The eSports Fan Base Continues to Grow Significantly

Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, May 8, 2017 – On the heels of the announcement that the NBA and Take-Two Interactive announced 17 NBA teams will participate in the inaugural NBA 2K league, the latest research conducted by Leger shows that the size of the eSports viewership market, whether it be via online or on television, has significantly expanded over the past 12 months.

According to research conducted in May, 2016 by Leger, approximately one in five (22%) households has someone who watched an eSports event. However, research from Leger conducted in 2017 indicates viewership of eSports has significantly improved to one in three (32%) households.

Furthermore, overall interest in eSports is gaining ground, with an increasing level of loyalty to boot. In May, 2016, just over one-quarter (27%) of US adults cite interest (extremely/very/somewhat likely) in watching an e-sport event during the next 6 months. The latest poll by Leger shows that this is now close to two in five (38%) – another significant increase during this time period.

This genre of entertainment has an entrenched level of retention as well; nine in ten eSports viewers (91%) plan to watch a future eSports event, up from the eight in ten (81%) reported from Leger research in May 2016.

“The size of an extremely loyal viewership pie for eSports continues to expand,” said Lance Henik, Senior Account Manager and Lead Analyst at Leger. “Viewership has significantly increased among the key groups of interest for advertisers; not just millennials but Gen Xers also, and not just men but also women.”


Between the May 2016 and March/April 2017 research, the proportion of women who are watching eSports has increased from 11% to 17% (men: 20% to 31%). By age, eSports viewership has significantly increased among 18-29 year olds (34% to 50%), 30-39 year olds (22% to 33%), and adults 40-49 years of age (14% to 28%).

So where do viewers watch eSports, and what eSports/Competitive Video Gaming events do they like to watch?Feel free to reach out to Simon Jaworski or Lance Henik for additional details on this research!

The survey was conducted online with 1,007 respondents, 18 years of age or older, among the U.S. population from March 28th through April 4th, 2017, and was balanced/weighted to statistically represent the country by age, gender, ethnicity, and region. Based on this sample size, the results carry a margin of error of approximately ± 3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

The January 2017 Leger poll was conducted online with 1,010 respondents from January 20th through January 25th, 2017; and carry a margin of error of approximately ± 3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The May 2016 survey was conducted online with 1,003 respondents from May 24th through May 29th, 2016, with results that also carry a margin of error of approximately ± 3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

For more information, contact:
Lance Henik