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Japan & eSports

by new_c_admin

Japan has been a leader in the video game market for decades, but despite the competitive legacy of arcade games in the country, the modern esports boom hasn’t resonated as strongly as it has elsewhere in the world.

That’s largely seen as a consequence of restrictive gambling and advertising laws—but those restrictions have been loosened amidst the formation of the Japan Esports Union and the pro player licensing system. “Right now, we’re at that point where some of those difficulties are going away,” said Mike Sheetal, CEO of Japanese creative agency PlayBrain, which operates Riot Games’  League of Legends  Japan League (LJL).

In a video interview with The Esports Observer (above), Sheetal spoke about the unique elements of the Japanese esports market, as well as how PlayBrain helps bridge the gap between Japan and international partners.

According to a report from Famitsu magazine publisher Gzbrain, the Japanese market grew 13x in size in 2018 alone. Sheetal said that the market is at “a turning point,” and that now is the time for investors—both within Japan and internationally—to jump in. “I think that’s the ideal time to invest, actually—when the market is ready for a big growth period,” he said. “The only way it’s going to achieve that in a comfortable way, is if the investment comes in.”

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