Report: Gamers spend more time watching people play video games than watching traditional sports

This is good news for Twitch.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

A new report from Limelight Networks suggests that gamers aged 18-25 spend more time watching others play video games than they do watching sports.

Those gamers spend an average of three hours and 25 minutes each week watching other gamers play video games on streaming services like Twitch, the report says. It’s “nearly an hour” more than they watch traditional sports, according to Limelight Network. Video games watched are spread across personal streams and esports tournaments.

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South Korean and Japanese gamers are the most interested in watching video games online, with almost 80 percent of those surveyed watching weekly. Nearly half of that number (48 percent) watch people playing video games for at least an hour each week.

Watching others play video games is a good way to keep up-to-date on certain strategies and to understand how professional gamers play their respective titles. Limelight Networks found that plenty of gamers think that esports is a viable career; one third of all gamers and a half of 18 to 25-year-old men would quit their jobs to become a professional gamer, the study found.

That number is the highest in the United Kingdom, “where 42 percent of gamers want to go pro,” the study says. All of this is because esports popularity is on the rise, Limelight Network says, with players following along as they would with traditional sports.

Information in the report was gathered from consumer panels in France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A total of 3,000 responses were collected from Jan. 12 to 14, 2018.