'Record number' of girls engaged with esports
Kids Insight, a group specialising in "market research and insight", have today released to the press some highlights from a report they recently put together regarding esports in the UK. According to their research, interest in esports is more common among girls aged 13-15 than boys in 2018, as is participation at those ages.
While some of the terminology is vague, the report highlights the massive potential of not just young gamers and their growing interest in esports, but also their interest in console titles rather than the PC games that dominate the top level. The future of esports must be secured and the majority of young players seem to be focused on games that are played on console rather than PC, meaning the future of console esports could be brighter than many thought.
There was information provided about most-played games too, with all the usual suspects being listed as choices for respondents. With the likes of Dota, LoL and CSGO available, it might surprise a few of you to see which games were most popular. According to the report, the most popular game to watch among both genders is the competitive multiplayer shooter Overwatch, closely followed by Fifa and Call of Duty.
Key findings in the UK
15% of all girls now watch esports
More 13 to 15-year-old girls take part in esports than boys of the same age group
More 13 to 15-year-old girls watch esports live than boys of the same age group
84% of teen girls are now spending some of their time gaming compared to 75% during the same period last year
In terms of the games listed, there is no doubt the former has some advantages, with the information needing to be taken with a pinch of salt. For example, any tech-savvy parent is likely to be aware that OWL is marketed to a family audience, compared to games such as CSGO that are more adult, which has the potential to sway the figures. Likewise, FIFA and CoD are such massive mainstream titles that they will pick up a good percentage of floating viewers, despite the former not being a significant game in the esports sphere.
The problem for these companies appears to more centre around the ability to retain the audience as they age, with the news that by the age of 16 to 18 viewing rates rise to almost a third of boys, compared with just 10% for girls. This would to some extent mirror the drop off in sports participation seen at those ages, which has at times been attributed to the end of compulsory education, but is still not fully explained.
When it comes to engaging in esports, however, the gender divide is much less pronounced. Just over 10% of 13 to 15-year-olds of both genders say they take part in esports, and a similar proportion say they have attended live events, according to the Insight People. As esports folk already suspected, there is also a gap between the expectation for games like Fortnite, and the reality they have been able to achieve in the esports space to date.
Despite the mainstream success of Fortnite, Kids Insight support the theory that the game has yet to really break into the ‘esports’ space, and demonstrates the difference between those who play for fun, and those who approach their gaming with a more competitive attitude. One thing is for sure though, that the potential of the UK scene is massive, and not limited to one gender, if esports can find a way to convert young fans into real followers, or maybe even the stars of tomorrow.
Picture: LGBEsports / Twitter