As an industry, esports has been gaining traction since the turn of the millennium. However, it’s only in the past decade that competitive gaming has emerged as a true spectator sport. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for major esports championships to trounce conventional sports in terms of viewing figures. Events like the League of Legends World Championship regularly bring in peak viewers numbering in the millions. Audience appetite for esports continues to grow, with more people than ever before tuning in to follow their favorite teams in action.
There’s an Established Audience
The majority of games being played at esports tournaments are successful titles in their own right. Beyond a few notable exceptions, most esports staples are massively multiplayer online titles. Take Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for example. This first-person shooter from Valve has been incredibly popular since 2012. Currently, CS:GO brings in almost a million concurrent players every month.
Another firm fixture of the esports schedule is Fortnite. This beloved battle royale title from Epic Games currently brings in more than 15 millon players regularly. When you consider these eye-watering player counts, it’s no surprise there’s such an appetite for them when they’re being played competitively.
Amateur Players Can Learn from the Masters
Many viewers of esports aren’t simply watching for entertainment value. Now esports is a lucrative career prospect for video game enthusiasts, live esports provides a rich resource for amateurs looking to hone their craft.
A relative rookie looking to brush up on the basics only needs to tune in to a League of Legends live final to discover new techniques and strategies to improve their performance. These insights are invaluable, especially when it comes to team-based games that involve multiple roles and cooperative strategies.
Even if you’re not intimately familiar with a particular video game, it’s fairly easy to follow the action unfolding in front of you. Arena games certainly aren’t lacking in specific rules and regulations, but the overall objective of the game is clear. Things are even straightforward when it comes to beat ’em ups and racing titles.
Furthermore, esports audiences aren’t subjected to the same pricing barriers that fans of conventional sporting events have to contend with. There aren’t any pricey season tickets fans need to purchase to follow their favorite teams as they aim for glory. Admittedly, attending live events isn’t without cost, the investment is limited to a single ticket price. The lead-ups and qualifying stages are often free to view and can be watched live online. For example, you can watch many CSGO matches here.
It’s Easier to Engage with Esports Professionals
In traditional sports, there’s little prospect of fans engaging with their heroes beyond a fleeting sighting or chance encounter. However, no such boundaries exist in the esports world. Many esports professionals establish themselves online via streaming platforms and other avenues before signing on with a team. Through these channels, pro gamers have the chance to engage directly with their audience.
A Legitimate Sport
Although it’s unlikely that esports will be embraced by the Olympics and other sporting organizations in the future, it is, for all intents and purposes, a legitimate competitive sport. There’s no shortage of professional organizations involved in the esports sector nowadays, while big brands and sponsors are throwing dizzying sums of money behind it. Furthermore, you can wager on the outcome of an esports fixture much in the same way as an American football event or NBA final.