Perhaps one of the fastest-growing sports markets can be found in esports as it continues to grow in popularity across many different demographics – no longer is the market cornered by just younger teen males, but the introduction of wide-scale betting has allowed fans who may not have been interested before to also get involved. It’s difficult to ignore the coronavirus over the past few months too which may have accelerated the growth for many of these games, but it has quickly become clear this may be the future of sporting events.
Part of this growth can be attributed to the diversity of games available – similar to traditional sporting events, there are a growing number of sports within the scene that are now popular outside of the big three, and whilst those more commonly known ones may be the guiding principle on the founding of this scene, others have proven to be very successful.
Another big benefit can be found within broadcasting, unlike other traditional mainstays in the sporting world many esport events are streamed online across multiple platforms for free without any price of entry – many others operate under PPV or exclusive channel deals in which a subscription may be required to view, but without this barrier of entry, and increased viewership can be found.
This ultimately leads back to the betting scene. With an increasing number of viewers who aren’t gated behind subscriptions and exclusivity deals, as well as a changing demographic, betting has been afforded the opportunity to see a lot of growth. This has been the included sponsorship from big names in the betting industry which are now running events and sponsoring teams.
This growth has come despite changes to regulation too – within the UK, an initiative called Gamstop had been launched in the effort to prevent the growth and number of problem gamblers within the country, but many operators are now choosing to register outside of the country and using these non gamstop bookies players are once again able to bet on these growing number of games across different genres within esports.
There has all in all, been a big resurgence in betting recently as fans look to be more involved with their favorite sporting events as they return, and look for a way to engage in them despite no fans being in attendance at the stadiums – but that demand never really slowed within esports as online events continued throughout the pandemic.
It will take some time for numbers to become clear, however, offline events are also looking to slowly get back on track within esports too which may lead to further growth – it has already experienced a 39% year on year growth in 2020 if accelerated this number will be expected to continue, and as other games move into more prominence, the market as a whole may continue to grow as they separate themselves from the big three which currently make up 95% of all esports betting activity.