I have really tried to get into eSports, but I think it’s sort of like any sporting event – I only get into it when the stakes are absurdly high or it’s an international event filled with drama and heartbreak. I’ve loved watching the Rugby World Cup, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to pick a favourite local team and support them when this is all over. eSports is sort of the same for me; the only time I can bring myself to care is when the championships are large scale enough. That said, it could be because I’m not part of the typical eSports viewerships.
EEDAR did some research into the types of people who play and watch eSports and found that the populations are a bit different from the average gamers. Within that, they also found that fans of MOBA like Dota 2 and League of Legends are also different to those who are more interested in shooters.
EEDAR broke the results down both by game and by genre (MOBA, shooter, and fighting) to find trends. While PC gamers already skewed male at 64 percent of the audience, the report found that many eSports titles are even more predominantly populated by men. The audiences for Dota 2, Counter-Strike: GO, and Smite are all more than 75 percent male. However, EEDAR found that larger titles like League of Legends and Call of Duty have slightly more women (only 70 percent male), while fighting games like Street Fighter IV and Super Smash Bros. were closer to 66 percent male.
Genre also made a difference when it came to advertising opportunities. Zhao said that brands for drinks like Monster, Red Bull, and Coke resonated most highly with shooter players, while MOBA fans were more likely to have an affinity for peripheral producing companies like Logitech and Razer.
Zhao said some of the biggest takeaways involved how much more invested in their games eSports players were. They tended to be younger, played more, and paid more than their non eSports counterparts. They were also more actively social, Zhao said, reporting that they were more likely to hang out with friends or attend a sports gathering. They were also more likely than the average gamer to participate in fitness activities or work out.
Younger, social and tending to work out? No wonder Geoff and Gavin are utterly befuddled by the concept of eSports. But really, this is an interesting change of pace for gamers – young, athletic and interested in energy drinks? Geeks are the new jocks in the social order these days, but maybe it’s coming full circle and the gamer geeks are becoming jocks now or something.
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Last Updated: October 9, 2015