Esports Rising 2021 Recap: Regional Spotlights – Brazil – The Esports Observer

Jaime Pádua and André Akkari, the co-Founders and co-CEOs of Brazil-based esports organization FURIA, discussed the current state of esports in Brazil during the Esports Rising virtual event. After a difficult year-plus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry faces no shortage of challenges. As Pádua pointed out, though, there are some silver linings in the form of opportunities for investors and foreign brands. “We have a whole different situation in Brazil than other parts of the world in terms of the pandemic and the COVID,” Akkari explained. “The government and the people responsible to take decisions took the worst decisions as possible. … And this is the biggest challenge because everything is exploding around esports in Brazil. Everything is running really fast and growing a lot. But then, we had this terrible year in 2020 and the beginning of 2021. But we are facing the challenge.”

Akkari added that his organization has enjoyed increased viewership, among other benefits, since the outbreak of the pandemic. He said, “Actually for FURIA and for our business in Brazil, the pandemic brought this positive side. It’s harder to say that because the pandemic was so devastating for the whole world, but it brought us to the scenario where people watch more streaming, the FURIA play, the FURIA games. The audience was growing a lot and we reach bigger numbers that we were reaching in 2019 and 2018.”

In Brazil, League of Legends and CS:GO enjoy massive followings, as they do across the globe. But it’s mobile game Free Fire that Akkari compared to soccer in terms of prominence in Brazil. He said, “There is a funny thing around Free Fire that most other people don’t know around the world. Brazil is a one-sport country. We have been living soccer for our entire life. Brazil is a very new democracy and soccer is the only sport that people pay attention to in Brazil in the last, I don’t know, 50 years, 45 years. And then, Free Fire is doing the kind of the same thing to the Brazilian people. …  Free Fire is the one that is reaching the most poor people because it works on cell phone and it works on the worst cell phone.”

 

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