eSports saw significant growth last year as more time was spent watching the likes of League of Legends, Dota 2 and Starcraft II battles. Despite mainstream news and sports coverage in the US, it’s still presented as fairly niche outside of the industry, but a report from IHS Technology claims it is anything but.
The report states that hours spent watching eSports rose from 1.3 billion hours in 2012 to 2.4 billion hours last year. This includes watching eSports online through platforms like Twitch as well as on TV.
"eSports videos have rapidly transformed from a niche activity into a widely-watched, global, cross-platform entertainment category," said senior director of digital media at IHS Tecnhology, Dan Cryan.
Cryan writes that streaming platforms and publishers were major factors in the rise in hours watched. “Key game titles have reached maturity and game publishers are taking a major role in promoting esports competitions. Furthermore, esports viewing has been boosted by the emergence of online video platforms that are capable of handling large-scale live audiences."
IHS predicts that by 2018, the number will be around 6.6 billion hours per year, with 90% of that being viewed online.
Cheers, The Guardian.