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Students resort to streaming and bar visits to keep up with sports

For all of recorded history, from the ancient Greek Olympiads to Super Bowl LIII, sports have been played and watched as a means of entertainment, exercise and even social bonding. 

As a result, there are a lot of sports with very long histories and very ardent fanbases that may get angry at misunderstandings.

There are many articles that give advice on how people can act like they enjoy sports, but they don’t offer any strategies on how to actually learn to enjoy sports. An article on Lifehacker states to learn more about sports, one should “start or join a fantasy league” or “read a biography” about a famous athlete. But really, it seems the most common way people learn about sports is by watching them. 

“I watch ESPN and ESPN2,” Reese Little, a freshman studying communication sciences and disorders, said.

Programs like SportsCenter feature highlights and updates of recent sporting events, and for those with busy schedules, it airs twelve times a day. But even then, if someone lives in dorms, it may be difficult to find a television where they can watch the games. Little solves that problem by watching sports at the bars, which requires prioritizing certain sports or events over others.

Although media companies like ESPN provide an easy way to keep track of traditional sports, they’re little help for more obscure events, or especially for games where there’s debate as to whether or not the event qualifies as a sport.

According to a report in Statista, the global eSports market generated $325 million dollars in 2015, and that figure is expected to triple by 2020. There are a lot of people sitting down to watch other people play video games competitively. At first glance, trying to figure out how to even watch a video game tournament seems like a slog – a Kafkaesque travail of impossible proportions with no simple solution.

“As far as I know, there isn’t an ESPN for eSports,” Joe Sauder, a graduate student studying mathematics, said. “eSports is online, so that’s where you watch them.” 

That might seem easier at first, but the internet is a big place. It can be difficult to find the right websites that have the right information. According to Statista, the lack of mainstream attention payed to eSports provides an incentive to make viewing events as easy as possible so as to drum up publicity for future tournaments.

“I keep up by watching the game either live on Twitch, or watching the recording on YouTube,” Sauder said. 


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