In our increasingly interconnected and virtual world, betting on eSports is fast becoming a seriously popular contender to traditional sports and online betting. With players, betters and advocates around the globe, eSports betting in UK is also becoming a vital link in this global eSports chain. As a now multi-million-pound global industry, here’s why eSports are becoming more popular in the UK.
1. eSports Viewership is Booming Worldwide
There’s no denying that the world of eSports is booming right now, with increasing prize pools, teams and viewers. CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) is one of the most perfect examples of this boom, and it is the world’s most followed eSport according to the Nielson group. Where viewership is most popular in China, English-language streams of CS:GO (including UK) are the second most popular globally. With this huge demand, the UK is stepping up with viewing figures following the global average. In 2016, the UK eSports audience grew to 6.5 million people, with nearly half of these viewers watching more than once a month. This audience is expected to grow yearly by 7.5%, reaching 8 million by 2019.
2. There is Variety and Choice
With the global growth of eSports, more bookmakers are getting involved and offering new markets for different events, increasing the amount of eSports betting sites in UK. Where you’d be hard pressed to find any odd on eSports events five years ago, you now have a wealth of choice for a variety of different games, including local and global championships of Defence of the Ancients, FIFA among others. Giant games like League of Legends still pull in the high figures, but spaces are opening up for other games. As more players engage in eSports and betting revenues grow (as above), choices on betting sites will only expand. This is great news for UK eSports fans who can carve out a niche for themselves.
3. There is Money There
The betting market revenue for eSports has grown incredibly over the last several years, and it is expected to grow even more by 2020, soon becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry. Although this by no means equates to a chance of us, the punters, winning a hefty sum, it does mean that there is money there to fuel interest, advancement and, yes, a potential win. With this money comes better competitors, and it is no secret that the UK’s lacklustre presence at eSports competitions is beginning to change; more and more UK teams are beginning to compete overseas in mammoth global competitions, with players travelling and competing in South Korea and China, the two meccas of eSports competitions. Given that there is to be a lot of money going around the eSports industry over the decade, it makes sense to take part.
4. It Turns Ordinary People into Stars
Let’s be honest, the stereotype of gamers is not good. It often involves descriptions of pasty-faced, overweight and socially awkward (mostly) males who probably still live with their parents. While the reality of eSports sees that such stereotypes are not true, there is one thing that unites many of its players: they’re ordinary. In a country like the UK where the underdog is rooted for and respected, there is nothing more satisfying than a platform for ordinary people to make good. Besides, betting on and watching an overpaid sports star like a footballer can make you feel emotionally detached from the game. With eSports, the prize money means something and you can place your wager on a real human being. The everyman — or woman — aspect of eSports makes it so much more satisfying to bet on and root for, and with the increased presence of UK players on the scene, there is no greater reason to get involved now.
5. It is Riveting to Watch in its Unpredictability
Parts of eSports’ charm come from its unpredictability. Tournaments of games like Fortnite are popular due to this level of insane chaos. Furthermore, with eSports being the proverbial new kid on the block, new viewers and betters are aided by the fact that bookmakers are not quite as sophisticated in fine-tuning the odds involved with each game. This places an advantage on the experience of a player or viewer. Everyone knows what football teams have a greater chance of winning the Premier League because it is routine and well reported, but Fornite? This not only leaves space for good value, it throws a spanner in the usual betting works and relishes in confusion. This is especially refreshing when compared to the stagnant UK sports betting industries.