ESports Fans Growing and Diversifying, But Live Events Not On Radar – Report

Innovation, News | October 28, 2018 By:

A new report from online marketplace OnBuy suggests that the esports community is rapidly growing, older than you may think, and diversifying.

In its report, Understanding the Esports Community: What Brands Need to Know, the company took information from Nielsen’s Games360 made the following key findings: 

  • 66% of esports fans prefer to LIVE STREAM events online.
  • 25% of current U.S. esports fans are female; 75% are male.
  • Just 16% of esports fans would attend a live event in person.
  • 66% of the U.S. population above the age of 13 are gamers; up from 64% in 2017.
  • The average U.S. esports fan is 25, male and from a household of modest income.

In 2018, two-thirds (66%) of the US population are gamers (aged 13 and above), up from 64% in 2017. Five years ago, this figure was 58%. The steady growth of gamers proves the medium has become a key component in mainstream entertainment. Esports, defined as competitive gaming at a professional level and in an organized format, is an influencing factor.

OnBuy found the average US esports fan is aged 25, male and from a household of modest income (an estimated $58.9K) who is likely to spend three hours a week pursuing esports and seven and a half hours a week playing video games.

However, as popularity grows, the esports industry is beginning to develop a more diversified and balanced fan base. For example, 25% of current U.S. esports fans are female, 15% are aged 13-17 and a further 10% are over the age of 35.

In addition, new esports enthusiasts aren’t likely to be male or millennial. In fact, 29% of fans who followed esports in the past year are not typical of the average fan, compared with fans who have followed esports for longer. This indicates those in the esports industry should keep an eye on emerging buyer personas.

Aptly, the industry has seen a bounty of new titles and experiences designed in the last year, to appeal to a deeper and broader audience, continuing a trend of games designed to reach more types of people with varying gameplay preferences, platforms and interests. also took time to consider esports activity for US fans aged 13-40. Some 66% of esports fans revealed they prefer to live stream esports events online; outnumbering any other activity.

47% will view a pre-recorded esports event online and a further 42% will opt to view an esports event on TV.

But, while 49% of fans regularly follow or watch esports content, just 16% will attend a live esports event in person and even fewer (10%) will attend a live esports event viewing party.