If there is any doubt about the power of esports, consider this: One in five American boys aged 13-17 support FaZe Clan, the biggest esports team in the world. No traditional sports team enjoys that level of support among this demographic.
In fact, three out of the top five teams with the most support are esports teams.
While 22% of teen boys support FaZe, the Los Angeles Lakers enjoy nearly the same support at 19%, followed by the Golden State Warriors at 17%.
Rounding out the top 5 are esports teams 100 Thieves – with 11% of teen males signaling support – and NRG Esports with 10%.
One important factor in this shift could be the nature of how the content is delivered. Esports for the most part is free to access and stream live online on platforms like Twitch, which bypasses any barriers brought by linear TV channel fees or streaming service subscriptions.
But it’s also interactive and viewers can easily interact with the players in real time. Not only has that helped bolster esports as a form of entertainment, but it has also made huge celebrities out of its players.
Esports team rosters include many players with enormous social media followings and YouGov data shows these personalities are followed by 38% of teen males in the US. That’s significantly higher than any other type of influencer, including sports (22%), as well as music (29%) and humor/meme influencers (29%).
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Methodology: The data is based on a sample size of 3,273 US teens aged 13 – 17. All interviews were conducted online in October 2021 and panellists were recruited via YouGov Chat. Data is weighted by age and gender.