How e-sports became more popular than real sports
E-Sports vs Real-Sports

How e-sports became more popular than real sports

You may not be aware of it, but as of 2016, e-sports are more popular than real sports. The number of viewers, the number of different competitions, the amount of money that is generated by sponsorship and ticket sales, it’s all higher in e-sports than in real sports. And the trend continues to increase by the year. If you want to know how this happened, read on!

The history of e-sports

Last year, e-sports was bigger than tennis. More people tuned in to watch professional gamers playing League of Legends and Starcraft II in 2014 than watched golf. The winner of last year’s League of Legends championship (the most viewed e-sports event) made $1 million—compare that to Tiger Woods' earnings last year ($50 million). It’s easy to be dismissive of video games: they’re not real sports. What that logic misses is that video games are sports, just with a controller instead of a ball and chain. There’s no doubt that there are different skills needed for success on each side; an Olympic swimmer would be terrible at Madden, while Michael Jordan sucked it up on NBA Live 2000.

The evolution of e-sports

It’s impossible to deny that e-sports are blowing up right now. Worldwide, professional gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and has made pro players rock stars in their own right. Of course, e-sports have a long way to go before they become as popular as traditional American sports like football and basketball but they are growing fast and it looks like there’s no stopping them from becoming massive. And what better time than now to become an investor? With projections showing tremendous growth over the next few years it might be time for you or your company to get in on what could be one of biggest investments yet.

The marketing opportunities in e-sports

In 2016, revenue from e-sports will reach $463 million, with 32.5 million unique viewers. According to Newzoo, a Dutch gaming market researcher, it’s not just a one or two year trend; e-sports is a bonafide industry that’s here to stay. The industry reached new heights in terms of brand investments and infrastructure growth in 2015—and even further growth is expected in 2016 (around 25% higher). What does that mean for marketers? A big opportunity if you know how to spot it and if you know where to look for it.

The future of e-sports

When people talk about e-sports, they usually say something like it’s huge, it’s growing, it’s changing everything. But what does that mean? A lot of people don’t have a solid grasp on how big e-sports are currently or how much they can potentially grow. Luckily for you, we do. So here are some interesting stats to mull over


For one thing, e-sports are much more accessible to young people who don’t have access to traditional sports. Many kids don’t have access to facilities or equipment, but they can play video games almost anywhere. Even if they do have to play on a console, it costs much less money. Another reason e-sports are so popular is that you can watch them online and enjoy them with friends; watching TV isn’t quite as appealing anymore because of streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu.

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