The Evolution of Esports Betting
Throughout recent years the eSports industry has boomed with more and more fans tuning in to watch some of the world’s best players enjoy their favorite games. There are projected to be nearly 300 million daily eSports audiences worldwide by 2022, a huge increase from the 58 million in 2012. Additionally, by 2022 some 347 million people are predicted to be occasional eSports viewers. One should not underestimate the potential of this relatively new industry, particularly with regard to online sports betting.
The ESL One in Germany is just one explanation for the huge popularity of eSports, with 20,000 sold tickets and over 25 million. Online audiences. Despite these figures, Europe ranks second only in 2019, based on the regular eSports audience share. According to reports, more than half of the world’s regular eSports fans and gamers can be found in Asia Pacific, 61 percent of which are currently under 35 years old.
This ever-growing market also holds incredible potential when it comes to betting on eSports, which generally falls into two main categories: cash betting and skin betting (“skins” being virtual items that can be used in video games, usually for cosmetics). Players exchange the skins through betting sites and use them as virtual tokens for casinos. Although skin betting has been the most common of the two, recent controversies and legal challenges have brought downward pressure to bear on the skin betting market, paving the way for cash betting.
The sums wagered on eSports betting worldwide are increasing steadily, beginning from US$ 315 million back in 2015 to US$ 7 billion in 2018, which is expected to double by 2020. The base projection is 6.5 million for the amount of customers placing esports wagers in 2020.
When it comes to the games themselves, League of Legends was the most successful eSports game in the gambling industry, as about 38 percent of the total amount wagered by eSportsbook was credited to bets placed on LoL. This is followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), with a betting volume of 29 per cent (2016).
As the rapidly growing trend around eSports begins to gain steam, the convergence of gaming and sports provides an exciting stream of promotional opportunities, reaching millions of people around the world with content and activations. Legislation will be one of the most significant challenges in that sense. Because it is a developing industry, there is a lack of clear rules in many jurisdiction to govern the eSports gambling market, especially in the case of player age verification and skin play.
The emerging development for the gaming industry will also bring the eSportsbook bid to the players that varies from conventional sportsbooks. Seeing that this new player population can not be matched with traditional sports bettors, new concepts need to be created to satisfy the eSports betting criteria.