So far, 2015 has been big for the young eSports betting industry. Companies like Unikrn, AlphaDraft, and Vulcun emerged only at the beginning of the year and are by now big names in this new, growing market.
Additionally, in recent weeks, two leading players from a similar market – the sports betting industry – announced that they will bring eSports betting (more specifically daily fantasy eSports betting) to their portfolio of products. Seeing all this development happening lately – and happening fast – brings to light the question of how betting will affect eSports.
The good and the bad
It can be said without doubt that once money is involved in something, the experience becomes something else.
Watching your favorite team battle against an opponent is exciting, but once the outcome of the game determines whether you’ll lose or win money, the involvement becomes more intense, which can be either positive or negative. Since the attitude toward gambling differs greatly from person to person, it is difficult to establish how many take it too seriously and how many have a healthy and “normal” attitude.
A person can profit greatly from having gambling added to the game, but it can also result in a negative experience, especially if too much emotion is put into it.
There are many things to consider when introducing betting to a new area of activity and subjects such as legality, appropriate safeguards, keeping the competition unbiased, and making sure that it’s not misused by anyone.
Community response to wagering
In a recent article, Bryce Blum, the director of eSports at Unikrn, an eSports wagering service, discussed the different aspects of “How gambling can be good for eSports.”
Comparing the negative aspects like the current under-regulation and the potential for addiction, which are not new things to the gambling industry, he argues that with the right approach, “eSports betting has the opportunity to be a net positive for the industry.” On the other side, some people think that betting would have a negative effect on certain games.
Match fixing and involvement of the wrong type of people is definitely something that should be paid attention to and the question of whether proper regulation and safeguards would fix such problems remains unanswered for now.
Although differences in opinion will always exist for whether betting is good or bad for the eSports scene, browsing through the community’s opinions leaves an impression that the general audience welcomes betting in this industry.
Positives and negatives of eSports betting
As mentioned earlier, there are a few things that could go wrong when betting is introduced to eSports. For some things in life, personal interest usually and unfortunately takes priority over integrity, meaning that the potential for wrongdoings will always be present – and it has happened in the past already. But does this suggest that betting will only result in negative effects for the larger community?
Recent research shows that there is a link between sports betting and viewership numbers – and it’s considered a good thing. More viewership will most likely result in the market being taken more seriously and potentially lead to the necessity of transparency. With enough transparency, the chance of wrongdoings becomes smaller, especially when the companies that offer products are appropriately monitored and regulated.
That being said, if the barriers and threats are being properly addressed, betting can have a very positive effect for the eSports industry. With the recent steady growth of the market, it can be expected that there are lots of new developments coming in terms of where players can bet on eSports, tournament offerings, and more.