1. CompetitionA longtime argument has been "Why would you watch someone play games when you could play them yourself?" and it does seem like a crazy idea at first, that is until you apply that logic to traditional sports. Of course you could go and kick a football or shoot some hoops, but you are getting entertainment value of seeing the best play against the best.
Realize that esports tournaments are just as competitive and the players in them treat the video game as a career that they will train and do what it takes to out edge their opponent. The psychology goes deep, the depth of the skill set, the advanced strategies, the onstage experience, the ego's, the drama, esports have it all!
Never before has it been so easy to watch nerds duke it out in a battle of actual skill. The video games that do gain a lot of popularity over others are ones that are both require a high level of skill and also very entertaining.
You can't underestimate the physical fatigue these professional gamers undergo either, whilst they are sitting in chairs, the mind games and the hand eye coordination is paramount, along with coordinating with teammates where relevant to the game AND most large tournaments span for several hours for several days - so the scheudules are also pretty intense.
2. Big Prize Pools
Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet, check out some of the biggest tournaments in esports and see what their prize pools are - for playing a VIDEO GAME. I mean, don't get me wrong, you can strip down any activity and claim it as "only doing x" - e.g. "only putting an orange ball into a basket" but the big prize pools mean big business.
The viewership these tournament events are accumulating are to the point where literally MILLIONS are being invested into the esports economy. Players can make careers playing their favorite video games - and it's fun to watch!
When you know that wining/losing this match is the difference of tens of thousands of dollars, you can trust these nerds are playing their hearts out trying to win the big tournament. Of course this leads to possible sponsorship and future opportunities for the pro gamers.
Just recently Blizzard set up a base income for all their top 8 teams from all regions which equates to approximately a smooth $100,000 a year per team aside from all sponsorship / advertising and prize pool money for the winning teams. Wow.
3. Improve Your Game KnowledgeWhat other reason do people get into watching professional sports than to take notes from the greats and improve their own game? Well this applies to watching esports all the same. Please note that just like in traditional sports - just because you watch every game and know everything about the professional scene, does not mean you gain those skills.
BUT, there is value to gain nonetheless. Perhaps you witness some cool strategy and different approaches to various games. Or you see some pretty awesome plays as the pro gamers can literally manipulate their character to their maximum capacity. Perhaps you didn't even realize you can push these limits or get out of certain situations whilst still getting that kill/point/assist.
If you do play a certain game but don't watch the professional scene - you should. If anything you supports esports as a whole. And if Video Games has had any positive impact in your life - perhaps kept you off the streets, gave you confidence, made you feel some sort of emotion - let you have hours upon hours of endless interactive entertainment, then naturally the best form of feedback would be contributing to the viewership and development of particular games.
Whatever it is you play, check out Twitch and look for your game - you never know you may just find something amazing that makes your day, or even better you find a gamer to follow as their career progresses.
This article was written by an Esports fan that didn't always watch esports and initially started to follow the scene whilst watching Youtube where the Streamer - who's name is Husky Starcraft made the game so entertaining whilst maintaining an audience that loved the content. So props to him - check out his channel Husky Starcraft