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?