Nielsen Sports has released a report detailing the growth of the Russian esports audience. In 2020, the audience grew by 28% to 15.4M accounting for people aged 13 and over.
Of that audience, which breaks down to 64% men and 36% women, Nielsen noted a significant increase during 2020, aligning with similar growth for streaming and the gaming industry as a whole due to pandemic lockdowns. Approximately 25% of fans surveyed for the report “began to follow matches during the past year.” Of that new audience, 54% identified as girls and women. In a release, Nielsen Sports’ Head of Esports Michael Heina noted that while the growth of the female audience for esports is a global trend, “the effect is outstandingly strong in Russia.”
Russia has long been a staple of several esports communities, particularly Dota 2. Throughout 2020, Russian-language broadcasts of Dota 2 competitions routinely exceeded the English stream in hours watched.
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