HÀ NỘI — The pandemic caused a series of disturbances in the traditional sports industry but created a golden chance for e-sports and game creators.
Experts said that with a savvy, large, dynamic and well-integrated youth population, Việt Nam was catching up with the e-sports industry and it was an attractive growth market for the gaming industry, with one of the youngest populations in the region and the highest percentage of adult gamers in the world in 2020.
Việt Nam has 77 per cent of people online, of which 61 million people use smartphones and up to 90 per cent are ‘Gen Z,’ which are the main target of game/e-sports creation. The e-sports industry has many opportunities for brand collaboration.
The number of 3G/4G subscribers in Việt Nam accounts for 53 per cent of mobile phone users. At the end of 2020, three major carriers, Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone, officially deployed 5G testing. Smartphone brands have also integrated 5G chips on the latest phone models, which will enhance the local e-sports.
Recently, Vero released a paper on e-sports in co-operation with Decision Lab which said brands could enter the e-sports market through in-game advertising, cross-platform advertising, tournament sponsorship, team/player sponsorship and co-creation.
The paper estimates the local video game market in 2020 to reach 40 million players, while 18 million people have played eSports, and about 86 per cent of e-sports viewers claim to interact with the brand ads, and products recommended by gaming KOLs were among the best sellers.
An industry report, “The state of gaming creators in Việt Nam” launched by Appota Group on March 3, said: “Besides playing games directly, watching livestreams is an emerging trend in which, the number of players, audiences and content creators has increased, making the gaming creators ecosystem develop and link more closely together.”
Most experts in the industry said the explosion of the Game Streaming wave and social networking platforms were at their peak.
According to Appota’s report, up to 80 per cent of the community said they spent more time watching gaming creator videos during the outbreak. The average audience spends 3 hours per day playing and watching e-sports, second only to traditional sports, about 3.4 hours per day, adding 45 per cent of the esports audience were hardcore fans, about 9.1 million people.
The report said many were exposed to e-sports every day and considered it a form of daily entertainment.
According to the survey by Appota, the target audience of the creators was mainly younger generations; the largest age group was 18-22 years old with 40.8 per cent, followed by 13-17 year-olds with 35 per cent.
The report also said the most popular platforms included outstanding applications for games such as Facebook Gaming, YouTube Gaming, Nimo TV and Booyah. The game was also seen on non-gaming platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Game creators with a large fan base on social networks in Việt Nam include Viruss with 4.2 million followers, Ha Mi with 1.2 million followers, Pewpew with 4.1 million followers and Nam Blue with 3 million.
When the creators livestream on platforms, they get fixed stream salary and shares from ad-break ads on the livestream, said the report, adding that up to 40 per cent of the creators got paid from their work and from the reputation of being a creator from brands and fans.
Though the report did not clarify the precise pay of the creators, many are estimated to earn billions of đồng each year.
Appota’s report said other notable sources of revenue included attending e-sports tournaments, selling merchandise, and donations from fans. It added that focusing on stream content and building a loyal fan community helped creators receive donations from the audience as a variable source of income.
While showing that the profession of gaming creators has become popular and a way of earning for young people, the report said the profession was only recognized among young people and those working in the industry. At the same time, the rest of the world was not very positive about the career.
The explosion and development of the internet and gaming/e-sports led to higher competition in Việt Nam, and investment costs for equipment, advertising, personal marketing, training were a big challenge.
At the same time, Appota said that as the profession was new, there were no real standards for vocational training in the country, so most streaming agencies developed their creators through working, and there was no yardstick to measure the training and direction of young creators.
Phạm Bá Duy, director of Appota OTA Network, said: “There will be few criteria for a successful creator, such as sincerity, which is a core element of keeping engaged, that is building the relationship between streamer and viewer.”
Duy told creators to work hard and stay true to themselves both in real life and on-screen to get closer to fans. Duy mentioned enthusiasm and individuality as two important points of being successful in the profession. — VNS