Since the start of the Millennium, with broadband internet and improved graphics, eSports gaming has become a global phenomenon. This article will discuss the merits of making eSports betting the centerpiece of your new sportsbook.
The world of eSports is expanding rapidly. Thousands of professional teams, global audiences of millions and vast revenues have captured the imagination of many the biggest bookmakers.
In 2015, the industry generated a massive $325 million from ticket sales, advertising revenues, sales of media rights and merchandising. There are likewise huge rewards and sponsorship deals on offer for the leading eSports teams. From the major international knockout tournaments to the growing number of ‘ladder’ competitions, international interest just keeps increasing.
One of the best-known Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) titles, League of Legends was introduced way back in 2009. It now boasts hundreds of millions of online players, many of whom are now old enough to bet legally on the outcomes of top events.
Alongside Moneyline (Winning Team) bets, a host of in-play options have emerged, allowing fans to bet on who will destroy the next tower or which team will be next to kill an Inhibitor.
Handicap/spread betting, futures (outright), prop bets on team points totals, and combination (accumulator) bets are also proving increasingly popular.
The Overwatch League, meanwhile, began its inaugural season last year. It has arguably taken eSports mainstream, with a pro sports-style tournament structure attracting a huge online following.
Betting on eSports is also rising rapidly, with some experts predicting that by 2020, around $23.5 billion will be staked on eSports per year. One bookmaker has even projected that more individual bets will soon be placed on a top “League of Legends” tournament than on the European Champions League final.
Industry-leading betting companies are venturing into the sector, fighting the specialist sites like Pinnacle for market share, but the field is still relatively open for innovative players to enter the arena.
Some serious sports bettors – and industry insiders – still look down on eSports, but the fact is that it’s set to play a huge role in the future of betting. There’s even been talk of eSports appearing at the Olympics.
While many titles can be baffling to the uninitiated, it’s possible that simpler, more retro formats with genuine mass appeal will emerge in the future, enabling people of all ages to engage with the action.
One thing that an eSports betting operator has to consider is the deep knowledge of the fans. eSports aficionados know their favorite games inside out and when it comes to hiring trading talent, it’s vital to go with those in the know.
An essential element of any betting operation is a solid iFrame Sportsbook platform which enables the real-time management of all aspects of the business, from trading and risk management to promotional campaigns. Betinvest provides the only such solution that offers unique customization options for eSports. For an operator considering making eSports the mainstay of their business, that could be a decisive factor.
In an industry that thrives on possibilities, one thing is certain: the demographics that represent the future of the gambling sector have grown up with eSports and many prefer them to traditional sports. Preparing for the future means embracing eSports as a prominent part – or even the core component – of any sportsbook.