The No. 5 Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s season keeps rolling along with only six games left in the regular season and less than a month until the 2015 Big Ten tournament.The Badgers’ next game is Wednesday where they’ll travel to State College, Pennsylvania to take on the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin and Penn State met earlier this season in Wisconsin’s Big Ten opener — a game in which the Badgers won 89-72.Here’s what you need to know before Wednesday’s matchup:Wisconsin (23-2, 11-1 Big Ten)The Badgers notched yet another double-digit conference win Sunday — their ninth of the season — this time taking down Illinois at the Kohl Center. National Player of the Year front-runner Frank Kaminsky paced Wisconsin with 23 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore guard Bronson Koenig (15), sophomore forward Nigel Hayes (14) and junior forward Sam Dekker (10) rounded out the Badgers in double figures for scoring Sunday.Four players — Hayes (21), Kaminsky (18), Dekker (17) and currently-sidelined senior guard Traevon Jackson (16) — hit double figures for the Badgers in their first meeting against the Nittany Lions this season. Kaminsky also grabbed 12 rebounds to lead UW. Overall, Wisconsin shot 63.8 percent which included a 70 percent-mark in the second half to outlast Penn State.Big Ten: 11-1, 1st place, 2.5 games over Purdue and MarylandLast Game: Defeated Illinois at home, 68-49Probable Starters: G – Bronson Koenig (6-4, 7.5 ppg), G – Josh Gasser (6-4, 7.3 ppg), F – Nigel Hayes (6-8, 12.4 ppg), F – Sam Dekker (6-9, 13.0 ppg), F – Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 17.6 ppg)Key Reserves: F – Duje Dukan, F – Vitto Brown, G – Zak ShowalterPenn State (15-11, 3-10 Big Ten)The Nittany Lions have lost four of their last five Big Ten games including their last two games against No. 23 Ohio State and No. 17 Maryland.Against Maryland Saturday, Penn State held tough with the Terrapins, falling by only three points at home 76-73. Senior guard D.J. Newbill had a game-high 25 points for the Nittany Lions in the loss.Newbill is the Big Ten’s leading scorer, averaging 20.8 points per game. The 6-foot-4 guard is also hauling in 4.8 rebounds a game and dishing out 3.1 assists per game. Against Wisconsin Dec. 28, Newbill dropped a game-high 29 points, going 11-for-18 from the floor.As a team, Penn State ranks toward the bottom of the Big Ten in both scoring offense and defense, ranking 10th in the conference in offense (68.1) and second-to-last in defense (65.9).Big Ten: 3-10, 12th placeLast Game: Loss to Maryland at home, 76-73Probable Starters: G – D.J. Newbill (6-4, 20.8 ppg) G – Geno Thorpe (6-3, 8.3 ppg), G – Shep Garner (6-1, 9.2 ppg), F – Brandon Taylor (6-6, 10.0 ppg), C – Jordan Dickerson (7-1, 2.3 ppg)Key Reserves: F – Ross Travis, F – Payton Banks, F – Donovon JackGame VitalsWho: No. 5 Wisconsin at Penn StateWhen: Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m.Where: State College, Pennsylvania; Bryce Jordan Center (15,261)TV: Big Ten Network
The latest entrant in the world of research reports on esports is international data and analytics group YouGov. This one differs to the likes of Newzoo, Superdata, Nielsen and Juniper however in that it focuses primarily on the UK esports market.In order to contrast and compare, YouGov also surveyed those in Germany, Singapore, China, the US and Australia. The total sample size of the survey was 9,473 and all were aged 18 or over, 2,087 of these were from the UK. China had the highest propensity of those who had watched esports before at 348 out of 1,009. The report, ‘Just a game? Understanding the existing and future UK esports market’, and it’s available to download here. Amongst its findings, the report states that 7% of British adults of those aware of esports, which means close to four million people, have watched some form of competitive video gaming. Perhaps more importantly it found that six in ten of this group (57%) are keen to watch esports again. YouGov’s research covers six markets across the world markets and found that, as expected, younger people are the keenest spectators, with a fifth (21%) of 18-24s in Britain having watched, compared to less than 1% of people aged 55+. One question we have is what the report constituted as esports content, as it mentions that ‘FIFA tops the most watched game’. Whilst content around FIFA is undoubtedly popular especially on YouTube, it lags significantly behind the likes of League, Dota, CS and others when it comes to viewership of its actual esports competitions. The aims of conducting the report are noted as the following; to measure market awareness, to assess the market size and potential market size of esports in the UK and how it compares to other markets, to understand watchers and prospects of esports, to evaluate the role of betting on esports and to size the potential for sponsors of esports. The report also found that the current esports viewers ‘have a greater appreciation than the general public in other areas’. Those who have watched esports are three times as likely as the population as a whole to believe that esports players are athletes, to the tune of 20% vs 6%. In addition, and perhaps in an unsurprising statement, they are around three times as likely to think that esports will become as popular as traditional sports (44% vs. 15%). When it comes to a gender difference, men (at 55%) are notably more likely than women (at 43%) to think competitive video gaming will not replace established sports.YouGov Senior Research Executive Chris Polechonski said: “Even those that review the sport in positive terms are unlikely to see competitive video gaming replacing traditional pastimes, so the onus is on the eSports to industry to allow it to work alongside familiar favourites. Persuading doubters of the sporting merits is a big hurdle as the majority of people do not currently regard eSports as ‘real sport’. However, our research suggests that when people do get round to watching competitive video gaming, their attitudes soften.”Other notable findings include the fact that 7% of those who have watched esports before have bet on it, and 17% of those interested in watching stating they’d be keen to place wagers. The esports betting market is growing at an impressive rate, but still faces some major challenges, which the panel at our August ESI Forum explored. You can watch the video of this here. Esports Insider says: Ignoring the unfortunate capitalised S, this appears a fairly comprehensive report with a survey size of close to 10,000. The fact it’s available for free is also a major plus and kudos to YouGov for this and its UK focus, but our question remains of what constitutes esports content as the report mentions FIFA tops the most watched game. Regardless we’re keen to see more from YouGov which promises that it will continue to monitor and report on the market.