For some folks, sports and beer (or other alcoholic beverages) go hand in hand with one another much like spaghetti and meatballs. Meanwhile, others may turn to cannabis products when they are enjoying their favorite sporting event – you can see my article on which sports fans use cannabis while watching their sport of choice.
Esports Fans Are The Highest Percentage Of Binge Drinkers
In the above graphic provided by statista, you can see a staggering (pardon the pun) 53 percent of esports fans binge drink while watching their favorite events. What was surprising to me was the lower placing on the list of MMA/UFC and the NFL as there is a bit of a culture of drinking around those two sports.
See Odds Shark’s Best eSports Sites
Over the last decade, esports have had a meteoric rise in popularity, which has been even more evident recently, with up to nearly 500 million viewers for various events today. As more attention is being paid to the gamers, companies are starting to take notice.
As you can see in the above graph, the amount of sponsorship and advertising dollars spent on esports has nearly quadrupled in recent years. In 2017, just shy of $125 million was spent whereas today, in 2021, that number has shot up to nearly $450 million.
Why Is There A Lot Of Binge Drinking Around Esports?
I think there are a couple of factors at play here, the first being the demographic. A high percentage of viewers of esports competitions are likely in the 20-35 age category who may have started drinking to excess in college or just as a way of life as a young adult.
Meanwhile, those sponsors and advertisers mentioned above are certainly at play. Popular beer Bud Light has a Twitch channel, a platform where people watch various gamers and esports, and the same brand of beer has an annual esports tournament playing the arcade game Tekken.
Additionally, Bud Light is the official beer sponsor of the Overwatch League, which was paid $90 million by Twitch for the rights to broadcast the game in 2019, a number that has certainly climbed since.
The Bud Light sponsorship led to some events being broadcast on ABC and ESPN2 so it’s certainly great for the sport but a rise in viewership is also good for Bud Light.
Going back to the binge drinking side of things, if you’re inundated with lots of advertisements for beer or alcohol and you’re watching the esports competitions from the comfort of your home, it can be very easy to have your fridge full and to watch a stream that could last several hours as you drink the entire time.
You can easily fall into the category of binge drinker, which the CDC website defines as “a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood-alcohol concentration over 0.08 g/dl or above. This typically happens when men consume five or more drinks or women four or more drinks in about two hours.”