Video games are heavily popular in New Zealand. Therefore, e-Sports made a natural entry into the country and appealed to most of the youngsters. While the genre’s growth is still in its nascent stage, the potential is huge for an exciting market in NZ.

Let’s find out what is happening in e-Gaming in the country and the future that awaits us.

The Introduction of e-Sports in New Zealand

New Zealand was a bit late to get the taste of e-Gaming. The country first experienced the launch of League of Legends in 2009. After a year or two, the popularity of Twitch also swept over the country.

As a result, more people got interested in what had become a top earner compared to the film or music industry. Along with that, youngsters also started checking out NZ betting sites to try out their luck.

Moreover, people were looking for more options to gamble. Beginners also started searching for betting tips and bookmakers in hopes of earning handsome rewards. You can also check out the same on this site right now.

Today, the e-Sports market in New Zealand stands at US$1.084 billion. There are countless famous gamers who earn thousands of dollars from leading tournaments.

As a result, virtual games are as popular as the top three sports in New Zealand, cricket, rugby, and soccer. It has come up as the new best extreme sports in New Zealand.

The Current Scenario in e-Gaming

New Zealand embraced digital sports with open earns. It also has the New Zealand Esports Federation (NZESF) to govern digital gaming activities in the country. Recently NZESF also joined the list of other countries under the E-sports Integrity Commission (ESIC).

Additionally, several stakeholders are working together to promote the cause of gamers. The team includes tournament organizers, data, analysts, and popular sports betting portals.

Therefore, the current scenario is really happening in the region. More players are also joining the competition, along with an increased number of viewers.

The growth of interest in eSports started during the lockdown. People had to stay inside their homes and had no means of stepping out. During that time, viewership rates of digital gaming increased by 90% to 100%. You can also watch beIN sports in New Zealand and catch the action.

In 2021, people returned to normal lives after the removal of lockdown. However, the growth in viewership still remained strong and is continuing in 2021.

Fun fact: What are the 5 Olympic sports in which New Zealand have had success?

The list includes rowing, athletics, canoeing, sailing, and equestrian.

Top Tournaments and High Earning Gamers

The number of tournaments in the country is at an all-time high. Along with that, the prize pools are now more inviting with big sums of money.

In 1998, nine tournaments in electronic sports offered total prize money of US$131,700. Today, the figures are huge, reaching US$116.1 million.

In addition, there are more than 4,236 tournaments taking place all over the region.

Players are also earning a lot and joining the ranks of global gamers. Each player now earns US$5016.32 on average from every tournament. They are now on the level of world sports, a large sporting market and industry.

The top-earning player in NZ is Sean Kaiwai​. He earned the most in the country, around US$120,465.93, playing in tournaments and matches.

The other players who earn a high income include:

  • Abdullah Khudeish
  • Cameron Ingram
  • Reihana Green
  • Simon Williams
  • Sam Pearson

In addition, some games earn more than others. The list includes Counter Strike, Fortnite, Rocket League, and World of WarCraft.

Fun fact: Do you know the college in New Zealand that teach sports medicine?

Many colleges do, like University of Otago and University of Auckland.

The Future is Bright for e-Sports

The future of digital gaming is exciting for the Kiwis. We can expect a happening scene with more big names entering the competition. Along with that, the market size of the industry will also continue to grow.

According to some predictions, the industry can amount to US$3 billion by 2022 worldwide. NZ is also going to be a contributor, pumping more revenues into the global market.

Additionally, the country has a huge number of gamers. Among the online population, 64% of users are interested in gaming. Therefore, we can expect more people to play and watch digital sports in the coming years.

Best of all, the growth of e-Gaming is creating a thriving ecosystem. Streaming services like Twitch are also getting popular across the country.

Moreover, the government is also taking an active interest to fuel the growth of the industry. Last year, the prime minister of NZ featured on the feed of a Twitch streamer called Brohx.

Therefore, we can expect the Kiwis to become avid gamers and viewers like countries such as the USA and China. It is the opinion of our author, sports expert Kate Richardson. You can view her profile right here.

Final Thoughts

E-Sports are becoming a thriving industry in NZ. The scene is quite happening, with countless tournaments taking place around the year. In addition, more players are coming to take part in the games. They are also earning high figures and giving a push to the industry. The prize money for the matches is also quite inviting and matches the rest of the world.

Moreover, the government is actively interested in promoting the cause of e-Games. The country also has its own governing agency to regulate and keep an eye on things.

Therefore, we can expect more impulse and electrifying events and growth of the market.

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