Professional gaming took off when people understood the true potential of LAN parties and how an entire stadium of people can be made to cheer for them. Most events back in the day relied on a few sponsors to host tournaments for people to watch. Things back in the days of Quake and Counter Strike 1.6 were relatively small and didn’t have gigantic stadiums full of people cheering for the players. Things dramatically changed with the addition of cosmetic microtransactions, which created an entire economy around themselves.
Two legendary esports that took off solely due to cosmetics include DOTA 2 and CSGO. People were particularly interested in acquiring rare cosmetics, even though they were actually rare and had a very little chance of dropping from crates and treasures respectively. The sheer gambling involved in getting those rare cosmetics grew out to be an obsession for a majority of players – so much so that the mantle passed down even to third party sites which allowed gambling and betting. This gradually grew up to be a Mecca for players who wanted to earn some quick cash while playing the game. The revenue from the cosmetics eventually allowed some of these betting sites to grow into major sponsors for tournaments, allowing these tournaments to become what they are today.
Be it gambling or betting, there’s a choice of poison for everyone. You wager items in a box and wait till they are drawn out? It’s there! Simply open loot boxes with a combination of rare and common items and see if your luck held out or not? It’s there too! The risk is a bit greater while gambling, though the profit is also higher. Betting is relatively safer if people have a bit of knowledge about professional teams – a fact which drove up viewership counts on all major content distribution platforms. Betting is safer as compared to gambling, and has a greater probability of success.
Even with countries largely cutting down on gambling and betting, esports continues to grow as more and more sponsors are attracted to it. It accurately seems esports has a gorgeous future ahead, with the concept expanding to regions that have never heard about esports before.