Ukie, the trade body for the UK games and interactive entertainment industry, has produced the value of esports in the UK report which assesses the economic impact of UK esports and provides an overview of the sector and its impact on regional economies. It also examines the breadth of businesses active in the sector and includes a set of recommendations for the future growth of esports.

The highlights of the value of esports in the UK report are that the UK esports industry has:

  1. Grown at an annual average rate of 8.5% between 2016 and 2019
  2. Supported over full-time 1,200 jobs in 2019
  3. Contributed just under 8% of the global market value, generating £60m in revenue in 2019
  4. Supported £111.5 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2019
  5. The potential to generate 238 full-time equivalents (FTEs) of employment and £12 million in GVA for the UK economy if it hosts a major global esports event

The 45-page report is comprised of the following main sections:

  • What is esports?
    • Why esports represents such a big opportunity for the UK
  • How big is esports and how fast is it growing?
    • Revenue and Economic Impact
  • The value to local economies
    • Key Impacts and the Potential of a Major UK event
  • How can the UK esports sector grow further?

Ukie’s recommendations for growth include:

  1. Regular engagement – government (i.e. DCMS) engagement can be vital in preventing any barriers and promoting the growth of a young industry
  2. Promote the UK’s esports industry – the GREAT campaign promotes the best of British. Ukie believes that if the government is serious about making esports an area of national strength then it should establish an ‘EsportsIsGREAT’ strand of the campaign
  3. Build on British expertise – esports draws on expertise from various DCMS sectors, from traditional sports to broadcast media. Ukie recommends that the government work with the industry to support the export of esports products
  4. Fund technological innovation – the government has taken a strong first step by funding the Weavr Consortium, an esports demonstrator, as part of the Industrial Strategy’s Audience of the Future challenge. Ukie believes that esports can serve as a testbed for technology with applications across other sectors, and they recommend the government back this with a small and focused Esports Technology Challenge Fund
  5. Secure international events – the UK already plays host to large esports events such as ESL One Birmingham and the FACEIT Major, but Ukie believes more could be done. They recommend that the government works with industry to offer attractive packages to tournament organisers to bring their events, as well as the fans and associated economic benefits, to the UK
  6. Become a customer – the esports audience is young and highly engaged. As the government looks to get crucial messages to this demographic, it should leverage esport businesses platforms
  7. Provide visa clarity – how esports players and talent apply for entry and visas is unclear. Clear guidance for the industry would be welcome
  8. Maintain regulatory stability – the UK must maintain a stable regulatory environment for businesses. As the UK forges its new place in the world, outside of the EU, it must ensure it is attractive to businesses and investors

Click here to download the value of esports in the UK report.

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