Twenty years ago, if you had said that the biggest sport of the future would be played by teenagers in their bedrooms and streamed live to homes all over the world, you would have been dismissed as crazy. But that’s exactly what is happening right now.
Esports was practically non-existent just a decade ago and even 5 years ago, they were restricted to relatively small venues and small groups of fans (except in South Korea, where they have been big for a number of years). The rise of these sports has been phenomenal, and it’s in no small part to platforms like Youtube and Twitch, which have helped to put the latest games in front of millions of fans and convince everyone to watch or take part.
With so many events taking place all over the world, it’s no surprise that Esports betting markets have become some of the most popular in the casino games world these days, and this is only just the beginning, with many bigger and more exciting things to come.
A Massive Industry Getting Bigger
Over the last few years, the Esports betting industry, and the Esports industry, on the whole, has been given a huge shot in the arm.
It began with some of the biggest sports betting sites embracing this trend, and then quickly reported that they were taking more bets on Esport events than they were on sports like rugby, snooker, handball, and more.
Shortly afterward, we saw the rise of the Battle Royale game, and this introduced millions more to the Esports sector while providing numerous opportunities for betting.
In 2020, when many sports are forced to shut down, Esports remain strong. On the one hand, the massive stadium events were canceled, but at the same time, live streams allowed many smaller events to take place. This was a big deal for several reasons.
Firstly, it meant that more eyes were on these Esports events, as desperate sports fans looked for some live action. Secondly, it captured the attention of sportsbooks. The ones that had thus far rejected Esports suddenly went all-out in accepting it, plastering it all over their sites and creating many promotions built entirely around these events.
Variety has also helped this industry to grow. If you don’t like football, then nothing is going to lure you into watching or placing a bet. It doesn’t matter how big the league is or how prestigious the teams are, if it’s not your sport, you’re not going to partake.
With Esports, there are so many different possibilities. You can watch live sports games with FIFA, PES, and Madden tournaments; you can venture into a world of warfare with top games like Fortnite and Call of Duty, or you can opt for something slower and more strategic like Hearthstone.
How Do Esports Bets Differ?
Esports betting markets are often very simple, focusing on the winners and the losers and covering outright bets as well. However, the biggest events delve much deeper and mimic other sports.
FIFA is a great example of this. In the biggest games of FIFA, you can bet on how many goals there will be, whether there will be extra time, what the win handicap will be, and more. You can’t bet on corners, throw-ins, and free kicks like you can in a real game of football, but you can get pretty close.
What Will the Future Hold?
Football is the biggest sport in the world and will probably hold onto the number 1 position for decades to come. It’s going to take a lot for Esports to topple it, but if you focus on spectator numbers, Esports is already one of the ten biggest sports in the world and it has achieved that status despite being one of the youngest sports out there.
In the betting world, it’s even more pronounced, with many sites reporting higher revenue from Esports than they get from any other sport except for football.
Who knows, if it continues on this meteoric rise, with developers creating new titles, promoters launching new events, and sponsors getting behind them, it may even rival football in twenty or thirty years from now.