The rise of esports betting has been an interesting niche over the last few years. The burgeoning market of online betting has been growing at a rate that seems to be unstoppable. It continues to grow yearly, with some analysts predicting it will continue until at least 2030.
As esports tournaments began to gain momentum, going from small online events to sell-out stadiums in less than a decade, the online gambling market identified the potential of opening up betting markets for this particular gambling sector.
The online gambling and esports industries are two huge sectors that have benefitted immensely from the advancements in computing technology, graphics and widespread connectivity.
As millions more gamblers have entered the market, industry leaders have thought of newer and more creative ways to keep them on board. One of the many ways these companies attract customers is through promotional deals such as welcome offers.
Welcome offers cover a wide range of proposals, from free bets to free spins on slot machine games and free in-game tokens, which allow you to place bigger or more bets for the same deposit amount.
What is esports?
Professional gaming is a multimillion-dollar industry, and with younger generations continually entering the market, it doesn’t look like the industry will soon experience a retraction. Analysts have stated that they believe the industry is now worth over $1bn, which will likely grow even further.
These games spread across various genres, from titles such as Fortnite to Call of Duty. The popularity of these events has surprised even the most ardent critics. For example, in 2019, an American teenager won $3m as he was crowned champion in the Fortnite World Cup.
The total prize pool for the tournament exceeded $25m, which shows just how popular esports events have become over the last decade.
Although the competition type varies based on the type of game, all the top titles that host major esports events enjoy huge viewership. In addition to the sold-out stadiums, thousands of people tune in to watch the tournaments unfold online.
Fortnite and League of Legends are considered two of the most popular esports titles. In games such as Street Fighter and sports games such as NFL Madden, the competition follows a more straightforward direct knockout competition format.
How esports became a popular gambling market
As more gambling markets have emerged online, operators have sought ways to open up the markets to new customers. For example, in the United Kingdom, you can now bet on the outcome of TV shows such as the Eurovision Song Contest.
Other miscellaneous markets include betting on who will become the next Prime Minister of the UK and President of the United States of America. American gambling markets have been slower to follow this trend, mainly due to the differing laws in each state.
However, the last few years have led to several American States repealing or relaxing their stringent restrictions on online gambling, which has again opened the door to a new wave of customers who previously had no access to this market.
Esports falls into a miscellaneous category, as you aren’t betting on a professional sporting event or a game that is taking place. All esports markets are based on the outcome of games or tournaments on consoles such as XBOX, PlayStation or on PC.
A brief history of console gaming
Throughout the late 1990s and the early 21st century, huge gaming corporations such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have battled it out for supremacy in the gaming market. The promise of the multibillion-dollar industry was apparent whenever any of these companies launched a new console.
When Sony launched the original PlayStation in 1994, the market made it clear just how much potential it had. Although quietly optimistic about its chances of becoming a real success, they probably didn’t envisage it would go on to sell over 100 million units within the first decade.
This was followed by incredibly strong sales of their follow-up consoles, and Microsoft’s XBOX also sold millions of units in a relatively short period. As companies began to notice the huge potential of games, many game designers worked flat out to develop the next big game.
As game developers focused on creating the most engaging title, the developers of the consoles continued to look for ways to innovate in the sector.
Due to the rise of the internet around the same time, many commentators suspected the next obvious move would be to create a market where people could use the internet to play with each other online.
The rise of online gaming and esports
In the early 2010s, Sony and Microsoft were the two market leaders attempting to connect users from all over the world to play against each other. Both experienced serious success.
Online gaming soon became the norm, with many gaming titles focusing on the online element over more traditional gaming avenues such as an offline story mode.
Games such as Call of Duty and sports games such as NFL Madden and FIFA had online leaderboards that would rank users from all over the globe as the best players of their respective games.
The exponential rise of esports can be attributed to many key factors. The growth in internet technology, high-speed internet and streaming platforms have facilitated increasing levels of accessibility for gamers and viewers from all over the world.
Although tournaments between the best players haven’t been created in the last decade, the market has now become validated due to the number of factors allowing such mass levels of interconnectivity.
The internet can easily connect millions more people to play against each other than any gaming tournament that predates the internet. This not only allowed for greater viewership but also increased the quality of the competition and created entirely new markets, such as the esports betting market.
The esports betting market is an industry that will not fade into obscurity. As more people enter the space and prize pools increase, attention will be drawn to game developers, players and tournament hosts to keep the excitement flowing.
It is unlikely that it will become the most popular market on bookmaker sites. Even though the industry may soon be a multibillion-dollar enterprise, it is still dwarfed by the number of bets on other sports, such as the Super Bowl or the English Premier League.
Esports betting is a subcategory of major sports. Even though people under 35 will be aware of the potential in this industry, many still prefer to place sports bets on events involving professional teams.
The casino industry is another industry that is a behemoth. With an annual 11-figure turnover in the United States alone, it is difficult to see how esports could reach that same profit level.
However, there weren’t many people who believed ten years ago that a Call of Duty tournament would sell out an entire stadium and be streamed online to millions of people across the globe, so who knows how big the industry could truly get?
Either way, it’s an exciting time to be involved in the esports industry on any of the levels we have discussed today.