Stay up to date with the rise of eSports

The number of consumers worldwide who are aware of eSports will surpass one billion this year, up 36 percent compared with last year.

Electronic sports — or eSports — are organised multi-player video game competitions. More people have become aware of them as media coverage has increased, video game publishers have stepped up their marketing efforts, and new gaming leagues have been formed.

According to the latest quarterly update of the Newzoo Global eSports Market Report, from the 16 countries studied across North America, Europe, the Middle-East, Africa, China, Japan, and Korea, the level of awareness of eSports among gamers increased from 53.7 percent in 2015 with 65.7 percent in 2016.

Within the last 12 months, media companies, including both digital and traditional broadcasters, have added eSports to their coverage. It’s a trending topic in media, partially for the opportunity to attract the younger demographic.

The University of California, Irvine has opened the first college eSports arena for the school’s competitive gaming teams. The arena houses 80 powerful computers and gaming consoles and has many of the most popular eSports titles, including Counter-Strike, Heroes of the Storm, and League of Legends.

While the increasing popularity of video game competitions is exciting news for gamers and video game companies, health experts aren’t so thrilled. Young people already spend more than six hours a day in front of screens and experts worry that number will only increase as eSports become more popular.

Image credit: UCI eSports