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10 Best and Worst Cities for Gamers to Live In

1 June 2021Ellavie Ichlasa Amalia

The availability of high quality internet, gaming expos, and jobs opportunities in the gaming industry are some of the criteria that were considered

Due to the recent growth of the esports industry, a lot of individuals and businesses today quickly grab the opportunity to enter the realm of gaming. Concurrently, Broadband Savvy has just announced the results of their study regarding the ideal cities for gamers and esports enthusiasts to live in.

One of the criteria that Broadband Savvy uses to determine whether a city is suitable for gamers is the average broadband internet speed as well as the lowest cost of a 1 Gbps internet connection in that city. In addition, they also compared the relative prices of gaming hardware (by observing the cost of an RTX 3090), the number of major esports events or gaming expos in the previous 5 years, and the number of gaming or esports-related jobs in the city. Lastly, the study also considered the average living cost and 5G availability or coverage.


Regional Performance

Broadband Savvy divided the 74 countries they included in their study into 6 different regions: North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Middle East & Africa. As expected, each region has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, most cities in Asia – with China and India as exceptions – usually have high-quality internet networks at affordable prices, such as Seoul, Hong Kong, and Osaka. Furthermore, gaming gear is far more cheaper in the Asian region, which makes perfect sense since most gaming components are manufactured there.

Seoul is the second best city for gamers. | Source: Deposit Photos

On the other hand, the NA region generally provides a lot of gaming jobs. Austin and Seattle are the two cities that offer the most jobs in the gaming industry. However, it would be an understatement to say that the living cost and internet subscription fees there are expensive. Fortunately, with regards to the relative cost of gaming hardware, North America is still on the cheaper side of the spectrum when compared with Europe. Despite that, Europe generally does have a more affordable broadband cost than NA. Several European cities, such as Paris, also have an ample amount of good gaming job opportunities as well.

Although cities in South America do have a relatively low rent cost, high quality broadband speeds are rarely available. Fortunately, some cities, such as Mexico city, do have decent internet connections and are also priced reasonably well. Gaming expos and major LAN events are also often held across the region.

The Oceania region and the Middle East & Africa share the same problem as the NA region, which is the expensive internet costs. However, broadband fees in the Middle East & Africa remain substantially higher than in Oceania. For example, 1Gbps internet subscription fees in the United Arab Emirates can reach $800 USD (equivalent to around Rp.11.5 million). Despite that, Indonesia has an even more absurd broadband cost, such as the IDR 17.5 million 1Gbps broadband package offered by IndiHome in 2019. 


10 Best Cities for Gamers

According to Broadband Savvy, Austin, Texas, is considered the most ideal city for gamers and esports fans. The city has a fairly fast internet speed – 138Mbps – and a relatively cheap 1Gbps internet subscription fee at only $60 USD. Most parts of Austin also accommodate 5G network and frequently holds gaming expos.

The 10 best cities for gamers to live in. | Source: Broadband Savvy

Seoul in South Korea places second in Broadband Savvy’s chart. In terms of internet quality and speed, Seoul is the cream of the crop and far exceeds Austin by a mile, able to reach internet speeds up to 602Mbps, and generally priced cheaper at only $33.24 USD. However, the downside of Seoul comes in the much scarcer opportunity to work in the esports industry. Although Seoul often hosts many large-scale esports tournaments and has a thriving esports scene, there are still far more gaming expos being held in Austin, which is why Seoul falls short of first place.

Bucharest surprisingly was ranked third as the best city for gaming enthusiasts. Bucharest has an incredibly cheap broadband fee (around $10 USD) and also has a slightly better broadband speed than Austin (averaging at 164Mbps). There is a decent degree of 5G coverage throughout the city as well. Unfortunately, the prices of gaming hardware in Bucharest are usually more expensive when compared to the two previous cities. Furthermore, similar to Seoul, there are not many gaming jobs available in Bucharest

“Depending on what you’re looking for, there are a number of different cities that would make a great place to live as a gamer. Cities such as Bucharest scored well due to their cheap, fast internet, and low costs of living. Other cities such as LA and London cost more to live in, but have a much greater number of expos and esports events each year,” said Tom Paton, the founder of Broadband Savvy, quoted from its website. “Other cities like Los Angeles and London do have higher living costs, but gaming expos and esports competitions are often held there.”

Here are the 10 best cities for gamers:

  • Austin, United States
  • Seoul South Korea
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Paris, France
  • Los Angeles, United States
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Seattle, United States
  • Boston, United States


10 Worst Cities for Gamers

Out of the 74 cities included in the Broadband Savvy study, Dubai, unfortunately, ranked last in the list due to their highly expensive and yet mediocre internet performance. In Dubai, the average broadband speed is only 11 Mbps, and the lowest 1Gbps internet subscription fee available is $775 USD. Another factor that causes Dubai to underperform in the study is its relatively poor gaming job opportunities. Dubai does have one thing going for them: partial 5G coverage on certain sections of the city.

10 worst cities for gamers to live in. | Source: Broadband Savvy

Sydney, Australia, managed to sneak past Dubai and ranked second last out of the cities included in the study. Sydney does have a slightly better internet performance (26Mbps) and cost ($112 USD) compared to Dubai. However, like Dubai, the living cost in Sydney can be expensive, while gaming jobs in the city are not very promising.

Abu Dhabi, another city in the United Arab Emirates, ranked third from the last. Abu Dhabi suffered the exact same problems as Dubai, namely their slow internet (9Mbps average speed), high broadband fees ($775 USD), and scarce job opportunities in the gaming industry. The marginally lower living cost of Abu Dhabi is the sole reason why it performs better than Dubai in the study.

Here are the 10 worst cities for gamers:

  • St Petersburg, Russia
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Translated by: Ananto Joyoadikusumo

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