ESports: Is it Time for iGaming Companies to Cash in Now?
Football continues to be one of the biggest sports in the world not just in terms of viewership, but also in terms of the revenue it brings to the plate through betting. Gambling on football is huge and it is the biggest driving force behind the industry. BBC Sports came out with a report in 2013 about the industry being worth around $1 trillion a year; football is understood to contribute around 70% of those figures. However, recent years have seen rapid rise from the world of e-sports.
Arrival of Major Tournaments
Only a decade ago, video games were largely regarded as a favourite pastime but the growth of the e-sports has been tremendous and rapid. Today, it is possible to come across major tournaments involving e-sports like Counter Strike: Global Offensive or DOTA. These are some of the popular games at major tournaments, while individual tournaments also exist for these sports. A true sign of the industry moving away from being considered as a hobby or a pastime is the amount of work being put in by the gamers in order to achieve success; it would not be uncommon to see a professional gamer train for around 12 hours in a single day.
E-gamers have now started achieving celebrity status just like in the case of real-world sportspersons. FIFA tournaments may have a substantially lower prize pool compared with the other e-sports, but it has provided the opportunity for e-gamers to sign up with a real professional football teams. The partnerships being made have also extended into the world of online casinos and major betting companies. Betway E-Sports recently signed up as a partner with Ninjas in Pyjamas – a renowned team when it comes to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad.
Aside from getting more involved with the gamers and the sports in general, one can also find bookmakers and online casinos are ensuring that fans are also able to interact much more. Betradar have been able to come up with partnership that allows them to provide odds on e-sports to major bookies across the world. Gone are the days when football used to get majority of the markets when it came to each event. Today, Betrader has helped e-sports punters get more than 90 high quality events to bet upon in the first tier of the e-sports.
Punters who bet on the football event will be able to get their hands on multiple betting markets like half-time/full-time, correct score, first goal scorer, anytime goalscorer, and number of goals from a player. It is estimated that each football event will get around 200 markets from various bookmakers around the world.
There is a huge differential when it comes to price money being offered in e-sports as of now. Some of the popular games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, League of Legends, and StarCraft contribute the biggest chunk of prize money in e-sports. Today, it was in the region of around $200 million, and it has already made several e-gamers as millionaires. Yet, the popularity is expected to increase in the coming years and this would lead to a substantial jump in the prize money. The various e-sports tournaments around the world in 2017 is expected to be witnessed by around 350 million viewers, but it was only around 150 million viewers three years ago.
E-sports viewership is expected to increase to a whopping 500 million in the next three years. This would be met with an equal amount of increase in sponsorship and the quality of the gaming.
Traditional sports is incredibly popular when it comes to selling media rights, and it manages to gather most of its revenue from this medium. E-sports has a big disadvantage on this front, but it is expected to improve in the next three years.
The clear increase in the popularity of e-sports is a huge boon for iGaming companies. There is already a clear shift towards this industry, as companies do not want to be left out of the race. However, the betting market is still at a nascent stage and it is expected to evolve as the years go by. The interest shown by the iGaming companies in e-sports is understandable considering the huge potential available. The number of fans are expected to increase with every year, and those fans want to start their interactions with tournaments like the League of Legends World Championship in a far bigger way.
E-sports betting is on the rise and sports have every reason to fear at this ascent.