How Important Was Fantasy Esports in 2020?

Published: Oct 21, 2020

We all know that the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with the sporting fixture list across the globe throughout the year. While many sports are now back and playing, there was a time when almost all sports around the globe came to a grinding halt.

Now, this not only had ramifications for those involved in the sport professionally but also for companies like sports betting sites, who saw their chief markets disappear overnight. In a similar vein, Fantasy Sports Betting markets, which sees giants like DraftKings and FanDuel going head to head, equally saw their most profitable market options drastically reduced.

However, a previously niche market was set to come to the rescue and offer fantasy esports bettors the chance to indulge themselves on these popular sites, even though the sporting options were severely limited.

That market was fantasy esports and over the course of 2020 so far, its prevalence on sites like DraftKings has become all the more prevalent and important.

DraftKings stocks

Slow Burner

It is fair to say that betting on fantasy esports games has been something of a slow-burner. DraftKings offered the first market for this back in 2015 and FanDuel offered their first offering last year, however, it is fair to say that the market remained a specialist one over this time.

In contrast, Daily Fantasy Sports betting was exploding in popularity but by March 2020, with the sporting fixture list decimated by Covid-19, things began to change.

While traditional sports were forced to cancel, a small tweak for many esports event organizers to push everything online, rather than local area network games, meant that esports tournaments could still go ahead. This propelled fantasy esports betting into the forefront.

In truth, it has not looked back since.

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Popular Esports for Daily Fantasy Esports

With no sports, DFS fans were looking for another way to enjoy their hobby and esports filled that void, notably tournaments involving games League of Legends, CS:GO, Rocket League. Soon, the amount being wagered in these fantasy sports offerings began to creep upwards from just a few hundred or thousands to tens or even hundreds of thousands.

What then happened was a notable shift in users. From an esports-dominated user-base, fantasy esports games soon saw more general users coming on board to enjoy a wager on the tournaments on offer and that was crucial in ensuring its long-term popularity and legitimacy in the eyes of many fantasy sports players.

In addition, the likes of Alex “Awesemo” Baker endorsing fantasy esports also helped raise the profile of the industry a great deal.

“A lot of people have genuinely enjoyed the fantasy aspect of it,” explained Mr. Baker.

“There are a lot of advantages with fantasy LoL because you can build it very far in advance – it’s a huge difference to something like soccer because you have a bigger window.”

With more competitions than before, with larger prize pools than before, daily fantasy esports is very much here to stay, but there is still plenty of opportunities for the market to grow further and alongside more traditional fantasy sports betting options as sporting competitions start to get back in action.

Esports fantasy games proved to be a godsend during the early days of the pandemic, but with other sports now returning, they are proving to be as popular as ever and they seem to be here to stay for the long term.

Featured Image: Shutterstock
Ian John

Since: August 10, 2015

Ian is a regular contributor to EsportsBets. Ian is well-versed in the world of esports betting and casino gaming and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

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