Esport In Turkey – Esport In World

Esport In Turkey - Esport In World

Esport in Turkey; Today we bring you a detailed article about Esport from Turkey. One of our collague from game business, Zafer Yılmaz wrote this article for Webrazzi web site. We think, this is the most detailed article about Esport in last years about conditions and decided to translate in English and share with you. Below, you can find his long but explanatory writing.

Esport (Electronic sport, competitive game, professional gaming etc) is a new form of sports which has computer/console/mobile platforms to make players competitive in individual or team play. Electronic Sports introduced as popular in younger mass, because it doesn’t need expensive equipment/facility or big financial operations, its played in digital/virtual environment and all over the world.

esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

When we check the numbers; Global Digital Game business sales are around 62 billion dolar including Esport according to February 2016. Esport takes 650 million dollars in 2015 and now its around 750 million dollars. At 2018, predictions are around 1.9 billion dollars which means 2.5x multiplied in only 2 years.

Game, Developer, Platform and Revenue – USD MILLION

  • League of Legends, Riot Games – PC $1,628
  • Clash of Clans, SuperCell – Mobil $1,345
  • Crossfire, SmileGate – PC $1,110
  • Dungeon Fighter Online, Neople – PC $1,052
  • World of Worldcraft, Activition – PC $814
  • Game of War, Machine Zone – Mobil $799
  • Puzzle & Dragon, Gungho Online – Mobil $729
  • Candy Crush Saga, King Digital – Mobil $682
  • Monster Strike, Mixi – Mobil $674
  • Fantasy Westward Journey, NetEase – Mobil $451

Regionally predictions were Korea and China will dominate game business with 380 million dollars in 2015, America with 143 million dollars and Europe 72 million dollars following Asia but at the end of 2015 analysis showed that Asia go back to $275M and America became $225M and Europe increased three times bigger than predictions and came to $226M. Known reasons are big investments to America and Europe based game companies. When we check platforms, PC & Mobile is far away from console.

esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

There are some reasons about increasing numbers directly and indirectly. The main reason is indirectly marketing and advertisement activities ($578M). When we check NBA Teams sponsorships, game business advertisement and marketing value is only %28 lower and this show how big numbers we are talking about. Directly effects are coming from betting (%7), prize pools (%7), amateur and micro tournaments (%4), ticket sales (%2) and merchandise (%2).

And the “audience”. According to researchs, %13 of total internet viewers are esport fans. In 2015, Esport has globally 135 million viewers whole over world and in 2018 it will reach to 220 million with %60 increasing. Especially specific tournaments for specific games, some game live streams reach 1.2 million viewers at same time. For example between 30 March – 03 April, MLG Columbus Counter Strike Global Offensive tournament (Major League Championship) viewers watch 71 million hours video, 45 million live stream attending and 1.6 million instant numbers which was 2016’s top.

Game, total hour game broadcast, total view

  • League of Legends (142.8 Million, 308.5 Million)
  • Dota 2 (125.4 Million, 116.2 Million)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (125.1 Million, 184.3 Million)
  • Hearthstone (29.7 Million, 203.6 Million)
  • StarCraft II (17.5 Million, 19.4 Million)
esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

Target audience around 15 – 26 age but viewers are between 14 – 35 age. Last couple of months, some new faces are entering Esport business. ESPN for example started to create digital contents and giving global finals of some games live broadcast from its channels. Also BBC and TBC started live broadcasts. In Turkey, League of Legend Winter Season Final round was on a TV Channel named Digiturk at same time from internet. Why audience is important? When we look to football and check Messi, Ronaldo or basketball Michael Jordan, Lebron James, esport has also its own celebrities and superstars. Viewers follow professional gamers live streams, tournaments and their lives taking as an example for their gaming career.

esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

ESL Internet Extreme Masters 2015 Katowice tournament, viewer queue (35.000m2 International Congress Center)

Global Esport Tournament prize pools are increasing every year. Between 2014 – 2015, increasing rate was %214 and in 2015 total prizes cost $75M. Only Dota 2’s “The International” world finals tournament prize pool was 17 million dollars and it approximately %20 of total prize pool in 2015.

Why Esport is so valuable? Lets check pieces (5) of them;

1. First of all we can take developer and publisher companies. (Riot Games, Activision, Blizzard, Valve, Wargaming etc.). More interested games from mass are League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, World of Tank and Hearthstone.


  • League of Legends, Riot Games (PC) – 67 million active users (Source: Riot, January 2014) – Not offically but this number now reached around 90 million active users.
  • Dota 2, Valve Software (PC) – 12.45 million active users (Source: Valve, 29/02/2016). According to North America Steam data.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Valve Software (PC and console) – 10.45 million active users (Source: Valve, 29/02/2016)
  • Hearthstone, Blizzard Entertainment (PC, tablet and mobile) – 25 million active users (Source: Activision-Blizzard, Q4 2014)
  • 2. Physical arenas for esport tournaments and stream platforms like Twitch, Azubu, Youtube and Dailymotion.

3. League and Tournament organizer companies like ESL, MLG, Dreamhack

4. Esport Team and Clubs are most valuable point. These teams and clubs has their own and unique uniforms and sponsors to join every tournament and competitions with individual players or teams.

5. And finally we will check brands. These brands make esport business grow by sponsoring tournaments or teams, preparing their ROI based targets and increasing value of Esports. We can see global brands in esport area like Coca-Cola, Redbull, Vodafone, Nissan, Razer, Intel, Samsung, LG, HTC, Alienware etc. According to Newzoo’s report, in 2016 brands will spend $325M for advertisement and sponsorships. This number is greater than %49 from last year. In 2019, predictions are around $800M.

esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

World Esport Economy


Intel – Intel is a pioneer in Esport area. They are making Intel Extreme Masters with ESL and special projects to make teams to become competitive from 7 different points of world for years.

Coca Cola – Cocal Cola cans dressed with League of Legends characters and with Riot they prepared LCS named tournament. Its known as Champions League in Turkey and continues.

esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

Redbull – Redbull also a pioneer. They are supporting teams and individual players in Esport tournaments and leagues and they are also making sponsorships with specific game tournaments and leagues.

Vodafone – Vodafone sponsored to Gamers2 Team in Spain, they are prepaing a studio to make special content about Esports and their sponsored team.


Turkey became a critical important country because of strong internet cafe expansion around cities. Also young population is more than Europe but most important part is the companies who see these points to be a potential to invest. According to those facts, companies like Joygame (Netmarble Turkey), Riot Games, Nfinity Games, Bigpoint, NTTgame, Gameforge and Lokum Games are investing Esport in Turkey. Especially Riot Games’ League of Legends is very strong at global and it also effect Turkey Esport culture mainly.


Market Volume: $400 – 500M
Player: 22.000.000+
Player using cash: 13.000.000+
Internet Cafe: 20.000+


Amateur Teams: 14.000+
Player numbers in teams: 60.000+
Esport Players with a Licence: 4.000+
Successed Professional Team/Club: 10 – 16
Pool Prize in 2015: 1.500.000 TL

When we look at success stories of teams, we reach;

Dark Passage, HWA Gaming, Team Turquality, BJK OyunHizmetleri, SuperMassive, ZONE eSports, Crew eSports, Team Aurora, ANT Gaming, BPI Gaming Club, Space Soldiers, Numberone eSports. Especially Beşiktaş, (one of proffesional footbal team in Turkey) first sport team entering the Esport Area with a partner Oyun Hizmetleri epin company and Lidyana owner (e-commerce website in Turkey) Hakan Baş is co-founder of SuperMassive Team are important steps for Turkish Esports.

When we check brand base, its very low numbers we see according to global business. But some local and global brands also making sponsorships and support Esport like, Razer, Steelseries, Logitech,TTeSports, ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, TP-Link, Zyxel, BenQ, ViewSonic, Paypal, Kaspersky, Ülker, AMD, Coca-Cola, Redbull, Nescafe, Turkcell, TeknoSA, NVIDIA and Platronics.

Turkcell – Turkcell (one of the well known GSM operator in Turkey) sponsored to League of Legends Champions League in 2015 season and made sponsorships to 8 participant teams. Turkcell also prepared sign days for fans and create special communication packages.

esport in turkey, esports in turkey, e-sport in turkey, e-sports in turkey, electronic sports in turkey

League of Legends 3v3 Package from Gnctrkcll, a subbrand from Turkcell for young populationGlobal improvements

  • USM Holding bought team for $100M
  • Modert Time Group invested ESL with $85M for higt %rate of company
  • Riot Games bought content and statistic provider Curse with $30M
  • Activision Blizzard bought tournament organizer MLG with $46M
  • Alibaba with World Electronin Sports Games announced that they will start $15M prize pool tournaments.
  • There is a talk of well known NBA stars Shaq O’Neill and Mark Cuban investments to Esport teams.
  • Under the management of Lionsgate Venture Head Peter Levin and Steve Kaplan who is co-partner of Memphis
  • Grizzles, Venture Capital invested Immortal CLS Esport Team.
  • DrafKings and FanDueleSpor announced their bet websites.
  • Yahoo started special content for Esports and Twitter & Yahoo opened their Gaming concept.

Last words and Esport in Turkey
One day, Esport will pass traditional sports with its young, global, digital and variety characteristics. Will it be accepted like a Sport? Does it matters? Esport is here! It prooved itself with its numbers, its real and its growing. We will see more brands in Esports area but which of them, we will see.

PREDICTIONS about games and Esports In 2016

  • Esport Viewer frequency and profiles
  • Brands approac to Esport and gaming business
  • Ingame content based on users
  • Local payment methods
  • Games and competitive mobile games will expand with multiplayer mods
  • Online stores will sell services and products
  • Twitch, Youtube platforms will grow their gaming sides.
  • Games as a service
  • Multiple screen entertainment elements
  • Live Stream/Video tools and platforms, content creating
  • Consumers and increasing game/esport entertainment increase

Personal Predictions and Opinions

  • Brand stories based on Esport contents
  • Virtual Reality (VR) will increase in gaming business and Esports
  • Every offline event will be a part of online.
  • Regulative and legal order will spawn
  • Esport agencies will spawn or agencies will start to work on Esports
  • Angel investors and Venture Capitals will invest Esport clubs/teams
  • Brands who will not invest Esport, face the hard face of business.
  • Management will be foreground for Esport team coaches and trust & transparency will be important for Esport teams and clubs.