The folks at U.S. venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins (which has invested in game tech companies like Magic Leap and Mobcrush) released their annual Internet Trends Report today, and, for the first time ever, the 355-slide presentation includes a big section dedicated specifically to games.
There's a bunch of interesting data in there, including the results (excerpted below) of a 2017 L.E.K. Sports survey that suggests "Millennials" (aka anyone between the ages of 18 and 34) in the U.S. are basically evenly split when it comes to whether they prefer traditional sports or eSports like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
According to the survey (which encompassed ~1,000 people), when asked whether they preferred their favorite "traditional sport" or favorite eSport (both of which had been previously asked after), 27 percent of the respondents who were also Millennials said they significantly preferred the "eSport" and 27 percent said "traditional sport."
Compare that to the full respondent pool for the question, which included folks outside the stated Millennial age range, and the percentages shift to significantly favor traditional sports: 45 percent of all those surveyed said they significantly prefer their favorite sport, and just 13 percent said the same for their favorite eSport.
This further reinforces long-held notions that eSports (itself a young industry) is most popular among folks ages 18-34, and that there's a potential future where video games played professionally achieve a public profile that rivals pro sports.
The full 2017 Internet Trends Report (spearheaded by KP exec Mary Meeker) contains a lot more data gathered from around the industry, and is well worth skimming in full over on Kleiner Perkins' website.