Esports Filling Void in Regular Sport Absence As Viewership and Streaming Figures Surge

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Esports continue to shine in the absence of their real-life counterparts, with reports continuing to flood in regarding the soaring viewership figures attached to online gaming competitions.

The coronavirus has led to most major sports being suspended indefinitely in an effort to restrict the spread of the illness, meaning many fans are turning to video games for their competitive fix.

Jon Swartz of MarketWatch.com cited figures from Twitch Tracker, which indicated the average amount of simultaneous viewers on Twitch—the premier video-game streaming platform—is expected to break two million in April. To put that figure into context, two million is already the record for simultaneous viewers online as things stand, per 99Firms.com.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites have begun to take notice of the surge, and DraftKings recently tweeted that it would be adding Counter Strike: Global Offensive fantasy games to its services.

Nvidia’s senior vice president of gaming, Jeff Fisher, was quoted by Swartz: “We’ve streamed about 10 million hours this month so far on GeForce [Now, the brand used by Nvidia for its cloud-gaming service]. Now we’ve added 1.5 million users since we launched officially the service out of beta in February. And you’re right, we see GeForce now as really incremental adding to our TAM [total addressable market].”

His report added that esports revenue is projected to increase by 16 percent to $1.1 billion in 2020, with the market forecast to reach as high as $3 billion in 2023, per Newszoo.

Sam Byford of TheVerge.com wrote that Steam—a digital video game distribution service—is also breaking records after 20,313,451 concurrent players were active on the weekend of Marc 13-14. Those were the latest figures available at the time, though the number could well rise in April as more players stay at home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit American Gambler for advice on how to bet legally on esports in the United States.

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