Will Esports ever be as popular as regular sports?

VG_Addict

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Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Maybe when playing them becomes as easy to access as a ball. This is why the biggest games are f2p, the barrier to entry is just too high. And even those require you to own a system to run them on even if they're f2p.


Though they will become a lot more popular than they are right now when all the people alive are ones that grew up in a world as saturated with gaming as the world was saturated with sports in years past.
 

Xprimentyl

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VG_Addict said:
Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
Hahahaha!! No.

They?ll gain in popularity, maybe even legitimacy, but you?ll never see it vying for air time on the major networks like football, basketball or baseball. You?ll never see collegiate E-athletes getting full ride scholarships. You?ll never see a singular professional player signing a +$100 million, 4-year contract. You?ll never see 85,000 people pay hundreds of dollar per ticket to fill up a stadium to watch a bunch of people play a videogame. You might be able to get Cardi B to show up and whore around for a halftime show, but the respect that would garner would be nominal at best.
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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Dreiko said:
Maybe when playing them becomes as easy to access as a ball. This is why the biggest games are f2p, the barrier to entry is just too high. And even those require you to own a system to run them on even if they're f2p.
This is a very good point actually. I've never considered cost of entry before, but it does make sense, especially when just getting started requires at minimum a console or pc and a game, which in many parts of the world can eat an entire month's wages, if not more. Whereas a pittance gets you a ball. Maybe not a good ball, but you are at least playing.
 

Xprimentyl

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Chimpzy said:
Dreiko said:
Maybe when playing them becomes as easy to access as a ball. This is why the biggest games are f2p, the barrier to entry is just too high. And even those require you to own a system to run them on even if they're f2p.
This is a very good point actually. I've never considered cost of entry before, but it does make sense, especially when just getting started requires at minimum a console or pc and a game, which in many parts of the world can eat an entire month's wages, if not more. Whereas a pittance gets you a ball. Maybe not a good ball, but you are at least playing.
Yes, this is a valid point, but the test of skills that a videogame presents isn?t really comparable to analogue athletics, and thusly the spectacle to watch ?the best? will never be the feat that physical athletes offer. You can get on YouTube right now and see video of exceptional, professional E-athletes besting videogames, and 99% of these people are from walks of life like the average Joe with a 9-5 job to the pimple-faced 29-year-old living in his parents? basement still collecting an allowance. Analogue athletes train, push their bodies to their limits, commit at levels most of us could and will never understand, and their stage (the field) is where we bear witness to that in awe. I?m saying those athletes are doing something most can?t whereas E-athletes are doing something most probably could at some appreciable level. No, I?m not suggesting anyone can be as good as professional gamers, I?m simply offering that the gap between a casual and professional gamer is nothing compared to the vast gulf between a guy playing flag football in his backyard and the 300-pound lineman who can run a sub-5 second 40-yard dash, and citing the OP?s question (?Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?), no, the former will never be as impressive a spectacle as the latter.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Xprimentyl said:
VG_Addict said:
Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
Hahahaha!! No.

They?ll gain in popularity, maybe even legitimacy, but you?ll never see it vying for air time on the major networks like football, basketball or baseball. You?ll never see collegiate E-athletes getting full ride scholarships. You?ll never see a singular professional player signing a +$100 million, 4-year contract. You?ll never see 85,000 people pay hundreds of dollar per ticket to fill up a stadium to watch a bunch of people play a videogame. You might be able to get Cardi B to show up and whore around for a halftime show, but the respect that would garner would be nominal at best.
This. Can you imagine LoL players getting hundreds of millions to sign up for teams? It'll never happen.
 

Xprimentyl

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Silentpony said:
Xprimentyl said:
VG_Addict said:
Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
Hahahaha!! No.

They?ll gain in popularity, maybe even legitimacy, but you?ll never see it vying for air time on the major networks like football, basketball or baseball. You?ll never see collegiate E-athletes getting full ride scholarships. You?ll never see a singular professional player signing a +$100 million, 4-year contract. You?ll never see 85,000 people pay hundreds of dollar per ticket to fill up a stadium to watch a bunch of people play a videogame. You might be able to get Cardi B to show up and whore around for a halftime show, but the respect that would garner would be nominal at best.
This. Can you imagine LoL players getting hundreds of millions to sign up for teams? It'll never happen.
I can imagine it, but in that dystopian nightmare, 99% of the human species has atrophied from the neck down, and all legit sports have been outlawed, the playing of which in any capacity save for virtually is punishable by death by edict of a ruthless, autocratic dictator.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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Silentpony said:
Xprimentyl said:
VG_Addict said:
Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
Hahahaha!! No.

They?ll gain in popularity, maybe even legitimacy, but you?ll never see it vying for air time on the major networks like football, basketball or baseball. You?ll never see collegiate E-athletes getting full ride scholarships. You?ll never see a singular professional player signing a +$100 million, 4-year contract. You?ll never see 85,000 people pay hundreds of dollar per ticket to fill up a stadium to watch a bunch of people play a videogame. You might be able to get Cardi B to show up and whore around for a halftime show, but the respect that would garner would be nominal at best.
This. Can you imagine LoL players getting hundreds of millions to sign up for teams? It'll never happen.
And thank fuck for that, says I
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Chimpzy said:
Dreiko said:
Maybe when playing them becomes as easy to access as a ball. This is why the biggest games are f2p, the barrier to entry is just too high. And even those require you to own a system to run them on even if they're f2p.
This is a very good point actually. I've never considered cost of entry before, but it does make sense, especially when just getting started requires at minimum a console or pc and a game, which in many parts of the world can eat an entire month's wages, if not more. Whereas a pittance gets you a ball. Maybe not a good ball, but you are at least playing.
Hell, you don't even really need a ball in some cases. When I was a kid we used to play with stomped down soda cans because teachers wouldn't allow us to use balls during non-gym recess.


But yeah, this is why soccer is really popular in a lot of poor places. No barrier to entry and can be played with as many or as few people as you have and you don't need an extra ball for each person, hell, you don't even need shoes for all of them lol.
 

Xprimentyl

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VG_Addict said:
OK, could Esports be viewed by as many people as regular season sports?
No, for all the same reasons I listed above. Gaming is simply too accessible for professional gamers to interest the not-already-interested masses enough to merit much more than the niche, novelty viewership it enjoys right now. No one is going to want to waste their time or money gawking at a bunch of virgins playing the exact same games their antisocial 14-year-old kid holes up in his room playing for hours on end every day.
 

McElroy

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It's not very likely, but regular sports has problems that could degrade the prestige it has, mainly doping and corruption, but also from the entertainment value being sometimes tied to nasty things that break athletes and end their careers.

The games themselves form the biggest problem in esports, because they are copyrighted material played on servers that are at the whims of the publisher. Some competitive games are interesting to watch, no doubt about that, but within the game innovation is usually patch-related and doesn't compare favorably to the most popular skill sports. Esports is also 99% male and women's leagues don't exist, but those are often rather poor in regular sports too. Of course, there is so much variety that it doesn't really matter.

Esports has only existed for 20 years and been mainstream for maybe 5 if even that (excluding the Korean scene). Nobody knows what the pro gaming landscape will look like in 2040, but traditional sports will be more or less like now.
 

Marik2

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Well people are growing up with games, so maybe in a century once people are always online.
 

Xprimentyl

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Thought I should apologize for my doubt in esport's viability as I'm quarantined and watching NASCAR's iRacing right now. Guess it takes a plague and pure desperation to bring people in.
 

Squilookle

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Xprimentyl said:
VG_Addict said:
Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
Hahahaha!! No.

They?ll gain in popularity, maybe even legitimacy, but you?ll never see it vying for air time on the major networks like football, basketball or baseball. You?ll never see collegiate E-athletes getting full ride scholarships. You?ll never see a singular professional player signing a +$100 million, 4-year contract. You?ll never see 85,000 people pay hundreds of dollar per ticket to fill up a stadium to watch a bunch of people play a videogame. You might be able to get Cardi B to show up and whore around for a halftime show, but the respect that would garner would be nominal at best.
I'd agree with the stadiums part, but I get the feeling that 50 years or so from now everything else you've said will be proven wrong. It certainly won't happen until the games chosen are less incomprehensible to understand for entry level viewers though.

Xprimentyl said:
the test of skills that a videogame presents isn?t really comparable to analogue athletics, and thusly the spectacle to watch ?the best? will never be the feat that physical athletes offer. You can get on YouTube right now and see video of exceptional, professional E-athletes besting videogames, and 99% of these people are from walks of life like the average Joe with a 9-5 job to the pimple-faced 29-year-old living in his parents? basement still collecting an allowance. Analogue athletes train, push their bodies to their limits, commit at levels most of us could and will never understand, and their stage (the field) is where we bear witness to that in awe. I?m saying those athletes are doing something most can?t whereas E-athletes are doing something most probably could at some appreciable level. No, I?m not suggesting anyone can be as good as professional gamers, I?m simply offering that the gap between a casual and professional gamer is nothing compared to the vast gulf between a guy playing flag football in his backyard and the 300-pound lineman who can run a sub-5 second 40-yard dash, and citing the OP?s question (?Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?), no, the former will never be as impressive a spectacle as the latter.
Considering we've already got insanely popular youtube sports that involve no player training or skill whatsoever, I'd say all that training stuff is a moot point. Sure e-sports are in their infancy compared to established analogue sports, but it is bound to happen eventually, and has already begun.

I mean, just look at this: Half a million subscribers and over 10 million views on this video about marbles rolling around. It's dressed up like a big televised sport, everybody knows it's not, and yet nobody cares- they watch it anyway. Diddly squat training or mental readiness or any of that stuff. Doesn't matter in the slightest.


Here's another one- some dude going the whole hog in dressing up Hot Wheel toy car racing like it's a big televised event, even commentating about the cars like they've got actual drivers who've trained for this and have their strategies and weaknesses. It's all fantasy and it doesn't even matter. People are loving it all the same.


Now if stuff like that can get popular, then it's only a matter of time before e-sports expands to unheard of heights.
 

Xprimentyl

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Squilookle said:
Xprimentyl said:
VG_Addict said:
Do you think Esports will ever become as popular as football, basketball or baseball? Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?
Hahahaha!! No.

They?ll gain in popularity, maybe even legitimacy, but you?ll never see it vying for air time on the major networks like football, basketball or baseball. You?ll never see collegiate E-athletes getting full ride scholarships. You?ll never see a singular professional player signing a +$100 million, 4-year contract. You?ll never see 85,000 people pay hundreds of dollar per ticket to fill up a stadium to watch a bunch of people play a videogame. You might be able to get Cardi B to show up and whore around for a halftime show, but the respect that would garner would be nominal at best.
I'd agree with the stadiums part, but I get the feeling that 50 years or so from now everything else you've said will be proven wrong. It certainly won't happen until the games chosen are less incomprehensible to understand for entry level viewers though.

Xprimentyl said:
the test of skills that a videogame presents isn?t really comparable to analogue athletics, and thusly the spectacle to watch ?the best? will never be the feat that physical athletes offer. You can get on YouTube right now and see video of exceptional, professional E-athletes besting videogames, and 99% of these people are from walks of life like the average Joe with a 9-5 job to the pimple-faced 29-year-old living in his parents? basement still collecting an allowance. Analogue athletes train, push their bodies to their limits, commit at levels most of us could and will never understand, and their stage (the field) is where we bear witness to that in awe. I?m saying those athletes are doing something most can?t whereas E-athletes are doing something most probably could at some appreciable level. No, I?m not suggesting anyone can be as good as professional gamers, I?m simply offering that the gap between a casual and professional gamer is nothing compared to the vast gulf between a guy playing flag football in his backyard and the 300-pound lineman who can run a sub-5 second 40-yard dash, and citing the OP?s question (?Will the finals of say, an Overwatch tournament be viewed by as many people as the Super Bowl?), no, the former will never be as impressive a spectacle as the latter.
Considering we've already got insanely popular youtube sports that involve no player training or skill whatsoever, I'd say all that training stuff is a moot point. Sure e-sports are in their infancy compared to established analogue sports, but it is bound to happen eventually, and has already begun.

I mean, just look at this: Half a million subscribers and over 10 million views on this video about marbles rolling around. It's dressed up like a big televised sport, everybody knows it's not, and yet nobody cares- they watch it anyway. Diddly squat training or mental readiness or any of that stuff. Doesn't matter in the slightest.


Here's another one- some dude going the whole hog in dressing up Hot Wheel toy car racing like it's a big televised event, even commentating about the cars like they've got actual drivers who've trained for this and have their strategies and weaknesses. It's all fantasy and it doesn't even matter. People are loving it all the same.


Now if stuff like that can get popular, then it's only a matter of time before e-sports expands to unheard of heights.
The question was whether or not esports could ever be as popular as major league sports. Millions of views on YouTube do not equate to network viewership or physical attendance at stadiums, arenas or ball parks. There?s a video of a cat farting with +10 million views; that says nothing about the quality or appeal of cat flatulence; all it does is prove that people with too much time on their hands are willing to watch some weird shit. I?ve no doubt that esports will garner increased popularity, but it will be a cold day in hell when they?ll rival the draw of say Monday Night Football, March Madness or the World Series.
 

Squilookle

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Xprimentyl said:
The question was whether or not esports could ever be as popular as major league sports. Millions of views on YouTube do not equate to network viewership or physical attendance at stadiums, arenas or ball parks.
I recognise those youtube numbers are just a drop in the ocean at the moment. But they're probably only going to grow.

Xprimentyl said:
I?ve no doubt that esports will garner increased popularity, but it will be a cold day in hell when they?ll rival the draw of say Monday Night Football, March Madness or the World Series.
People said that about movies when they first appeared too. Same for video games. Bicycles. The light bulb. Submarines. The superhero genre etc, etc etc. The first steps on the path never look that impressive, but they are the most important.