A Better Understanding of Esports and Esports Betting


Published by Daniel Hardman on December 02, 2019 in Industry News

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The online gambling industry has grown tremendously over the past few years with games for all to play. One Esports analysts however believes that the gambling industry is in need of a proper education on Esports. 

A Better Understanding Required 

The VP of Marketing and Business Development at Spicy Mango, John Griffiths believes that the gambling industry needs a better understanding of esports.  

Esports have become extremely popular in the past few years even more so than before. According to Griffith the ability to stream games on Twitch and YouTube have definitely assisted in the matter. Statistics has predicted that the global esports revenue will rise with 27% from last year generating over $1bn in 2019. With streaming tools and being able to play online publishers can increase the popularity of their games through competitions and other fun activities.  

Currently the major markets for esports are based in North America, Europe and South Korea with the biggest tournaments taking place across Europe. There is a DOTA2 tournament that takes place in Katowice, Poland every year along with tournaments in London and Berlin. With these huge arena-based events it’s not just players pitching up to play but over 15,000 spectators.  

Tips for Operators 

While playing games online has been possible for a while the tournaments and competitions on these games are still quite new. Many operators have started adding esports to their sports betting section enabling players to bet on these big tournaments and competitions.  

When asked if operators should be providing betting on esports Griffith stated that it’s a bit tricky as it takes a bit of time to work out what can actually be wagered on and how to work out the odds. He also mentioned that the audience should be taken into account as the current demographic spans between 13 and 24 year olds. Thus, if the idea is to target older generations you’d first have to get them to know and understand the sports. He continued stating that if companies are prepared to put in the effort of educating and informing the audience and build up the market there could be some great potential returns.  

While there is great potential in this it would require a lot of education for both the customers and the operators.  

The Integrity of esports 

As with all other online activities there is the potential of hackers interfering with the games and causing real challenges which need to be overcome. Thankfully with tournaments which are held in controlled environments the network is local and everyone is on a levelled playing field. Currently there are no regulations in place. This means there are no rules on who can place wagers and what checks are in place.  

Most of the tournaments that take place are connected to huge prize pots, some of even higher than $35 million. With these matches the potential threat of match fixing is starting to become a concern for many betting companies wanting to get involved.  

According to Griffith the potential threat of match fixing is one of the barriers that is holding gambling companies back from getting involved. As there is no governing body regulating esports as there is with all other sports. For there to be possible change the gambling industry will have to work with game publishers and request for certain checks and balances to be put in place.  

The Future of Esports 

Back in 2017 the President of the Paris Olympic Committee stated that he expected esports to be in the 2024 Olympics. According to Griffith esports doesn’t need the Olympics but it would be great validation for it as a sport.  

As time passes the tournaments are getting more structure which helps create a real path for players to get to top-tier tournaments and possibly win bigger prizes. Like with any other sport there are massive sponsorships for esports stars and Griffith is certain that pretty soon esports will be put in the same category as any other sport.

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