If you thought eSports was a just a few video game fanatics getting together to watch friends play games, you’d be half right. eSports does indeed involve video games being played on a professional level, but thinking that it is not a major industry that generates tens of millions of annual revenue is a big mistake. eSports is huge, and it’s only set to get a whole lot bigger. It is estimated that in the United States alone that 40 million people enjoy watching eSports, and that this number is set to increase dramatically by the year 2020.
Wagering on eSports games is a particular point of interest, since this figure also is set to increase dramatically. It wasn’t so long ago that some online bookmakers didn’t even offer eSport betting options, given that they saw it as a niche market. They changed their tune very quickly, when it became obvious that not only were eSports growing in popularity rapidly, but they would soon be challenging more traditional sports in scope.
Video games in general have seen growth to a degree that is all but staggering, and most amazing is that it has happened so quick that most were taken by surprise. Sports such as football and rugby have been around centuries, so their popularity is easy to grasp. Video games, however, only really started seeing immense popularity in the last few decades. So, that something like eSports can be challenging other sports in terms of popularity is nothing short of a phenomenon.
The trick is that the majority of video gamers know what Counter Strike: Global Offensive is, and have probably played it themselves. It makes sense, therefore, that they would be interested in seeing peers player the game for a jackpot prize. You can’t, after all, expect these gamers to be interested in football when they have zero interest in actually playing it. In other words, eSports are the sports of a new generation. And, if they take joy in watching eSports games, it makes sense that that they are also going to be interested in betting on the outcome.
Online Viewer Figures
All popular video games that involve more than one player are played online. Modern gamers, therefore, are also generally very savvy internet users. Major eSports games are broadcast online, so it makes sense that eSports online viewer ship is through roof. As many as 36 million tune in to watch major games, and that certainly isn’t something to sneeze at. Top games such as League of Legends pull major attention, and this is only set to increase exponentially in the future. By 2020 this number will easily be around the 200 million mark.
One of the most remarkable things about eSports is that they are truly without borders. It’s true that football sees major popularity around the world, but football is not a game that is played online by its very nature, unless you consider that digital football games are played in some eSports events. Modern video gamers are used to playing games with people from around the world, so the network of interest already exists from one country to another. In other words, eSports have incredible potential to see worldwide popularity.
Focus On Wagering
It’s the wagering aspect that really has the modern game industry interested. The young generation is notoriously not stampeding to games like live baccarat, but they enjoy their video games. The last League of Legends final generated an astonishing 3 billion in wagering revenue, and this number expected to be around 8 billion by 2020. That is no small chunk of change, and just what these figures might be looking like by 2030 is anyone’s guess. The younger generation may have less and less interest in classic sports, but their interest in the eSports scene is clearly a profitable one as far as online bookmakers are concerned.
The only real question now is just how quickly eSports are going to grow, and how many of those that watch the sports are going to take their interest to the bookmaker. If the predictions are anything to go by eSports will soon be the focus of many bookmakers, which is a very interesting thought indeed. The idea of bookmakers decorating their websites with League of Legends characters, as opposed to football stars, is certainly a jarring one.
The World Is Changing
It’s clear that the world is changing, and the industry, as always, will move with the change. It makes no sense to try and draw people into worlds that they are not interested in, and much more sense to rather focus where the money already exists.
eSports are here to stay, and just a matter of watching as things adjust to suit the new way of the world. It wont be long before eSports are in hundreds of millions of living rooms around the world, and when this happens those industry professionals who didn’t move to capitalise on this will be sorry they didn’t.