G2 Esports fans during Quarter Finals League of Legends World Championship match between G2 Esports and Damwon Gaming on October 27, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
Borja B. Hojas | Getty Images
For the uninitiated, think of esports like you would any other sport. Instead of baseball, hockey, chess or curling, it’s video games like CSGO, League of Legends, Call of Duty or Fortnite. After all, a sport is just a set of rules, a field of play, and competitive infrastructure spanning players, teams, leagues, broadcasters and the viewing audience. Every game in esports has its own set of rules. Swap physical mastery for mental acuity. Replace stadiums and ballparks with virtual arenas and game modes, and everything else (infrastructure) is similar when you boil it down. Right down to those pulse-pounding moments when the home team clinches a one-in-a-million play to take home the title.
So then, why are esports getting so much attention lately? For starters, events like League of Legends World Championships matched the Superbowl in terms of viewership, and young gamers in the 18- to 25-year-old age group watch 34% more esports than traditional sports. One big reason for this is esports, like its audience, is a digital native. In a world where few millennials consume television or radio, esports is everywhere. You can stream it on Twitch, play it back on Youtube, discuss it on Discord, watch and share clips across TikTok, Instagram