The most popular esports not reflected by betting markets

The most popular esports not reflected by betting markets

Friday, September 23, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Betting seems to work for some esports, but not others

With a lot of operators looking to expand and or improve their esports market coverage, or for those yet to take the leap to launch such markets, understanding the various esports titles is vital.

As the live betting on esports panel at Betting on Sports conference agreed however, it’s not always the most popular esports, or gaming titles generally, which translate directly into popular betting markets.

Peter Ivanov, head of esports at Ultraplay, pointed to the fact that whilst League of Legends is the most popular esport, this doesn’t translate directly to betting volume. He said: “For us it’s actually third in terms of betting volume.”

Sportradar’s James Watson also discussed FIFA in similar terms. Whilst it’s a game for which the competitive gaming scene is only really beginning to get off the ground, it’s one which is played recreationally by millions globally. Watson said: “Despite this, no one is watching on Twitch. It’s a thousand miles away from the top tier esports in terms of stream viewership.”

With a $1.3m prize pool promised by EA for FIFA 17’s competitive gaming over the course of the year this could be set to change but for now at least it does not get anywhere near the amount of viewers that CS:GO, Dota, LoL and others generate.

Watson made an insightful prediction about the state of play in betting over the next decade. He said: “What this generation is growing up with, with technology everywhere, they’ve experienced sports in a vastly different way...will these people grow up and bet on horse racing? Certainly not. They’ve grown up around esports and this is what they’ll bet on.”

When questioned by panel moderator Sarah McChesney of Fresh8 Gaming whether live betting in esports trumps pre-match betting, Krasnovsky stated that many esports are ideally placed for in-play betting with extensive and exciting markets unfolding every second. McChesney had pointed to the fact that Sky Betting & Gaming had recently stated that 65% of their esports bets are placed on live markets.

Totally Gaming says: Esports is gathering a lot of heat, but the market is still so fledgling in betting terms it is difficult to know where to turn first. An obvious parallel to sports betting would be the FIFA football game, but counter-intuitively this appears to be a very slow market. If bookmakers want to know how to get involved, they need to fully embed themselves into the phenomenon. 

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