It is common knowledge that there are certain parts of the world that are driving the growth of esports and esports betting. North America, Europe and Southeast Asia are well-documented hubs where esports is hugely popular and places like China and India, with their massive populations are also oft-cited sources of future growth.
However, one part of the world not mentioned so often, which is starting to show real signs of becoming a key part of the esports and esports betting community, is Latin America (LATAM). However, a recent study by Oddin.gg has shed light on this relatively little-known corner of the world and reveals some intriguing data about just how important LATAM is to the future of esports.
Part of the reason for this is the fact that the LATAM region has often been viewed as a ‘grey’ area for esports gaming/ A lack of regulation of esports and governments being slow to adopt esports betting legislation, means that stakeholders in the esports industry and organisations have often overlooked the area. However, recently many countries in the region have made major strides towards addressing these issues and it is one of many reasons why LATAM is emerging as a major hub on the esports scene.
Development in LATAM Countries
The Oddin.gg report reveals that countries like Chile, which has seen its land-based casinos closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, has seen considerable growth in online sports betting and esports. So much so that Rodrigo Arenjo of the Chilean gambling regulator Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego commented:
“These segments are experiencing exponential growth and probably, they will eventually surpass land-based gaming.”
However, it is not just in Chile that esports and esports betting is undergoing a transformation. Puerto Rico has recently doubled the amount of resources available to providers to speed up the process of installing regulated online sports betting and esports betting in the country.
Brazil is also making positive strides and it is this country perhaps more than any other that excites those in the esports betting industry. With over 200 million people, Brazil looks set to pass a key piece of legislation that could see far more streamlined and consistent governance of online sports and esports betting come into play in 2021.
This is particularly important given the popularity of esports teams like MiBR or FURIA in Brazil, who both enjoy the popularity that is now beginning to rival that of the country’s most famous sports stars and teams.
Increased Willingness to Invest in the Region
These moves have seen a number of key figures in the esports and esports betting industries seek to establish a firm foothold in the LATAM region. Rivalry, the sports and esports betting firm, enjoys huge popularity in Brazil and it is clear that fans in the country are keen to follow esports.
CEO of Rivalry Steven Salz commented:
“Anything you do in that market, if it is resonating in any way and your participating in the fandom experience of the home team, you get a natural pickup that you just don’t find in other markets.”
Other companies such as Betway, BetCris and bet365 are also looking at moving into the LATAM market, especially with a recent article highlighting just how popular games like CS:GO are becoming in the region. SportRadar is also set to use its recently announced partnership with Live Media to monitor the integrity of the Movistar Liga Pro Gaming tournament in Latin America, using it’s Fraud Detection System to monitor betting patterns.
The LATAM region is one ripe for growth and one that has huge potential for esports tournament organisers, betting firms, teams, streamers, players and more. The area may be still very much in a developmental stage, but its potential remains huge.