Esports refers to competitive video gaming that involves professional players and teams competing against each other in organized tournaments or leagues. These events are typically broadcast live on streaming platforms (with Twitch and YouTube leading in the West). Esports requires a high level of skill and strategy and an incredible amount of practice rivalling traditional sports. Professional players primarily specialize in specific games, such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Dota.
With the technical explanation aside, the esports industry as we know it, pulled off a truly amazing development feat. Although the history of esports technically dates since the 1970s, we have lived through the real boom of its popularity in recent years, where it has seeped into popular culture, outpaced other forms of entertainment such as cinema in growth, and has become a cultural phenomenon on a level of traditional sports.
Securing Backing, Winning Hearts – Why is Esports Growing?
The resounding success of the esports industry elevated it from a nerdy hobby to a mainstream attraction seemingly overnight. Of course, it is only possible with a significant backing of tech – and not only – giants banking on its success. Thankfully, the esports industry enjoys massive support not only from gaming enthusiasts but also stakeholders and big brands.
Just take a look at the list of major esports industry investors:
- Intel. The tech giant with over 80% of the CPU market share, Intel was one of the first to realize the potential application of its tech in the esports industry. Thus, Intel Extreme Masters was born – one of the longest-standing esports competitions in multiple genres and disciplines.
- Amazon. This massive retailer is known for its great tech solutions like Amazon Cloud Services. As for its contribution to esports – it’s Twitch. Yes, Amazon now owns the most popular western streaming platform, without which the esports industry would not be as popular as today.
- Coca-Cola. Perhaps the most recognized brand in the history of all brands, Coca-Cola is a frequent sponsor of the largest esports events to grace the fans. Coca-Cola has been one of the most prominent sponsors of the League of Legends World Championship since 2013, a long-term partner of Electronic Sports League and DreamHack, and more.
Keep in mind that it’s a partial list. Thousands more prominent brands are supporting the industry – and it’s all because it’s a worthy investment.
The best and most well-known example of recognized esports tournament is none other than The International, a massive esports series organized by Valve Corporation. Dota 2 The International is an annual esports tournament featuring the world’s top teams competing for the largest prize pool in esports history, with a record of over $40 million! Still, a long way to catch up to the likes of the Football World Cup, but we’re getting there.
Esports Betting Sites: What Is Its Role In The Esports Ecosystem
Traditional sports and sports betting have gone hand-in-hand for as long as we can remember. The classic wagers on horse races or more advanced betting on football matches have always been there to spice up the viewing experience – and even make a living for some of the sharper punters. Esports games are not any different in this regard – and the esports betting industry is rapidly developing alongside the video game competitive scene.
According to the data analytics company Esports Charts research, the total revenue of the esports betting sites doubled from 2020 to 2021, going from $7 billion to a whopping $14 billion! Not only is this growth exponential, it’s also steady – which is surprising to see as esports competitions have become mainstream as long as two decades ago. Slightly more than that, actually!
It’s no surprise that esports betting impacts esports tournament viewership. It can increase interest and engagement from fans who have bet on the match outcome. When viewers have a financial stake in the outcome of a match, they’ll be more invested in watching and cheering for their favourite teams, which can drive up viewership numbers. This also makes the esports fans dedicate more of their time to researching esports guides such as our team at TIPS.GG provides.
In addition to increasing interest in esports competitions indirectly by making them more exciting, most big esports bookies directly invest in popular esports games, teams, and events. Their sponsor tags are everywhere: from player jerseys to broadcast banners, it’s hard to find an event that esports bookmakers could have helped organize.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for esports betting, however. The industry faces a lot of challenges on the legal side. Some of the biggest esports industry regions, such as the United States of America, are overwhelmingly hostile to esports betting sites and have sweeping bans against them. There is good news, though: since 2020, we can observe a strong legal push to acknowledge esports betting as equal to sports betting, and hence its legal standing is improving. Not just in the US but worldwide!
We Live In The Future of Esports And Esports Betting
While the novel nature of esports games and esports tournaments is hard to appreciate and predict fully, certain trends can be observed with the naked eye. For instance, Forbes Journal predicted in 2020 that esports gaming would evolve in three following main ways:
- Esports to become the main entertainment option.
- Mobile esports to make it even more accessible to mass consumers.
- Content creation to become even more robust.
In addition, the esports betting industry is staying caught up. An Insider Intelligence report claims that the industry’s total size was 20 billion US dollars in 2021 – an absurdly massive increase from 2019’s 7 billion US dollars. Additionally, other kinds of esports betting sites have emerged, such as cryptocurrency esports betting sites, providing more and more options to the esports fans.
The esports industry proved many wrong and established itself as the focal point of new age entertainment. Best esports disciplines are cultural phenomena rivaling traditional sports, and the best esports bookmakers are popular, safe, and well-regulated enough for all esports bettors to enjoy without hiccups.
We already see how the gaming industry is now larger in revenue than the movie and music industries combined as of 2022. Tech conglomerates such as Tencent are pushing for the “modification” of gaming and esports, and fan content is at an all-time high. We’re already in the future – and it has no intention of slowing down.