Esports betting is now one of the most popular gambling activities. With millions of players and many prize pools, knowing an esports scene and betting on the right outcome can be very lucrative.
Esports betting is growing rapidly. This relatively new form of betting had a slow start but is expanding considerably in recent years. This growth has been so explosive that some estimate that the world market for esports will reach a value of over a billion in 2020.
Esports betting is a growing market
The potential growth for esports betting is huge. Esports is still a niche market, mainly known by gamers. While traditional sports have fans of all ages and origins, this is not yet true for esports. League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive do not have the same viewership as the NBA or FIFA’s World Cup, and therefore fewer people bet on the matches. Most people don't even know that esports exist, let alone that it is possible to make esports bets.
For the past two years, esports has experienced rapid growth, both financially and in the media. Companies are investing considerably in this emerging market, which is now structured like a professional traditional sport. The status of esports players exists in several countries and many players now dream of an esports championship at the 2024 Olympics.
China is the country with the most active viewership and esports betters. Northern America comes second in viewership numbers. Other countries are catching up fast, with emerging markets in south-east Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
Esports betting thrives despite the Covid-19 pandemic
If the coronavirus outbreak canceled most sports events, esports continued with online games. Unlike sports, esports betting websites are thriving. Here, players can bet on their favorite game from home, and win money based on their predictions.
As many competitions couldn’t happen due to Covid-19, many sports decided to continue their championships on their esports counter-part. The first major championship to switch online is the NBA. Major teams and players gathered online on NBA 2K20 back in March. Football fans could follow the Spanish La Liga through FIFA 2020. All teams but FC Barcelona and Mallorca didn’t join the tournament as they were sponsored by EA’s competitor, Konami. All funds raised during these online tournaments were donated to charities.
The gap between traditional sports and esports is closing
Esports betting is getting more popular as the internet and video games become the new normal. Traditional sports teams are also taking interest in esports. Popular football teams, such as Paris Saint Germain or FC Barcelona, have teams in major esports titles. Unexpected companies also hopped on the esports bandwagon, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Esports and traditional sports both gather betters from all around the world, but the online dimension of esports is a niche no one else can cover. The coronavirus crisis highlighted this need for constant action and the lack of solutions brought by traditional sports. Bookmakers turned to esports, marking the beginning of a new era for esports betting and its global recognition.