eSports Popularity Almost Equals Traditional Sports For Millennials

By Jeff Francis
eSports popularity rivals traditional sports

For what seems forever, the conventional wisdom has said that the popularity of traditional sports would never be supplanted. While it is true that football has replaced baseball as America's pastime, there was never any doubt that the reign of the NFL, NBA, and MLB would remain unchallenged. Now it appears that we will see a seismic shift in our lifetimes as a new study shows that eSports popularity is almost equal to that of traditional sports amongst the millennial crowd. Yep, the advent of competitive mmo games is giving traditional sports a run for their money.

A study by LEK Consulting shows that eSports popularity for millennials ranks at 40%, which stacks up against 42% popularity for traditional sports. This is extremely important for several reasons. One is that this age group is the most coveted one for advertisers. The second is that millennials will soon replace older generations as the primary drivers of the economy (not to mention culture).

The study on eSports popularity suggests that this trend will only accelerate in the future. They write, "Though they represent a large and increasingly integral segment of the U.S. sports fan base, millennials bring to the table a unique challenge. Unlike their Baby Boomer and Gen X predecessors, millennials follow a much broader range of both traditional and alternative sports as adults, and despite having less time on their hands, have a far greater selection of viewing alternatives."

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. Will traditional sports find ways to capitalize upon streaming and digital media that is now the province of mmo games? Will we eventually see a new national holiday like the Super Bowl that celebrates the world championship of games like League of Legends? The reality is that there is a graying out on normal sports as younger generations are looking to eSports as a legitimate option for entertainment.


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