As our Uber driver turned toward the Las Vegas strip last year, we were greeted with a massive advertisement for a new eSports Arena.
If you’ve been to Vegas, you might be familiar with the Luxor Hotel and Casino. It’s in the shape of a giant pyramid. This particular eSports Arena ad covered an entire side of Luxor’s 30-story structure.
“Who knew gaming would be such big business in Vegas,” I joked.
No one laughed.
I suspect this is because it seems the entire world is in on the joke. Those who have invested money (in game development) and time (in playing) are laughing all the way to the bank.
I’m not much of a gamer. My last big win with a video game was with Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out for Nintendo 64.
But I do follow gamers on social media, for no other reason that my kids are interested in gaming, and I like to sound relevant when we talk about the newest, hottest games.
Game players and developers interact during online play, at tournaments and conventions, but it’s the chatting they do on social media that tells us so much more about the hottest games, who the best gamers are and where they’re located.
Rishi Chadha, Twitter’s head of gaming content partnerships, noted the widespread use of Twitter for all sorts of gaming conversations.
“Twitter is where game publishers, the gaming media, popular game streamers and entertainers, esports leagues, teams, players and commentators interact with their most engaged fans and with one another,” Chadha said.
Consider this: In 2018, there were 1 billion global tweets about gaming-related activities.
The regions that tweet most about gaming include (in order of most tweets) Japan, the U.S., the U.K., France and Korea.
“Fans of gaming around the globe came to Twitter throughout the year to discuss the most anticipated game titles, cheer on their favorite esports teams and to join a community of passionate, like-minded fanatics all year long,” Chadha added.
The most tweeted about games included Fate/Grand Order (@fgoproject), Fortnite (@FortniteGame), Monster Strike (@MStrikeOfficial), Splatoon (@SplatoonJP), and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (@PUBG).
Truth be told, I was only familiar with Fortnite and Splatoon, and when I mentioned the other names to my kids, they were more concerned about why their favorite titles such as Overwatch and Super Smash Bros. weren’t on the list.
“Fans also made sure to keep tabs on their favorite athletes on the platform,” Chadha noted.
The most tweeted about esports athletes included Seth Abner (@OpTi Scumper), F lix Lengyel (@xQc), and Juan DeBiedma (@LiquidHbox). No one comes close to Abner’s numbers on Twitter. He boasts an impressive 2.1 million followers. The next closest, Lengyel and DeBiedma, have about 200,000 followers each.
If you want up-to-date information on gaming, check out the tweets from @TwitterGaming for more creators and players conversations.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor of communication studies the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers on social media and society.