Trends and Threats in the Esports Betting Industry

trends-and-threats-in-the-esports-betting-industry

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The past few years – 2021 and 2022 – have been tough year for many sectors globally. One of the sectors hit particularly hard was the sports betting industry with a reduced number of live sports events.

Consequently, the sports betting industry was forced to turn to esports because it was easier for esports events to continue as virtual/online activities. Up until the omicron variant, the dust had settled somewhat, and there was a return to normalcy in the sports industry.

Esports betting has been growing since 2020. Asia is one region where esports is popular. China, Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam are reportedly seeing growth. According to Asia Gaming Brief it was a $10-15 billion a year market. And some are even reporting the global esports betting market is expected to exceed $205 billion by 2027.

Live betting odds in Vietnam can be found on sites like Vwin99, a leading sports betting site in the region. So, what are the trends and threats affecting the esports industry?

Trends – Growing Popularity

Due to the pandemic, many users have embraced online platforms, as it was more challenging for sports betting fans to find live sports action to wager on. As a result, some turned to esports.

The pandemic also saw people who had never considered wagering on esports events to review their betting strategies. Initially, some individuals who played video games were interested in esports betting. Esports has been popular with young people, like those aged 25 years and below.

But, there is also a group of users aged between 25 and 35, and those older. This wider audience has encouraged sportsbooks to plan for more competitive events and extensive coverage. For example, reports suggest around many more esports events have been added in sportsbooks in recent years.

Additionally, many esports betting fans focus on popular games such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, while some like FIFA and NBA 2K events. And as we know, the popularity of some esports events has matched the levels of some real-life sports events.

Threats – Unprecedented Issues

There’s been growth in the popularity of esports, and in esports betting, but it’s not without its challenges – there are numerous unresolved issues. Some notable ones include:

Integrity

One of the biggest issues the industry faces is integrity. Some betting providers haven’t sought the best gambling licenses, others have been banned by governments in different countries. There have also been match-fixing controversies.

So, some say the industry needs to invest better in anti-fraud mechanisms and the likes, to ensure it can grow.

Lack of understanding

Another key challenge that many sports bettors face when betting on esports, is a lack of understanding of the games being played. For instance, younger generations and endemic esports fans are the ones that are more familiar with games and their rules and who would win in Dota 2 or games like LoL, for example. On the other hand, older generations and traditional sports fans – in general – may find it easier to understand the rules and structure of traditional sports.

This is not a critique of the industry. Instead, it’s a bit of a generational gap, and while there is a crossover between esports and sports, there are still a lot of differences too.

Final Thoughts

The growth of the esports industry has brought to fore the industry’s good and bad sides. Industry bodies like ESIC are aiming to improve the professionalism of the space, by stamping down on things like match fixing and doping. If issues like these can be better resolved, then the sector’s future is bright.

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