Professional competitive video gaming continues to rapidly gain popularity in the U.S., with 14% of the 13+ population now a fan of this form of competitive entertainment, up from just 8% last year. While eSports* may not rival the size of many traditional sports fan bases just yet, it’s gaining the attention of many sports leagues, teams, owners and even players—both as a formidable threat and a potentially lucrative complement to the sports status quo.
Traditional sports fandom is near-ubiquitous among eSports fans, consistent with the broader U.S. population. And when it comes to avid fanship of key sports leagues, the opportunity for synergies looks strong, with eSports fans on the whole more likely to be fans across leagues. While the NFL and NCAA football score highest among eSports fans in the absolute, the NBA is the only league to rank in the top five traditional sports leagues both in terms of avid fanship in the absolute and relative to the general population. This is noteworthy given the major investments that NBA teams, owners and players have made recently in the eSports space.
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