It’s no secret that esports has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Once an obscure niche, this industry has risen to become a global phenomenon.
Not surprisingly, esports betting has grown right along with competitive gaming. Many sportsbooks now prominently display an esports section on their site.
This type of betting has experienced accelerated growth for the past several years. Therefore, you might think that it’s ready to slow down sometime soon.
The reality, though, is that the esports betting boom only looks to grow even more in the near future. You can see the main reasons why this is the case below.
Esports Viewership Keeps Rising
Unlike traditional sports, esports draw the vast majority of their viewers through live streams. This trend seems to be working particularly well for the industry.
Of course, esports have an unfair advantage in that they’re categorized together. Even though LoL and Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) aren’t the same, they’re both lumped under the esports category.
Nevertheless, it’s interesting that this once small industry now manages to attract more viewers than regular sports. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that viewership levels are going up.
Research shows that almost 459 million (unique) people livestreamed an esports match in 2019. This number represents 15% growth when compared to 2018.
Of these viewers, 201 million fall into the “enthusiasts category.” The later refers to anybody who views esports more than once per month.
The remaining amount is listed among the “occasional viewers.” They watch competitive gaming once or less per month. In short, well over 40% of live streamers are watching leagues and tournaments on a regular basis.
Studies indicate that the number of enthusiasts and occasional fans will grow to 347 million and 297 million (645 million total), respectively, by 2022.
One more thing worth noting here is where the viewers are coming from. Most of the enthusiasts live in either Asia Pacific, Europe, or North America. However, other continents also draw a fair amount of fans too.
Esports have proven to be truly global. Each major traditional sport, however, is usually only popular in certain parts of the world.
Esports Publicity Is Increasing
Most of the general public is still in the dark regarding how esports work. They may have seen pictures or clips of the events, but they still don’t know much about the leagues, tournaments, or players.
This situation is changing quite a bit, though. Esports are generating more publicity with each passing day.
Of course, the average esports pro doesn’t earn millions of dollars. But those who do are definitely bringing more attention to gaming.
Meanwhile, bookmakers are reaping the benefits of this increased attention. Gamblers who see somebody winning $3 million in a single tournament will be more intrigued by esports betting.
Additionally, league and tourney organizers are landing more sponsorships and TV deals. Heavier advertising and more network coverage will only increase the popularity of esports and associated betting.
Fans Can Get Involved in the Betting Action
Many people enjoy watching and gambling on the NFL, MLB, and NBA. The same fans can live out their professional fantasies through recreational softball, basketball, and flag football.
However, they can’t wager on themselves while doing so. After all, no bookmaker offers lines on a beer league softball championship.
Esports differ greatly in this regard. Certain betting sites give players the chance to gamble on their own performance (i.e. player vs player betting).
PvP wagering is a fun way to let somebody win money based on their own skills. For example, a team of Call of Duty amateurs could gamble on their ability to beat another team.
A random Call of Duty match isn’t going to draw livestream viewers and TV audiences. But it does give one the opportunity to physically determine the outcome of their wager.
Those who appreciate PvP betting are also likely to enjoy wagering on the pros as well. When they’re done gambling on themselves, they can head over to an esportsbook and bet on the real deal.
The Online Bonuses Keep Coming
Esports betting sites have taken a cue from traditional online bookmakers by offering plenty of bonuses. They ensure that you have plenty of chances to earn free cash.
The two main types of esports betting bonuses include free bets and deposit bonuses. Here’s how each of these offers work:
- Matches a percentage of your first deposit.
- g. 100% match bonus worth up to $100.
- You can withdraw the bonus amount upon meeting terms and conditions.
- You receive a free bet worth up to a certain amount (e.g. $25).
- If you win the first bet, you collect the winnings and move on.
- Assuming you lose, you can earn back the losses by satisfying terms and conditions.
Many betting sites don’t just stop at the welcome offer. They also feature other promotions and even VIP programs that give you an opportunity to continue picking up rewards.
For example, you might be offered a free $25 bet for placing your first wager on World of Tanks. This deal helps the site by getting you to try a new market, and it provides you another chance to pick up free money.
I suggest browsing the promotions section at an esportsbook before depositing. Doing so ensures you know that the site offers plenty of promotions before spending time going through the deposit process.
With the rising availability of Esports gambling, it’s becoming one of the world’s most-popular types of wagering. It now competes with certain athletic sports in terms of betting popularity.
Based on esports’ quick rise, you might think that the gambling growth will level off soon. However, several factors suggest that the popularity increase could continue.
Rising viewership, the coronavirus, more publicity, bonuses, and PvP betting should combine to keep the party going. The increased viewership will especially be a boon and draw many more esports gamblers.