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While it's easy to think that eSports is dominated by young people, age isn't as much an issue as in other sports. In fact, compare to the average age of an NFL player at 24.5 years old, the average eSports pro is between 25-27 years old. And this is at a time when more and more people are turning their hobbies into a profession. Expect the average age to continue to creep up over the years.
eSports is a global phenomenon and countries like South Korea host live events at stadiums build just for eSports events. North America, Europe & Asia all have huge, thriving eSport and gaming communities. Gaming breaks down geographical and language barriers and levels the playing field across time zones and physical locations as proximity isn't a requirement for playing.
While one does need to be fit to play eSports at a professional level, one doesn't need the genes of an elite athlete to compete. All things being equal - the reality of becoming a professional sports player (think NBA, MLB, NFL, etc) means that you must endure years of hard work AND have the physical gifts to reach your potential as a player. In eSports, the physical side can be learned through hard work, and inherited attributes like height and weight matter a lot less.
Between online play and eSport live events - where professional gamers play games in competition with others - eSports has grown into a huge spectator and live event industry. Take for example the sold-out Call of Duty World League Championship in Los Angeles on September 2-4th (that Votion was proud to play a part in with our eSports products). Tens of thousands of spectators came from all across the world to watch elite gamers compete in round by round play. A $2 million prize purse was attached for the winners, which was one of the largest in history.
Not only did spectators get to compete in pre-event play by making group and bracket predictions, they got to see how their results stacked up throughout the event. The leaderboard was generated by online predictions and was then broadcast at the live event.
It's hard to beat a medium that carries this much engagement across the online and offline spectrum!
The growth of eSports has driven big companies such as ESPN, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts to form eSports divisions in recent months. This is going to continue in the coming years as companies both big and small want to get in on the action.
Because the target demographic of young folks isn't watching TV sport viewership is down. Need proof? Google "sport viewership down" and you'll see pages and pages of articles talking about this. Add in that many younger folks may not be participating in traditional sporting events as particpants or fans, and there is a huge opportunity for eSports.