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Esports Teams Rival Traditional Sports On College Campuses

Sixty-five percent of American households are home to someone who plays video games regularly, according to ESA’s newest report. The report, 2017 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, highlights the rising influence of video games in society and the US economy.

Gamers age 18 or older now represent 72 percent of the video game-playing population. The report also finds that playing video games is an important activity to American families. Sixty-seven percent of parents play video games with their children at least once a week, and 71 percent of parents feel video games positively impact their child’s life. Video games help players stay in touch with their friends as well. Fifty-four percent of the most frequent gamers say that video games help them connect with their friends.

The report sheds light on the growing economic impact of the video game industry. In 2016, the industry contributed $11.7 billion in value to US GDP. This fueled the direct employment of 65,678 Americans and $30.4 billion in consumer spending, compared to $23.5 billion in 2015.

To read the full report, click here

Schools across the country are realizing they cannot ignore the rapid growth of esports or their audience, which is expected to be larger than the audience for traditional sports by 2020. Some schools are expanding their athletic programs to include competitive video games and are offering scholarships to top gamers. Illinois College in Jacksonville is one of the most recent examples. The school announced that it will be fielding a League of Legends team for the 2017-18 school year.

Illinois College is not alone in its efforts to attract top video game players. The University of Utah recently became the first school in the NCAA’s Power Five conferences to offer scholarships in competitive video games. Backed by the school’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering department – selected as the best video game design program in 2016 by The Princeton Review – the university’s team will also compete in League of Legends.

Competitive video games are becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing recreations, with esports going from a fan base of 89 million in 2014 to more than 150 million in 2017. Esports are projected to exceed $1 billion in revenue by 2019, according to Illinois College… read more here

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