Sorry FIFA, Millennials Watch More Gaming Than Sports

esports live event Sorry FIFA, Millennials Watch More Gaming Than Sports
Source: Bago Games / Flickr

The World Cup’s got nothing on us.

A recent report by Limelight Networks reveals that young people age 18-25 stream an average of 3h 25min of video gameplay each week. This is compared to the 2h 33min the same demographic spends watching sports…

So watch out, fütbol fandom.

For those not sure what “watching video games” really entails, let’s clarify.

That includes live-streams of gamers playing their favorite titles, especially through sites like Twitch and YouTube Games. It also includes YouTube videos of people playing games with added commentary. And it definitely includes eSports matches, which are streamed online and air on network television (usually late-night weekend time slots).

Here’s an example of the goodness:


I bet ESPN never saw that coming.

But it makes you wonder,

Why do gamers enjoy watching games over actually playing them?

Turns out there are a few answers. Some people like watching professionals to get tips and strategy for their own gaming. Others watch because actually playing online games cause too much lag on their system (especially in massive multiplayer games). Some watch simply because it’s more interesting than traditional sports.

Sure, FIFA captures the world for weeks, but games are designed to be thrilling with endless variation, all. the. time. Like it or not, video games are exciting. Especially when there are huge prizes on the line.

Here’s something else to think about:

live-streams of gamers
Source: SteelSeries / Flickr

With the growth of VR and AR, competitive online gaming will inevitably become more and more immersive, both for players AND spectators.

Por ejemplo, Madden NFL games have a feature where your players can get fans in the stadium excited so their cheers will distract the opposing team – imagine being an actual participant in that roaring stadium while sitting in your living room!

Hell, video games and traditional sports could someday merge in ways we can’t even imagine. But maybe I’m still reeling after watching Ready Player One:

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