One of the Giants – esports in Serbia

Mihajlo Jovanović – Džaril,
CEO, Fortuna Esports
Esports has become one of the hottest trends in the world and one of the business world buzzwords. This means that it’s still something new in Serbia and that its real growth is yet to come. We should all use this crystal ball that has been handed to us.

It is very fortunate that Serbia is not lagging too far behind other European countries when it comes to esports. Since 2016, through Fortuna Esports’ collaboration with Riot Games, we have managed to connect firstly our region (Southeast Europe) and then link it to the wider European system when it comes to the most popular game in the world – League of Legends.

Currently our own Esports Balkan League (EBL) is proudly fighting against ecosystems such as France, Germany, Spain and Poland, while providing much better opportunities, higher-standard conditions and boasting bigger viewership than any of the other EU countries and regions. Our challenge right now is to improve our teams’ as organizations and businesses and keep our own talented players at home.

Rough estimates say that in every country between 2% and 5% (depending on the age structure and wealth) of the overall population falls under the category of esports enthusiasts. This means that in Serbia there is between 150.000 to 350.000 people who like esports and engage with it. These are mostly young men, ages 13-30, who are often referred to as the “untargetable” or “unreachable”. Simply put – the ad-block generation which lives without traditional media (TV, newspaper, radio).

There is nothing that could stop the games from being played, shows being run and viewers from being entertained. While we can debate the true nature of sports and whether esports falls under that broad category, it is now proven and undeniable that esports is entertainment for the new, digital age.