Esports Growing Fanbase

Esports Growing Fanbase

The past few years have been extremely successful for esports as it has moved from strength to strength. This is now seeing it start to rival that of sports, in different regions for not only viewship but for the betting markets on events. The growing support for investment as organisations grow, the changing attitudes towards gaming as a whole, and the introduction of new mainstream titles that mean accessibility is better than ever before. The primary esports fanbase is gradually changing and largely for the better, whilst the big three titles are still largely viewed by enthusiasts, there are others starting to tune in to other forms of esports too.


The enthusiast – This group of viewers has been largely watching esports for a number of years and may have been around since the early days of the games themselves – bigger titles such as League of Legends and DotA2 and still relatively recent in the grand scheme of things only popping up in the past decade or seven years respectively, but remain to be somewhat of a niche viewing experience. There’s a lot of depth and a lot to follow and may not be the most accessible for some. The other big game of the three, Counter-Strike, has been around for the better part of twenty years however and the viewership continues to grow as the spectating premise is very easy to follow, but the enthusiast viewer is likely one who has played the games previously and understands the more nuanced aspects.


The casual viewer – Perhaps someone that is unable to play the games as much as they like, or at all, but tune in to the bigger events and streams for the title – as the titles have become more accessible a growing audience is found in the casual viewer space as excitement and hype builds around the end of year events in particular with some capturing hundreds of millions of viewers – as the accessibility of the games has gone up however through a shift to free-to-play models and lower system requirements, these casual viewers are also more likely to actually try and play the game too.


The “traditional sports” viewer – This past year has been very successful in attracting fans from a more traditional sporting background to try viewing different esports title – this is twofold, firstly the cancellation and postponement of big events at the start of the year left many yearnings for something new to watch, the other comes with familiarity. Big names in games like FIFA and NBA have become more available, alongside pushes to make motorsports a household esport title too gives this group of viewer something they understand, and with the recent introductions of a widespread online betting market for esports and various esports games, punters for traditional sporting events were met with a wealth of new markets to try. This will be the next big hurdle for major esports to overcome, and with big celebrity names picking up their own teams, it may not be long before these fans make a more permanent transition to digital alternatives alongside their favourite traditional viewing options.


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