eSports growing in popularity and coming to Walmart

Esports is growing in popularity. EEDAR reports that 90.7 million U.S. video gamers watch video game competition online on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and/or Mixer. A late 2017 Washington Post-UMass Lowell poll found that 58% of 14-21-year-old gamers watch the games. For all adults, the percentage that watch games was 16%.

Esports Arena recently announced its bringing competitive gaming to Walmart stores.

It plans to open and operate five arenas within Walmart stores. The first three are in Roseville, CA, Spokane Valley, WA, and Colorado Springs, CO. Two additional locations will arrive at a later date. All of them will hold league nights during the weekdays and tournaments on the weekends. They will also have open play hours daily, so customers can train together, try out new products, or practice for upcoming matches. Streaming events and merchandise are expected in the coming months.

Esports Arena has facilities in Orange County and Oakland, CA and Las Vegas, NV that host daily video game competitions, large scale productions, and tournaments.

The largest dedicated esports stadium recently opened in Arlington, Texas. The 100,000-square-foot facility features eight tea rooms, a player lounge, and a competition space amplified by surround sound.

Around 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada now offer esports scholarships.

Esports is now coming to high schools. PlayVS has signed an exclusive 5-year esports partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the organization that oversees varsity sports and activities at nearly 19,500 public and private high schools across the country. The first season of the PlayVS competitions for the popular multiplayer League of Legends game began in October at high schools in five states.

The increasing popularity of esports and the growing number of esports arenas is just one more form of both the at-home and out-of-home competition vying for a share of consumers' limited leisure time.