Esports betting market


Esports is a rapidly growing market fueled by ongoing digitalization and rising awareness about gaming in general. With the COVID-19 pandemic driving the demand for esports, progressive and more advanced technology opens up new opportunities for online sportsbook operators. In 2019, the total wagers in the esports betting market were worth of $ 9,3 billion, while in 2020, it reached $12,9 billion. 

With the growth of tournaments, teams, and companies involved, and a broad platform for advertising and sponsorship, the esports betting market will continue to grow. As it is forecasted, the revenue from the esports betting market will reach 25 billion USD in 2025. The increase in live stream viewers and the emergence of new, different teams spur the interest of bettors. The esports betting market is predicted to sustain double-digit growth and can bring in more revenue for the sportsbook operators involved in the iGaming world.  

This article will review the modern trends in the esports betting industry, give you information about why and how you should incorporate esports in your sportsbook, and discuss some of the driving and restraining factors of esports betting. Keep on reading to understand more about this booming industry and learn how to use it for the success of your sports betting business. We also recommend you to read the article about how to start a sportsbook in 2023 to gain more information about the topic.

Esports – the future of betting

You can reap various benefits by incorporating esports into your betting platform. It opens up a new land of opportunities, bringing more traffic to your website and increasing the engagement of new clients. Esports has an already large fan base. Millions of people watch live streams and attend live events. Punters who wager on esports often watch the entire event to see the results. Thus, you will be able to increase viewership by offering betting options on esports events and enabling your clients to watch those events from your platform at the same time.

Moreover, popular esports events provide sufficient ground for sponsorships and new deals. Sponsors seek out popular events and offer better deals. Marketable events allow sponsors to reach more people. More lucrative sponsorship means higher prize money for players and bigger prizes for winning teams. This will increase awareness about your platform and eventually attract more clients and viewers to your website. By all accounts, incorporating esports betting options on your sportsbook site will allow you to reach more people and increase your clients’ engagement.

Esports betting has many advantages that regular sports betting might lack. For instance, esports events can be accessed by fans and bettors 24/7/365, unlike sports events that are held during a specific time of year and have a fixed schedule. It is easy to place bets on esports events due to its “always-present” nature. There are many live esports matches available on different gaming and streaming platforms.

Traditional sports like football are not in decline, but it is clear that younger generations, such as Gen Z, are shifting away from them and choosing esports as the alternative. Many young people prefer to watch esports players via online streaming services like Twitch and YouTube. There are big tournaments of esports games with more than thousands of young viewers watching and betting on their favorite teams. This is a new opportunity for sports betting operators to attract a new base of clients.

If you are planning to start sports betting business, you need to consider the growing popularity and importance of esports and seek the leading esports sportsbook provider who offers various esports games in its software solution. Upgaming offers a leading esports software that incorporates a rich esports game selection with various genres and multiple betting markets. If you are looking for a diversity of choices and an ultra-fast platform, then it will be the most suitable choice for your sports betting website.

The global esports betting market and regional insights

The esports market has undergone tremendous growth over the past couple of years. In 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global esports betting market was worth over 9 billion USD. Multiplayer games have become a popular choice for users since COVID-19. Such trends helped to develop the global esports betting market during the pandemic. As electronic sports became more popular, the revenue of both the betting companies and the sports gambling platforms increased significantly. 

Based on the geographic factors, the global esports market is generally categorized into 5 markets – Europe, North America, South America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. They can be further divided into countries. 

Europe is expected to be the most prominent esports betting market because of its widespread adoption of technology and the acceptance of safety rules and guidelines that manage online and offline betting in most countries. Asia Pacific will continue to hold a significant market share in the future too. From the Asian region, China’s market is the most lucrative and popular in gaming

North America, particularly the USA, will also proceed to play an important role that cannot be ignored. The development trend in esports betting could be affected by any changes made in the United States market due to its massive involvement in the industry. Over the forecast period, North America’s market is expected to expand significantly. Market growth is likely to be facilitated by the high adoption of advanced technology in the region and the presence of a large base of users who are interested in electronic sports and esports betting. After the USA, the most active and involved countries from North America are Canada and Mexico.

Driving and restraining factors of esports betting

Various factors fuel the esports betting industry, and all of them contribute to the growth of the esports market and the increase in the number of esports betting sites. First of all, digital infrastructural development is a serious trigger that creates a solid technical platform for the development and progress of esports betting. Furthermore, the increase in the number of games and sports leagues is propelling the demand for esports betting amongst various countries and markets worldwide. 

Esports are competitive contests where various teams compete and try to beat their opponents. Such competitions always involve investments and the revenue generated by funding, ads, merchandise, etc. The growing number of investors and sponsors generates a vast capital and draws in more sponsors, players, viewers, bettors, and bookmakers. As more corporations finance esports tournaments and championships, the demand for esports betting also increases.

High-quality games and high accessibility are other factors that spur the upsurge of the esports market. This, in turn,  positively affects esports betting as the increased involvement drags in more users and bettors. 

When it comes to restraining factors that may hamper the growth of the esports betting market, there are not many. The only negative factor blocking the way is government regulations and stringent rules towards the betting industry in general. There are three types of markets when it comes to gambling activities, white (regulated), grey (unregulated), and black (prohibited). You can read our article about the white, grey, and black iGaming markets to understand more about this topic. 

Furthermore, esports betting is a gambling activity requiring a license to enter the regulated market and offer your services to the players. Thus, operators must get licenses to set up sports and esports betting sites. If you are interested in this topic, you can read our other article about online casino licenses

One of the reasons explaining the growing popularity of the esports betting market is that the players and bettors witness the release of new games every year. Nowadays, there are many games in the esports leagues that draw the attention of bettors. Nonetheless, three of them have dominated the esports betting industry for over a decade: DOTA2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. These games are viewed by a large audience and offer some of the most intense esports battles.

Counter-Strike Global Offensive (328 000 viewers live on average every second) is one of the most popular esports games in the esports betting industry. CS: GO, like many other esports games, is very enjoyable to watch, has amazing moments, a fast-paced playstyle, and incredible displays of skill. Counter-Strike Global Offensive is a first-person shooter (FPS) game where two teams face off to reach their objectives by defending or defusing the bomb site. 

League of Legends (150 000 – 200 000 players/viewers live on average) has also become a hugely popular online game. Riot Games introduced LoL in 2009. Since then, it has grown to be a worldwide phenomenon, with a competitive esports scene that spans the globe, from Brazil to Europe to China. LoL is a huge hit in the Esports Betting scene. League of Legends has slightly more bettors than CS:GO. Nonetheless, they both have the most significant share compared to other esports betting games. 

Dota 2 (76.2 thousand viewers on average in August 2022) has many similarities to League of Legends. It belongs to the same multiplayer online battle area ( MOBA) style and is played similarly. Dota 2 is still one of the most popular esports games to bet on after CS: GO and LoL. This explains why all esports betting websites offer Dota 2 betting markets, so you can bet on Valve’s masterpiece on any esports betting site you visit.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is esports betting profitable?

Needless to say, esports betting is a profitable undertaking for your sports betting site. It brings together a vast pool of players and multiple bettors who can enjoy plenty of betting options. Furthermore, frequently organized events and tournaments offer non-stop opportunities for the involved bettors. Upgamings esports software offers more than 500 games, 40 tournaments, 3 400 live events, and  2 000 markets for your players, giving you the perfect solution to offer comfortable and fast software to your clients.

  • Is esports betting legal?

It depends on which jurisdiction you plan to operate your esports betting site. As a rule of thumb, the rules of sports betting also apply to esports, so if betting is legalized and allowed in the specific market you plan to operate in, then,  after getting a license, you are free to launch your platform. 

  • How popular is esports betting around the world?

The esports betting market is experiencing booming growth in recent years, with the increasing traffic of more and more viewers and bettors coming from various corners of the world. The statistics reveal that the total wagers in esports betting were 9.3 billion USD in 2019. This number increased to 12.9 billion USD in 2020. The predictions reveal that in 2025, the revenue from the esports betting market will reach $25 billion. What these numbers tell you about the popularity of esports betting is up to you to decide, but facts only speak the truth and nothing else.

  • How are the odds calculated in esports betting?

Esports betting odds denote the odds of a particular event being played in esports. The odds are calculated based on a statistical analysis of previous esports competitions. The odds will show you the probability of any given result in a particular game. If you win, your profit will be more significant if the odds are higher.