Posted in NEWS
December 15, 2020

Understanding Esports Audience Overlap pt. 3

Understanding Esports Audience Overlap pt. 3

Understanding Esports Audience Overlap pt. 3

December 9, 2020

Tags: , ,

Categories:analytics, Insights, Fans, eSports iQ

“At Burning Man, the audience is the show: the boundaries between stage and public overlap and melt. Every form of self-expression, every fantasy… everything has a place.”  

Margherita Missoni

This is the third, and final, installment in a series dedicated to exploring the overlap between esports interest. See the first and second parts, here and here.  

The objective: employ audience analytics to fill the gap left by viewership metrics like average minute audience (AMA) and total hours consumed. 

What you should know

The previous series piece highlighted the number of game title interests for various esports fanbases. Taking it a step further, these data points provide multi-dimensional insight into the strengths and differences between competitive video game audiences. 

The quadrant approach (click image above to enlarge) underscores, that in addition to differences in overall popularity, esports audiences have unique characteristics that must be taken into consideration: 

  • Balanced: An even distribution across the number of game titles followed 
  • Mixed: Audience tends to follow multiple titles. 
  • Fragmented: An uneven distribution across the number of game titles followed 
  • Niche: Audience mostly follows that game title only 

Key takeaways

  • There’s more audience diversity across, than within, game genres 
  • Overall popularity appears to be negatively related to strong niche-appeal  
  • Similarity to more popular titles could indicate growth potential 

Why it matters

The rise of esports as cultural phenomenon is, at its core, a manifestation of the shift in human attention towards interactive entertainment. A medium where barriers between audience and performance melt away, and physical location takes a backseat to consumer interest(s). 

Likewise, digital sport is a collection of organic segments within the games-based media space. So, for commercial organizations striving to maximize the market opportunity, it is critical to understand the nature of, and relationship between, esports audiences. 

eSports iQ uses AI/machine learning to produce audience analytics that help you understand digital sport fans, their interests and how to interact with them.


Published at Wed, 09 Dec 2020 13:40:50 +0000

Understanding Esports Audience Overlap pt. 2

Understanding Esports Audience Overlap pt. 2

December 2, 2020

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories:analytics, Insights, Fans

“We have made the difficult decision to cease operations for our dedicated daily esports editorial and content…We recognize esports as an opportunity to expand our audience, and we’ll continue to do so through coverage from the broader team for major events, breaking news and coverage.” 

ESPN spokesperson via Esports Observer

Note: This is the second installment in a series. See the first part here.  

Closure of ESPN’s dedicated esports outlet comes against the backdrop of a company-wide workforce reduction of ~500 jobs. And follows a pivot to producing its own esports events over the past year.  

However, only 25 of 288 ESPN esports events attracted 1,000+ viewers – per TwitchTracker.com 

Mostly because media outlets, like ESPN, create the cultural narratives around sport. On the other hand, digital sport draws its culture from an array of game communities. So, the best way to win audience attention is to understand the dimensions of esports fandom.

Strength in numbers

Esports audiences stem from a range of game communities spanning multiple genres and platforms across the world. Some games attract fans from a wider audience, while others are narrower (click image below to enlarge).  

The resulting diversity creates a vibrant tapestry of attention dynamics, and flies in the face of statistics which ignore game-by-game differences. 

Key takeaways

  • Sports simulation games attract a niche following, i.e. Most fans follow that title only. Whereas MOBA titles, Dota 2 and League of Legends, are more balanced.  
  • Shooter-based games have broad appeal. On average, 40% of Call of Duty, CSGO and Rainbow 6 esports fans also follow at least 3 other games.  
  • Audience fragmentation is an issue for NBA 2K and FIFA – esports fanbases with significant differences between the number of games followed. 
  • Despite Blizzard’s ambitions to build a large fanbase, the majority (42%) of Overwatch’s esports audience only follows that game.  
  • Two of the most popular esports titles – CSGO and League of Legends – are more like games in the same genre than with each other.  

    eSports iQ uses AI/machine learning to produce audience analytics that help you understand digital sport fans, their interests and how to interact with them. 


Published at Wed, 02 Dec 2020 17:42:23 +0000

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