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Can esports really become more popular than regular sports such as basketball, hockey, and baseball? According to a new study done by OverActive Media, it’s on track to do just that. Generation Z and Millennials seem to love watching Overwatch and Fortnite matches as much as their local traditional sports teams during season games. This survey was conducted in Ontario, Canada, home to Toronto Defiant. The survey was conducted by Charlton Insights with those between the ages of 13-49 years of age, with 1,457 participating in the study between June 10 and July 2.

Esports on the rise

While the results are specific to Ontario, there’s no reason to think Ontario is wildly different from other places in North America. Esports is now well respected with many news outlets and even traditional sports outlets covering it.

The top three esports titles in Ontario are Call of Duty, Fortnite, and FIFA. NBA 2K and League of Legends are also gaining popularity but still far behind the top three. Although, Generation X was also involved in the study for ages 38-49, and Call of Duty was their game of choice with FIFA and Fortnite rounding off the top three yet again.

Key Findings

  • Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to be gamers (69%) than traditional sports fans (61%).
  • Generation Z and Millennials’ interest in esports rivals that of some major traditional sports leagues.
  • Call of Duty is the most popular title in Ontario. The game’s interest with those aged 13-37 is at 11%, tied with MLS and falling just behind the MLB at 16%. NBA and NHL are still of top interest, however.

It’s an insightful survey all around. As it has been already widely reported, esports is on the rise and can only go up from here. Let us know what you think of the survey’s results in the comments.