Esports in Austria  


Esports in Austria
esport_Copyright © Gorodenkoff –

For a long time competitive computer games have not only been played in the dark bedrooms of teens. In fact, this has become a highly professional scene with prize money and audience ratings competing with sports events such as the National Football League and the Champions League. In Austria, esports have now taken their place as a mainstream activity in society.

Austria as an esport location

According to a study carried out by the Austrian Association for Entertainment Software, 4.9 million Austrians consume video games, and every seventh Austrian regularly follows esport tournaments via streaming services or conventional media. Traditional sports clubs such as the soccer teams FC Schalke 04, Paris St. Germain and also FC Red Bull Salzburg have opened their own esport divisions in recent years. Such facts & figures effectively illustrate how enormous the potential of the esport sector in Austria actually is.

Many companies have also identified this trend and are investing in Austria, particularly in tournaments, esport leagues and esports-people (athletes, gamers, developers, coaches). In this connection, one should mention the “A1 eSports League“ by A1 Telekom Austria, the Red Bull „pLANet one“, the eBundesliga, (enational league) hosted by the Austrian Football League, the Game City held in Vienna’s City Hall and the „Viennality“, a fighting games tournament which attracts players from all over the world to come to Vienna. Prize money as well as the number of participants and spectators are steadily increasing. For example, Season 3 and Season 4 of the A1 eSports League promises total prize money of about € 70,000. Red Bull, which is known for its sponsoring activities in the field of action sports, is prominently investing in Austrian esports events and athletes. In the meantime, the event Red Bull pLANet one has emerged as an integral part of esport events in Austria. Furthermore, internationally successful e-athletes from Austria, for example the Fortnite World Champion David “Aqua” Wang or the “Rocket League” professional Maurice “Yueko” Weihs are contributing to the growing popularity of their respective sports.

The educational sector is also responding to the increasing popularity of esports. For example, the University of Applied Sciences for Management is offering a course of studies in “eSports Management” starting in the winter semester 2021/21 at Campus Wien in Vienna. The topic of esports is also becoming increasingly relevant on a university level, on the basis of the specialization in sports, gaming and entertainment in cooperation with leading experts and fans of esports in Austria, the Austrian eSport Association.

Traditional betting providers have been confronted with existential problems as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown imposed in the spring of 2020. Esports tournaments have emerged as a crisis-proof addition to their portfolios which can generate revenue even in times of social distancing.


The signs of the times seem to point to a paradigm shift in the way sports are perceived and consumed. Austria has adopted an extremely positive attitude towards this form of progress in the field of esports, and is continually working with representatives of the respective sports to improve actual conditions and the legal framework in order to position the country as an esports hub in the heart of Europe. Even if it is questionable whether the coronavirus-related increase in the number of users will turn out to be sustainable in the long term, the trend towards digital events cannot be stopped.


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27 November 2021


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