Esports to reinvent how we follow sporting activities

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 20 Mar 2020, 3:02 p.m.

Esports are among few activities that gained a lot of attention recently because of the COVID-19 outbreak. While it’s not yet accepted on a global level, eSports start to get the recognition they deserve as valid sports activities. Esports is not a new concept on the market. However, competitions have started to become more regular right next to football, baseball and many more.

Many industries were affected from this disruption, and sports betting is also severely affected. Betting operators have already calculated the impact on their revenue due to sport events cancellation. Flutter Entertainment, formerly known as Paddy Power Betfair, came forward with numbers which show that bets placed on sporting events generated over three quarters of their total revenue. This field of their business has proven to be crucial in order to keep the company stable and ongoing. 

Esports will easily adapt to the circumstances

Even though sports events have been cancelled, the eSports community is able to keep on going as everything else shuts down because of the situation. This makes it the perfect alternative. As few economy experts say, eSports has the potential to overcome this challenge by planning a combination of established leagues and infrastructure. In many ways, it should be possible to implement the strategy that the NBA and other leagues were sceptical about – broadcasting games with no fans at the stadiums. Even though eSports leagues’ events have taken place at live venues, they can easily adapt and function without them. This way, they would be able to provide a steady content source with no regards to the current situation.

A new market opportunity is rising

Quentin Martin, the CEO of Luckbox explained that in this situation, eSports is much more resilient. Matches can be played online without players having to be in the same place. Of course, an arena of fans always creates a great atmosphere, but watching a game via live stream is also a reasonable and comforting alternative. Seems like the digital curve of the business has never had this large spike in order to accept the disruption period.

The predictions are that the eSports betting volume will continue to grow. Since it was announced that the English Premier League will be postponed, the industry noticed a 50% increase in new player registrations only over the past week. If eSports brands and operators are tactical, they could attract a wide audience of football fans to simply bet on FIFA games. Teams and players will remain the same, with some actual matches still being held.

These statements have already been supported by tangible results. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) as one of the first games to enter the eSports competitions, has recently reached a new popularity milestone. This week it reached over 20 million users with over 6 million active players on Steam. The average number of CS: GO players on the platform stands at nearly 600.000. For eSports gamers and providers, however, these numbers are not a surprise. For sports fans, this could be an exciting opportunity and viable alternative.  

And finally, the eSports betting industry will not only offer bookmakers the opportunity to provide alternatives to the audience. Additionally, it will show how an industry can adapt to the changed betting landscape.