Will Esports Be Bigger Than Sports?

Posted on July 11, 2022 - Last Updated on July 12, 2022

Esports and gaming have grown at a phenomenal rate over the past few years. Viewership, player base, and revenues have hit extraordinary levels that were unfathomable 20 years ago. This growth is expected to continue as the industry reaches new heights but will it be bigger than traditional sports?

Research Overview

A wider acceptance of esports in the media and mainstream cultures has taken the industry above and beyond expectations. Statistica.com reported that there are 261.2 million esports enthusiasts that watch regularly as well as 270.9 million occasional esports viewers in 2022 around the world.

Esports Be Bigger Than Esports
image credit: Roundhill Investments

Tournament streaming is a huge part of esports viewership. Data from Statistica.com shows that the 2021 Free Fire World Series broke records for the highest concurrent viewership at 5.41 million viewers.

Furthermore, the 2019 and 2020 League of Legends World Championships hit peak viewer counts of 3.99 and 3.81 million viewers respectively (Statistica.com). These impressive numbers are expected to grow at rapid rates. However, the industry still has issues to tackle before it becomes bigger than traditional sports.

Why Esports Will Not Be Bigger Than Sports

The industry still has many challenges before it outgrows traditional sports. It has proven difficult to draw in people that do not regularly play video games. This is largely due to the complexity and barriers to entry with some of the biggest esports.

For example, Riot’s League of Legends is at the heart of the industry but it is a complicated game. It takes a long time to understand what is going on which hinders the viewership growth significantly. New viewers have to learn a lot very quickly to get a full grasp of what they are watching, which may put people off. This is not an issue that many traditional sports suffer with where it is often easy to understand who is winning and why.

Furthermore, it is rare that esports tournaments are covered by major news or sports outlets. Traditional sports are often covered on mainstream TV, however, esports are usually broadcast on YouTube and Twitch. People have to use specific sources to seek out information, whereas traditional sports scores are a part of daily mainstream news. These factors make it unlikely that esports will become bigger than traditional sports.

The Opportunity With Esports Betting

One significant advantage this industry has over traditional sports is in betting. There are near endless possibilities for betting in esports. There are matches all the time all over the world that can be watched for free by anyone. This provides an enormous foundation for users to bet on a game at any time anywhere.

To add to this, esports can reach a level of depth that traditional sports struggle to obtain. All the data is collected in real-time by the game itself and this provides huge opportunities. Users can bet on anything in a game from kills, deaths, assists, headshots, objectives, and more. Many esports betting sites also have great integration with cryptocurrencies. This gives users even more options to bet the way they want with what they want, providing endless opportunities in esports betting.

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Luke Warr

Luke is an esports content specialist, with in-depth knowledge and passion in Esports & iGaming markets, with over 5 years of experience in emerging technologies in relation to crypto, blockchain, AI and esportsbooks.

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