Can Esports Compete With Traditional Sports?

There is no denying that Esports have grown in popularity in recent years, as a lot more people have been watching streams on Twitch.

Can Esports Compete With Traditional Sports?

Where the streamers will play games and thousands of people will watch them play and compete in games and matches. It is believed that 250 million people actually now watch esports, which is sometimes referred to as professional gaming.

The gaming world has been taking over recently, as its popularity has grown. With it reaching audiences that are similar with traditional sports.

Therefore, they are now in direct competition with one another for viewership. In this article, we will be discussing whether esports could ever compete with traditional sports.

Traditional Sports Vs Esports: What Is The Difference?

When you define a sport, it is seen as an activity, normally physical or uses a skill which a team or individual uses while competing against other teams.

This is all for the entertainment of the viewers. Sports are typically seen as football, basketball, golf, and swimming etc. You watch the professionals physically do the sport.

When it comes to esports, they are seen as a form of online gaming which has become a spectator sport. Esports has mimicked the same experience you get from watching any sporting event. All in the name of entertainment.

As a result, you could argue that both traditional sports and esports are the same thing. They are both providing some form of competitive entertainment that spectators can watch.

Yet the main difference is that with esports you aren’t watching a physical event. Instead, you are watching people play video games against one another.

Streamers Are Important To Esports

Streamers are a vital aspect to the esports industry, as this is how spectators, viewers are able to watch.

It has been argued that esports is doing well in competition against traditional sports, due to the fact with streamers, more viewers are able to watch the esports than ever before.

Due to the vast range of streaming platforms available, it means more people are able to view the streamers playing.

Alongside that, all of these platforms are typically free to watch, you only need to pay if you want to give money to the streamer you are watching, but that is your own choice.

Hence, it is the streamers that are making esports so accessible. By streaming on free platforms for viewers to watch, it means they can attract a much larger audience.

Also with traditional sports, if you wanted to watch one of them live you may be restricted with your view, or you may not be able to get tickets to watch it live. This is never an issue with esports.

The Esports Audience

It is known that streamers who stream esports are becoming a really popular business venture. Esport broadcasters and esports are now in direct competition with traditional sports for a similar audience.

It is known that 73% of the esports audience is made up of 18 to 34-year-olds.

Which is only a percentage of the overall viewership of traditional sports. However, it seems that younger people would rather watch esports than traditional sports at the moment.

However, the esports audience isn’t slowing down, in 2016 there were around 270 million fans of esports around the world. Now in 2020, that number has grown to over 495 million.

Thus, you can see the growth has continued, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down as of writing.

As esports have been going after the young cadence, they can take tactics from the traditional sports industry to get them to watch. The main tactic being is creating leagues that viewers can get interested in.

There is a Minecraft Championship, and Valorant league to name a couple. Popular games have started to make leagues so that they can keep a hold of their audiences and to get more people involved.

Esports Coming To The Olympics?

The Olympics have always been about traditional sports and showcasing that talent.

However, due to its popularity a lot of sporting organizations, including the Olympics, have thought that they should include esports as part of their plans as a way to remain as relevant to the younger generations and new sport fans.

As provisional additions to the Olympics such as the alternative sports of break dancing and surfing being confirmed. It was only a matter of time before esports had to be added as well.

However, there are a lot of pros and cons why esports should be added and why you need to be cautious.

A lot of people haven’t seen esports as a proper sport, as people are just sitting in chairs (see also ‘How Much Is A Gaming Chair?‘) playing games. However, there is no denying that esports has a huge following.

Therefore, we are unlikely to see a lot of popular esports at the Olympics any time soon, but we may begin to see more virtual sports. It is clear that the Olympics don’t agree with the games that esport fans love the most, as they go against their values.

However, eventually, the Olympics won’t be able to deny the boost to traditional sports that bringing in esports can provide to the games.

Final Thoughts

For a long time, traditional sports have been dominant in providing entertainment for a lot of people. Yet slowly, gaming has started to take over, and esports have started to compete with traditional sports for their audiences.

As esports is still a relatively new thing, their audience is still growing, but they are able to compete with traditional sports over the same audience. In time, esports will be on the same level as traditional sports, and seem as an equal.

We hope you have found this article useful and have a better understanding of the competition between traditional sports and esports.

Ashley Newby