The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world of sports betting. That’s because countries across the globe approached the issue differently.
Some companies made a killing, we’re talking about firms like Netflix, Zoom, and Amazon. Many other companies weren’t as lucky. Hotels and other such establishments suffered big time.
As for betting on sports at the best sportsbooks online, it was smack in the middle. They had to postpone league matches across the board. This means bettors at sportsbooks had nothing to bet on.
The Rise of Esports
Before the pandemic, esports was only a marginal sport in the betting market. If you don’t know what esports is; it’s another word for competitive gaming online. Only a handful of fans had access to esports that wanted to bet on computer gaming.
Thanks to the pandemic; 2020 was by far the biggest year for esports sports betting. As things stand, the global esports audience has more than 500 million people.
The first 12 months of the pandemic saw the number of esports bets grow by 28%. Moreover, the total number of sports bettors that fancied esports grew by 70%.
Then again experts doubted the trend would continue. Esports betting is here to stay. Operators as big as Pinnacle say that esports is now the top five sports in betting volume.
Will Esports Drop Again?
Many say that esports will return to obscurity once the pandemic is over. We beg to differ. There were no sports to bet on between March and August 2020. As such betting on esports and playing at online casinos plugged the gap.
However, that didn’t happen and esports is ideal for the online environment. Now, the best thing about betting on esports is that you can access it from mobile smartphones.
Everyone can try playing esports, too, and the cost of doing so is very small. As for watching, there are no subscriptions you’d have to pay to watch events. Most streams are completely free and widely available.
Also, there’s a wide range of esports disciplines to the offer. Strategy games, racing games, sports games, you name it. There’s a game for everyone and the action comes thick and fast. You don’t have to wait for a full week to see your favorite team play.
There are no breaks between seasons or long waits between events. Quite the contrary. Esports run 24/7 and they are on offer almost every single day of the year, too. That makes them incredibly accessible and available to everyone.
True, there were some events that did not take place because of the pandemic. Not all esports take occur online. The absences were minimal in comparison with other sports, however.
Future of Esports Betting
Now that esports has taken hold in online sports betting, it’s hard to see them going away again. On the contrary, esports is on the same level as sports betting. In fact, esports might even overtake it in the near future.
That’s because esports has the ability to attract new audiences and engage them like few sports can. Especially, the younger generation. Further, sportsbooks will jump at any opportunity to improve their offers and products.
In short, esports has grown at an exponential rate thanks to the pandemic in 2020. It produced the ideal conditions for esports to thrive and even rival normal sports.
Esports betting will continue to be among the most popular sports betting disciplines. Market leaders like Pinnacle believe the future of sports betting lies with esports.
However, no one knows what the future holds. Chances are that sportsbooks will offer esports sooner than later. Should the pandemic strike again, it will be even more good news for fans of esports betting.