eSports–or competitive video gaming–has been on the rise as a legitimate sports event for many years now. But exactly how large has this rise been, both socially and economically? To find out, one simply needs to look at the numbers.
Fortune.com does well to display eSports’ increasing popularity through various statistics. Of course, it’s easy to say that games are more popular just by looking around at how many people are desperate to beat their high scores on “Candy Crush” or “Fruit Ninja” on the train, but writer John Gaudiosi uses data journalist tactics to delve into the expansive eSports environment and calculate its growth.
Gaudiosi uses results from Newzoo and Repucom, sources dedicated to the games industry and sports, to support the growth of gaming. According to his research, eSports has a global audience of at least 335 million fans, with 145 million fans being active participants themselves. With this audience, the eSports scene is projected to generate over $451 million in revenue in 2017. These numbers make the popularity of eSports comparable to the popularity of regular sports.
This story wouldn’t have nearly as much depth without this kind of data. A simple and otherwise bland story is reinvigorated and contextualized by statistical information, literally measuring the subject matter and calculating exactly how much impact it can, has, and will make in the future.