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eSports Betting: Challenges and Successes

Numbers of esports bettors is rising and the gaming and gambling industries are paying attention as they focus on wagering in the esports sector.


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What’s Happening in the World of eSports Betting?

In an age when online entertainment is the main type of diversion for under-40s, esports betting has become the leading form of wagering activity for GenXers and millennials.

Thanks to mobile devices, streaming services and worldwide access to high-speed Internet, the vast majority of the under-40 population looks to streaming services, mobile online casino South Africa games, video games and other digital entertainment for recreational downtime and leisure. Some people enjoy watching the screen but in today’s world, most consumers want to enjoy a more participatory role when engaging in fun downtime.

Gaming is the most popular form of online entertainment, taking a higher percentage of the online entertainment sector than movies and music combined. Within this area esports has emerged as a breakthrough pastime. Some people play games, some watch the games and some do both.

But the lure of esports, especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic when sports events are often cancelled or postponed, has created a sensational situation in which more people are watching esports finals than watch US professional soccer, hockey and baseball championships – sports that have each been around for over 100 years.

Even in 2019, well before the pandemic brought the majority of sports’ viewership online, the number of people watching the League of Legends World Championships was almost on a par with the number of people watching the Superbowl.

eSports

eSports is nothing new. Games and tournaments have been played for 50 years. But over the years, technology advanced and more and more fans were drawn to esports. Until recently esports was on the fringes of the entertainment sector but the ability of people to play and watch competitions online brought esports into the mainstream of the sports world.

This includes sportsbooks which have only recently embraced esports. They are beginning to make up for lost time now as they quickly position esports betting as a viable sports betting option.

Some elements of esports betting to watch include esports connectivity and accessibility, skins betting and cybercurrency betting.Accessibility and Connectivity

eSports betting would almost certainly not be where it is today if not for the 2020 pandemic. The worldwide availability of mobile usage has had an impact on esports viewership and betting. Today it’s possible to watch esports streams and tournaments 24/7 from any location at any time.

This also means that fans can place bets at their leisure. As the Internet gets faster and mobiles improve sportsbooks that feature esports can expect to see more traffic. The move to home assistants and wearable devices is fueling the betting as people find it more convenient to place bets and follow the tournament play.

Skins

Skin betting is also increasing. Skin betting involves the exchange of virtual in-game items – won or purchased items (lives, shields, weapons, clothing, etc) which are valued according to how rare they are and according to how needed they are in the game. Skins are a type of digital currency and there is a growing call for sportsbooks to accept skins as currency. As of the preset there are no legal such sites but many esports bettors are hoping for a change.

Cybercurrency Betting

Around the world gambling is being streamlined and secured through crypto and blockchain technologies. Along with finance, education and healthcare, gambling is enjoying quicker and lower-cost transactions, easier currency transfers and better options for resolving disputes. No tampering or deletions occur since every transaction is registered on the blockchain.

People who don’t have a bank account – or an online bank account – can still make and withdraw payments through cryptocurrency transactions. The cybercurrency payments make esports betting more accessible for gamblers and fans alike.

Social Media and Tik Tok

Social media is playing an active role in the emergence of esports betting. Tik Tok in particular is gaining momentum as a platform that presents new opportunities for esports bettors and operators.

Tik Tok recognizes their role in the esports betting sector. It was one of the reasons that Tik Tok made the big, bold move to ost 3-minute videos. Up until July 2021 only 60-minute videos were allowed but now streamers, gamers and operators can take advantage of the new rule to hook viewers on their content.

Today, instead of scrolling down in order to follow one Tik Tok segment after another, users can post and watch 3-minute segments. This allows them to interact better and more easily retain the content on their For You Page.

Advertisers and brands are pleased with the change. Tik Tok is, largely, an unknown when it comes to advertising but its growing popularity will almost certainly put it on marketers’ “to do” lists in the future. Tik Tok has an artificial intelligence system that is designed to match consumers and advertisers so users’ feeds that feature a lot of esports views can be paired with sportsbooks that offer esports betting.

Tik Tok is also specifically embracing the online gaming industry. The platform is partnering with the Tundra esports team in an effort to show how esports works on Tik Tok and demonstrate how the combination profits both esports teams and brands.

The Tik Tok/Tundra pairing involves a FIFA 21-based team to advance Tik Tok’s relationship with FIFA fans -- FIFA content has more than 3.3 billion views on the platform. According to Tundra co-founder Michael Munro, “The appetite for esports, and particularly FIFA content, is already proven so the partnership is a natural fit and unique in that it flows from the digital through to the physical.”




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