The eSports industry is continuing to take steps in the right direction and is growing at a very impressive rate. This growth is closely connected to the COVID-19 related suspension of traditional sports events, an occurrence that caused the sports betting market to expand into the world of the global esports betting market at a quicker rate. Naturally, gamblers began to move away from traditional sports betting and over to betting on esports entertainment.
As this new influx of bettors became increasingly involved in eSports, the industry as a whole grew, and so did the global esports betting market size. Market analysis in which global eSports betting revenue was projected to double and reach $14 billion by 2020 was met with very similar interpretations, mostly agreeing on COVID-19 impact as a major factor having an effect on market trends.
Some market projections predict that the global esports betting market would reach a valuation of $1860 million by 2026, while other sources already value the industry at $12670 million and in a rapidly growing trend. Market trends forecast by various companies specializing in research reports and projections differ slightly, but generally predict the esports global market to follow a very positive trend and direction.
Reasons for Growth
Aside from accelerated demand due to COVID-19 impact, there are a number of factors that continue to positively affect the rapid growth of the global eSports betting market. Playing a large part in the development of the industry and the betting market size increase is the increased interest in video games and casual gaming. Both casual video game fans and competitive League of Legends players can have their own unique effect on the global eSports betting market. Top eSports programs are now garnering more attention due to this continuing spike in video game popularity.
Live streaming and its growth can also be related to the esports betting industry. Live stream watch time almost doubled from 2019 to 2020 when it reached a total of 3.93 trillion hours, showing a strong market trend. Thanks to this type of online media experience, eSports fans can easily observe their favorite eSports teams and key players in real time, which increases engagement and interaction with esports betting in general. This also has a more direct effect on eSports betting and the betting market size growth due to the recent developments and technologies being introduced to help eSports fans with watching and placing bets simultaneously.
eSports Technologies, a company specializing in eSports products and wagering, is making developments of benefit to the eSports betting market by helping with the integration of live stream platforms and eSports betting. This type of innovation helps with fan engagement, ultimately making for a better long term eSports experience. Once technologies like this are released, players will be able to participate in eSPorts beting far more easily and conveniently, ultimately leading to a further increase in the Esports betting market size.
eSports Law and Regulations
The lack of legislation that still surrounds the area of eSports betting is mainly due to ambiguity around the correct classification of eSports online betting. While many officials remain unsure, multiple countries in Europe, and a number of states in America, have managed to successfully regulate the esports betting industry. Korea has also released plans to relax their regulations on the eSports industry in order to allow for further expansion and maximize the potential that eSports currently holds.
eSports betting may appear to be very similar to traditional sports betting upon first impressions, but looking at it from a legal perspective really separates the two. The eSports betting market is dependent on the eSports industry that runs off video games developed by companies with intellectual rights. These private companies sometimes run their own events, but other times license their games out to a league or tournament operator.
eSports in Different Countries
The eSports betting and general eSports industry varies greatly from country to country. In Europe, France and Germany take the lead, having the 4th and 5th highest number of active competitive eSports players. America comes out on top in this department with 5,163 active players, making it the top country for eSports competition. The esports business in America has also generated a total of $40 million in prize funds in 2019.
China and the Republic of Korea are also two big areas for eSports betting. Both are just a few steps away from the USA eSports betting market size, but are on track for further improvement.
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