Among the great things about following esports is how easy they are to watch for free.
While being a fan of another sport might involve a lot of travel and expense to go to matches, this is simply not the case when it comes to watching esports.
Although there are tournaments that esports enthusiasts like to attend if they able to do so, they are easy to follow from the comfort of your own home as well.
This is how you can watch esports online – and all for free!
Twitch and YouTube lead the way for free esports streaming
The vast majority of esports events are streamed live, so you can watch them from home. They do not have any ticket prices to pay either, so the cost of doing so is absolutely nothing.
Though there are a few places to watch esports online for free, YouTube and Twitch are without a doubt the market leaders for the industry, which is now said to be worth about $1 billion a year.
Almost half of esports players also watch live streams of gaming, so interest in these events is large. Millions of people tuned into the 2017 League of Legends World Championship and audiences have continued to rise.
Tournaments do not tend to be exclusive to one platform, so both YouTube and Twitch frequently show the same esports events.
People can therefore choose whether they would rather log in to YouTube or Twitch whenever there is a big esports tournament that they want to watch.
Twitch arguably has a stronger grip on the esports community than YouTube as this is the site’s primary focus nowadays.
Leading esports streamers on Twitch can rack up huge numbers of followers and subscribers, boosting their bank balances as a result. Twitch has also recently launched a dedicated esports section for the first time – a must-bookmark for gaming fans.
YouTube, on the other hand, has the benefit of being completely ubiquitous on the internet. While Twitch can still feel a little bit niche, YouTube is a global giant.
All anyone needs in order to find live esports streams is to log in to the site by using their Google account.
Facebook has also demonstrated an interest in esports by sealing an exclusive deal to broadcast the CS:GO Pro League and the ESL One circuit. Streaming in 1080p/60fps was among the big plus points of this deal, which includes Portuguese and English content.
BBC and ESPN among mainstream esports broadcasters
As interest in esports continues to grow across the globe, mainstream broadcasters such as ESPN in the United States and the BBC in the United Kingdom are increasingly keen.
The recent launch of the ePremier League Invitational – a FIFA tournament featuring players such as England stars Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold – was broadcast on the BBC, with Wolves forward Diogo Jota crowned the inaugural champion.
Blizzard’s Overwatch League has been shown on ESPN in America, with the network becoming more and more involved in the world of esports. Interest in esports among broadcasters has grown a lot in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, which has seen various sports cancelled.
Back in the UK, Sky Sports has been showing a series of F1 Virtual Grand Prix to fill the gap in its sporting schedules. England cricketers Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes have taken part, with real-life drivers such as Charles Leclerc and George Russell and Nicholas Latifi alongside them.
While Sky Sports charges a subscription fee, the races are also shown for free through the official Formula 1 channels on sites including YouTube, Twitch and Facebook.