Global Gamers Are Watching as Much Live Esports as Traditional Sports, According to Limelight Networks Study

'The State of Online Gaming - 2019' offers in depth look of the esports market

The rise of esports has been anything but understated, but a study released this week by Limelight Networks says that esports fandom in the greater sports world may be “reaching a tipping point.” Data gathered by the CDN (content delivery network) service says that esports viewership is rivaling that of its traditional sports counterparts even among those individuals that consider themselves fans of traditional sports.

According to Limelight’s The State of Online Gaming – 2019, 60% of people worldwide that consider themselves “gamers” watch others play video games online every week and they are watching more than two and half hours of esports content per week on streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, PS4, or XBox One. That same sample says they also watch about three hours of traditional sports from a broadcast entity.

READ: Limelight Network’s The State of Online Game – 2019 White Paper

Not surprisingly, younger games definitely prefer their live esports content over that of traditional sports. Gamers from the ages 18-25-year-old watch others play video games online nearly four hours each week, which is 77% more than the two hours and 14 minutes they spend watching traditional sports on TV.

Gamers that are of the ages of 26-35 are much more balanced in their viewing. Gamers of that age say they watch an average of three hours and 41 minutes per week. That is, however, still only two minutes less than they watch traditional sports on TV.

A few other interesting factoids extrapolated from Limelight’s study include:

  • The ruse in esports is enticing more gamers to attempt to go pro. 36% of global gamers would quit their jobs to become professional gamers if they could support themselves. That number is a notable spike from the 11% who said they would in same study just one year ago. Younger gamers (ages 18-35) are even more interested in a career in esports, with about half of them wanting to turn pro.
  • Mobile phones are the most commonly used devices for playing video games.
  • Casual single-player games are played more often than any other type of video game. However, gamers ages 18-25 prefer to play First-Person Shooter and Battle Royale games, like Fortnite.

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