Esports Betting is a hot topic for many traditional betting sites. It could become a major sport for betting in the next few years.
Esports betting lessons from Football
In the eighties and nineties, Horse Racing was the primary betting sport. Some people in the betting industry laughed at the idea that football would become a major revenue stream for betting companies. We all know what has happened since.
The same attitude permeates the betting sector in relation to Esports today.
It is surprising looking back but Football Betting wasn’t as big as it is today. Esports right now has the same feel as football did in the eighties and nineties. There is huge potential for growth in Esports betting.
Reasons for the rise of Esports Betting
Society has changed. Peoples’ past times have changed. The days of the “kickabout” are essentially over. From an early age, more and more people play games online instead of football on the street.
As a result, a market for Esports has grown organically.
From a betting angle, similar to Golf, many players who are not on a professional level still have a keen interest. As a result, betting on Esports is an avenue for them to turn their opinion or analysis into tangible action.
It adds an extra entertainment factor to watching the sport.
Betting Learning Curve for Esports
For traditional sports punters, there is a large learning curve. This relates to game rules and understanding tactics, skills and strategies.
However, for Esports fans, betting markets are a much simpler concept in comparison. We predict that in years to come, the core market for esports betting will consist of Esports fans placing bets rather than sports punters adding esports to the regular sports they bet on.
Popular Esports Games
These are the most popular games that many betting sites have markets for:
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends
- Dota 2
- Starcraft 2
- Rocket League
- Heroes of the Storm
- World of Tanks
- World of Warcraft
- Warcraft 3
- Quake Champions
- Call of Duty
- Street Fighter V
Anybody who has attended an Esports event knows that the atmosphere rivals the most intense football games.
Just look at some esports tournament broadcasts on Twitch and you will see for yourself how dedicated the fanbase is.
Sponsorship for Esports
Sponsorship of esports teams and events has grown exponentially in the last number of years.
Many major brands sponsor esports events. This has grown over the last several years. As a result, esports is now a serious consideration for sports sponsorship marketing managers.
The reason behind this is the dedication of esports fans. Many online betting companies now realise that esports sponsorship represents a key opportunity to grow their brand and increase the size of your customer database with a new cohort of customer.
This is reflected in sponsorship by many betting brands off esports teams and tournaments
Esports Las Vegas
A key indicator of how esports for betting is developing has been the conversion of the nightclub at the Luxor casino in Las Vegas formerly known as LAX into an esports venue.
We all know that Las Vegas doesn’t do things just for the sake of it, and there’s definitely a betting play going on here. Although initially betting hasn’t been integrated into this location, there is vast potential for an esports arena to be developed to become a live sportsbook similar to what you see on a traditional Vegas casino floor.
A new demographic of esports punter will be developed through extensive sponsorship of esports events by betting companies.
Esports Betting Markets
In order for esports to become a true betting sport, major development is required in relation to trading specific game focused markets.
As a result, in order to innovate traders must be educated in the specifics of each game.
Specific esports betting sites
There are websites dedicated to esports betting. These include Unikrn with Mark Cuban as an investor. Also, traditional Betting sites, such as Betway have invested heavily in their esports product.
However, there are improvements needed to deliver a product that will have mass appeal to the current esports fan.
In summary, current 1 x 2 markets are not good enough to sustain interest in esports betting from esports fans.
In conclusion, esports has a long way to go to catch up with popular sports such as football, tennis and golf. However, if more resources are dedicated to improving the esports betting experience, then there is huge potential to create an entertaining platform.
At the moment esports is falling between two stools.
- The dedicated esports websites only offer esports markets.
- Traditional betting sites that try and fit esports markets into templates developed for other sports.
Our Prediction for Esports
Esports will slowly grow in importance for traditional betting operators.
The betting operator that will innovate in relation to esports markets and offer specific game markets will gain traction.
At the moment, there is no clear indication of who this will be.
However, it’s only a matter of time before esports fans view betting in the same light as football fans did when they first started to place bets back in the 80s and 90s.
Perhaps the biggest reason for betting sites to take esports seriously is the Asian market.
The size of the Asian market combined with the popularity of esports makes innovation key to servicing the growing Asian betting market.
All in all, esports has the potential to become a top 5 sport for online bookmakers in the near future.