For every person who has no idea what eSports are, there is at least one person who does. eSports are rapidly becoming one of the most watched sporting events in the United States. Increasingly, people are gambling on them as well. New projections by researchers show some astounding figures. They predict that, by 2020, online betting on eSports competitions will have hit $13 billion. Experts are also projecting nearly 600 million people will be watching eSports within the next year.
What Are eSports?
eSports is short for electronic sports. These are competitive sports where players compete against each other on a video game platform.
People have been competing against each other using video games since the 1980s. However, it has only been since 2010 that eSports have been surging in popularity. Many game programmers and designers are designing new areas within their games for the professional eSports player.
There are several kinds of video games that people use to play eSports. Real-time strategy games, first-person shooter games, and battle royale games are popular. One of the most popular eSports designs is the multiplayer online battle arena game. An example of this is League of Legends. First-person shooters and hero-shooter games would include Call of Duty and Overwatch. One of the most popular battle royale games currently on the market is Fortnite.
Whether or not people think eSports are actually sports, they appear to be here to stay. Over the last decade, tournaments have begun to appear with larger and larger amounts of prize money. South Korea formed the first eSports organization in 2000, where professional gamers are licensed. Increasingly, you can find tournaments in the United States, Western Europe, and Australia.
eSports Generate Revenue
With the number of people playing eSports increasing, betting on eSports is also increasing. Experts estimate more than 600 million people will be watching eSports in 2020. They estimate the total revenue from viewership of eSports to be $1.5 billion by 2020. This represents an increase of more than 35 percent. The billion-and-a-half figure does not even begin to include betting on eSports.
Not only do eSports generate revenue through viewership and memberships, but they also generate revenue through sponsorships. Companies are clamoring to televise or stream eSports. Now, sporting goods companies are competing with each other to outfit eSports teams. They also brand the teams so fans can buy a jersey that represents their favorite eSports team.
Betting on eSports
If the revenue is increasing, so is the amount of money people are wagering. It has been difficult to determine exactly how much money people are wagering. There are some signs a considerable amount of money is riding on eSports. Pinnacle, the leading eSports betting platform, began taking bets in 2010. In 2015, it logged its one-millionth bet. In early 2018, it had logged its 10-millionth bet. That is an exponential rate of growth.
The rate of viewership of eSports is increasing. However, the money fans are betting is still lagging behind. Experts predict that as the tournaments get bigger, and the prizes grander, the bets will skyrocket. Experts say this is definitely true given the rapid rise in both viewership and sponsorship of clubs. Also, because the majority of eSports bettors are young, they are increasingly flush with disposable income. More than three-fourths of eSports fans are fully employed, with half of them considered to be high-income earners. All this money will continue to push the eSports betting ever higher. There are experts who believe eSports will eventually eclipse betting on traditional sporting events.
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