Most people understand (at least conceptually) what it means to bet on a “traditional” sporting event like boxing or football. However, because it is such a recently-emerging phenomenon, many people have little to no understanding of what the term “eSports” means, let alone how eSports betting has become such a burgeoning market. This article will serve as a quick introductory guide to the innovative, “brave new world” of eSports betting.
Before getting into the moneymaking aspect of eSports, one needs to first understand exactly what eSports are. The surge in the video game market over recent decades has spawned the emergence of tournaments featuring the world’s greatest gamers; these online warriors battle it out in games that are wildly popular and tailor-made for competition (for example, “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (aka CGSO), “Call of Duty,” “League of Legends” and “Hearthstone”). Audiences watch these tournaments for various reasons; some spectators do so out of pure enjoyment — for the same reasons that they would watch a baseball or basketball game — while others seek to learn tips and strategies to improve their own gameplay.
Furthermore, these competitions can take place in various ways; some tournaments are held entirely online while others are broadcast live worldwide from massive stadiums with entrants competing on stage before a sea of fans. It is currently estimated that 300 million people across the globe observe eSports competitions in one way or another and that this number will likely increase to 500 or 600 million by the year 2020. According to the market researchers Newzoo, in 2015, the eSports industry generated $325 million in worldwide revenues from ticket sales, advertising, merchandising and media rights.
Once you grasp the eSports concept, then with a short leap of the imagination, you can also understand how audiences would eventually seek to cash in on contest results. Thus, eSports betting was born! Gaming enthusiasts who are well-versed in a video game title can make wagers based on their own specific knowledge.
At the same time, by watching numerous matches and doing a bit of research, non-gamers can learn the relative skills of different players and teams the same way that they would get to know the stats of their favorite basketball squad. In any case, one’s increased knowledge of and obsession with the eSports universe could naturally evolve into making things “more interesting” by adding a monetary incentive.
There are many factors that have bolstered the popularity of eSports betting. First and foremost, it is extremely easy to find ways to watch the tournaments; you can find multiple online video streaming sites that will let you observe live eSports competitions for free. Also, as with traditional sports, eSports fanatics might seek to heighten the intensity of their viewing experience by adding an “investment” to their involvement.
Wagering on eSport events motivates spectators to watch matches until the end as well as less significant matches, which increases viewership and further boosts the industry; this then increases the number of wagers made and so on (in a self-perpetuating cycle). According to market research by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC, it is estimated that by 2020 fans will be betting approximately $23.5 billion on eSports tournaments, of which betting operators will enjoy a cool $1.8 billion in aggregate revenues.
In a report, Alex Igelman, the managing director of Gaming Research Partners, was quoted as stating, “Many of the world’s leading bookmakers regularly take bets on numerous eSports matches and although in its infancy, the betting volume already exceeds that of golf, tennis and rugby and is rapidly growing.”
Betting on eSports is very much the same as betting on traditional sports. You can make a wager on either a team or a player that you think will emerge victorious (although eSports novices should probably wade into their betting experience by choosing one team to win a match over another). And predictably, the growing demand for eSports betting has spawned multiple websites that offer odds on upcoming eSports competitions the same way that BetStars does for traditional football matches and tennis tournaments. Once you’ve done your research, you can place bets on eSports matches in various ways, including via a specialized betting website (like CSGOBetting.com) or a tailor-made mobile app. Because all eSports betting websites and apps work a bit differently and have diverse offerings, you might want to try a few options to figure out which one works best for you.