eSports Betting on the Rise
With the huge growth of esports in the last 5 years, it was only a matter of time before widespread betting on eSports events began. According to a Newzoo report, titled ‘The Global Growth of eSports 2012-2017’, the global number of eSports enthusiasts was 89 million in 2014 and is expected to reach 145 million by 2017. With another 190 million casual viewers that occasionally watch eSports, this gives a fan base comparable to American Football and Ice Hockey. Mirio Mella from Pinnacle Sports, who were an early market leader in eSports betting, said "eSports has become our fastest growing market judged by volume and player numbers; overall it was our 7th biggest sport in terms of volume in 2014".
It may seem that eSports betting is similar to betting in other sports, but it has proven to be tricky for bookmakers when tasked with setting odds on particular outcomes. Also, eSports fans aren’t typically from a betting background, so creating an easy betting environment that was highly accessible has been a challenge for developers. That is why Pinnacle brought in a host of traders including ex-pro gamer Jonathan ‘DarKFoRcE’ Belke to help them remain competitive.
For people who are familiar with the games, the betting may seem easy to understand, as they know what is happening. However, for the avid better who is new to eSports, betting can prove a challenge, as there are so many different aspects of every game. Typical bets include who wins next map or who wins the tournament, but more insightful bets such as what items will be bought in League of Legends can prove to be hard to understand. That is why Pinnacle tries to educate these people while they bet. This has proven successful as eSports viewers are growing every month.
What is clear is that betting in eSports is certainly on the rise and is highly likely to become a lucrative market in this evergrowing industry.