Esports still growing
As an adult, a common question people ask when getting to know you is “What do you do for a living?” When I answer “I write about esports. You know, professional video games” people typically look confused and almost always reply with some form of “Wait, people actually watch video games?” Of course people watch video games! Aside from being the number 1 category of videos on YouTube, some esports events have had viewership greater than that of the NBA finals or the World Series. Besides, is watching a game any more strange than watching people cook like on Food Network, sew a dress like on Project Runway, or checking in on the Kardashians (whatever it is they do).
People watch what they like, and people have shown they like esports. According to a recent survey by the end of 2016, more than 292 million people are going to be watching esports worldwide. That is nearly equivalent to the entire population of the United States. So yes, there is an audience.
“But watching video games seems so boring.” To some it probably is, but with 26 different games all boasting possible prize pools of over 1 million dollars per year, there is something for everyone whether you are into MOBAs, 1 on 1 fighting, first person shooters, or real-time strategy, and entry into the world of esports is easy as a viewer, simply turn on your computer and go to Twitch, YouTube, Azubu, or any one of the hundreds of free-to-use streaming sites. Oh, and don’t forget your popcorn.
So when someone asks me “People actually watch video games?” I can’t help but smile, because just like with punk rock, YouTube, and social media, either they are just too old to get it or they are unknowingly on the wrong side of a revolution. And calling esports fans nerds, dorks, or losers, sure isn’t helping their case.