×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

eSports Popularity Rising Rapidly in U.S.: Survey

More traditional American sports may need to be on the lookout: There is a new competitive addiction rising and its name is eSports.

eSports, or competitive gaming, has long been a phenomenon in Asia, but in the last couple of years Americans have begun to take up the events both as competition and spectator events. Games like “League of Legends,” “Dota 2,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Hearthstone” have gone from being fun hobbies too arena-filling, seven-figure prize pool events.

A U.S. national study, done by Frank N. Magid Associates, shows the massive uptick in eSports interest in the last few years. The study found that nearly 70% of Americans, from 8 to 64 years old, play some type of game, and of that group 18% have watched eSports online or attended an event. The year before that only 12% had watched or attended an eSports event and in 2013 it was only 9%. That is a growth rate of 100% in the last two years alone.

“I have watched eSports gamers grow from unknown kids with no money to their names, to a big business with paid teams and leagues, record-breaking stream numbers, 7-figure sponsorships, million-dollar prize winnings, and global media exposure,” Stan Press, managing director at Magid, said. “The eSports industry is primed to grow at an incredible pace over the next few years.”

eSports is being viewed as much more than just a fad that could blow away at any time. Companies and news outlets are both creating new ways to focus on the growing eSports community. ESPN recently launched a new vertical for its website and magazine specifically devoted to competitive-gaming coverage, while “Call of Duty” developer Activision hired Steve Bornstein, former CEO of ESPN and NFL Network, to be the chairman of its new eSports division.

“To me the storytelling was so compelling and so powerful,” Chad Millman, editor-in-chief of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, said. “People were so engaged with the coverage. It felt like we were doing a disservice to ourselves and a disservice to the audience if we didn’t take this as serious as everything else.”

More Digital

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content