Vivintel breaks down Canadian esports market

New research finds that while Gen Z dominates, there is a sizeable high-net worth contingent of Gen Xers.


A new report by consumer research firm Vivintel examines the make-up of the esports gaming community in Canada.

According to the Vivintel study, 4.4 million Canadians have followed esports in the past year (the question of “followed” was left open to interpretation, as the survey of 3,150 respondents did not explicitly ask if people were necessarily “fans” of esports). And among acolytes, those who followed esports within the past year spend an average of 2.2 hours a week doing so.

While low income Gen Yers are most likely to follow esports (57%), followed by millennials (43%) there is a sizeable contingent of Gen Xers on board as well: 31% of that demographic follows eSports, with nearly 40% of them earning a household income of over $100,000 (with one in five working in STEM fields).

While it lacks the mainstream appeal of say, the NHL or NFL, about the same number of respondents engaged with esports as the combined total of followers of boxing, MMA and WWE: 15% of respondents follow esports, compared with 6%, 5% and 4% for those combat sports. Still, mainstream sports comprise the highest follower total: 58% and 49% of Canadians follow NHL hockey and the Winter Olympics.

According to the study, sports broadcasting websites are what fans of eSports “most often” turn to at 28%, followed by YouTube gaming sites at 23% and Twitch at 16%. Facebook Live was cited by 19% as a “sometimes” go-to, second to YouTube at 22%.

According to the report, ESPN and Sportsnet have been streaming eSports consistently, while Twitch and YouTube have been leading sources for streaming the nascent sport since its emergence.

When it comes to platforms used to consume esports, laptops/desktops lead the way (65%) followed by TV (55%), smartphones (53%), tablets (35%) and game consoles (17%).