Esports Growing in Popularity

According to an article I read on NPR, Esports are becoming more and more mainstream. Competitive video games currently dominate the online gaming community, with many games such as League of Legends and Overwatch having their own professional leagues where teams compete against one another for millions of dollars in prize money. One statistic in this article that I found particularly interesting is that Esports are the third most watched sports league in the U.S, behind the NFL and NBA (Chris Greely — Esports Commissioner — via NPR). 

As a gamer myself, one thing that fascinates me about the growing popularity of esports is how much other gamers want to watch these live streams and competitions. A large difference between esports and other professional sports like football and basketball is that people interested in esports can actually play the games themselves from the comfort of their own home, but sometimes will still choose to watch a live stream on Twitch or another platform. If I’m at home looking for something to do or watch, I oftentimes would much rather play the game myself rather than watch someone else play it. However, I do love to see my favorite games getting more public recognition and love that more people are becoming aware of and involved with the video gaming community. I think that if esports leagues find a way to be more inclusive of non-gamers and women, and discover ways to make events more accessible, esports and the online gaming community in general will both see an increase in popularity. With Esports continually rising in popularity, what might the future of sports television and events look like in the future?



3 thoughts on “Esports Growing in Popularity

  1. You bring up a great point. The rise in popularity of ESports will likely dramatically change sports media at some point in the future. I think ESports should take after fantasy football. Fantasy football made itself more marketable to women and now there are more people playing fantasy football than ever. Getting money involved is the best way to increase the popularity of something, in addition to also giving users very easy access to information about the game. It’s easy to make good decisions in fantasy football because the app provides thousands of articles and expert opinions on how to build a good team. It’s gotten to the point where fantasy sports have their own reporters and analysts for certain networks. ESports need to become more popular when it comes to traditional sports. They can do that by putting more money into games like Madden and NBA 2K through creation of professional leagues and ways to make bets on it. Growing the consumer base of those who watch video games being played for enjoyment will only be possible if video games based off of mainstream sports are invested in more, just to promote the concept of people who play the video game professionally and watch those professionals play.

  2. I am not a gamer myself, but I remember when I was back in China there are advertising about Esports everywhere. Millions and millions of people will travel hours to see the finale. The most popular game is probably League of Legends. According to the Washington post, there are nearly 8 million players every day from all over the world. According to CNBC, the league of legend’s viewers is even more than Super Bowl.
    In my opinion, Esport is a very smart business industry. It allows millions and millions gamers have their own opportunity to shine. Moreover, it allows people who actually likes game a place to watch. However, I definitely agree what you said about Esport should find a way include more non-gamers and women will be a great start. For example, it doesn’t have to be some intensive first-person shooting game or 5v5 team fight. Maybe it can be as simple as sugar crash which is designed more for everyone. With the quick growth of the Esport, I can only imagine the industry will be larger and larger. The reason is that the younger generation these days starting to exposed to technologies from a young age. And as games are designed better and better, it will definitely draws a huge amount of attention from those younger kids. No one know what the future of Esport is going to be, but I am really looking forward to know what sports television and events are going to be in the future.


  3. Though eSports has been significantly growing these past few years, traditional sports will not die out due to it, I personally see them as content for different interests only.

    eSports all though it is very popular around the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, isn’t as popular as traditional sports yet. Yes, we have large numbers of viewerships and large amounts of prize pools (sometimes even totalling to an amount of $30m) but a lot of people that don’t really game competitively or seriously would lack interest in that genre, and I see the same thing for traditional sports. Not everyone is into Basketball, Not everyone is into Soccer, and the same applies for esports, not everyone is into eSports.

    Even eSports comes with MANY different games to watch, you have the most popular games like Dota, League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, etc.
    But there are eSports games that are on the rise and are up and coming but don’t have the large prize pools that we see from those popular games that I just mentioned. I personally come from the fighting game community side of things and mainly focus on Tekken and from our side of things, we’re growing at a high rate during these years and our prizes are slowly getting higher (average is around $2.5-5k prize pools per tournament)

    So, not everyone can have a career in eSports, it’s one of the hardest things to be able to make a living out of due to the insane amount of time needed to practice and to improve yourself.

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