Whether you play video games or not, it’s likely that you’ve heard of esports. This phenomenon transforms online gaming into a spectator sport. Short for “electronic sports,” eSports offer the thrill of watching professional athletes compete, only this time, spectators watch video gamers play against one another. It is more exciting than it sounds and is even attracting the attention of major brands.
The examining the phenomenon of e-sports popularity isn’t going away anytime soon. According to Newzoo, a market analytics company, 380 million people worldwide will watch eSports this year, with the majority of those being ‘eSports enthusiasts’ who are frequent viewers (versus occasional ones). The majority of these spectators live in North America, China and South Korea.
Inside the E-Sports Craze: Examining the Phenomenon of Popularity
These tournaments are also a great way to connect with fellow fans. The audience for a single event is large enough to create a sense of community and it is common for these communities to be long-lasting. This has resulted in many eSports leagues being built around specific regions.
Lastly, eSports is an excellent way to promote STEM activities. Students who are involved in eSports are often equally captivated by the broader technology ecosystem and this can be beneficial for high schools looking to encourage their students to pursue STEM careers. In fact, a recent study by Riot Games found that a majority of their collegiate eSports participants are interested in studying STEM fields, with the top three areas being Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering.