In their latest post, analytics firm Newzoo have determined that 42% of people who watch League of Legends, CS:GO or Dota 2 esports content do not actually play these titles. The report goes further, stating that 70% of fans only watch one of these three franchises – with LoL commanding the largest share of 36%.
The relationship between esport viewership and player habits has until now been an unexplored curiosity. In order to develop a clearer picture for brands, media and investors interested in entering the scene, Newzoo focused on the following questions for their research:
The analysis focuses primarily on the top three PC franchises mentioned above, however the data was also compared with multi-platform titles Hearthstone and Overwatch. All figures were then aggregated across 10 western countries: U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. While that does leave out key regions with vastly different gamer behaviours, the post acknowledges that a significant share of the fanbase heralds from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.
One of the recurring findings was that esports can help highly-competitive video game franchises retain “lapsed” players, who might either have moved on to newer titles or stopped playing games almost entirely. It seems 26% of LoL’s fans and 36% of CS:GO’s are viewers only. Comparing the titles together, more LoL viewers don’t watch CS:GO or Dota 2 than the other way around, and 35% of Dota 2 players spend more than 15 hours a week watching matches from all three franchises – compared to 27% for League of Legends.
"Comparing the titles together, more LoLviewers don’t watch CS:GO or Dota 2 than the other way around."
Underneath Newzoo’s numbers, there are countless factors (some admittedly subjective) that could be at play. CS:GOcan be an exhilarating watch even for non-gamers, but Overwatch is difficult even for longtime FPS players to spectate. Dota 2, LoL and even Hearthstone are free-to-play evolving games, however CS:GO is a one-time purchase game that (while subject to the same loot-box microtransactions) doesn’t receive anything close to the same level of updates or additions.
The report also adds insight into why non-endemic brands are extending their grasp on esport’s advertising business model. If a massive section of your viewership aren’t interested in the hardware and peripherals of traditional gaming sponsors, then it makes sense to seek more general consumer brands. As René Korte of ROCCAT said at the Lagardere LCS Warm-Up, people can watch League of Legends even if they don’t play it, much as his mother watches soccer having never played it…
This section will not be visible in live published website. Below are your current settings:
Current Number Of Columns are = 2
Expand Posts Area = 1
Gap/Space Between Posts = 10px
Blog Post Style = card
Use of custom card colors instead of default colors =
Blog Post Card Background Color = current color
Blog Post Card Shadow Color = current color
Blog Post Card Border Color = current color
Publish the website and visit your blog page to see the results