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Sports Marketing Technology Fifa World Cup

Football eSports broadcasts ‘coming to life’ as Fifa eWorld Cup online views rise 400%


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

August 13, 2018 | 3 min read

The Fifa eWorld Cup claims to have achieved more than 29m views across three-day from 2-4 August on its online platforms.

Fifa eWorld Cup

The Fifa eWorld Cup Final

Global broadcasters will announce their figures at a later date, but the news is encouraging for the Fifa’s official eSports competition as views were up 400% in the previous year. The views also doubled the digital viewership of the EA Sports Fifa 18 Global Series Playoffs in Amsterdam from 28 May to 3 June.

20 million gamers from 60 countries all tried their hand to qualify for the Fifa eWorld Cup tournament this year. Furthermore, it claims to have hit a peak of 322,000 concurrent views. The feeds were distributed across 12 digital platforms and 19 national broadcasters too.

Reflecting on the tournament, broadcast from the O2 in London, Todd Sitrin, general manager and senior vice president of the competitive gaming division at EA Sports, said: “The power of real-world sports and eSports is a massive multiplier, and this year’s increase in online viewership is indicative of this power coming to life.

“We've dramatically accelerated the growth of competitive gaming through the EA Sports Fifa 18 Global Series and this year's Grand Final, rallying the global football community together within this singular ecosystem that we know will only grow in the seasons to come.”

Jean-Francois Path, Fifa director of marketing services, noted that competitive gaming can “engage with new fans and audiences, as well as how it can support Fifa's ongoing efforts to drive interest and develop football around the world.”

The final is still available to stream on YouTube (below). The winner, Mosaad 'Msdossary' Aldossary from Saudi Arabia took the grand prize of $250,000.

In the UK, the BBC announced its World Cup (having held the rights to around half of the fixtures). It said 44.5 million people tuned in to watch its coverage throughout the month-long tournament in Russia. While unique viewers is not directly relatable to the Fifa eWorld Cup’s ‘views’, it does indicate the scale the sister tournament has achieved since being rebranded and restructured earlier this year.

Recently, as a comparison in the world of eSports, the Overwatch League Grand Final in Brooklyn last week reportedly drew 10.8m views. Organisers also measured engagement using the ‘global average minute audience’ metric; across the two days of the final this hit 861,205. In the 18–34 demographic, this 'average minute' audience was at 605,013, confirming eSports’ appeal to younger groups.

Last year The Drum explored the rising trend of football eSports, and why clubs and brands were pursuing players.

Sports Marketing Technology Fifa World Cup

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