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2 in 5 gamers don't see esports as real sports, says study

Esports companies may be pouring billions into leagues, but not every fan is ready to agree they are real sporting events yet.

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Esports is quickly gaining prominence, but not all fans see it as a real sporting event yet.

ESL

Esports is growing and growing, but there are still a huge amount of gamers that don't take it seriously.

A new study from Peanut Labs showed that two in five gamers don't see esports as "real sports" or its players as "legitimate athletes." The survey focused on 1,020 players of League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty and Minecraft.

Esports was worth over $450 million last year and that number is growing quickly -- it's expected to be a $1 billion industry in 2019. Earlier this month, esports company ESL announced a partnership with Facebook to stream exclusive gaming content on the platform from June, and it'll be an official medal sport at the 2022 Olympic Asia games.

The survey also revealed the more competitive nature of League of Legend players, with 55 percent of LoL players expressing a feeling satisfaction when winning a game, compared to 40 percent of Call of Duty players. Similarly, a third of LoL players said they enjoyed the social aspect of video games because they love "collectively winning in competition," while 29 percent of Minecraft players said they play with people to "connect and bond with family members or friends."

There's lots of money to be made in esports, whether it be competing or streaming, and LoL players are keen on this. Four in five League of Legends players revealed aspirations of becoming a professional gamer or streamer. By contrast, only one of two Minecraft players expressed the same desire.

When it came to the gender differences, Peanut Labs' study showed that female gamers watch more esports than male gamers, with 65 percent of female respondents saying they watch between one and four hours of esports a day. You can find the rest of the findings here.

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