship – The International 11 took place in Singapore. For the first time, the final match of the tournament was held in Southeast Asia.
According to Bloomberg, Singapore is focusing on investing in infrastructure, aiming to become a global business center, developing the ecosystem to become Southeast Asia’s leading destination for e-sports. Thanks to its open policy towards the gaming industry, the island nation is the “hometown” of many game developers and publishers such as SEA (formerly Garena), Razer, Riot Games, Ubisoft…
Mr. Carlos Alimurun, CEO of One Esports (Singapore) said that Southeast Asia is the next “frontier” of mobile e-sports. Among them, Singapore is one of the leading countries thanks to its infrastructure including hardware equipment, Internet speed, human resources and policies for businesses.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the government is ready to support game businesses in testing new content formats and business models. They also ensure the supply of high quality human resources to the industry.
STB representatives said that major international tournaments like The International will help raise the island nation’s ambition to develop eSports to lead Southeast Asia. These events will be an important part of the unit’s tourism development plan.
STB also works with the Media Development Authority and the Enterprise Department to support the development of the Singapore Game Association (SGGA). A number of other associations such as Singapore Esports SGEA, Global Esports GEF (headquartered in Singapore), Online games and online sports SCOGA… are also vibrant organizations, contributing to the development of this industry in Vietnam. Lion Island.
To date, Singapore has more than 220 businesses and organizations operating in the gaming industry. 100% of these units participate in SGGA. They are only subject to corporate income tax of 17%, no need to pay any other amount. This is one of the lowest tax rates across Southeast Asia.
Opportunity for Vietnam
In 2021, global eSports revenue reached more than 1.1 billion USD, expected to reach 1.8 billion USD by 2025. By the end of 2022, the global e-sports audience reached 532 million people. . Of these, 74% of the audience who regularly watch eSports are full-time employees with 44% belonging to the high income group.
Southeast Asia and Latin America are currently fast-growing eSports markets with annual growth rates exceeding 27% and 19%, respectively. Particularly in Southeast Asia, Singapore and a number of other countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia… have continuously recorded revenue growth in recent years.
Similar to Singapore, Vietnam converges many factors that make eSports a key economy, attracting regional and world-scale tournaments. This is one of the ways to help diversify budget revenue sources in the current economic context.
First, Vietnam has a large and young population, being one of three Southeast Asian countries with more than 100 million people. According to Newzoo, in 2022 Vietnam will have 54.6 million game players. The total revenue of the mobile gaming industry reached 507 million USD.