For non-video gaming types, the concept of betting on eSports may seem a little strange at first. In fact, the idea that video gaming can be a competitive spectator sport still bemuses some, despite the fact top players have been competing against each other in organised events for some time.
But the reality is that eSports has grown from small groups of friends playing each other online in the small hours to a fully regulated global industry that is growing at a rapid rate.
As soon as gaming gained traction as a spectator sport, it was only a matter of time before the betting industry started to take notice. And over the last few years, more and more top bookmakers have started offering odds on top eSports events, while we’ve also seen some dedicated eSports betting sites popping up, too.
From underground to mainstream
With over 200 million players taking part in eSports every year and major tournaments such as the F1 New Balance eSports Series being broadcast live online and across top sports networks, eSports have already crossed the line into the mainstream. Enthusiasts who have their favourite games, tournaments and players can now wager on events in the same way they could with traditional sports.
This means that eSports betting opportunities can now be found alongside traditional sports betting markets at the top online bookmakers such as Paddy Power. While the number of markets offered is still limited, this is set to change as more high profile events are launched and the number of punters increases. There are various types of bets, too, with outrights only representing part of the market, accompanied by game-specific options such as number of kills and time completed.
More high profile events
In 2019, PS4 and Xbox One players will be able to register for the first ever ePremier League based on the FIFA 2019 game. The tournament gets underway in January with the finals in March to be broadcast live on Sky TV in the UK. It is expected that events like this will boost the profile of eSports to a new level and attract a whole new fan base.
Several professional sports teams including double FIFA eClub World Cup 2018 Champions, Brondby, already have eSports representatives competing at tournament level, and more are set to follow in 2019.
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As well as gamble on events, fans can also participate in Fantasy eSports games and create leagues, sign players and earn points based their players’ performances just as they would in traditional fantasy sports games.
With more and more betting companies getting involved, the revenue generated by eSports events is set to skyrocket. Gambling companies bring big bucks to the sporting world and the eSports scene will be no exception.