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VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021

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VIETNAM
ESPORTS
2021
WHITEBOOK
“VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021” is made by Appota eSports in cooperation with Vietnam recreationl and electronic
Sports a...
VIETNAM
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2021
WHITEBOOK
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VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021

  1. 1. VIETNAM ESPORTS 2021 WHITEBOOK
  2. 2. “VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021” is made by Appota eSports in cooperation with Vietnam recreationl and electronic Sports association (VIRESA).
  3. 3. VIETNAM ESPORTS 2021 WHITEBOOK
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION 2020 was a special year for all careers in social and economic life all over the world with the complicated changes of the Covid- 19 pandemic. There were plenty of effects that significantly changed the living habits as well as the operation methods of all the products and services, including the eSports industry. Vietnam Recreational and Electronic Sports Association (VIRESA) as a focal management unit of the eSports industry has made a great effort to accompany every domestic and foreign organization as well as enterprise to promptly adjust, implement plenty of foundational activities to facilitate sustainable development. In particular, the event that the Organizers of SEA Games 31 officially announced eSports to become one of the 40 medal sports is an important milestone showing the recognition of the whole society for eSports equal to traditional sports. In 2020, Vietnam eSports still maintained and proved a great attraction for viewers and fans. ESports is one of the few sports that can maintain events and tournament systems in the face of complicated development of the pandemic by transforming organization models from direct to online while ensuring the basic indicators having good growth in the digital environment. Mr. NGUYEN XUAN CUONG President of Vietnam Recreational and Elec- tronic Sport Association(VIRESA)
  5. 5. 2020 is the year that the total official prize announced by the top professional tournament systems has a remarkable change with the largest statistics in many recent years. Besides, there are many meaningful activities of the eSports industry to join hands with the community to prevent epidemics and share difficulties with people in disaster-affected areas. For the first time, the panoramic picture of Vietnam Esports is summarized by VIRESA in Vietnam Electronic Sports Whitebook 2021. This is a yearly document published by VIRESA, with the purpose of providing crucial information in the eSports field, to help individuals, organizations as well as enterprises work effectively and thereby make the best contribution to the development of the professional eSports environment in Vietnam. The first White Book about Vietnam eSports includesofficial statistics with a representative and comprehensive content structure on the operation and currentstatus of the entire Vietnam eSports industry. Besides, the White Book also updates the newest trends in Vietnam and the world, including the view of the sports economy that manifests it first is the digital transformation process in sports. This document is a directional compass, which makes an overall analysis of how to operate separated units in the eSports ecosystem in Vietnam, contributed by reputable experts in the industry. These metrics are the official information collectedbyVIRESAaswellasnearly50seniorleaders of the domestic and foreign enterprises; nearly 10,000 surveys from users as well as reputable domestic and foreign reporting sources. All of them are appraised by experts and experienced researchers. Vietnam Recreational and Electronic Sports Association hopes that the publication of the Vietnam Electronic Sports White Book 2021 will not only be a useful document for State agencies in policy-making but also be a useful reference for organizations and individuals in researching the market, as well as business orienting in Vietnam. Vietnam Recreational and Electronic Sports Association would like to thank the agencies, organizations, businesses, and experts that collaborate, provide information to build the Vietnam Electronic Sports White Book 2021. We welcome all the comments to make the publication more and more complete.
  6. 6. SPECIAL THANKS TO PUBLISHING PRODUCTION PROFESSION SPECIALIST 7 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  7. 7. Index A. MARKET OVERVIEW 1. ESPORTS IN VIETNAM – GAMES AND THE HISTORY 2. VIETNAM ESPORTS MARKET INFORMATION 3. BEHAVIORS AND HABITS OF VIETNAM ESPORTS COMMUNITY 4. JURIDICAL AND MANAGEMENT POLICIES 5. REMARKABLE EVENTS IN 2020 B. THE ECOSYSTEM OF ESPORTS IN VIETNAM 1. GAMES PUBLISHERS 2. ESPORTS GAMES IN VIETNAM 3. ESPORTS TOURNAMENT SYSTEMS 4. PROFESSIONAL ESPORTS TEAMS 5. ORGANIZERS OF ESPORTS TOURNAMENTS 6. VENUES OF ESPORTS TOURNAMENTS 7. STREAMERS AND MANAGEMENT UNITS 8. PRODUCING AND BROADCASTING ESPORTS CONTENTS 9. SPONSORS A. DEFINITION OF ESPORTS B. THE WORLD ESPORTS MARKET OVERVIEW C. NOTICEABLE TRENDS IN 2020 17 17 19 21 25 30 36 36 38 39 43 48 49 51 55 57 11 12 13 ESPORTS IN THE WORLD 10 THE BIG PICTURE OF ESPORTS IN VIETNAM 16 I II 8 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  8. 8. THEMATIC ANALYSING 62 III A. ESPORTS ACCOMPANIES WITH NATIONALDIGITALTRANSFORMATION B. IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE ESPORTS INDUSTRY C. THE ROLE OF SPORTS ECONOMY D. 5G AND THE FUTURE OF ESPORTS E. ROAD TO SEA GAMES 31 OF VIETNAM ESPORTS F.ESPORTSMOVEMENTINSTUDENTS COMMUNITY 63 66 68 71 73 77 A. EXPERTS INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS OF ESPORTS WHITE BOOK 2021 B. REFERENCES APPENDIX 80 IV 81 83 9 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  9. 9. ESPORTS IN THE WORLD I
  10. 10. A. DEFINITION OF ESPORTS ESports is a form of competition under competition rules using the scenarios of video games. It requires players to compete with each other and it is professionally organized with the organizers supervised by the referees. In which the players can be from amateur to professional players, tournaments also range from movement to professionalism organized at local Internet cafes to large-scale stadiums. Not only providing games and tournaments with a rapid improvement, but the eSports ecosystem also provides many businesses that are forming and growing to support each other such as renting out venues, organizing tournaments, creating eSports contents (streamer, influencer…), producing and developing digital contents, sponsorship & advertising. 1 nikopartners.com/esports-in-asia/ Esports, also known as eSports, is a factor promoting the growth of coverage and revenue of the video games segment in Vietnam and the world. It is considered a revolution in the video games market because the op- eration methods of eSports games have improved the interaction between players and bring about a strong community all over the world. 11 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  11. 11. B. THE WORLD ESPORTS MARKET OVERVIEW Before 2020, the world eSports market tremendously developed with an annual growth of 10 - 15% and even the market’s revenue exceeded 1 billion USD in 2019. However in 2020, because of the effects of Covid-19, Newzoo had forecasted that the whole industry revenue would only reach 950,3 million USD and suffer negative growth in 2020. According to Newzoo, the main factor that made the eSports industry revenue decrease is tournaments and big events in that year were continuously canceled or postponed. 584.1 M +7.5% YoY 950.3 M 163.3 M +3.3% YoY 108.9 M -11.6% YoY 52.5 M -50.3% YoY 21.5 M +60.9% YoY Sponsorship Media Rights On April 2020, Newzoo announce global esports revenue forecast On July 2020, Newzoo adjust global revenue forecast the first time due to Covid-19’s impacts On October 2020, Newzoo adjust global revenue forecast the second time, projected negative growth rate Publisher Fees Merchandise & Tickets Digital Streaming 2020 Total Esports Revenues -0,8% YoY Units: USD 19.9 M +44.9% YoY Source: Newzoo 2 https:/ /newzoo.com/insights/articles/covid-19-continues-to-impact-the-esports-market-newzoo-revises-its-esports-revenue-forecast/ 1.1 billion USD 10.7%  973 million USD 1.7% 953 million USD 0.8%   Total global eSports market revenue in 2020 & annual growth 12 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  12. 12. C. NOTICEABLE TRENDS IN 2020 495 million eSports audiences in 2020, in which the passionate fans account for 45%. Unit: USD Occasional viewer Enthusiast viewer * 5-year CAGR (2018-2023) Source: Newzoo 395 M 222 M 245M 272 M 351 M 295 M 223 M 198 M 173 M 2018 2019 2020 2023 443 M +12,3%(*) YoY 495 M +11,7% YoY 646 M +10,4% Global eSporst viewership One of the biggest improvements of the eSports industry in 2020 is the spike in consumption. According to Venturebeat, 70% of people from 16 to 64 years old have played or been exposed to eSports in the past few years and this has also led to a spike in the number of viewers. A new report from CTA and Newzoo forecasted that the number of eSports viewers in America will reach 22 million in 2022 and the number of global viewers will reach 646 million the next year. It is possible to comment that eSports is coming of age and growing at a rapid pace. This means that new business opportunities are opening up for eSports, just like other high-speed growing industries: content broadcasting rights, emerging streaming platforms, increased coverage, and it seems that eSports has also gradually gained a more correct and broad view in society. ESports is being driven by young consumers. 1. THE TREMENDOUS GROWTH OF THE ESPORTS CONTENTS CONSUMPTION 13 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  13. 13. Spain UK Italia France Holland Belgium German Sweden Finland Norway No changes Spent less time watching eSports Spent more time watching eSports 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 70% 66% 64% 63% 51% 50% 48% 42% 34% 25% 50% 25% 50% 16% 39% 39% 18% 13% 32% 31% 18% 18% 28% 9% 28% 8% 25% 9% 21% 9% 80% 90% 100% 110% 120% Streamlabs provides some interesting observations in the third quarter reports of 2020. A majority of streamers still chose Twitch, accounting for 91.1% market share of total streaming hours, which increased by 14.5% compared to the second quarter of 2020. The reason for this significant increase was Microsoft’s discontinuation of Mixer. However, Facebook Gaming also saw an increase in market share, increasing by 1% compared to 3% in the last quarter. YouTube Gaming did not benefit much from the end of Mixer, which fell 1.2% and had a market share of 5.5%. Specific to Twitch, total live watching time in 2020 reached 889 billion minutes, increasing from 660 billion minutes in 2019. Likewise, there were 4,4 million people live streaming per monthonTwitchin2020,comparedto3,64millionin2019.This platform has also seen a steady increase in simultaneously streaming channels. This number increased by 20% in 2019, with 49.500 simultaneously streaming channels. In 2020, the increase so far was 69%, with 83.900 simultaneously streaming channels. Therefore, there are plenty of activities on these platforms showing that eSports fans are extremely positive and interactive with the related content. Covid-19 made many people increase their time spent on streaming platforms such as Twitch, Youtube, or Facebook Gaming. Specific to Twitch in 2020: Share of total watch hours in QIII/2020 Twitch 91.1% YouTube Gaming Live 5.5% Facebook 3.4% Source: Statista Source: Streamlabs 4 https:/ /www.statista.com/statistics/1192329/esports-viewership-covid-europe/ 5 https:/ /influencermarketinghub.com/growth-of-esports-stats/ Total live watching time: 889 billion minutes 34% compared to 2019 People live streaming per month: 4.4 million people  22% compared to 2019 Simultaneously streaming channels: 83,900 channels 69% compared to 2019 14 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  14. 14. 2.THESHIFTTOTHEONLINEFORMANDTHEADAPTATION OFTHEESPORTSINDUSTRYAMIDTHEPANDEMIC Under the impact of Covid-19, eSports tournaments have been fortunate to still be able to organize online. This meant there were no more live events and no more spectators coming to the stadium. Teams were forced to compete remotely and the organization of the tournament changed a lot to suit the audience watching online 100% as well as the athletes not gathering at one point. While not completely freezing operations, the esports industry is not a completely online business. There has been a significant disruption to global tournaments as well as offline events and this has taken a significant loss to the industry in general and large and small businesses in particular. For example, Epic Games didn’t organize the Fortnite World Cup in 2020, meanwhile, the planned tournaments for League of Legends, FIFA 20, Hearthstone, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, and other eSports games had been postponed or canceled. Events that gathered a large number of fans such as TwitchCon and BlizzCon were also affected by the pandemic. As social distancing continues, tournament organizers or events still have to manage to ensure those events can take place entirely online rather than offline. This brings about many challenges in ensuring a fair playing field for the athletes. Some of which are the stability of the Internet connectivity between the competition venues and foul preventions. For example, PUBG Mobile Pro League Americas tournaments used dedicated servers to ensure parity for players in North and Latin America, as well as software to ensure players are running the right equipment and even use cameras to verify their identity. For the League of Legends European Championship, Riot Games briefly addressed similar issues, as a result of which the tournament’s statistics such as online views reached positive numbers. Moreover, media efficiency and sponsorships of partners such as Warner Music Group and Kitkat reached more than 12 million people on social media, despite the disruption caused by Covid-19. Lessons learned from these events and many other events in the Covid-19 pandemic will be extremely useful in the future. They help the eSports industry operate live events more effectively and smoothly, even when offline events will probably be back in the future. The financial impacts of Covid-19 on the eSports industry are still in the process of being considered by the research units. Certainly, some companies have reported difficulties immediately. Super League Gaming has seen their revenue slightly decreased compared to the same period last year, they claim that the reason is the delays in advertising spending by brands and sponsors in the early weeks of the pandemic. Allied Sports Entertainment has seen a similar drop in revenue when they closed the eSports arena in Las Vegas as soon as a lockdown was imposed in the city. Beside that, to compensate for the financial deficit in the past few years, a lot of supporting business model or business idea has also been realized, the Fight2Fund or Twitch’s Stream Aid event; the Streamathon by Riot Games or the Quarathon from Team Liquid and the 100 Thieves’ Jersey sale stream for charity are all great example of how the eSports industry has overcome the challenge of adapting to the changes in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. 15 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  15. 15. II THE LANDSCAPE OF ESPORTS IN VIETNAM
  16. 16. A. MARKET OVERVIEW a) POPULAR ESPORT GAMES IN VIETNAM eSports are categorized by different distinct criteria, for example: Content, method of conducting competitions, skills, strategies. Genres of eSports are defined by the similarities in their basic criteria. In Vietnam, some of the most popular eSports genres and games includes: b) THE HISTORY Early days The eSports community in Vietnam was formed back in the early 2000s with the debut of early eSports games like Starcraft, Counter Strike 1.1 and AOE. At this point in time, the communities were mostly self-formed and were limited by the skill-level of the players and by the rarity of competition. In the year 2002, Vietnam marked its first step in the international scene with its participation in the World Cyber Games (WCG) by competing in AOE. The Evolution The period between 2003-2008 saw an extraordinary growth in the community with the formation of different Clans and it created, for the first time ever, a competitive scene.The number of eSports games that were played has also grown with the explosion in popularity in games like Fifa Online, Counter Strike 1.6, Cross Fire and especially DotA and Warcraft. DotA, a custom map in Warcraft III at that point has become the most popular eSport, changing the whole vietnamese gaming industry which was dominated by the MMORPGs from China at that time. MOBA was then taking over the scene with the growth of DotA. 1. ESPORTS IN VIETNAM – GAMES AND THE HISTORY GENRES MOBA Battle Royale First Person Shooter (FPS) Sports Simulation Real-time strategies(RTS) e S p o r t title - League of Legends - Arena of Valor - Wild Rift - DotA 2 - Mobile Legends: Bang Bang - PUBG - PUBG Mobile - Call Of Duty Mobile - Garena Free Fire - Counter Strike: Global Offensive - Valorant - Crossfire - eFootball PES - EA FIFA - FIFA Online 4 - Age of Empires (AOE) - Starcraft 17 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  17. 17. Source: dotavn.battle The StarsBobas reached their peak when they won a series of championships in Asia at WCG 2008-2010, Asian DotA Championship 2008, etc and put Vietnam on the map for the international competitive scene. In 2009, The Vietnam Recreational And Electronic Sports Association (VIRESA) was founded, setting a new mark for eSports being managed at a national level, the decision was made by the goverment (Order number 42/QĐ-BNV date 13/01/2009) Orders and Terms of VIRESA at: http:/ /viresa.org.vn/quyet-dinh-thanh-lap-viresa http:/ /viresa.org.vn/dieu-le Professionalization and laying foundation for the future. In 2011, Garena had a significant shift when they started publishing eSports games in Vietnam, namely League of Legends, which now has the most active player base in Vietnam and in the world. ESports have been becoming an industry while it has become more and more professional with the proper investment of foreign corps. Along with this development, the variety in the esports games continues to grow in the Vietnamese market, for example: PUBG, Call of Duty, Free Fire, Auto Chess, and the community of people watching and playing eSports games expands. Professional tournaments, sponsored by game publishers, came with a bigger and bigger prize pool, and rapidly breaking records annually. ESports have also caught the attention of different sponsors, investors and further enlarging the income and job opportunity for the industry. StarBoba winning the dota WCG 2009
  18. 18. Internet speed in Southeast Asian countries (November/2020) Source: SpeedTest Global Index Source: Appota In 2020, Vietnam has also commercialized 5G, this has massively increased the Internet speed for mobile devices. A crucial part in the enhancement of the eSport experience on mobile devices. In 2020, the gaming market reached 40 million players, of which 18 million played eSports. 2. ESPORTSMARKETINVIETNAM Smartphone penetration Internet penetration Mobile Internet penetration 3G/4G subscription Fixed Internet speed (Unit: Mbps) Mobile Internet speed (Unit: Mbps) 45% of population 70% of population 43% of population 53% of smartphone user 6 http:/ /speedtest.net/global-index 308.85 245.31 34.51 22.5 23.32 25.29 35.85 66.82 31.44 60.88 25.6 19.22 28.28 17.26 eSports players eSports enthusiast viewer 3 5 15 18 2 3.8 5.2 8 2019 2018 2017 2016 Number of people playing and watching eSports on a regular basis in 2019 (Unit: million) 19 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  19. 19. Source: Pops eSports Prizepool from eSports of Southeast Asian countries up to December/2020 (Unit: Millions of USD) Genders and age groups * https:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfwXR4kPg_c * https:/ /www.slideshare.net/appota/vietnam-mobile-marketing-and-game-2019-vietnamese-151655941 3.7 13.8% 17.2% 16.9% 14.7% 12.5% 7.6% 6% 4.3% 1.3% 5.6% Unit: Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4 7 8.5 10 Singapore Vietnam Thailand Philippines Malaysia 30.3% 69.7% Female Under 13 years old 23-27 years old 13-17 years old 27-32 years old 18-22 years old Above 32 years old Male 40.8% 12.7% 35% Evidently, we can see that 2 of the most popular age group is 13-17 and 18-22, the 2 groups made up 75.8% of the survey pool. The community has also only experienced eSports in the past 1-5 years. 20 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  20. 20. Your monthly income? Percentage of player that are willing to spend money on eSports game by age groups Most of the eSports community does not have the high income 51% 57% 64% 13-17 years old 18-22 years old 23-32 years old Gen Z is also willing to spend on eSports game Gen Z is not the group with sustainable income. Yet they are also willing to spend on eSports game with the rate at about 51-57%. This is not a small figure when compared to Millennials (64%). This has shown the potential in huge revenue from Gen Z in the future. 3. BEHAVIOR AND HABIT OF THE ESPORTS COMMUNITY IN VIETNAM No income 7,000,000 - 11,999,000 VND 1,000,000 - 2,499,000 VND 12,000,000 - 17,999,000 VND 2,500,000 - 6,999,000 VND Above 18,000,000 VND 12.5% 9.4% 56.7% 12.1% percentage % COMMUNITY 56.7% 9.3% 24.6% No income Has income above 12 million Income ranging from 2.5 million - 12 million VND 21 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  21. 21. Smartphone is the platform to approach the eSports community. On average the esports community plays more than 1 eSports game. Which device do you use to play eSports games? How many eSports games do you play? Players play 2 esports titles on average Viewers watch 1.75 esports titles on average Smartphone has become the most common way to play eSports games for the Vietnamese community now, reaching up to 58.3%, right behind is PC/Laptop with 39.5% For the viewers, smartphone is overwhelmingly more popular when it comes to consuming eSports content with 70.7%. Which device do you use to consume eSports content? How many eSports games do you watch? 58.3% 39.5% 70.7% 22. 3% PC, Laptop Console (PlayStation, XBox Smartphone Tablet PC, Laptop 2 titles 2 titles Smart TV 4 titles 4 titles Smartphone 1 titles 1 titles Khác 5 titles 5 titles Tablet 3 titles 3 titles 33.9% 40.5% 50.2% 34.4% 10.2% 3.5% 1.8% 25.6% 16.5% 5.1% 22 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  22. 22. Gamers spends more time on eSports than ever MOBA is still dominating Which genre of eSports game do you play most often? 52,5% eSports viewer watch everyday, while they spent 2 hours 55 minutes per day on average MOBA is still the most favoured genre for both players and viewers followed by Battle Royale Which genre of eSports game do you consume content from most often? Chart on the frequency of eSports playing each week Chart on the number of hours spent playing each day 4-5 time per week 1 time per week play weekly Does not play 2-3 time per week 52.5% 18.9% 22.2% 16.3% 33.7% 24.8% 11.9% 6.2% 1 2 3 4 5 Battle Royale FPS MOBA Sports Other Strategy 54.1% 14.6% 19.4% 54% 22.1% 14.7% 23 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  23. 23. eSports community does not have strong spending power yet Entertaining and enjoy with friends is the major reason to play eSports Have you spend money on in-game items? What is the main reason for playing eSports? 55.5% players spent money on eSports titles’s in-game items. Most of the eSports community aged between 13-22, therefore most did not have stable income Therefore, multiplayer titles which increases players interaction such as MOBA and Battle Royale are more favoured in Vietnam market. No Yes Develop skillset in gaming Play with friends Play at free time Being a fan of the eSports titles or team other Entertainment 55.5% 44.5% 37% 14.8% 26.8% 10.8% 8.3% 24 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  24. 24. 4. LEGISLATION POLICIES AND MANAGEMENT Mr. Nguyen Quang Dong Policies and legislations for Vietnamese’s eSports scene: Untie the knots for a breakthrough Chief Officer of Media Development and Policy Research Institute ‘eSports’ is a prosperous business industry with lots of potential. In order to help Vietnamese enterprises reach their full potential in this industry, the legislation blockages of licensing ; content moderation; copyright protection will soon have to be removed. Besides, each enterprise participating in the industry must focus on providing customers safety and benefits, in the hope that people will have a clearer view of the eSports scene. A boost from suitable changes in policies and legislation is likely to make eSports a spearhead in Vietnam’s growing digital economy. 25 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  25. 25. (http:/ /viresa.org.vn/van-ban-phap-ly-khac ) - Cicular number 09/2012/TT-BVHTTDL on November 9th 2012 by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism stipulated on the organization of sports for the masses (http:/ /viresa.org.vn/van-ban-phap-ly-khac ) - 2017’s Law on eSports Competition regarding the organization of League of Legends, CrossFire and FifaOnline 3: Details can be found at VIRESA’s website: http:/ /viresa.org.vn/van-ban-phap-ly-khac A few notable points about licensing rules and organizing eSports tournaments: - Documents regulating procedures and basic content are referenced in accordance with the guidance in TT09 / 2012 / TT-BVHTTDL in which the classification is divided into 3 basic groups: National scale tournaments, in centrally-run cities and provinces Tournaments in districts, towns, provincial cities and grassroots tournaments International tournaments in Vietnam - Corresponding to these 3 groups, the Circular has detailed and specific instructions on reporting records and the process of interaction with competent authorities and functional units. - The focal point unit assigned to professionally manage e-sports activities in Vietnam is the Vietnam Association of Electronic Sports and Entertainment (VIRESA). VIRESA plays a bridging role, representing the state management in professional activities for the electronic sports industry in Vietnam. Therefore, VIRESA will be an important and basic address for domestic and foreign units to participate in the e-sports ecosystem in Vietnam, exchange cooperation and coordinate the implementation of effective activities orientation, in accordance with the law. - Most recently, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued Circular 01/2021 / TT-BVHTTDL dated February 3, 2021 specifying the implementation of the state management function on physical training and The organization of eSports tournaments are executed under these laws: - 2006’s Sports Law and 2018’s renovated Sports Law. The policy system and legislations for the eSports market are predefined and facilitated to help with the scene’s growth. However, local enterprises are still facing hardships and continues to look at positive shifts in the legislation environment towards reaching out to the region and the world, while still maintaining the Vietnamese nature. Four of the main problems are content moderation; licencing and competition law; better protection of intellectual property; and indus- trial contracts of mutual interests. a) Content moderation problems About content moderation, legal documents directly related to information security, content censorship, including 2015’s Law of Information Safety on the Internet, 2018’s Law of Internet Security; decree number 72/2013/NP-CD renovated by the decree number 27/2018/NP-CD (ongoing renovation); the 15/2020/ND-CP decree which stipulated the penalizing of administrative violations in post and telecommunications, information technology and radio frequencies. Nowadays, there are plenty of regulations regarding information security on the internet that still needs perfecting and to put the criterias in details. To eSports, the game’s content will also be under specialized moderation of the Ministry of Information and Communication. As a result, there are still unclear points that need to be made transparent with their roles and responsibilities in managing eSports competitive games’ content. It will be a task that VIRESA must focus on handling to ensure the best possible environment for the Vietnamese’s eSport industry’s growth, while being realistic with the given conditions. b) Licensing tournaments and eSport’s Law for competitions 26 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  26. 26. sports. with the National Sports Association. In which, the decentralization of management and licensing for the organization of sports tournaments is specified in each specific scale. In addition, according to the plan announced by VIRESA on January 13, 2021, in the first quarter of 2021, VIRESA will continue to improve and promulgate the updated and complete Law on eSports Competition for 10 sets subject announced in the list of National Electronic Sports Tournament. This will be the most basic premise and reference basis for tournament organizers as well as professional competition training activities of athletes or teams, investors and commercial operators. activities related to esports. VIRESA also announced plans to issue the Professional eSports Regulation in 2021. This Regulation will be the basis for the management and implementation of professional esports activities in Vietnam, including basic content such as: - Registration and certification of athletes, professional coaches, national and international referees , etc. 27 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  27. 27. - Registration and certification of professional eSports clubs and teams - Regulations and sanctions on transfering athletes - Stipulate the criteria related to athlete class assignment under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the General Department of Sports and Sports - Regulations on organization of national eSports tourna- ments, national team regulations Thus, it can be seen that basically the activities of comple- ting legal bases, strengthening legal documents to guide the implementation and forming a methodical and professional handling flow have been and are being closely monitored by agencies. The State pays close attention and coordinates the implementation. With the plans announced by VIRESA, do- mestic and foreign businesses, organizations and individuals participating in the e-sports industry will have more peace of mind and have a focal address to make recommendations and additional adjustments to an increasingly complete legal corridor to ensure a sustainable development and a safe legal environment for investors. c) Intellectual property rights. The first is copyright to video game software. Typically, copyrights of video game software belong to the game developer and are protected by national laws and international treaties to which that country is a party. In Vietnam, video game software is usually protected in the form of computer programs under the 2005 Intellectual Property Law, amended in 2009 and Berne Convention 1886. Game developers have exclusive rights to use , copying, transferring games, except for some strict exceptions for other subjects to use, reproduce without permission, without paying remuneration or with permission but no remuneration. This raises the issue of licensing for esports event hosts. Therefore, the host organization of the esports tournament needs to prepare the application procedure and the compensation agreement for the product developer. Second, related rights to performances, recordings, recor- dings, broadcasts on OTT platforms (Youtube, Facebook…). Currently, performers such as singers, actors and dancers are credited with related rights to their performances on the recording and recording media and made available to the public. However, whether players or content creators (this term is used collectively by esports professionals and content creators) are recognized as performers and thus are related rights protection for their style of play? These issues raise the need to adjust the current Intellectual Property Law to be compatible with the digital environment. d) Cooperation agreement Cooperation contract is an agreement between individuals and legal entities to contribute property and effort to perform certain jobs, benefit and take joint responsibility (Article 504 of Civil Code 2015). . In the case of esports, this contract is concluded by the player / team and the manager or sponsor. Players / teams need to clearly define their rights and obligations, especially the profit-sharing mechanism, the payment mechanism, the risk-sharing mechanism in the contractual terms, especially to avoid confusion. between cooperation contract into labor contract. Currently, in practice, cooperation contracts may have other names as management contracts, the parties often stipulate based on the Civil Code and Intellectual Property Law, including the provisions of rights and obligations. The two sides revolve around copyright, the right to distribute products to the public, the right to use images, divide remuneration, resolve disputes ... In an esports cooperation contract, the signatory needs to pay attention to the force majeure event clause to enjoy the right to be exempt from civil liability when the obligations are due. Currently, force majeure events are specified in Civil Code 2015, which are understood as events that happened objectively, which cannot be foreseen and cannot be overcome despite all necessary measures and capabilities. allow. In addition to natural events such as natural events (natural disasters, epidemics) or man-made events (violence, war), it is important to understand that force majeure can be network inaccessibility, loss of data due to network attack, server error. [1] The current Vietnamese law provides for different types of licenses related to the digital content industry such as permits to establish general websites, permits to establish social networks; licensing of content service provision on mobile telecommunications networks; license to provide video game services on the network. 28 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  28. 28. 5. 2020 HIGHLIGHTS a) TEAM FLASH’S SUCCESS, ESPORTS’ PRIME EXAMPLE OF GREAT INVESTMENT Already a major organization in Singapore’s eSports scene and officially announced it’s investment on Vietnam in 2018. Team Flash íd organized under a multi-disciplinary model in which the most successful are Arena of Valor (AOV) and League of Legends (LOL). In its development roadmap, Team Flash has raised $ 1.5 million in capital and focused on recruiting talent and investing in enhancing brand value. Thanks to a well-established roadmap, Team Flash team quickly demonstrated its superiority in the professional arena, especially AOV and brought a series of successes to the team itself as well as Vietnamese eSports in general0. At AWC 2019, an international AOV tournament, Team Flash won the championship and marked the first time a Vietnamese team won an eSports tournament in the world. In the domestic AOV scene, Team Flash team established a record of dominating the tournament in 2019 and achieved 4 championships in the same year, with a record prize amount of 11 billion VND. 30 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  29. 29. Garena’s Vice President of Strategic Partnership 7 https:/ /zingnews.vn/nhung-dua-tre-nghien-game-kiem-hon-11-ty-tien-thuong-nam-2019-post1017194.html 8 https:/ /baodautu.vn/team-flash-goi-von-thanh-cong-15-trieu-usd-cho-linh-vuc-e-sports-d107279.html 9 http:/ /tiin.vn/chuyen-muc/genz/ky-luc-esports-2019-gianh-4-chuc-vo-dich-trong-1-nam-team-flash-thu-11-ty-tien-thuong.html Mr. Jason Ng “The victory at AWC (Arena of Valor World Cup) 2019 of Team Flash showed how tal- ented at eSports Vietnamese players are.” Not only successful in AOV, Team Flash League of Legends is also considered one of the most promising League of Legends teams in Vietnam besides GAM eSports. The team also had outstanding success in 2020 when they won the Spring VCS and the Summer VCS consecutively after defeating GAM itself in two finals.
  30. 30. b) VNG EMERGING TO BE GARENA’S RIVAL AT PUBLISHING ESPORTS GAMES eSports titles published by Garena and VNG In the period of 2011-2012, Garena launched League of Legends and Fifa Online 3 in Vietnam. Marked a big change with the introduction of eSports officially to Vietnam market. The success of League of Legends in Vietnam has made Garena the pioneer in the eSport segment and a great success when it became the second largest game publisher in terms of revenue in 2013. Then in 2016, AOV was launched and in just 4 years, the success of this mobile MOBA is so great that AOV has become the eSports sport with the largest number of players in Vietnam, astounding international performances and always holds records for the number of visitors, viewers as well as records of awards. From 2017 to 2018, VNG marked its entry into the eSport distribution market with the first blockbuster Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and other products mostly from Tencent developer. Although not having many years of experience in eSports, VNG has made a milestone with the copyright acquisition of many famous sports, especially with the acquisition of League of Legends: Wild Rift. The number of eSports games that VNG publishes has surpassed Garena in both quantity and genre, contributing to creating a two-code race between two major publishers in Vietnam. c)COVID-19CHANGESHOWESPORTINDUSTRYOPERATE Covid-19 has left a significant impact on the macro level of / entertainment industry in general, and eSports in particular. In terms of revenue, 2020 showed a downward trend in the amount of funding received from different brands due to the effects of the pandemic on the economy. In addition, a series of major eSports tournaments, from amateur to professional level,hadtoswitchtoonlinemethod/platform,eitherwithout any audiences or be cancelled entirely. However, Covid-19 also showed some positive influences in eSports in the long run. Social distancing and staying home for a long period of time have made gaming and eSports become a popular type of entertainment in many countries, not just Vietnam. Survey has reported that 80 percent of people spent more time playing and streaming eSports-related contents during Covid-19 period, as well as the number of downloads and streaming time inflated/ boosted significantly during the first two quarters of 2020 According to Reputa, Arena of Valor, Garena Free Fire and PUBG Mobile are ranked among the top 3 of most-played games during the pandemic, which surprisingly are all created by major publishers in Vietnam. 11 https:/ /www.slideshare.net/appota/bo-co-th-trng-di-ng-v-ng-dng-smartphone-vit-nam-na-u-nm-2020-bn-rt-gon 32 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  31. 31. d) THE APPEARANCE OF 5G BROADBAND NETWORK Not only around the world but also Vietnam, major network operators as well as smartphone brands are urgently preparing for the next generation of mobile networks. By the end of 2020, all three big network providers, including Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone, had officially launched 5G trials. Especially, Viettel has shown its pioneering step of producing 5G equipment itself, as well as testing coverage in some major districts of Hanoi and 5G development roadmap in Vietnam 5G development milestones in Vietnam 12 https:/ /www.thegioididong.com/tin-tuc/tiem-nang-va-thach-thuc-thuong-mai-hoa-5g-viet-nam-1317994 Ho Chi Minh city. Therefore, in the near future, there would not be delayed in the gradual/progressing increase in 5G coverage, as all companies are showing their own efforts. In terms of Technology, 5G outperforms 4G in every capabilities of connection. For eSports, the outstanding connection speed or latency of the 5G network will play a vital role in enhancing the experience of playing and watching eSports. Source: congnghe.tuoitre.vn Jan 2019 Viettel was granted permission to pratice 5G on trial April 2019 Mobifone was granted permission to practice 5G on trial June 6th 2020 Viettel experiment 5G on large scale 17th Jan 2020 The first video call via 5G was made. 2020 to 2021 Mobile carriers continue to commercialize 5G July 2020 Vinsmart announces successfully produce the first “made in Vietnam” 5G smartphone August 20th 2020 Broadband 24,25 - 27,5 GHz was used for 5G Network development and research June 2019 VNPT was granted permission to practice 5G on trial May 2019 Viettel and Ericsson made the first call via 5G in Vietnam
  32. 32. e) THE FIRST VIETNAMESE PLAYER TO ENTER THE FINALS OF A LEAGUE OF LEGENDS WORLD CHAMPI- ONSHIP League of Legends (League of Legends) is a monumental title of the eSports industry with more than 10 years of operation. The number of players and viewers has been at the forefront for many years and is the birthplace of famous players that go beyond eSports border. There- fore, the annual Final World Championship is always one of the most-watched events globally. Technically speaking, 5G is more superior in every as- pects when it comes to connection. As for eSports, 5G can increase Internet speed and mini- mize delay, which is an essential feature while playing or watching eSports. At World Championship 2020, Vietnamese teams were unable to attend the tournament due to the complicated Covid-19 pandemic. However, a Vietnamese player whose name is SofM, was lucky and proud enough to attend. SofM and his team not only participated there, but also demonstrated an impressive performance and made it to the final, which made SofM – Le Quang Duy, became the first Vietnamese player to achieve runners-up at League of Legends world championship. However, this is not all about his achievement, but also about his talented Final match: - 3,800,000 CCV - 14,000,000 watch hours - 668,000 CCV on Youtube Vietnam - Ranked #1 worldwide on viewership gameplay strategies. As a result, SofM has captured many audiences’ hearts, as well as has drawn more attention from the global eSports community, which made him himself and League of Legends Vietnam become more recognizable. SofM – LE QUANG DUY Team: Sunning The only Vietnamese player at the World Championship 2020. - The first Vietnamese entered the final of a League of Legends tourna- ment - Named as the No. 1 prodigy of League of Legends when holding the top 1 Vietnamese server for many seasons and owning many Challenger Tier accounts. - He got into the top 10 challengers of Korean server with more than 100 pings, the result that no one could ever reach around the world. - The first Vietnamese League of Legends player who went abroad to compete in a world-leading professional environment as LPL - The highest championship of Chinese League of Legends. Source: Facebook SofM 34 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  33. 33. f) VIETNAM OFFICIALLY PUTS ESPORTS IN SEA GAMES 31 In November 2020, eSports was announced by host country Vietnam and the Southeast Asian Games Federation Council, to become one of the forty official games at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Thanks to the gradual professionalization of the eSports industry, as well as the achievements of Vietnamese players at regional and international tournaments, the presence of eSports at SEA Games has become an affirmation that Vietnamese eSports is ready to compete internationally. Additionally, this presence at a major regional gaming event also plays an important role in the development of the eSports industry in a developing market like Vietnam. The social perception of eSports Nowadays, for many reasons, eSports has not been fully recognized from society, especially the middle-aged generation. Nevertheless, being put into the official competition at the 31st SEA Games may be the first brick to gradually change the perception of eSports in Vietnam. SEA Games 31 is a long-standing sporting event in Southeast Asia in general and in Vietnam in particular. It is a sports event in the Olympic system welcomed and followed by many sports lovers. Therefore, appearing in the list of medal competitions at the SEA Games will be a golden opportunity for the esports industry of Vietnam as well as Southeast Asia to demonstrate and realize the creation of a development ecosystem, professional and sustainable, affirming equal position as other sports in the whole recreational life and socio-economic development. Setting goals and inspiring to the younger generation Watching eSports and favorite players compete for national pride in a big sporting event is a clear evidence for the success of the eSports athlete’s career. Many experts commented that eSports skill in Vietnam is not inferior to any other country, however, professionalism and serious orientation about eSports career is lacking. Seeing Vietnamese players succeed in their career paths will motivate young people to have a passion for eSports in Vietnam nowadays. Vietnamese representative competes in eSports at SEA GAMES 30 (Source: VTV) 35 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  34. 34. B. ESPORTS ECOSYSTEM IN VIETNAM The publisher is a core element in the eSports industry. They are the units that directly buy the copyrights of the competition to distribute in the Vietnamese market. In addition, community activities or professional and large-scale tournaments also need the resources as well as investment, management of publishers. At present, the eSports game distribution market in Vietnam is a 2-man race of VNG and Garena. The competition will last longer and contribute to enhance the development of Vietnam’s eSports industry. GARENA Operating in Vietnam since 2009 with the beginning as a platform which connect players to Garena Plus. In 2012, Garena brought League of Legends to Vietnamese gamers through the name Lien Minh Huyen Thoai (LMHT) and achieved great success with this game. Along with that, series Fifa Online 3 & 4, Arena of Valor are also extremely famous in the eSports community. Afteralongtime,Garenahasbuiltupitsecosystemwithmorethan30millionusersandaseriesofsocialmediachannelssuchasFacebook, 1. GAME PUBLISHER Ecosystem of eSport in Vietnam Interact with fans Broadcast via own Sponsors used by MEDIA & NEWS VENUE SPONSORS ESPORTS ESPORTS TOURNAMENT ORGANIZERS NEWS SITE CYBER BRANDS & ADVERTISING AGENCY PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS STREAMER MANAGEMENT ORGANIZERS STREAMER STREAMING PLATFORM GAME SEMI-PRO LEAGUE AGENCY PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE PUBLISHER STATISTICS STADIUM Compete at Manage and promote Managed by 36 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  35. 35. Media channels Garena Garena built a digital product ecosystem and integrated media channel network over the years. Thanks to the success of League of Legends and recently Arena of Valor, Garena has strengthened its position as an eSports publisher in Vietnam for many years. Tournaments, mainstream events organized by Garena also receive great communication efficiency because of its existing ecosystem. Social media Youtube Social media Facebook News & content platform Streaming platform Garena Garena PC + Mobile Garena Plus PC + Mobile In-game communication Screen saver Fanpage + Group 10,000,000 + followers Garena Live In-game events Desktop wallpaper VEVT Youtube Channel Website 30 million + users/month 4 million + users/month 27,000+ cyber bar 600,000+ client PCs at Vietnam 1,6M + followers 20M + website access/month KÊNH MEDIA Youtubewithmorethan15millionfollowersandcomputerroommanagementsoftwareGCafewithmorethan600,000workstations. The digital content ecosystem of Garena VNG The forerunner of VNG is Vinagame - a pioneer in the Vietnamese game industry since 2003 with prominent MMORPG games. Over 16 years of development, VNG is considered the largest entertainment group in Vietnam and recognized as the only “unicorn” in the game industry in Vietnam with a value exceeding billions of dollars. Since 2018, VNG has strongly promoted its activities in the field of eSports. VNG has a larger number and more 37 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  36. 36. 13 https:/ /www.thesaigontimes.vn/117368/VNG-lot-vao-CLB-cong-ty-Internet-ti-do-cua-the-gioi.html 2. ESPORTS GAMES IN VIETNAM GENRES RELEASED DOMESTICALLY RELEASED GLOBALLY MOBA Battle Royale Real Time strategy Fighting Auto Battler Sports Game FPS diverse game genres such as AutoChess, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile (Battle Royale), Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MOBA) or CF Legends (FPS). The tournaments with a large and professional scale. Despite entering eSports later, VNG has experienced quite soon in game and community since the era when MMORPG was still popular. Consequently, it is not difficult for VNG to adapt and organize professional tournaments. Some typical tournaments can be mentioned as PUBG Mobile Vietnam Championship or recently the national championship Call of Duty Mobile was announced in July 2020. Today, VNG’s main games are fairly new, therefore, their tournaments do not have a loyal fan base. However, the success of winning the copyright to publish prevalent eSports, especially Wild Rift, has shown that the determination and potential of VNG in the eSports field is enormous and can compete directly with Garena. 38 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  37. 37. Watch via streaming platform Buy tickets Financial sponsorship Brand promotion SPONSOR ESPORTS TOURNAMENT 3. ESPORTS TOURNAMENT ECOSYSTEM eSports games that aren’t released domestically are somewhat at a disadvantage since there is no official organization behind them, tournaments are still held regularly but are mainly spontaneous and in community size and they still have many limitations. In contrast, the sports that are published officially receive a considerable amount of investment from publishers in community development and planning tournaments, making them easy to attract an extensive number of players and followers. Sustainability and inheritance in eSports The concept of MOBA, FPS or Strategy has been formed since a long time ago. The well-known and well-received games in the market at that time then ceased to hold their position nowadays and were replaced by newer eSports games. On the contrary, eSports has changed diachronic in accordance with the market but somehow the gameplay of the same genre always has similarities. Therefore, the next generation of eSports will always inherit players who already have the skills, speciality of their predecessors. That has contributed to the creation of a highly skilled eSports community. League of Legends and Wild Rift are examples. Although Wild Rift was just released in December 2020, it immediately had a large and knowledgeable community of players because they were League of Legends and Arena of Valor players, who had already been familiar with MOBA games from a long time ago. Model of eSports tournament activities Organization Prize money Compele TOURNAMENT ORGANIZER AUDIENCE ESPORTS TEAM PUBLISHER ONLINE AUDIENCE LIVE AUDIENCE ORGANIZING AGENCY CeSports tournaments in Vietnam are regularly held on the scale from semi-professional to professional tournaments which are invested with a huge prize. In 2020, Arena of Valor “Arena of Glory (AOG) Winter 2020” is currently the tournament with the highest money prize (2,5 billions VND). Vietnam has also held international tournaments such as MSI 2019, AWC 2019. Major tournaments in the ranking system from the publisher can be organized by themselves or cooperate/authorized with 39 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  38. 38. Types of tournaments sponsorship - Overlay advertisements - Branding content - Set brand logo - Sponsor gaming gear, drinks, PC components - Merchandise & Đặt sản phẩm a third organization, which is also a popular form of organ- ization nowadays. In addition, there are also small-scale, semi-professional and student movement tournaments organized by event agencies like GTV, 23 Creative VN, 500Bros. Unlike traditional sports, eSports tournaments are usually held in a common gymnasium. This is to ensure fairness and control technical problems or prevent cheating. Tournaments always attract attention not only from offline communities but also from online viewers through lives- treams, so the opportunities for brands to promote are huge. The Sponsorship model of eSports tournaments is also very similar to traditional sports because the sponsor’s image can appear throughout the tournament so brands can absolutely raise brand awareness among young people (Gen Z and Millennials) 14 https:/ /lienquan.garena.vn/tin-tuc/dau-truong-danh-vong-mua-dong-2020-nang-tong-giai-thuong-len-2-ty-5?fbclid=IwAR06hzrOR15A7jiiNeAyBK- 7wURHivuVQuuucmpHko50nN92uZzaQg-EnDF0 15 https:/ /lienminh.garena.vn/giai-dau-game/chinh-thuc-msi-2019-duoc-to-chuc-tai-ha-noi-tp-ho-chi-minh-dai-bac 16 https:/ /lienquan.garena.vn/tin-tuc/chung-ket-the-gioi-lien-quan-awc-2019-to-chuc-tai-viet-nam Product placement for “Sting” & Clear Men brand Logo at AOG Winter 2020 Source: Youtube VETV ARENA OF GLORY VIEWERSHIP SPRING 2019 37.5 MILLION VIEW SPRING 2020 ~83 MILLION VIEW WINTER 2019 ~56.7 MILLION VIEW WINTER 2020 ~90 MILLION VIEW 40 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  39. 39. With 2 famous games and a large number of players, Arena of Valor and League of Legends, the quantity of tournaments as well as the prize pool of MOBA genre account for the largest proportion in the industry. Although Battle Royal recently appeared in Vietnam from 2017, it has rapidly occupied the no 2 position thanks to the rise of PUBG, PUBG Mobile and the latest Call of Duty Mobile, surpassing other long-standing genres such as Real Time Strategy (RTS) or First-Person Tournaments in Vietnam are also built with their own brands and have existed for a long time, and that is one of the factors that confirms the tournament’s attraction to fans. Shooter (FPS). eSports tournaments also need KOLs, famous players to generate interests and views. Like traditional sports, the presence of strong teams and well-known players is a factor that attracts the number of fans watching the tournament, eSports organizers even rate the KOLs as the most important factor of an eSports tournament to receive attention from viewers and the media. Overlay ads from CLEAR MEN at AOG Winter 2020 Source: Youtube VETV “The Vietnamese eSports community is currently a young age community so they like to watch content like tourna- ments because of KOLs, their idols. The customer base is too young to care too much about tactics or expertises. KOLs are currently a factor that attracts views for tournaments, top players are the Idols that really have the abilities to call to action the whole community and pull fans to watch events, tournaments with their presence.” Mr Khong Quoc Hung, eSports manager at 23 Creative VN. Question: In your opinion, what is the factor that creates the attraction for an eSports tournament 41 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  40. 40. Several eSports tournaments in 2020(*): (*) The data do not include non-VIRESA members. TOURNAMENT TITLE GENRE PLATFORM PRIZE POOL (VND) TEAMS ORGANIZER PUBG MOBILE Pro League Vietnarn S2. Viettel 5G - Arena of Glory Spring 2020 Arena of Survival Spring - Free Fire Arena of Survival Winter - Free Fire Fifa Online 4 Vietnam National VCS Summer VCS Spring iESF Arena of Survival Summer - Free Fire Free Fire Campus 2020 - Free Fire CFVN Championship 2020 Arena of Glory Winter 2020 PUBG Mobile Arena of Valor Free Fire Free Fire Fifa Online 4 League of Legends League of Legends DOTA 2, eFootball PES, Tekken Free Fire Free Fire Arena of Valor Cross Fire VNG VEE VEE VEE VEE MOBA MOBA Box Gaming VEE VEE VEE VTC Online Battle Royale MOBA Battle Royale Battle Royale Sport Sport Sport MOBA, Sport, Fighting Battle Royale Battle Royale MOBA FPS Mobile Mobile Mobile Mobile PC PC PC PC & Console Mobile Mobile Mobile PC 64 teams - 384 players 160 teams 8 teams 18 teams 18 teams 4 teams 8 teams 8 teams 155 players 18 teams 12 teams 8 teams 1.569.000.000 2.290.000.000 1.000.000.000 2.000.000.000 200.000.000 1.225.000.000 1.225.000.000 103.000.000 1.500.000.000 138.000.000 2.900.000.000 285.000.000 Source: VIRESA 42 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  41. 41. (*) Statistics are as of October 2020 TEAMS INFORMATION 4. PROFESSIONAL ELECTRONIC SPORTS TEAMS eSports teams consist of professional players, a core element in the eSports ecosystem in any country. Organized as a business comprising managers, coaches, players, administrative support unit and communication department, the main teams are eSports influencers attracting millions of fans following events or tournaments that they participate in. Currently, in terms of size, only a few top teams will be built in the form of multi-title. Each team was formed to correspond to different games. Some teams in this form are GAM eSports, Team Flash, EVOS. Such teams can easily attract massive sponsorships since they are Followers: 290.000 Titles: LMHT, PUBG, EA Sport Fifa Series Achievements: VCS Summer 2019 - Champion, GPL 2017 - Champion GAM eSport Team Flash EVOS eSport Heavy eSport Saigon Buffalo Followers: 222.000 Titles: Arena of Valor, LMHT, Free Fire, Fifa Online Achievements: AWC 2019 - Champion, VCS Spring 2020 - Champion Followers: 180.000 Titles: LMHT, Arena of Valor Achievements: VCS Spring 2018 - Champion Followers: 200.000 Titles: Free Fire, Arena of Valor Achievements: VCS Spring 2018 - Champion Followers: 160.000 Titles: LMHT Achievements: VCS Spring 2019 - Champion, VCS Summer 2018 - Champion Followers: 105.000 Titles: PUBG Achievements: PUBG SEA Championship 2018 - Runner-up Refund Gaming popular in many different eSports titles, sponsors can also depend on that to raise their brand awareness. The second form is single-title, a team plays only one game, most teams in Vietnam are building in this form because of the lack of financial resources and big investors so their brands popularity are still limited unlike strong brands such as GAM eSports and Team Flash. Several eSports teams in Vietnam (*) Followers: 80.000 Titles: LMHT, PUBG Achievements: VCS Summer 2018 - Runner-up Friends Forever Gaming 43 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  42. 42. TEAM INFORMATION Followers: ~ 120,000 Titles: LMHT, PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, Free Fire Achievements: VCSB 2020 – Runner-up, PMP 200,400 Champion V Gaming Saigon Phantom Divine eSport Box Gaming Venus Gaming 496 Gaming Followers: 63,000 Titles: Arena of Valor, PUBG Achievements: DTDV 2017 - Runner-up Followers: 37,000 Titles: PUBG Achievements: PUBG SEA Championship - 3 times Champion Followers: 31,000 Titles: PUBG Mobile Achievements: PMPL Spring 2020 - Champion Followers: 9,000 Titles: DOTA 2 Achievements: ESL Vietnam Championship SS1 &2 - Champion JBO Vietnam Master League 2020 - Champion Followers: 7,000 Titles: CF Legends Achievements: The Legends 2017 - Champion Followers: 18,000 Titles: LMHT, LQMB, PUBG Followers: 25,000 Titles: PUBG Followers: 10,000 Titles: DotA Warcraft, DOTA 2, LMHT Rate Me Five Stars StarBoba Ahihi Legend 44 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  43. 43. Followers: 3,200 Titles: CF Legends Head Hunter Rebellion Gaming Meet Your Master Followers: 2,000 Titles: CS:GO Followers: 1,700 Titles: eFootbal PES eSports earnings of Vietnam professional players (TOP 10): (*) (*) Statistics are as of October 2020 Sources: Esport Earnings STT PLAYER ID PLAYER NAME TEAM TITLES TOTAL (USD) 1 XB Trần Xuân Bách Flash LQMB 178.302,51 3 ADC Trần Đức Chiến Flash LQMB 156,918.92 5 SofM Lê Quang Duy Sunning LMHT 133,601.15 7 Archie Trần Minh Nhựt GAM (Former) LMHT 73,904.58 9 Levis Nguyễn Hữu Đoàn Divine Esports PUBG 62,725.83 10 Optimus Trần Văn Cường GAM LMHT 61,073.53 2 ProE Trần Quang Hiệp Flash LQMB 167,135.99 4 Gau Phạm Hồng Quân Flash LQMB 156,808.34 6 Đạt Kòiiii Đinh Tiến Đạt Flash LQMB 122,860.21 8 Levi Đỗ Duy Khánh GAM LMHT 65,269 45 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  44. 44. Revenue Resources of eSports teams: 17 https:/ /www.esportsearnings.com/countries/vn Beside the revenue from tournament prize money, popular teams also attract sponsors large and small in various forms such as advertising, event KOLs, sponsorship or sales of merchandise. - Vietjet Air is the main sponsor of Team FLASH, and the logo appears on official jerseys & media publications. - GIGABYTE sponsors GAM (Gigabyte Marines) and is associated with the brand name associated with the team. Sources: congthuong.vn TOURNAMENT PRIZE MONEY SPONSORSHIP MERCHANDISE STREAMING ESPORTS TEAMS 46 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  45. 45. 18 https:/ /congthuong.vn/vietjet-dong-hanh-cung-team-flash-tren-dau-truong-quoc-te-127666.html Source: Gam.gg The merchandise is sell on the team’s website “In my view, the top 3 markets in Southeast Asia are Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in terms of economic and overall development in the esports sector. I think Vietnam has great potential to lead the Southeast Asian market in the next 3 years if the esports continues to grow in an upward trend, especially with the SEA Games held in Hanoi in 2021. In my opinion, two other interesting markets, the Philippines and Myanmar, are behind the top 3 but also have good growth.” “As the leading eSports team in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, our business model is mainly around sponsorship/ branding campaigns, streaming, merchandise sales and bonuses. Our biggest source of revenue in 2019 is bonuses as we are the first Vietnam esports World Champion at Arena of Valor/Lien Quan, but the content and streaming business also helps us to have recurring revenue.” “An eSports team in Vietnam will have the greatest potential in terms of media accessibility because the rate of interaction and consumption of digital content here is truly extraordinary. The operating costs for an eSports team in Vietnam have increased over time, but are nonetheless slightly lower than in other mature markets like Indonesia and Thailand. I believe Vietnam has the strongest talent base out of the three countries, but the commercial potential is a bit more limited as the market is still at the trigger stage.” Mr. Terence Ting, CEO of Team Flash Question: Can you compare the current situation of Vietnam’s gaming industry scene with others in Southeast Asia. Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Question: What are the main sources of Team Flash income for 2019? Which is the main source of revenue? Question: Can you compare the potential of establishing and developing a professional eSports team in Vietnam with other countries where Flash team operates? 47 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  46. 46. 5. ESPORTS TOURNAMENT ORGANIZER Game publishers in Vietnam own the copyright for game content, but they are not completely independent to organize events and tournaments with only internal resources. In addition, games released globally such as DOTA 2 or PUBG do not have an official publisher in Vietnam, so the eSports event organizers (agencies) will be service providers, home support publishing makes tournaments with large scale and professionalism. Several organizer of eSports tournaments (*) The main job of eSports Agencies is to organize, operate and communicate for eSports tournaments co-operated or not with publishers. Main job categories of an eSports agency: Tournament content building Tournament timeline building Categories detailing Communication planning Synthesize the results Media production post-tournament Material production Communication post-tournament Venue management Livestream operating Offline operation (event, referee work, Commentator script, Caster) Media asset production Communication material production (*) Figures are as of October 2020 https:/ /escharts.com/organizers Source: Eschart AGENCY FEATURED TOURNAMENT IN 2020 PUBG Vietnam Series 2020 Prize: 17,000 Format: Online Valorant: Vietnam Pro Teams Showmatch Prize: 650 Format: Online SEA DOTA 2 Vietnam Qualifier Prize: N/A Format: Online CS:GO: Vietnam Pro Leagues Prize: 1,300 Format: Online 500Bros Studio VPT Studio 23 Creative VN eFire League TOURNAMENT PLANNING PRE-PRODUCTION ON-SET OPERATION POST-PRODUCTION 48 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  47. 47. 6. ESPORTS TOURNAMENT VENUE In Vietnam, there are many popular eSports games, but not all of these have an official publisher in Vietnam, so they also bring certain advantages and disadvantages for eSports tournament organizers. According to Khong Quoc Hung, domestic publishers have advantages by owning game copyrights, so the legal procedures are simpler, but foreign publishers are more experienced and have built up professional and advanced workflow. In Vietnam, the venues for eSports tournaments are gaming centers or, on a larger scale, stadiums. These gaming centers are essentially internet cafes, but are heavily invested in ground space, computer hardware as well as other accompanying services. However, gaming centers are often chosen to host small and medium-sized tournaments. Large events or international tournaments will be held at venues with larger capacity stadiums or sports halls for fans to watch. For example: AWC 2019 is held at Tien Son Sports Palace, Da Nang, MSI 2019 is held at the National Convention Center or the VCS tournament system is held at GG Stadium .... “When accepting a job as a tournament organizer, an agency will have 4 main work parts including (1) tourna- ment planning, (2) pre-production, (3) On-set operation, (4) Post-production. The pre-production stage for 23 Creative VN is the stage we consider the most important and always try to do it methodically. While running the tournament, the livestream is also a very important thing and should avoid making mistakes as much as possible because when the live stream is in real time, mistakes will appear on the stream immediately.” Mr. Khong Quoc Hung, eSports manager at 23 Creative VN. “The local publishers already have the game copyrights and the government licensing procedures are simpler, so agency units need to focus on production and operation to get the best quality. On the contrary, when organizing tournaments for sports without a local publisher, the agency needs to discuss carefully about the organization plan with the publisher because they cannot understand the Vietnamese eSports market with their competitors native authors. However, most of the foreign partners have the advantage of experience, so their organization process is very advanced” Mr. Khong Quoc Hung, eSports manager at 23 Creative VN Question: Can you describe the operation steps and the process of organizing a professional eSports tour- nament in Vietnam and which stage do you think is the most important step in the process? Question: What are the differences when an agency works with foreign and local partners? 49 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  48. 48. Some famous competition venues: Viking eSports Arena has an area of up to 1500m2, built with many different areas based on devices such as PC area, console area or even a separate mobile game area. GG Stadium is the only stadium owned by Riot Games in Vietnam and one of Riot’s big- gest studios. GG Stadium is used to host League Of Legends events organized by Garena. MSI 2019 in Vietnam was also held here. Chain stores with 3 branches in Ho Chi Minh City with a design of internet cafe model with a very high configuration investment system can even livestream. Venus Gaming Center is a gaming center in Hue located in the middle part of Vietnam. This is a small machine room with only about 80 machines, but it is considered suitable for the market in Hue City. Established in 2015, Pegasus is a famous gaming center in Hanoi. With high-configu- ration equipment and separate entertainment, catering and competition areas, this is often the place chosen to host eSports tournaments in Hanoi. Viking eSport Arena GG Stadium Kingdom NextGen Venus Gaming Center Pegasus HN “Becoming a venue for eSports tournaments brings a lot of benefits to cybers in general and Vikings in particular: Vikings has had a development orientation in parallel with eSports, not only in the Cyber business but also in a professional team. With this orientation, Vikings Cyber will have a more stable and loyal customer base who loves eSports. In addition, when large-scale eSports tournaments are held here, our image will be promoted to our fans, and the teams themselves can choose Viking as the place to practice. All of these things bring benefits to Vikings himself and for the eSports industry in today’s society.” “Any big eSports player or team needs a starting point, Viking Cyber regularly organizes eSports tournaments at the semi-professional level and it’s a suitable environment for eSports talent to be able to start. We consider ourselves a cradle to nurture and develop young talents from the very first step, providing an environment to exchange and compete in eSports for anyone who has passion and enthusiasm.” Mr. Vu Quoc Hoan - CEO of Viking Gaming Question: As a large Cyber system and always supporting eSports in tournaments and events, what benefits does eSports bring to Viking Cyber in the past time? Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Question: In your opinion, what roles are the Cyber systems in general and Viking Cyber playing in the development of the eSports industry in Vietnam today? 50 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  49. 49. 7. STREAMERS AND MANAGEMENT UNITS a, Streamer Streamers, also known as creators, are influential individuals on social networks, especially with streams of typical game content and eSports. The professional players on the teams also see streaming as a piece of work for fan interaction and image building. The streamers attract viewers with factors such as skill level, humor factor, ability to talk, and audience interaction. CHANNEL/ STREAMER STATISTICS STREAM CONTENT STREAM PLATFORM Youtube: 9M Subscribers Facebook Page: 965,000 Facebook: 1.3M Followers Youtube: 4.7M Subscribers Facebook Page: 3.9M Followers Facebook: 1.3M Followers Youtube: 5.66M Subscribers Facebook Page: 5.2M Followers Facebook: 700,000M Followers Facebook Page: 3.7M Followers Youtube: 2.48M Subscribers Youtube: 3.94M Subscribers Facebook Page: 4.1M Subscribers Facebook: 800,000 Followers Youtube: 3.6M Subscribers Facebook Page: 2.3M Followers Game eSports Game eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports Youtube Youtube Nimo TV Facebook Youtube Facebook Facebook Facebook CrisDevilGamer Độ Mixi MisThy VirusS PewPew Linh Ngọc Đàm Like an industry KOLs, streamers also have sponsorships and advertising contracts when their channel gets a lot of views and followers. The streamers themselves also build their personal image in the public eye to become influencers. They are the factor that attracts the attention of the community and the media at events and programs with a large fan base. Statistics of some famous streamer in Vietnam(*) 51 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  50. 50. CHANNEL/ STREAMER STATISTICS STREAM CONTENT STREAM PLATFORM Youtube: 780,000M Subscribers Facebook Page: 2.7M Followers Youtube: 924,000M Subscribers Facebook Page: 636,000M Followers Facebook: 306,000M Followers Facebook Page: 1.2M Followers Facebook Page: 446,000 Followers Facebook Page: 504,000 Followers Youtube: 1.36M Subscribers Facebook Page: 484,000M Followers Facebook: 538,000M Followers Youtube: 1.4M Subscribers Facebook Page: 885,000M Followers eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports Facebook Youtube Youtube Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Nam Blue Xemesis Chim Sẻ Đi Nắng Uyên Pu Ba Rọi Béo NoWay Flash.XB 52 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  51. 51. CHANNEL/ STREAMER STATISTICS STREAM CONTENT STREAM PLATFORM Facebook Page: 213,000 Followers Facebook Page: 244,000 Followers Facebook Page: 456,000 Followers Facebook Page: 306,000 Followers Facebook Page: 146,000 Followers Youtube: 556,000 Subscribers Facebook Page: 650,000 Followers Facebook Page: 142,000 Followers eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports eSports Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Youtube ProE Gau Lai Bâng ADC Đạt Kòiii Levi Optimus Source: Facebook & Youtube (*) Statistics are as of October 2020 53 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  52. 52. What is the formula for success when it comes to public interest toward creators? Popular donation platforms in Vietnam b, Streaming income sources Most streamers build the reputation of a KOL/Influencer, therefore, the income sources from branding can vary depending on their field. However, some primar streaming income sources are: - Regular income from streaming platforms - Advertising and brand promotions - Donations and subscriptions c, Streamer managing agencies The success of a streamer relies on a managing agency. OTA Network, Creatory, Box Studio are notable companies, whose job is to foster and advertise streamers’ image and manage their activities. Some forms of stream sponsorship PRODUCT PLACEMENT LOGO PLACEMENT OVERLAY ADVERTISEMENTS WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING “The most important thing is content. Different games have different fan bases. Therefore, content creators need to have a grasp of their targeted audience in order to deliver their content effectively. ESports streamers need to be able to communicate the highs and lows of the game, which is what keeps the viewers coming back for more. Additionally, the creator’s key visuals (overlay, donation pop-up, slogan,...), interactions,... are also crucial elements.” “The real formula here is “no formula” as each content creator is unique, so there is no correct path to success. However, there are some fundamental elements they should pay attention to in order to attract viewership: Sincerity: In the core of the streamer-viewers relationship is sincerity. Staying true to yourself online and offline can help build a more intimate image and reap values greater than financial benefits. Passion: A streamer who isn’t passionate doesn’t attract viewership and can’t build a loyal fanbase. Personality: To stand out among the large number of streamers, an individual needs to show uniqueness to attract fans. Being unique and making a strong impression among viewers opens up PR opportunities.” Mr Pham Ba Duy, Director of OTA Network Question: What does it take from an eSports streamer to attract viewership? 54 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  53. 53. 8. ESPORTS PRODUCTION AND BROADCASTING ESports tournaments can be streamed for free and broadcasting profit comes from sponsorship and advertising. Broadcasting rights: owned by tournament organizer or publisher. International publishers: Depending on the publisher’s policy, their game can be featured in a tournament for free. Domestic publishers: VNG, Garena: broadcasting rights belong to publishers. Popular streaming platforms in Vietnam Streaming and broadcasting platforms play a crucial part in distributing eSports contents, especially tournaments, and boosting content creation in Vietnam. While Facebook Gaming and Youtube already have their streaming feature with a huge number of users, Nimo is more gaming-content-oriented. With a free-to-watch model, Vietnamese eSports viewership is growing steadily. Aside from streaming platforms, some major tournaments even receive coverage on VTVcab, HTV, VTC,... In addition, a number of eSports-themed programs are on-air: - The program “Toan canh the thao dien tu”, aired every Tuesday on VTVcab’s channel, The thao TV. - Some tournaments receive coverage on VTV, The thao TV and The thao tin tuc HD by VTVcab, QPVN, HTV The thao... Source: Gamek.vn The program ”Toan canh the thao dien tu” ESports news pages and social media(*) VTV Live và VTV Cab ON 55 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  54. 54. Other news media: 19 gamek.vn/esport/vtvplay-chinh-thuc-thong-bao-ve-viec-phat-song-giai-dau-dota-2-tai-viet-nam-20160303113516832.chn (*)Statistics up to 10/2020 Source: Facebook & Youtube Average monthly site visits: 8,42 million Fanpage: 1.4 million followers VTV Live’s eSports TV Fanpage: 391.000 followers Average monthly site visits: 1,94 million Fanpage: 150.000 followers Average monthly site visits: 1,58 million Fanpage: 256.000 followers Average monthly site visits: 937.000 Fanpage: 80.000 followers Average monthly site visits: 508.000 Fanpage: 660.000 followers Average monthly site visits: 156.000 Fanpage: 606.000 followers Multichannel network. Fanpage: 28.000 followers Youtube: 16.200 subscribers 56 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  55. 55. (*)Statistics up to 10/2020 Nguồn: Facebook Cao Thủ Liên Quân 9. SPONSORSHIP With their young and passionate fan base, eSports events open up great PR and advertising opportunities for brands. The AIC 2020 (Arena of Valor) even reached 109 million views on Youtube, twice the number in 2019. Concurrent even viewers reached 631.029. 57 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  56. 56. Just like traditional sports, brands can be a sponsor in many different forms such as sponsoring an eSports team, sponsoring tournaments or sponsoring events hosted by game publishers. Sponsor can be divided into two category according to international terminology: endemic and non-endemic. Endemic brands are brands that have business products directly correlates to eSports such as PC components, gaming gear, gaming smartphone, Internet. In Viet Nam, brands that have operated as eSports sponsors can be mentioned as follows: Dell, Asus ROG, Logitech, Phong Vu, Oppo,Viettel Endemic sponsor Viettel 5G - Arena of Glory Spring 2020 Sponsor: Viettel Telecom ROG Master Sponsor: ASUS & Intel IESF World Championship 2020 Sponsor: Razer Logitech Play At Home Sponsor: Logitech, Acer, Samsung, An Phát v.v... Image source: Lienquan.garena.vn, asus.com.vn, predator-league.com, news.gearvn.com 58 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  57. 57. Viettel, ClearMen, YoMost, Pepsico Việt Nam - brands that have indirect correlation to eSports businesses, they chose to sponsored because eSports enthusiasts are similar to the targeted clients of the brand. Examples of a typical sponsor: Non-endemic sponsor Arena of Glory Spring 2020 Sponsor: Clear Men (Unilever Viet Nam corporation) VCS Spring 2019 Sponsor: Clear Men (Unilever Viet Nam corporation) Arena of Glory Winter 2020 Sponsor: Sting (Suntory Pepsico Viet Nam corporation) VCS Summer 2019 Sponsor: Coca Cola (Coca Cola Viet Nam corporation) Image source: lienquan.garena.vn, lienminh.garena.vn 59 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  58. 58. “Viettel has always evaluate eSports as a potential market filled with enthusiasm, youth and creativity. Those values coincide with Viettel’s branding orientation and because of that we believe Viettel and eSports synergy can bring many additional values to each other.” Question: Please tell me why Viettel has decided to choose eSports to participate as a sponsor? “Take Viettel 5G - Arena of Glory Spring Season for example, Arena of Valor is essentially a mobile therefore very suitable for our mobile digital businesses. Moreover, the name Viettel 5G says it all, Viettel always wanted to bring mobile entertainment experiences with the highest speed so the fact that we are accompanying with eSports could affirm the value that Viettel brings, that is the ability to bring the most optimal online entertainment experiences and qualities.” “There are many aspects that need to be considered, but for Viettel, several significant factors can be mentioned as follows : First, the objective of the tournaments: Tournaments always have business goals and commited certain KPIs such as ticket sales, sales, coverage and coversion rates. A tournament has objectives suitable with Viettel’s business purposes will be the prime aspect when we choose. Secondly, the ability to organize tournaments of the partnering unit: When business goals are set, it will be meaningless if we can’t execute it. Therefore the ability assessment of Viettel’s partnering agency is the second - most important. Agencies need procedures, a consistent working formula to convince customers about the ability to ensure the KPI that has been set out. Thirdly is the presence of influencers in tournaments such as players, famous eSports teams, commentators or casters. Influencers have huge fan base and can drive tournaments traffic with just their fan base. However, we are also consider choosing influencers with actual talents and has great influence on the public to collaborate and accompany.” Mr. Vo Thanh Hai, President of Viettel Media, Military Telecommunications Industry Group ( Viettel Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Question: What is the goal for Viettel’s campaign when sponsoring for an eSports tournament? Question: So what are the aspects of an eSports tournament that Viettel take into consideration when making the decision to sponsor? 60 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  59. 59. III THEMATIC ANALYSIS
  60. 60. A. ESPORTS ACCOMPANYING WITH NATIONAL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION 1. THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION NUDGE IN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS OF 2020 On August 2020, Tour de France organizers have to deal with an unprecedented problem, the world’s most renowned cycling tournament went on a 2 month delay because of the Covid-19 pandemic. To solve this problem, the organizer has worked with a bike racing game company called Swift to create Virtual Tour de France, a virtual tournament, professional cyclists compete with each other, riding on fixed bicycles equipped with achievement measurement technology and surf the well-known road of Tour de France. World Sports 2020 has began just like that, a prosperous age of digital transformation activities in sports has actually started. Conceptually, Digital Sport is the act of digitalizing tra- ditional sports content. The process of digitalize includes digitalizing datas and process relating to broadcast con- tent, digital specifications, sports simulation activities. On the other hand, Sport Digital Transformation is more of a long-term process, including multiple digitalized projects, multiple technology integration, participation and acknowledgement from leaders to executioners. The goal of digital transformation in sports is create new models, values and experiences . Back to the circumstance of the sports industry in the world in 2020, Covid has made global sports revenue dropped down at 73 billion compared to its original plan of 135 billion. A series of huge sporting events had to be cancelled or stay undated like Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, along with that is a decline in sports revenues such as event ticker sales, betting, souvenirs and tourism... Sports entrepreneurs had to quickly operate in another way, and the process of digital transformation in sports is faster than ever. In reality, it was not entirely due to the Covid pandemic, this transition trend has taken place strongly in the past 5 years. According to ESPN’s research, since 2016, NFL ticket sales has started to decline, instead spectators enjoy watching NFL matches in a completely new methods and Covid-19 is really a big nudge for this transition. Source: WPP Global Sports Revenue of 2020 2019 0 20 billion USD 40 billion USD 60 billion USD 80 billion USD 100 billion USD 120 billion USD 140 billion USD 2020F (Pre-Covid) 2020 (Post-Covid) 20 https:/ /www.wpp.com/wpp-iq/why-covid-19-will-usher-in-a-new-world-order-in-sport 63 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  61. 61. 2. DIGITAL SPORTS, THE FIRST STEPS OF DIGITAL 3. DIGITAL SPORTS ENHANCE THE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES WITH FANS Covid-19 pandemic has cause many troubles for traditional sports. However, the need of physical activities are increasing, with the hope of improving health, the immune system to cope with the diseases. .Therefore, numerous home workouts, or trainings,competingonvirtual,simulateddeviceshastrulypaid off. Because players don’t have to go to training courts, they still managed to practice and compete in tournaments through electronic devices with relatively high accuracy without the need of seeing people. Not just in the world, right here in Viet Nam, in April 2020, a “virtual” cycling tournament has taken place succesfully in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to participate in the virtual tournament, players need to have specialized bikes that have bluetooth connections to connect with smart electronic devices and install the app ZWIFT on your phone or computer. All of the athlete’s stats like speed, strategy, etc… will be recorded and simulated on the screen through a simulator management software. Besides that, multiple “virtual” running tournaments have Take the NBA for example, a tournament that sticks in history with fans and always tries to create an unforgettable experience for fans in the arenas. This organization has worked with Microsoft to create a digital system for the fans on big screens around the stadium for them to watch and interactive with the match. They have also install new cameras at the same height as the players, bringing a new vision to the game closer and closer to them. In the future, that could bring better user experience for the people at home who wants to watch a real basketball match at the comfort of their own house. Since these days, everyone just want to stay home and watch sports on their TV. In reality, spectating a match in a taken place with large number of participants. “Brave Đà Nẵng” virtual tournament has over 3.400 athlete running across the roads to encourage the frontline pandemic forces, at the same time uphold the spirit of sport practicing in the community. The race recorded over 900 athletes completed the set goals. “Green hope” running tournament has also attracted over 2000 athletes registering to run unlimited accumulation of 10km, 20km, 50km, etc… and then use a “smart watch” to connect with the application platform of the tournament. After the tournament ends, upon finishing the race, athletes will receive electronic certificates, electronic medals according to each distance. Furthermore, technological devices like PlayStation also has interactive handheld devices, simulate with top-notch precision, everyone could participate in practicing, competing in sports such as gold, tennis, etc... stadium doesn’t resemble most of the authentic sports consumer. For example, in the USA, according to USC Annenberg’s research in 2016, 64% of the fans live far away from their favorite team. Because of that, digital solutions is the future of the department and COVID-19 can’t stop the transformation. OTT (Over the Top) platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, NBA TV, NBS Sports is booming with the ability to provide users a wide variety of cumstomizable content that they can easily purchase. Digitalized sports has also create a new form of communication and connect fans with their favourite sports. In the social-distancing period, Adidas has created a “at home challenge”, where people could use 64 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  62. 62. their training application freely and train like Adidas’ athleteS in the lockdown period. The same idea applies with Nike for Living Room Cup, where fans can learn how to get a six pack just like Cristiano. Source: Adidas.com “Train like an athlete” campaign of Adidas 4. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN SPORTS AND ITS ROLE TO BOOST ESPORTS IN VIET NAM In the world, in some countries, eSports is a huge industry, with total worldwide revenue of 1 billion USD. However, in Viet Nam, eSports is only at a potential level, not diversifying the sources of income, small and spontaneous development. According to some expers, eSports and digital sports need to go along with each other, being a part of the digital transformation in sports to improve, enhance physical strength, mentality and stature of the Vietnamese people as well as building a sustainable sports economy. This show a long-term strategy which includes management responsibilities from the Govenrment, businesses, suppliers and all related parties. Digital transformation has gradually been applied in a number of sports in terms of competition equipment, management technology, operating procedures, training instructions… Since then, traditional sports will have transformations, in addition to new technologies like emulation, 1:1 simulation, parallelism, interaction with new 4G and connected 5G technical infrastructure will create new environments. 65 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  63. 63. B. THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19 TO THE ESPORTS INDUSTRY COVID-19 exploded in 2020 caused a lot consequences and changing completely the way the eSports industry operates and causes many difficulties for domestic enterprises. However, contradicting to traditional sports, eSports still exists. Thanks to the online operating system, players only need to use a connected device such as a smartphone, PC or console with an Internet connection, eSports will continue to take place in 2020, although there are many changes and limitations. Events and tournaments swith to online formats In 2020, COVID-19 has made eSports tournaments moved to an online format or even worse, cancelled like the AWC 2020 (Arena of Valor) or Vietnamese representatives can not participate in the World Finals (League of Legends) because of COVID-19. Even though tournaments carried on but happening online prove to be troublesome in the operation as well as causing a significant loss in revenue to the eSports industry as a whole. eSports is a competitive sports, there for applause from fans is one of the factors that creates wild atmosphere and help teams dedicate themself to play. Moreover, activities like music, entertainment or souvenirs are gone, causing revenue from tournaments to decline. Sponsors are worrying about the effectiveness when sponsoring because if tournaments takes place without fans, they will not be able to appear next to them and teams will not able to make a strong impression. ASUS ROG brand, a big sponsor, have sponsored numerous tournaments as well as Viet Nam’s eSports teams believe that eSports events without fans was a loss of opportunities for sponsors to introduce products and for customers to interact and experience the product directly. However, sponsors still believe that communication efficiency and brand awareness are still very potential when the number of eSports viewers watching through livestream tends to increase strongly during the pandemic. COVID-19 opens up new opportunities While other traditional sports stay frozen, eSports con- tinues to thrive. This adaptation of eSports as well as the online operation feature has helped eSports to be highly appreciated by investors and the world. In particular, the rate of interaction and views of eSports content increased strongly during the epidemic. Source: Adsota The interaction growth on Facebook Gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic in Viet Nam Total view reach Interaction 81.37% 79.6% 50% 21 https:/ /www.slideshare.net/AdsotaAds/covid19-crisis-impact-and-recovery?ref=https:/ /blog.adsota.com/ 66 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  64. 64. “Because of the 2020 covid 19 pandemic, eSports has seen a significant spike in viewership. All of the tourney method has been transferred from the traditional offline to an online platform, which favors us because the amount of workload has been reduced significantly. Thus, the overall number and the frequency of tourneys, especially online tourneys have also experienced a considerable growth. If we compared the ratio between the year 2020 online and offline tournaments to the previous years, the number shifted from 60:40 to 70:30. “Yes, the sponsors have seen many negative outcomes because of the pandemic. However, their demand for marketing still remains high, especially in the time when viewership and popularity of eSports spikes. Because of this, 500bros shifted their campaign from selling merchandise and activation marketing methods, … to increasing the viewership, coverage and the conversion rate. With this approach, brands can still be benefited when sponsored for eSports tournaments.” Mr. Vu Quoc Hoan, Founder and Director of 500Bros Studio. “The covid 19 pandemic has both Negative and Positive effects on the global eSports market. Although offline events and tournaments have been canceled, the overall demand for multimedia and digital consumption is still increasing. Thus, leads to an overall demand increase in every market. Because of this, brands are focusing their funds on digital platforms. To thrive, the eSports sector must adapt to this scenario and find a new way to earn profit.” Mr. Terence Ting, CEO of Team Flash. Question: How does the covid 19 pandemic of 2020 affect 500bros in matchmaking action? Question: In your opinion, the covid 19 pandemic brings challenges to the overall development of Vietnam eSports or is it the chance for this sector to thrive. Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Question: Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, audiences stop going to offline tourneys and instead watch livestream from home. This has also affected the sponsorships in many aways. The question is, how has 500bros adjusted to fit with the said scenario? 67 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  65. 65. C. THE ROLES OF SPORTS 1. ESPORTS – A NEW ECONOMIC MODEL. Contributing to the Vietnam eSports Ecosystem are numerous Units, private companies, Enterprises who are working in different Sectors, including the eSports sector. Similar to other Economic Sectors, eSports sector income comes from 8 different factors. Technological equipment: eSports have the features of online games, every person who is involved in eSports needs specific types of equipment in order to approach, take part in eSports. These equipment includes PC/Laptops, gaming consoles or smartphones, peripherals like computer mouses, keyboards, headphones, Internet and 4G network. On average, each person needs to invest approximately 250 USD/year for said equipments. Ingame microtransaction: eSports games are different compared to other genres like (MMORPG). These types of games focus on the players’ skills and create an equal rivalry environment among players. Because of this, revenue and players community of eSports games may not be comparable to MMORPG games on the first release dates. However, by focusing on the players’ skills, eSports related games will have a much longer life span. On average, 5-6% eSports players pay 10USD/month on ingame items. Revenue from third-parties payment transactions: Vietnamese consumers’ habits on games have now become a norm and have now become more convenient than ever. Compared to the past, payments using phone cards have reduced significantly and have been replaced by payments using bank accounts and e-wallet services. Third-party payments have provided a more convenient paying method for both game publishers and gamers. AdvertisementandDonation: One crucial aspect for every market are influencers. eSports have a huge community of influencers who mostly are streamers and content creators. They are celebrities with millions of fans and followers. With huge fans and followers follow these influencers. Furthermore, streaming platforms will be benefited with the huge amount of traffic that these content creators’ followers. This is a huge source of revenue for themselves as well as streaming platforms like Youtube, Facebook Gaming or NimoTV. Sponsors’ revenue: Events and Tourneys with professional players is a magnet that attracts thousands of viewership. Because of this, big brands were attracted to this specific sector. They sponsor for tournaments and eSports events in exchange for more brand recognition. Revenue from selling event tickets and merchandise: Before 2020, when tourneys and events mostly happen offline, tickets and merchandise is a huge revenue opportunity for companies. Professional eSports teams and players sell their merchandise like t-shirts, gaming gear,… to their fans. 68 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021
  66. 66. 2. THE STATE OF VIETNAM HR IN ESPORTS: eSports has been a blooming business in Vietnam for the past five years and more and more companies, as well as enterprises, are joining the ecosystem. However, because it is an industry with young age so there’s not really a clear roadmap for human resources training methods. So the question here is, what is the reality of Vietnam HR in eSports? “First and foremost I should talk about professional players, Vietnam eSports is the cradle of many talents in the industry. It can be claimed that the level of native players is on par with international players. The evidence is that, in the past, Vietnamese players and eSports teams have claimed significant achievement in global professional tourneys. In 2019, we have Team Flash, who have claimed champions in the AOV World Championship, or in the last year, Sofm became the Second-best player in the League of legends World Championship. However, both quality and quantity players only concentrated in eSports games that are officially licensed in Vietnam. This is understandable since these games have much more events and tournaments than other games which creates a rivalry environment for players of those games. Secondly, another worth noting job that has been blooming for the past 2 years is Streamers/Content Creators. Unlike players, Streamers/Content Creators has been widely known in the society and is a high-pay salary job. The quality and quantity of these content creators is increasing day by days and is famously known by their fans and big brands. Some of the best Content Creators in Vietnam that have far exceeded popularity, those who have reached outside the border of Vietnam are PewPew, Do Mixi and Viruss. Besides, staffs who are responsibles for executing and organizing eSports events and tourneys have also become professional in their own field and are very creative, on par with agencies in other developed countries. However, Vietnam hasn’t had many chances to host Global-level eSports tournaments. This is worth mentioning and is crucial because when there are participants of big eSports companies in Vietnam, the quality of expertise in organizing tournaments must meet the highest standards with the opportunity to try and brush up on international standards. MSI 2019 and AWC 2019 can set the first milestone to verify the tournament organizing ability of Vietnam eSports enterprises and I believe that Vietnam will have more chances to establish more significant tournaments in the future.” Question: Can you give an overall evaluation about the current state of Vietnam HR in eSports? “It is clear to see that the concept of eSports is still being misjudged by the society. Because of this, the lack of professional eSport training centre as well as the lack of a professional developing method for the players is unavoidable. That is why recruiting is having a lot of problems with supply and quality. In most cases, to meet the demand for quantity, the HR department was forced to sacrifice the quality and that will lead to the decline in output. In contrast, not all players with high-quality input have the right view about eSports, a sector in which is too young compared to the traditional business sectors, whose occupations have been fully regulated.” Câu hỏi: Anh có thể so sánh tình hình thị trường eSports Việt Nam hiện nay với các thị trường khác trong khu vực Đông Nam Á? Question: What are the challenges in recruiting and developing human resources in the Vietnam eSports sector? 69 VIETNAM ESPORTS WHITEBOOK 2021

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