Esports has been a phenomenon for a number of years, drawing millions of audiences into the fray. The space has become a great place for gamblers to bet and with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 shutting down other gambling events, many turned to esports for their gambling needs. The gambling industry might have its own fair share of video slots, click here for more,and competitive games, but nothing compares to the might of esports.
How Esports Took Over the World
Although many might consider esports to be a very new activity to engage in, the sector has been around for decades, evolving with the times and growing as technology got better and better.
The earliest form of esports competition dates back to 1972, where students at Stamford University organised an ‘Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics’ competition for the game Spacewar. The games themselves didn’t have a direct multiplayer component within them, so contests had to be decided on high scores, with individuals and teams trying to beat each other’s tally.
That all changed with the revolutionary Street Fighter II that finally introduced direct competition among players. The 90’s also brought the internet into gamer’s lives, with online multiplayer changing the world of gaming forever. Over the last two decades, esports has established itself as a force to be reckoned with. Games like DOTA, League of Legends, Fortnite and FIFA have attracted millions of players and created global competitions that are attended by a ridiculous amount of players, in fact, thousands of csgo gambling sites started to pop up around the internet providing odds and streaming championships.
In 2019 alone, the League of Legends Championship attracted over 100 million viewers, with a peak of 44 million. This level of interest has turned many eyes towards the sector, with big money being invested in the competitions to professionalize esports and support this huge market. Big publishers like Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games have invested heavily in college scholarships for esports players and continue to push for the sector to be professionalized.
A New Frontier
The attention that esports has been gathering turned many heads in its direction. Chief among them is of course, the gambling industry.
Having the majority of gambling activity focusing on sports around the world, esports feels like the perfect fit for the industry, with plenty of competitions around for people to bet on. The gambling sector has its vey own competitive games sector with online casino activities which contribute to a fair share of the industry’s value. Poker tournaments have been a great place for gamblers to place their wagers, but video slots have also recently come back into the spotlight. Adopting a high score competitive feature that is reminiscent of the first esports competitions, video slots are adopting to the multiplayer space, opening up yet another opportunity for gamblers to place their bets on.
But this obviously doesn’t compare to the huge outreach that esports has. In 2020, the esports sector is estimated at a value of £12 billion, having capitalised on the COVID crisis, which brought in audiences (and gamblers) from other areas into the fray. Major bookmakers like Bet365 and Paddy Power have reported that esports betting has more than doubled between 2019 and 2020 with further increases on the horizon. The sector has never been this big and makes it the perfect target for bookmakers and gamblers alike.
The Perfect Match?
Esports and gambling seem to go hand-in-hand. With the former growing to unprecedented heights, it would be only natural for the gambling industry to turn its eyes on this new prize. Yet the dangers of problematic young gamblers are also on the rise and if the two are to have a bright future together, than the right measures need to be assertively put in place.
In collaboration with Johnslots.