After bubbling under the radar for several years, eSports has exploded in popularity over the course of the last decade. The concept of competitive gaming dates back to the mid-90s when Street Fighter players went head-to-head in tournaments, but today’s events are much bigger in almost every way.
We’re talking bigger crowds, bigger TV audiences, bigger commercial deals and bigger prize money for the winning teams and players. The stakes have never been higher and the action has never been as exciting.
This huge growth has been matched by external interest in the industry, with TV and streaming companies purchasing the rights to broadcast matches. Perhaps the biggest measure of eSports’ growth is in the construction of dedicated eSports arenas.
But other industries are also taking note and analysing how they can harness eSports to entice more people to engage with their own products and services. In this article, we will talk about eSports’ arrival as one of the world’s major online betting markets.
The growth of online betting
Online betting has been around for almost as long as people have been accessing the internet. The first websites offered simple, clunky adaptations of physical casino games, but the evolution since then has been significant.
Today the online betting industry is booming, with many ingredients contributing to its estimated $53.7bn global value. This includes traditional sports betting, online casino staples like blackjack, poker and roulette, as well as casual games like slots and bingo.
In particular, the range of online bingo games available is incredible to behold and serves as a perfect reflection of the game’s new-found digital popularity. Bingo is a crucial part of online gambling’s eco-system and a major player in its continued growth.
But although games like bingo continue to grow in popularity, it is in sports betting where eSports has found its home in the industry, alongside some of the world’s most historically significant games and pastimes.
Why do people bet on eSports?
People bet on eSports for the same reason they’d bet on any sport. Fans enjoy analysing the form and predicting results, and the idea of being able to win some money out of that knowledge is particularly appealing to some.
And that trend has carried over into eSports, where players are able to predict the outcome of individual matches, tournaments and even longer-form competitions. There’s truly a huge selection of markets to select from these days.
Calculating odds and changing them on the fly takes a lot of work on behalf of betting companies, and it is recognition of eSports’ growth that so many markets are today available, alongside competitions like the Premier League and the NFL.
As we can see, there are many ways to effectively measure the growth of eSports, and wherever you look there is evidence of its growing popularity and value, whether that the be the audience size or the prize money on offer.
And this growing relationship with betting companies should serve as yet further evidence that eSports has arrived as one of the world’s biggest sporting disciplines.
You can find more of our featured pieces, including interviews and opinion pieces by clicking HERE.