Why are esports so popular? A look at the appeal over time

Published: Apr 23, 2021 - Last Updated: Oct 13, 2021

The debate of whether or not esports are a fad, a flash in the pan, has long since been put to an end. Even the staunchest critics have had to face the fact that esports are huge, and they’re here to stay – but why is esports so ppopular?

Many have wondered exactly what the appeal of esports is, and how it managed to sweep up not just fans of video games, but also people who otherwise aren’t that interested in online content love to engage with it now. There are several reasons of course – but here are some of the biggest reasons why is esports so popular!

what makes esports so pupular?

They’re very similar to traditional sports

Compared to regular video games, many esports provide a similar experience as traditional sports do. For those not familiar with gaming in general, an esport like FIFA or Overwatch provides a similar experience to what they are used to – location-based teams, or even familiar football teams and players can make it easy to pick up and watch these esports. There are even esports betting sites – users can bet on CSGO like they might on football, adding another layer of interest for some.


While esports still struggle with things like toxicity, racism, and sexism, they are also far more inclusive than some traditional sports. Nationality rarely matters unless it’s a national competition, and regardless of someone’s background, if they have talent, they can shine in the pro scene. Additionally, esports are relatively easy to pick up – minimal equipment is needed (unlike for hockey, for example, where gear is a must), and no specific training or education is necessary either.

Diversity of content

Just about everyone can find an esport that interests them. At the end of the day, if you want to watch sports but don’t care for team competitions, you’re quite limited in what you can really watch since most of the big ones are out. One of the reasons esports are popular though is just how many there are! Racers, traditional sports, tactical games, shooters, and more. Even those who don’t like sports like football can easily watch something that doesn’t follow that type of format.

selection of main esports titles

Continued engagement

Even if we’ve looked at answering the question of why esports games are so popular, there is still the matter of what keeps people coming back to them – and there, one of the biggest factors is engagement. Compared to traditional sports and many other hobbies, esports is far more interactive. Not only can fans play the games themselves (often even against real pros) but even just watching on Twitch is far more interactive than sitting in front of the TV – after all it’s possible to chat to others, talk to streamers, and more.

Social interaction

Another positive for esports (especially in the current situation) is that esports are social. Not only can fans interact with players, they can also join other fans in discussing strategy and more, and there are options to engage in this almost 24/7 since esports are global. Participating in the games themselves is also a social activity since, well, in order to compete you usually need other people.

Future potential

Compared to traditional sports, esports are a far more viable career path for more people. If you want to play pro basketball, there are physical requirements, age requirements and more – meanwhile for esports, all that doesn’t matter, and there are far more opportunities available – for example in the form of streamers, something trad sports have no equivalent for, to name just one additional way to take part in the esports ecosystem.

ESB Staff
ESB Staff

Since: August 10, 2015

At EsportsBets.com we are a group of independent journalists with one big passion: Esports. We've been following the industry and have contributed to its growth since 2015.

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