The evolution of esports betting

By William Davis


Jun 26, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

When esports initially appeared, people were very skeptical about its future. Many people called esports a pseudo-sport because it didn’t fit the traditional definition of a sport for them. 

People were still used to traditional sports which involve sweating, running, and a ball. However, esports changed the entire industry by gathering a massive following and proving to the world it was there to stay.

Today, esports has become a huge industry with some esports stars being paid like football and basketball players. This phenomenal rise has been due to many factors which we’re going to be looking at in this article. 

Humble beginnings

Though competitive gaming has existed in many forms over the years, esports betting was recognized for the first time by the South Korean government in 2000 which was a huge step forward for esports. This stemmed from the popularity of StarCraft in the country, with western nations slowly following suit.

Gaming also had its own unique form of betting known as skin-betting where players could wager in-game items on professional matches. This was wildly popular for years and helped explode the popularity of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Things came to an abrupt halt in 2016 when Valve threatened to sue the third-party sites that allowed wagering of the items purchased on Steam after facing possible trouble from the government. This effectively put an end to the practice of skin wagering, though it still exists in some forms.

When real money appeared

Organized betting operators started stepping in after realizing the potential of earning huge amounts of money and soon these licensed companies were providing safe and reliable ways to bet. After seeing the initial success of betting with real money, agen sbobet and other betting operators realized the full potential of esports and started offering diverse markets. By 2017, skin wagering had almost disappeared, making standard betting sites the go-to pastime for esports punters.

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Why esports are perfect for betting

Many people watch esports in order to learn the best way to approach their favorite games. There’s no one better teacher than the pros. Esports pros can become popular unto themselves, attracting a large number of fans who like their approach to the game. Players can look to emulate their habits or strategies in games, or find new ways to refine their own style. 

One of the other reasons for the massive popularity of esports is that they’re freely available to be streamed online. This makes it convenient and easy for viewers since they don’t have to pay anything if they aren’t sure that they want to watch the game. The live nature of the games also makes it easier for fans and punters to bet while watching and contemplating the odds. 

Esports is also thoroughly quantified when it comes to statistics, making it easy to come up with various markets. Players have an abundance of stats that can be easily tracked and wagered on. This is much easier to navigate than some other side markets in other sports, which have both subjectivity and human error in play.

The future of esports

It can be safely assumed that esports is going to grow in size and reach. Many new online competitive games are being introduced every year and new games have enjoyed major success including the Call of Duty series, Overwatch, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Valorant. 

This means that more and more players are entering the world of esports as professionals which means more growth for this industry. The viewership of esports events has increased much more than most major sports in the world and it’s only increasing more every year.

The accessibility of esports and the excitement of betting are already two very attractive but different characteristics. When these are combined together, it results in the birth of a juggernaut industry that can be valued at billions of dollars. We as gamers hope that this trend continues upwards and the popularity of esports grows along with it as well.