Just a few years ago, eSports was something that existed on the periphery for many of us. Fast forward to 2021, and it’s one of the most talked-about verticals in the gaming and gambling world. When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt, it also saw the world’s stadiums, race tracks, and arenas fall silent. A potential disaster was averted as the eSports market shifted into the mainstream to fill the gap.
But how is eSports progressing so far in 2021, and what does the near future hold?
This year, the international eSports market will be worth $1.08 billion. This marks a 50% increase from the previous year. Furthermore, it will grow quickly, surpassing $1.6 billion by 2024. This tremendous growth has led to a demand for eSports betting and gambling with many sites now incorporating tournament odds.
Video games are becoming more and more popular, particularly the competitive kind. Viewership is growing at around 9% every year, with an estimated 500 million viewers as of this year. Overall, the number of people tuning in to watch eSports will double over the next few years.
Much of the driving force behind its popularity has been due to the social aspect. Viewers can connect with players via Twitch and YouTube as well as other more mainstream social media platforms. As a result, an entire pop culture has been built around it, complete with merchandising, media, and branding. Not dissimilar to regular sports.
The top markets for eSports include APAC, North America, and Europe in terms of both revenue and audience size. Some sources predict that 57% of all viewers will come from APAC and that North America will contribute $300 million by the end of this year alone.
Growing interest from the public has directly translated into a big uptick in sizable investments from angel investors, private equity firms, and venture capitalists. Billions are poured into eSports market companies and startups each year. In 2020 over $1 billion was invested in eSports companies globally. This year, figures so far suggest that the figure invested will be significantly higher.
As corporate service providers, we have seen an influx of requests to open eSports companies. These startups take many forms, including eSports gambling, streaming, marketing, advertising, and everything in between. We are also working with clients who are expanding their portfolios to offer eSports gambling products. These kinds of inquiries have almost tripled in the last 18 months, driven by the pandemic, but also by an interest in emerging technology, mobile phone usage, and increased internet access. When combined, it creates a perfect storm whereby eSports is truly flourishing.
eSports gambling is also seeing a huge upsurge in interest since the pandemic. Sporting events were cancelled in 2020, and bettors didn’t have much to bet on. But quick-thinking betting site operators decided to offer betting odds on eSports tournaments. This picked up momentum and, within the year, millions of new eSports fans emerged. Even after stadiums reopened in 2021, operators noted that eSports betting was still popular amongst punters.
eSports betting remains one of the hottest trends in the gambling sector. It’s drawing in a whole new demographic of bettors. Video game fans, mobile users, tech-savvy 18-35-year-olds, all are now keen on eSports betting. Conventional sports fans have been swept away by the eSports market. They are now happily betting on it alongside football, basketball, and horseracing.
How to be a part of it
The eSports market is here to stay. The figures show that it will continue to grow in revenue and investment over the next few years. Furthermore, it will continue to spark additional revenue streams such as eSports betting, merchandise, and advertising.
If you want to start an online gambling company and feature eSports betting, you need to apply for a gambling license and open a company. Schedule a chat with Fast Offshore to see what your options are. We have worked in iGaming, corporate services, and innovative markets for over 23 years. This makes us perfectly placed to answer questions, provide accurate information, and help you make the right business decisions. From compliance and tax to electronic payments and crypto, we can take care of all your ancillary needs as well. Contact us today to find out more!
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