Is Esports a New Type of Spectator Sport?
Part of the reason why esports has quickly become so popular is that they are no longer appealing specifically to hardcore gamers. It is estimated that around 40% of viewers are just spectators who do not actively play any of the main esports games.
Esports Streaming – The New Big Thing
One of the best things about eSports is the convenience fans have while watching their favorite players in action. They can easily do it online on any device by visiting one of the popular streaming platforms.
The data collected and presented in the infographic below by NJ Games shows that Twitch is the absolute leader when it comes to esports streaming traffic.
Twitch was acquired in 2014 by Amazon for $970 million after it grew and became influential. Today, it accounts for 1.8% of total internet traffic, just shy of Netflix, Apple, and Google, which is a real feat. A whopping 43% of all esports streaming happens on Twitch.
Twitch currently has 55 million unique users who spend more than 20 hours a week on average watching live matches.
Twitch even beats YouTube in numbers regarding eSports streaming. However, YouTube has seen a spike in 2018, as the number of monthly active streamers has grown by 36.6%. The most followed games on YouTube Live by September 2018 were Fortnite, PUBG, LoL, CS:GO, and Free Fire.
Mixer has become another noticeable player in the streaming niche after Microsoft acquired it in 2016. As of the same year, it has accumulated more than 100,000 users, partly thanks to the lowest latency compared to all other competitors.
Is Betting on Esports a Thing?
Another reason why eSports have successfully entered the mainstream media is that they have become a popular sports betting option.
As the infographic shows, around $5.5 billion was wagered on the major eSports games in 2016. That’s already a lot, but the number is expected to grow. Namely, it is estimated that betting on the major eSports titles will reach $12.9 billion by 2020.
Such growth is expected to attract numerous brands who are predicted to invest $694 million in this budding industry. That will amount to 77% of the total market.
Finally, the number of eSports audience has reached 380 million by the end of 2018, which marks a continued annual growth of 13.5%.
We can conclude that eSports are already a spectator sport, followed by video gaming enthusiasts around the world. Judging by the numbers we have seen, we could only expect the viewership to grow further.
To find out more interesting stats and facts about eSports, check out the infographic below.