Online betting has gone through many changes in 2020. At first, due to the discontinuation of classic sports events, there was a moment of decline. Then bettors have turned their attention to esports, which saved the industry and gave it a new vector of development. Many virtual platforms have added an esports section to their sites and began to actively develop it. For example, Michael Boettcher’s Storm International on his Shangri La website has created a professional section for esports betting with dozens of games.
What Is Esports?
Esport is a regular sport, only in video games. In many countries, it has already been officially recognized as a real sport, and bookmakers have long been betting on various cyber games. Esports betting in bookmakers is also gaining popularity due to the constant growth of the video games audience.
A huge audience, high entertainment, a competitive element, a large number of both well predictable and random factors – all this inevitably led to the fact that they began to accept bets on esports matches. And today this sport is considered to be one of the most promising and fastest growing.
How Is Esports Developing?
The first notable event was the 1997 Quake Championship, which attracted around 1900 participants. The legendaryness of the tournament was added by the fact that the winner was presented with a Ferrari 328 GTS convertible.
10 years ago, it was hard to imagine that soon Counter-Strike or Dota competitions would gather tens of millions of viewers at the monitor screens and crazy prize money. Yes, even then some local and international tournaments were held, but very few people knew about them and almost no one took esports seriously.
Other popular games besides Quake were Counter Strike, Starcraft and Warcraft. From the early 2000s to 2014, the esports Olympiad was held – the annual World Cyber Games championship. The victory in it brought not only solid wins, but also honor and respect from players and fans around the world.
Counter Strike and Starcraft have remained among the top sports games to date, but they still have to fight for audience attention with a bunch of projects. These are such popular projects as Dota 2, League of Legend, Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, Hearthstone, World of Tanks, Call of Duty. And this is not a full list. Major tournaments are held even in mobile games!
Over the time, the audience has been growing and the competition has attracted more and more attention. Well-known global brands started to enter the esports industry, bringing in a lot of money. Now a guy who does not get up playing 8-10 hours a day because of a computer can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in one tournament.
The statistics of the majority of bookmakers showed that in 2020 there was an influx of bettors in esports. The CEO of Storm International, Darren Keane, also confirms this trend.
Over the years of development, a stereotype has developed that the esports audience is teenagers. In fact, this is not really true and the target group of esports are already quite adult people who can afford to bet on CS: GO, LoL, Dota 2, etc.
The numbers on the Internet says, the average age of an American gamer is 34 years. There is an assumption that in the whole world the average age of players is the same. Therefore, many experts predict the rapid growth of the esports audience in the next few years.
The spectators of esports tournaments are usually players themselves. There are a lot of them. For example, League of Legends has over 100 million active users, while servers can host up to 8 million fighters at the same time. These people are usually well versed in various game nuances and have a good understanding of what is happening on the screen during sports matches.
The second point: you do not need to understand a specific discipline to enjoy watching matches. It is enough just to have experience of at least some computer games.
Finally, esports tournaments are very entertaining. The picture is bright, there are a lot of activities, collisions, shootings on the screen and so on. As in regular sports, there are commentators, analysts, reruns of the best moments.
The best cyber athletes make millions of dollars and become world famous. They have their own fans who even follow them around the planet – almost like in football.
Prize funds have grown exponentially over the past 20 years. The largest Dota 2 championship, The International, played over $ 30 million among the tournament participants. This is still a record, but it can be broken as early as next year.
Major Counter Strike tournaments boast a prize pool of $ 1 million or more.
Esports is gaining popularity all over the world, added Darren Keane, Storm International. This also shows up in sports betting. Experts predict the esports audience growth, which means that it will also develop in the field of betting. Do not take it as something frivolous, perhaps, within 10 years, we will see competitions in computer games at the Olympics.