The global market for video game competition viewing or ‘eSports’ almost doubled last year, with viewers watching 2.4 billion hours of content compared with 1.3 billion in 2012, according to a report by IHS Technology.
The growth has come with the arrival of online video streaming platforms such as Twitch, Azubu and MLG, which have largely supplanted viewing of highlights on TV channels over the past year. Earlier this month, YouTube was reported to be close to acquiring Twitch for US$1 billion (€730 million).
According to IHS, online viewing of video games will account for 90% of eSports viewing hours by 2018, when overall viewing hours will amountto 6.6 billion.
The most popular eSports game globally in 2013 was Riot Games’ League of Legends, followed by Valve’s Dota 2 and Activision Blizzard’s StarCraft II, according to IHS.
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