E-sports are similar to traditional sports in the sense of having fans follow and watch their favourite teams, as well as place bets on who they think, will win. Esports are streamed live, with tons of viewers tuning in at any given time of day. This is why esport production has recently boomed to be a billion-dollar industry..
Esports come in two forms: The live simulation of real traditional sports, such as the NBA, FIFA, and MLS. As well as esports games like League of Legends, DOTA and CS: GO. With good access to the internet, you can stream matches from YouTube, Twitch, and other such platforms. The industry has thrived to the extent that successful players earn as much as the highest-paid traditional sportsmen. Some of the far-reaching esports tournaments have competitions that run for millions of dollars in prizes for players and teams.
Much as the activity is largely based on live streams, people can place their bets before a game’s commencement. Many sportsbooks include esports and can offer promotions such as bet 10 get 50 free bet for joining a bookmaker, which you can use to wager on your favourite team.
Three most popular types of esports betting
- Betting through an online site for money and with fixed odds
- Social and private betting among individuals
- Skins gambling or loot boxes. Both of which only occur in play. Below is an explanation of what these are.
Skins are cosmetic items found within a video game to decorate weapons or characters. These are used as currency to bet on the outcome of a match. But that’s only some circumstances, depending on the game. They are also largely used as pure decoration. They are either earned as rewards as a gamer advances to higher levels, or can be purchased within the games’ store, often through loot boxes.
Loot boxes often come in the form of virtual treasure chests, which unlock certain features in a game. They almost always include a ‘real-world’ price tag, which in a FIFA game means they get to buy and add a real player figure from the league’s popular ‘Ultimate Team’, to play in their fantasy match. In 2020, Loot boxes accounted for $15 billion in revenue across the video gaming industry.
Certain games come with their own betting options. A bettor may, for instance, wager on who makes the first run within a match.
Other things to bet on
- The winner of the match
- The tournament victor
- The end score
- Odd/Even bets where you get to bet on the games being won in an even/odd number of games won or played.
- Over/Under bets are when you bet against the estimated score set by an online betting site.
The risks involved in esports betting
It’s always important to understand the risks of new concepts, thus helping us navigate how and if we choose to continue with it. Here are the risks associated with esports betting.
The dissimilarity to traditional betting
Because esport betting looks nothing like traditional betting, parents to young gamers may have no idea what their children are up to. Esports betting isn’t regulated, meaning minors with access can partake, sometimes using their parents’ credit cards.
Easily accessible through social media platforms
Esports advertising also takes place on social media, using humour and memes to target a younger audience. This is different to how traditional gambling and sports betting is advertised.
Understanding its intricacies
Games like DOTA2 are difficult to understand from the word go, and people need to understand the game prior to playing or betting. In traditional sports, the bets are normally made by people who already understand the game, and the information is easily accessible.
Due to the lack of anti-fraud and cheating mechanisms set in place, match fixing is easy.
The increasing popularity of the game may result in some addiction. Consequences may lead to destructive lifestyles.
As much as the risks mentioned are real, it’s worth noting that all things new go through different phases as they grow. Since it’s evident that esports is a growing industry, maybe with time, the concerns will be addressed and become a thing of the past.