Esports growth sees 22% of adults watching or participating - survey

Gaming drives demand for bandwidth

Gamers compete in an esports tournament at the Gaming Stadium in Vancouver.

Esports is a growing sport, with 22 per cent of Irish adults saying they watch or play in competitive online tournaments, a new survey has found.

The research from telecoms provider Pure Telecom found 36 per cent of the Irish adult population play games online, and almost half said they would pay more for their internet service if it improved their online gaming experience.

Esports is more popular among men than women, with 34 per cent of men streaming the games weekly compared with 16 per cent of women.

The research was carried out by Censuswide online, taking in 1,000 adults across Ireland. It found esports was most popular in Laois, with 33 per cent of the adult population in the county watching or playing the tournaments online, with Dublin in second place and Limerick in third.


"The esports community is huge in Ireland and the survey has helped to show the extent of this. The results also show the growing popularity of online gaming and esports amongst younger generations, pointing to this becoming one of the leading forms of entertainment in the near-future," said Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom.

Online gaming is also driving the demand for bandwidth, with most gamers using two or more devices for gaming and watching esports.

“Clearly the growth of competitive esports is a significant contributor to the demand for high speed broadband,” Mr Connell said. “ We know that people who have faster broadband enjoy a significant advantage over those with slow speeds, especially in the highly popular first person shooter genre. We were really interested to see that almost half of Irish gamers are prepared to pay more for a better internet service to enable them to enjoy a better gaming experience.”

According to the Pure Telecom research, the average Irish gamer spends six hours per week playing online, with those aged 16 to 22 putting in 10 hours a week.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist