Poland has been making its presence known on the international stage for quite some time now, with esports playing an increasingly important role and being a huge market to pay attention to. According to a report by Newzoo, the Polish esports market is in the top 20 in the world.
The culture of Polish esports began in the 90’s, when players competed against each other in internet cafes, and over time began to establish the first amateur esports teams. Since then, it has grown steadily, becoming a huge market not only for gamers, but also for consumers. Currently, there are 16 million gamers in Poland of which 47% are women. About 2.6 million of those 16 million are esports enthusiasts. Studies show that as many as 87% of teenagers aged 12-18 play at least once a week. These numbers prove that Polish gamers are no longer a niche, but a community that is becoming more and more visible.
However, the market is not only players but also those who create these games. In this segment is also something to be proud of. Who does not remember CD Projekt Red and their phenomenal series about The Witcher? Or Techland, with its hit game Dying Light? There are also huge studios like Ten Square Games or PlayWay, whose annual revenues reach almost a billion euros. Including the entire game development industry, we will find a total of 440 game producers.
Esport is becoming more and more often associated with education. In high schools there are classes with esports profiles, where students can begin their adventure with training in CS:GO and League of Legends. At universities we can find over 60 degree courses related to games such as PR & Marketing in esports, or Video Game Management, which will allow to work in the esports industry in the future.
Football clubs are also involved in the development of esports, which, following the example of foreign teams, create esports sections. One such team is Wisla Krakow, which creates a team Wisla All iN! Games, which is one of the best Polish esports teams. Legia Warsaw, on the other hand, has recently created an esports section for teenagers, which provides a professional approach to training and coaching in esports and combines it with esports activities.
Polish esports players are recognized around the world and are also associated with success. Players such as Filip “NEO” Kubski, Jarosław “Pasha” Jarząbkowski and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski are role models for new players through their historical successes on the international stage.
There is also no shortage of young players who are doing well both in the colors of Polish clubs and in foreign teams. For example, in the number of individual players in the European League of Legends competition – LEC, Polish players are in the Top6. There is also no shortage of esports teams that achieve success on the European stage. The largest of them that regularly participate in these competitions are x-com AGO, Illuminar Gaming or Izako Boars.
In Poland, the infrastructure is also developing intensively. There are more and more competitions for esports teams created, and tournaments organized by many entities, not necessarily related to esports. In Poland, more precisely in Katowice, takes place one of the biggest esports events in the world – Intel Extreme Masters Katowice. The official professional competitions for the best teams are also structured. Organizers such as ESL or PLE (Polish Esports League) are trying to create competitions that not only give the best players from each team a chance to shine, but also become key and widely recognized competitions, being important for the entire ecosystem of entities, setting the direction of development for the entire industry. The League of Legends competition is hosted by one of Poland’s largest television stations, Polsat, on the Polsat Games channel under the name Ultraliga. The games are attracting more and more fans, due to the fact that they are broadcast not only on the Internet, but also on regular television.
There are also many portals that focus on electronic sports and related business. We are not only talking about YouTube channels, but also about the largest media, which create sections on esports. The largest media companies have noticed the large community that is formed by viewers of esports.
Esport in Poland today is a huge market, which, despite advanced development, is not yet mature and still has a chance to become a competitor to the largest in the world. Recipients of esports is a group that is growing rapidly and is also very involved in the watched games. Many brands that have already noticed the advantages of being present in esports are willing to engage in further marketing communication in this environment, thanks to which they build their position and become recognizable in it. We are not only talking about gaming companies, but also about a growing number of non-endemic brands that see the benefits of communicating in this sector.– Wojciech Krzemień, CEO of BriefEsports – leading gaming outlet in Poland.