Esports continues to grow, but this isn’t down to it becoming mainstream, but by bringing more markets into play.
This is typified the most by the Brazilian esports market, which is now inside the top five biggest esports markets in the world.
With its domestic esports teams competing with the biggest names on the planet, and heavyweight leagues coming to the region, it really is a haven for brands to step into the market.
Tale of the tape
A key component of the foundations of Brazilian esports, is that mobile gaming is significantly more prominent than PC or console, due to the average household income in the country.
That said, youngsters in the country see esports as a viable career to escape from poverty, with the nationwide poverty rate around 10%.
Mauricio Carvalho, co-founder of international payments company Husky told Sports Business Journal: “In any poorer country, the first options for those who like games will always be those available for smartphones. Among the countries that profit most from Free Fire tournaments for example, it is usual to find Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil. What do they have in common? Social inequality.”
Due to this demand, the likes of Riot Games and Garena have well established esports operations in Brazil. The mobile dominance doesn’t mean console and PC based titles have been shut out though, with the major-winning SK Gaming line-up from 2016 boosting the CS:GO scene, supported by teams such as Furia, LOUD, MIBR and paiN Gaming.
“In any poorer country, the first options for those who like games will always be those available for smartphones."
Mauricio Carvalho, co-founder of international payments company Husky
There’s also established leagues for many of the big players in esports: Rainbow Six, League of Legends, Wil Rift, Free Fire and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
LoL also has a franchised league system in the country, with the CBLoL, recording more viewers than the LCS (US & Canada) in the 2022 Spring season with an average of 136,000.
In the LoL Worlds 2022, LOUD finished inside the top 20 pocketing over $30,000.
Building on success
paiN Gaming typifies the growth in the region, with the Sao Paulo based org claiming three CBLoL titles over the course of eight years.
After partnering with betting brand DuelBits and clothing department store Lojas Renner this year, and securing an exclusive sales representation agreement with global sales marketing agency SPORTFIVE, the esports team has now revealed its official gaming facility.
With more than 1,500m2 to utilise, the complex has been designed to be the home for the fans. The space has a 3m high screen equipped with a grandstand with space for up to 150 passionate “paiNzetes”.
paiN won’t be charging entry to the venue, with CEO Thomas Hamence saying: “We never thought of charging tickets for fans to enter this facility, but we will count on a store on-site which they will be able to buy products and merchandise.”
It also has a museum where the trophies and medals from paiN’s 12 years of history will be displayed, seven training rooms and four streaming rooms.
"We never thought of charging tickets for fans to enter this facility, but we will count on a store on-site which they will be able to buy products and merchandise."
paiN Gaming CEO Thomas Hamence
Administrative and support areas that coexist with spaces dedicated to the fans are also available, with paiN Gaming sponsor JBL kitting out the audio instalment, and negotiations underway with BMW and TIM for further opportunities.
The space will be open to visitors, press and content creators during specific periods later this year. An official schedule of events for 2023 is expected to be announced early next year.
It shows that momentum is building behind the Brazilian esports market, and it’s now in a position to compete with the US and the Far East.
We’ve seen CS:GO esports (IEM Rio Major) take place in the last month, and the Valorant Champions Tour will kick off in Sao Paulo next year. There’s been no better time to join the hype.