Esports betting is on the rise. Here’s a quick look at the causes for the continued surge in interest and where the market is heading.
Esports live betting market has been booming in recent times. The market started at around $9.75 billion in 2021 and is projected to soar to an estimated $35.56 billion by 2031. That's a huge growth rate of about 13.7% annually, and it's a phenomenon we're seeing play out in the esports space with events and teams picking up sponsorships from betting companies.
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Industry trends - Pandemic fast-tracks progress
The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the convergence between traditional elite sports and live bet esports. Even those who previously brushed off esports as different from real sports are now facing the perspective of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach.
Bach's acknowledgment that sports streaming platforms hold the same essence as traditional sports hints at a future where virtual sports could hold a more prominent place in elite sports.
Interestingly, the IOC's Esports Liaison Group, led by David Lappartient, President of the International Cyclists Union, hints at a potential bridge between traditional sports and virtual esports events.
This convergence could amplify partnerships between esports teams and betting companies, fostering new opportunities and directions within the industry.
Traditional sports were forced during lockdown to explore new avenues in the virtual world. In March 2020, following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, 70,000 people tuned in to watch Formula 1 Driver Lando Norris race in a virtual event.
Elsewhere in 2020, the ATP and WTA hosted an esports tennis competition instead of the Mutua Madrid Open, with Great Britain's Andy Murray coming out as the winner. Even the Grand National - an iconic horse racing event - held a virtual event using CGI technology and specialised algorithms.
With the pandemic forcing people to stay in their homes, gaming rose in popularity as did the sports-like appeal of esports. Betting companies quickly caught on, and esports became increasingly featured on bookmakers websites.
Ageing demographics of traditional sports audience
Ontop of online gaming and events showing their value during the pandemic, esports also tackles another struggle of traditional sports, an ageing demographic.
For example, the average age of tennis audiences is 61, with the sport itself on the decline and in need of finding ways to appeal to the younger generations. Attempts have been made to bridge the gap, for example with WimbleWorld, a collab between Wimbledon and Roblox. However, in a digital age esports is perfectly positioned to appeal to a much younger audience, one with more disposable income and spending habits.
The average esports spectator is 26 years old. This generational shift has captured the attention of prominent bookmakers. Examples include PaddyPower, Bet365, and Betway. It has also caught the eye of niche operators. Finding the best Esports bookmakers on the market is crucial for those interested in getting started.
Esports betting: North America and China lead the charge
The growth of esports betting is not the same across the board, and certain countries are definitely making the biggest waves. The United States is a major player in esports betting, and is expected to have annual growth of over 14%. This growth rate will lead to a projected market value of $1.1 billion by 2028. Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea and Japan are among the top five in terms of revenue from esports betting according to Statista.
How is esports betting different to traditional sports betting?
The advertising techniques used in Esports betting differ from those for traditional sports. They target an older demographic. Esports betting operators focus on leveraging humor through tweets. They incorporate gifs, memes, and insider knowledge specific to the Esports community.
The emphasis lies on engaging content that resonates with the Esports audience. It differs from traditional incentives like "free bets" or "matched bets". Esports also offers more possibilities in terms of creative ideas for bets beyond who scored first or who won a match like in soccer for example.
Why is esports betting popular?
Esports betting is popular because it aligns well with traditional online betting, its dynamic and digital. Esports events happen worldwide and bets can be made on in-game events live, such as first to 10 kills, first tower to fall or even the length of a specific match. The pandemic supercharged the evolution of esports betting and esports' demographic is ideal for building a consistent userbase.
Who are the biggest esports betting companies?
Bovada, MyBookie, Bet365, Unikrn, and BetNow stand out as leading platforms. Trustpilot highly regards these sites for their excellent reputation. They offer a diverse and trusted Esports betting experience. However, there are other tools to assist you in finding the best Esports bookmakers on the market.