The market for esports online betting is incredibly unique and has some serious potential for growth, alongside the growth of esports and the video gaming industry at large. The main reason is that gambling on – and around – esports is much bigger than most may assume. This article explores in depth the market for esports online betting in a holistic way.
The reason it is important to properly understand the market for esports betting is that is has shown extremely robust growth, as it has increased its growth throughout the pandemic; and because of the lockdown and throughout the pandemic, esports have seen a growth sustained even until today, where lockdown restrictions are easing. Esports gambling, as showcased by Find Betting Sites, brought in around 50’000 GBP in the UK in March 2019. This so-called ‘gross gambling yield’ ballooned to a peak of 4’616’000 GBP in the peak of the pandemic and has come down to around 2 million GBP as of May 2021, so although the gross gambling yield had fallen from its pandemic peak, it is still in a completely different universe in comparison to what it was before the pandemic.
The habits and hobbies which individuals have discovered and adapted throughout the pandemic have seemed to stick until even today, such as esports betting. But how does esports betting even look like? What do individuals bet their money on, and how do they place their bets, other than with actual money?
Skin betting in esports
A large part of the esports betting industry comes from actual gamers themselves, using in-game, virtual items such as skins (in reference to in-game items from Counter Strike: Global Offensive). What is interesting, is that skins in a game like Counter Strike: Global Offensive do not change the functionality of a weapon in the game, or any aspect of the game aside from the cosmetic and stylistic differences to what the player sees on the screen; even then, players still use this for wagers and bets, so you can imagine these kinds of virtual in-game items equivalent to poker chips used in casinos. Moreover, these in-game items derive their price from a user-led market, where players buy and sell items, and therefore set prices, such that these skins, for example, do not have one set price.
Esports betting in mainstream video games
General esports betting on mainstream video games and esports tournaments remains the most popular product when it comes to esports fanatics. Here, we are talking about games like League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, where players bet on games outcomes. Here, players can bet in-game items and other quasi-currencies based on which esports team they think will win a match, the tournament, etc.
Fantasy esports represent a growing portion of the esports market as they have become a cross-section for traditional and electronic sports. DraftKings leads the pack in the area of fantasy esports, where players can, for example, build their own football team, and earn points (and therefore win money) based on how well their team’s players do in real life.
Interestingly, when it comes to skin betting specifically, players actually use this in casino-like settings, as casino-style games, like poker, jackpot and more can be played using their skins and other virtual items. These games are only available on actual skin betting sites, as opposed to having yet been incorporated within more traditional gambling associations and companies such as Bet365 or Ladbrokes in the UK. However, with how fast this industry is growing, we may soon see them introduced.
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Iskandar_Investment_Esports_Carnival_2019.jpg
Article Source: https://www.findbettingsites.co.uk/news/esports-growth-accelerated-by-the-pandemic/