In 2019, US esports viewing figures hit 30.3 million, expected to reach an impressive number of 46.2 million in 2023. The spike in viewership indicates the growing love for electronic sports, even among non-gamers. The sports betting industry, seeing the potential that these competitive games have added an edge to the activity by offering markets for these events. These wagering options have pulled gamers into the sports betting scene.
If you want to enjoy this experience better, place stakes at trustworthy non UK betting sites reviewed by our experts. These independent sites have built solid reputations because of their excellent offerings, which range from massive promotions to extensive coverage. Before that, keep reading to learn everything there is to know about betting on esports as a gamer. We’ve covered the popularity of these games, their markets, and future innovations to expect.
The Esports Rise and the Convergence of Gaming and Betting
The esports industry went from being a niche sector to a global phenomenon. Newzoo reported that in 2019, there were 200.8 million occasional viewers, a number that climbed to 249.5 million in 2022. Its growth is also reflected in the revenue it generates. The US recorded approximately $243 million in revenue in 2021, while China made about $360 million, based on Statista’s findings.
Several reasons contribute to this increasing number of enthusiasts, including the variety of games and their competitive nature. At the top of the competition is League of Legends, a game that drew the attention of over 73 million people in 2021, according to Statista. Another is DOTA 2, a multiplayer online battle arena video game where teams, each consisting of five players, collect experience points and items with the aim of defeating the opposition.
These games have birthed a variety of leagues where players compete for a grand prize. This amount is quite substantial, though it differs from tournament to tournament. For instance, the International, which is DOTA 2’s annual championship, has the prize pool for the 2023 edition set at $3,058,500. On the other hand, the 2023 ESL Pro League, a professional league for Counter Strike Global Offensive, has a prize pool of $850,000.
With the growing popularity of esports, these games found their way into the sports betting industry, with online bookies covering both major and minor leagues. Esports betting mirrors traditional sports betting in many ways, as there are pre-match and in-play markets that you can wager on. On these sites, you can place different types of bets, including singles and accumulators.
The Gamer-Bettor Connection
In 2020, Gitnux reported that between 20 and 30 million people worldwide are esports betting enthusiasts, and many of these bettors are gamers. While placing stakes on niche and popular esports as a gamer doesn’t change the outcome of any events, it comes with several upsides, especially when you wager on games you’re well-versed in.
For starters, gamers have an in-depth knowledge of the gameplay and the participating teams. They can recognize a team’s strengths and weaknesses, spot strategic shifts, and predict how players might perform under pressure. Expert gamers also analyze how two teams stack up against each other, understanding how a team is likely to perform when they face certain opponents.
Identifying the subtleties of a match, coupled with an understanding of betting odds, allows you to place educated wagers. If your bets have a higher success rate, there’s a better chance of making more profits from your sessions.
Esports Betting Markets and Odds for Profit Potential
Esports betting offers a wide array of markets beyond simply predicting match outcomes. These markets include:
- Round/Map Winner – In some games, you can wager on the team that will emerge victorious in a particular round or map.
- Correct Points/Score – Going beyond predicting the winner, this bet involves accurately telling the final score, a challenging but potentially rewarding option.
- Over/Under – When uncertain about the exact score, you can bet on whether the total points will be above or below a specified threshold.
- Time – For games with time constraints, such as Overwatch, you can bet on whether the match will extend into overtime.
- Handicap Bet – A bet that levels the playing field by placing additional constraints on the favoured team, requiring them to surpass the handicap to secure victory.
- First Blood – A common betting market in various shooters, like CS:GO, where you predict the player who will make the initial kill.
While popular options like picking the match winner have higher winning chances, niche esports betting markets can be lucrative. For instance, predicting the first team to destroy the Baron Nashor in League of Legends or the first Roshan kill in Dota 2 are specific in-game events that can offer substantial odds.
The key to capitalizing on these markets is in-depth knowledge of the game, teams, and players, enabling bettors to make informed decisions based on strategies, draft picks, and historical performance.
Future Trends and Innovations
The future of esports betting is set to be dynamic and more profitable, thanks to technological advancements. Several key trends are poised to shape this domain. One of these is the adoption of cryptocurrencies for online wagering. Several bookies allow bettors to place stakes with these virtual assets, and more sites will incorporate them into their payment methods.
With cryptocurrency adoption comes the usage of blockchain technology. Smart contracts on the blockchain can automate payouts and ensure fair betting practices. This innovation not only enhances trust but also minimizes the risk of fraud, making esports betting more reliable. Bettors can also enjoy anonymous sessions, faster transactions, and reduced fees.
Live betting innovations are also set to become a game-changer. Advanced real-time data analytics and more engaging in-play betting experiences will enable bettors to make rapid decisions, capitalize on changing odds, and find profitable opportunities during a match. To make your experience even more beneficial, keep up to date with the latest esports news. This gives you all the details about the happenings in the gaming scene, allowing you to place better-informed wagers.