It is no secret that the global e-sports market has been exploding in recent years. A 2021 Global E-sports Market report produced by Newzoo highlights that global e-sports revenues will grow to $1,084 million in 2021. This means a growth of +14.5%, from $947.1 million in 2020.
So, with these impressive numbers in mind, what has been happening in the Brazilian e-sports market?
Brazil e-sports regulation
Brazilian e-sports have been at the center of this global growth. In 2020, the country was ranked number 3 in terms of e-sports participants worldwide. 86% of users were aged between 10 and 35 years old, and 7.6 million people (that is 5.3% of the online population) watched such content more than once per month.
It was further estimated that by the end of 2020, there were 30 million Brazilians watching e-sports on some type of device!
In this quickly developing market, there has been growing pressure to regulate e-sports in the country. At the center of this controversy, was a federal bill introduced in 2017 seeking to regulate the area and grant e-sports official status as a sport.
The proposal was resisted by many in the industry, who do not see the need for such regulation and disagree with the creation of a system with a sports federation and confederation for e-sports. They argue that unlike traditional sports, e-sports take place on a platform that is a product, whose intellectual property belongs to the developer companies. Further, to develop these platforms and to innovate, no sports federation is required.
Another criticism of the bill is that it fails to take on board the concerns of people within the industry, for example, publishers or event organizers. The main concern is that the bill would make all e-sports subject to the regulation by the CBDEL (the Brazilian Federation for E-sports). The bill has not progressed for a considerable time and is still awaiting the opinion of the Economic Affairs Committee in the Senate.
The resistance to the bill at federal level has led to some unfortunate attempts to deal with this issue at state and local level across the country, with mixed results so far.
On 17 June, the Sports Committee in the Chamber of Deputies held a public hearing on the topic of “Electronic Sports”. Attendees included government officials and high profile professionals working in the gaming industry or on related projects within their institutions. A list of the participants can be accessed here.
The meeting again highlighted the immense potential for the gaming industry in Brazil and the need to work together to ensure that the market can reach its full potential. It also discussed diverse issues, such as industry funding, the creation of employment or learning opportunities for young people, among other topics.
During this meeting, numerous participants re-iterated their concern about creating regulation of the area of e-games without support of the industry.
In recent years, Brazil has been establishing itself as a leader in the e-sports and video games market, making it a promising destination for investors. However, it will be important that the relevant government and industry players can find a way to work together to unlock the potential of this market and create new opportunities for everyone involved.
At Daniel we are continuing to monitor the video games industry, new legislation, and decisions by the courts. Through our research institution, Daniel Lab, we stay in touch with the very latest developments. If you have any questions on this topic do not hesitate to contact us.