The Esports Puzzle: A Haven for Gen Z Young Men?

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

The Next Generation Fandom Survey has yielded fascinating results related to the sports fandom of Generation Z young men. One of the most striking results is that young women express a higher preference for every sport except Esports. The drop in traditional sports fandom is partially explained by lower scores on psychological traits related to belongingness and social identity.


The question becomes, why doesn’t esports follow the same pattern? Are alienated young men retreating to the virtual world? Or is esports a different product category than traditional sports?


In this episode of the Next Generation Fandom Survey, we do a deep dive into esports fandom. The report is linked here.


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In terms of the specifics, we look at the correlations across fandom for different sports and entertainment sections, investigate the group belonging and social identity scores for esports fans and non-fans, and identify the favorite celebrities for male and female esports aficionados.


As a teaser, the correlations between esports fandom and traditional sports are given below.



The critical finding from the correlations is that esports fandom is not anti-sports fandom. The correlations in fandom are all positive, and the highest correlation is between esports and soccer fandom. The implication is that sports fandom is not unidimensional. There may be differences in history, accessibility, translation to digital media, in-game action, visibility of players, speed of the game, and myriad other factors. Esports is part of the sports ecosphere, but it is more connected to newer and faster-paced games.


Check out the full report!


And listen to the Fanalytics podcast here:


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