Is eSports Betting A Fad?

Published: Oct 12, 2015 - Last Updated: Jun 5, 2020

There has been a lot of recent development in the esports betting market.

New companies are entering the scene, established companies are expanding their business, and strategic partnerships between those that already are in the game are being forged. On the same side, the eSports industry is bigger than ever and has been growing steadily in the last couple of years.

More games are being introduced to the competitive scene and events big and small are luring more and more viewers.

With this being said, we are trying to take a look at the bigger picture for the eSports betting industry and finding pro or con arguments for whether the industry is here to stay or if it’s just current hype that will eventually fade away.

eSports betting growth shows no sign of slowing down

Compared to the competitive eSports industry, the eSports betting market is a fairly young one.

Having its big breakthrough only at the beginning of 2015, it has seen a lot of development in a short period of time. Founding companies like Unikrn, AlphaDraft, and Vulcun have proven their business model by successfully securing million dollar funding deals from various investors throughout the year.

Those companies offer a range of products for their customers with an emphasis on eSportsbooks wagering and daily fantasy eSports. What probably helps with customer acquisition is an option to play for free or for virtual currency, an offer that all the betting platforms have.

With this, players can initially get involved without having to put in their own money, which shows the confidence of these companies in their product.

Introducing new games on their betting platforms, running minor and major eSports events on their websites, and constantly improving the customer’s betting experience are all on the daily agenda of major eSports betting sites.

The bigger-than-ever eSports betting industry is relying on this business model. Increased viewership will most likely lead to greater participation in betting – and figures for the eSports industry have grown tremendously.

What could go wrong?

Even though all of the above sounds very promising, there are still some things to address that could potentially lead to the eSports betting industry to turn into a short term fad.

One – and probably the most important one – is regulation.

Currently, the market is under-regulated, which could lead to difficulties with the integrity of the eSports betting industry. There is no need to point out that without proper regulation, the wrong people can get involved and illegal activities can emerge.

There is nothing worse for viewers than seeing their favorite team “throwing” the match because of some shady stuff that is happening backstage.

Another point of concern is geographical legality of betting around the world. Customer acquisition is crucial for a business, especially for a young one, and with potentially limited possibilities for expansion, this could lead to difficulties with keeping the business afloat.

The growth in viewership is one thing, but being able to expand into those markets with a product like betting is a very different thing.

A promising outlook

A lot has been written about the future of eSports and where the industry is heading, with the majority of forecasts being positive. Chris Grove from Eilers Research, a market research company, has published a detailed article on how big the eSports betting industry is.

Another interesting viewpoint on the state of eSports gambling can be found in this article from Bryce Blum, the director of eSports at Unikrn.

It can be said without doubt that the current position of the eSports betting market and its outlook are heavily leaning toward a statement that the market is here to stay and will only get bigger. It will be exciting to see how 2015, the first year of eSports betting, will sum up the development, figures, and the future of eSports betting.

Dejan Zalik
Dejan Zalik

Since: September 12, 2015

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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