Competitive gaming is something that has emerged out of obscurity and is now approaching television network level audiences–specifically competitive gaming juggernaut, Major League Gaming. The company, which is the largest streaming competitive gaming league in the world reported on Wednesday that it’s seeing an enormous increase in viewership over the last year and those numbers may surprise you.
Nearly 12 million people watched MLG’s four seasonal tournaments via streaming video on this website in 2012 and these viewers consumed more than 15 million hours of video amongst the four weekend-long tournaments. The tournaments, which involves players from around the world playing an assortment of multiplayer games for cash prizes has garnered a massive following.
“MLG’s 334% growth in live online audience this year surpasses growth demonstrated by traditional sports. This is a testament to the mainstream demand for competitive gaming and power of live streaming,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, Major League Gaming CEO. “The last two years have been the largest in MLG’s 10-year history with over 636% growth in live viewers
As more games take a multiplayer route and as technology allows for easier game recording, analysts expect these numbers to keep increasing by leaps and bounds. Twitch.tv recently announced the inclusion of its technology in future Sony Online Entertainment games to allow users easier recording access, while Activision is actively promoting Call of Duty streaming as well.
Not surprisingly Major League Gaming’s audience is 85% male, 60% of which are between ages 18-49, and 40% of those are making more than $100,000 per year–statistics advertisers and potential future TV networks are going to pay close attention to.