If you haven’t already been swept away by the eSports revolution, it won’t be long until you are. Having come out of nowhere to take the gambling industry by storm, the eSports market has already exceeded a total value of $1 billion worldwide. More importantly, its size and value continue to grow at record-pace in dozens of key markets.
Technological advancements have radically changed the way we approach the vast majority of gambling activities. It’s no secret that online casino gaming, for example, has taken over as the new standard for millions of punters worldwide. Likewise, it’s becoming increasingly rare to head out to a traditional betting shop – online sports betting representing an easier, more accessible and often more rewarding option.
But what’s interesting about eSports is the way in which it doesn’t represent a different approach to gambling. Instead, it’s a completely different type of gambling that involves the kinds of activities the industry wasn’t previously interested in.
Namely, video games.
If the whole thing has slipped you by, eSports essentially refers to a growing industry that concerns major video game events and tournaments. From the latest soccer games to hugely popular MMOs, pretty much any game with a decent following is prime for eSports gambling. Enormous tournaments are being planned and held all the time, with life-changing cash prizes on offer for the victors.
But why is it that eSports has suddenly become such a powerhouse on the gambling scene? More crucially, why are industry watchers and economists alike expecting eSports to continue growing indefinitely worldwide?
The short answer – there are at least six reasons why eSports is likely to be a dominating force over the years to come, which are as follows:
1) It’s accessible for all ages
In terms of the competitors themselves, eSports is completely unrestricted with regard to age. While it’s true to say that the vast majority of competitive video game players are aged 18 to 30, this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of scope for older and younger gamers. After all, it’s not as if athletic prowess plays a part in determining who gets the job done. Sooner or later, it’s entirely likely we’ll be seeing kids and seniors alike making their mark on the world of eSports. So even if you may be too ‘long in the tooth’ for a professional sports career, you could still be the next big thing in the world of eSports.
2) It’s a truly global phenomenon
By this, we mean an activity and form of entertainment that enjoys enormous popularity worldwide. While some sports and tournaments have relatively limited local appeal, eSports can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone of any age and from any country. Not only this, but the fact that everything takes place digitally means there are no physical or geographical restrictions regarding where or when the action happens. So it’s hardly surprising eSports has made its mark in dozens of major markets worldwide, spanning as far afield as the United States, Europe and Asia.
3) It’s significantly more affordable
When you think about it, the costs and logistics involved in the organisation and implementation of a major sporting event are mind-blowing. Even something as simple as a single football match can cost a ridiculous amount to arrange successfully. So when you’re talking major international tournaments, you’re either sitting on an enormous stockpile of cash or you can forget about it. With eSports, it’s the exact opposite. Relatively remedial equipment is required to pit gamers against one another and televise the event accordingly. It’s therefore an industry that’s wide open to entrepreneurship opportunities, attracting savvy investors at all levels from all over the world.
4) It’s completely free of discrimination
Touching upon a previous point once again, there’s absolutely no discrimination in eSports and there are no limitations as to who can sign up. You don’t have to be a gifted athlete, a certain weight or a certain gender to become the ultimate victor in eSports. Nor do you have to dedicate your entire life to the cause – you simply need to be good at whichever game you’re planning to compete in. So rather than being strictly limited to superhuman athletes and those born with remarkable gifts, eSports is open for business to anyone with an interest in video gaming.
5) It’s already attracted enormous sponsors
Some of the biggest names in the business are ensuring they get in on the eSports at ground-level. Precisely where those huge prizes come from – the major sponsors that are getting behind the movement. With the likes of ESPN, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts throwing their support behind eSports, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out it’s a pretty big deal. Or more importantly, that it’s only going to become an even bigger deal going forwards. Investment in eSports technology, marketing and general infrastructure is being stepped up all the time, in preparation of an immensely successful future for this dynamic new sector.
6) It provides limitless scope for experimentation
Last but not least, the vast majority of eSports tournaments to date have concerned sports-based video games and the like. Nevertheless, there’s absolutely nothing to stop any video game whatsoever being used as the basis for a tournament. Just as long as it has a strong enough following to generate interest, it’s prime for the full eSports treatment. Hence, you can pretty much rest assured that the diversity of eSports will continue to grow and accelerate over the years to come.
Realistically, the success and the prosperity of the eSports industry is something of a no-brainer. Along with capitalising on the interests and obsessions of video gamers worldwide, it also paves the way for streamlined and simplified gambling opportunities.
Conventional sports betting will always have its place, but the future of dynamic digital gambling could indeed belong to eSports.