Among Americans ages 18-29, 72% of males and 49% of females play video games “often” or “sometimes,” according to the Pew Research Center.
Serious players are making a living in esports, earning $50,000 a year in the Overwatch League run by Blizzard Entertainment, with a chance to win a $1 million prize.
Success as a gamer can have a lot to do with where you live. Personal finance website WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities in three dimensions: gaming environment, internet quality and coverage and gamer and developer opportunities.
The site examined those dimensions using 23 key metrics to determine the best places to live that gamer lifestyle. Each metric was graded on a 100 point scale.
Seattle came out on top, with a score of 66.48. Seattle was followed by Irvine, California; Los Angeles and Orlando, in that order.
Atlanta claimed the No. 5 spot, with a score of 65.03, despite ranking No. 39 for internet quality and coverage. Georgia’s capital was No. 1 for gaming environment, and No. 11 for gamer and developer opportunities.
Gaming environment included video game stores per capita; arcades per capita; number of annual comic book, video game, anime and sci-fi/fantasy conventions; and eight other metrics, for a total of 50 points. Internet quality and coverage was worth 30 points, and gamer and developer opportunities was worth 20 points.
“ESports is clearly on an upswing, and I suspect will continue on that path,” said Christopher Ferguson, a professor of psychology at Stetson University.
Ferguson doesn’t see eSports becoming more popular than the NFL or MLB, “but stuff like tennis, NASCAR, golf, etc. yeah, I think it has a good chance of getting into and possibly breaking past 2nd tier sports. I mean, golf, really? Sure, watching games can beat that.”
Elliot Hu-Au, an instructor at the Teachers College at Columbia University, said he believes eSports will become more popular than the NFL and MLB.
“Already there are e-leagues in Asia where people play these games full-time and compete for prizes in the millions of dollars,” he told WalletHub. “ESPN even has coverage of eSports so its not hard to see that its popularity is growing.
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