What emerged as a niche hobby for young boys and girls who disliked leaving their rooms has cemented itself as a billion-dollar industry. With video games quickly attaining a mainstream status, competitions that attract thousands of dedicated gamers from all corners of the world are more popular than ever. These tournaments are held in arenas build specifically for gaming, in front of a large live audience, and an even larger online audience. They’re also televised on ESPN, and the winners are given millions of dollars.
Although the eSports market is relatively new, it is one of the fastest-growing industries out there. The same can be said about the esports gambling market. In fact, it’s worth a lot more. As of now, researchers estimated it to be a multi-billion industry and was worth around $5 billion in 2016, and $7 billion in 2018. According to a report by Narus and Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, the global eSports betting market is projected to be worth $12.9 billion by 2020, and it will only get bigger as the years go by. All of this, despite eSports gambling being outlawed in most areas. Punters are flocking to eSports betting markets, and for a good reason too. There’s a lot of money to be made. Odds are often high, and there is plenty of potentials for a well-versed gamer to take advantage of a bookmaker’s lack of video game knowledge and value bets.
Esports Betting Market And Esports
The betting market is similar to any other sport. From the money line to handicap betting, you will be able to find all the forms of betting. The same as you would find on any other normal sportsbook. Naturally, competitors are less affected by external factors such as whether or travel when compared to athletes, etc. The winners are determined purely based on their skills, and nothing else. While bettors can make wagers with money, one feature of eSports betting that sets it apart from other wagering industries is the phenomenon of skin gambling.
How Did Esports Betting Start?
Popular amongst Counter-Strike and DOTA 2 enthusiasts, skin gambling is essentially what started it all. Despite having no impact on gameplay, individuals often spent hundreds of dollars to make their virtual guns look less plain. This soon grew into a fully-fledged gambling industry. Since these skins have real monetary value, people began to use them to place bets. Just like you would with money or casino chips, you stake skins on a particular outcome. If you win, you get your skins back in addition to the loser’s skins. When this first began to happen, it gained a lot of negative attention from the media. Mostly because a major section of the bettors was underaged, and it isn’t exactly legal. All the restrictions on skin betting resulted in the growth of regular cash betting.
What To Be Wary Of?
While all of this sounds great, betting on eSports does have its drawbacks. It’s still an emerging trend and not as popular as mainstream sports. This means many sports bookies don’t even include eSport betting on their websites. Statistics and information on players aren’t as easy to find. This can make it more cumbersome to predict possible outcomes. And although this sporting industry is younger than most, it has seen its fair share of scandals and match-fixing incidents.