The market research firm Newzoo has predicted that the esports scene in Southeast Asia (SEA) will experience a surge in growth in 2019, driven by the region having the world’s fastest-growing esports audience as well as the addition of new leagues and tournaments.
According to Newzoo, the Asia-Pacific region as a whole had an esports audience of over 98.6 million people. A significant part of that is due to Southeast Asia, one of its mostaactive regions in esports, and the research firm predicts that its fastest-growing esports audience will expand to over 31.9 million in 2019.
“Southeast Asia is 2019’s esports region to look out for. […] This will mean plenty of new esports developments in SEA going forward,” Newzoo said.
It is expected that one of the main driving forces behind that would be the inclusion of esports as a medal event in the 2019 SEA Games, which will be held in the Philippines starting in November.
The esports titles to be included in the SEA Games are Dota 2, Starcraft II, Tekken 7, Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, and another console title yet to be announced.
The SEA Games is expected to be a landmark event in the continuing intersection of esports and traditional sports, even if the International Olympic Committee says talks of esports as an Olympic event are premature.
Newzoo expects to see numerous announcements for new esports leagues and tournaments in Southeast Asia as well in 2019.
The esports and gaming market in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole is the biggest in the world, accounting for 49% of global revenues with over $66.2 billion in 2018. With a total gaming population that reached over 1.2 billion last year, Newzoo expects even higher numbers for the region in 2019.
This can only bode well for the SEA esports and gaming scene, which boasts one of the biggest and most dedicated esports audiences in the world despite the region not being as well-developed as others.