The global pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives and our livelihoods. Even those businesses that have traditionally been very protected from outside forces have experienced the consequences.
Take my previous employers as an example. They’re a big online gambling company and, as the coronavirus lockdown starved them of sport, less and less people have been on their website. They’ve seen a reduction in bets and a reduction in traffic. Instead, “virtual sports” and “eSports” have seen rises, as people turn to other types of sport that remains unaffected by the lockdowns.
Indeed, today it’s been announced that the global eSports industry revenue has jumped 50%, touching $1.6bn by 2023. In 2018, the global eSports industry revenue was $776.4 million. A year later it was $957.5 million. Now, despite everything that has happened this year, it’s set to increase by 10.6%.
It’s become hugely successful, and now the online betting industry is ramping up their involvement and promotion due to the lack of other sports during the COVID-19 closures of sports events. People who shop around for the best betting sites tend to try and get the best “new customer deals” on betting and casino outlets using sites that review real money Android casino apps. They tend to want a number of things, including a wide variety of events to bet on, a mobile billing casino, popular and familiar games, big bonuses, good odds and a fair payout system.
Statistics show that the digital revenue stream is set to generate $21.5 million profit this year, a 60.9% jump year-on-year. The number of people watching has shot up too – from 173 million in 2018 to 495 million today.
If you’re going to have a quick flutter, it’s important to find somewhere trustworthy. Some of these gaming sites will give you bonuses, but you may have to place a certain amount of “real bets” before you can take them out. It’s something we’re seeing more and more of, as casino and bingo adverts appear on our TV in the evening. The offers and the “free cash” all seem to be like very good deals, but you need to be careful and check that the bonuses you receive are easy to get. Don’t just sign up thinking that you can withdraw your bonuses immediately, because you can’t always do that.
During the summer of 2020, there has been a distinct lack of sporting events. Our unlimited data packages and subscriptions to Sky or BT Sports have gone unused as we sit at home, lacking football, cricket, horse racing or rugby. Punters have instead turned to eSport matches to fill the void. Real sporting events were stopped, with TV coverage cancelled and fans left disappointed.
I’ve just realised that I’ve not actually given a great deal of information about what eSports is, so let’s have a deeper look into the details.
You’ve no doubt played video games, and you may have played against others. With eSports, there’s usually an organized multiplayer game between professional players or teams. The games will involve online battles, first-person shooters, fighting, card games or strategy games. People will then watch the even via online streams, whilst others place bets on the team or player in an attempt to make some cash.
The UK Gambling Commission has just released a report which shows the incredible growth of eSports betting. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that eSports remain one of the few events you can bet on, and it’s helped create a year-on-year increase of 2992%. Other sectors of the industry have suffered, but there’s been a massive spike in eSports. In March 2019, as an example, there was just a £50,223 yield on eSports gambling. However, in March of this year than had risen to a colossal £1,517,548 – then to £4,616,610 in May.
It’s not just gambling companies. Vodafone and other networks are networks are starting to take notice of this new, popular and innovative sporting event. They’re sponsoring events and getting involved. Plus, despite everything else, the events continue on – Overwatch Leagues and Call of Duty battles are proving popular and provide entertainment for millions across the globe.
The real test, though, will be how successful eSports will remain as we emerge from the pandemic. Will those who’ve made the switch to virtual sports remain? Or will they switch back to real events? If a good proportion of those punters remain, eSports could continue to grow still further in all respects.
Oh and don’t forget, you could be one of those professional gamers and you could win big. Those eSports competitions have big prizes for the best players, so if you’re constantly scoring big wins on games like Overwatch or Call of Duty, take a look at the various competitions that are available – it could turn into a very lucrative pastime.