The world of sports is evolving, and one of the most significant changes is the rise of eSports. eSports, or electronic sports, refers to organized video gaming events or tournaments that culminate in championships at regional and international levels. With millions of players, viewers, and fans worldwide, eSports has become a multi-billion-dollar industry and an important part of popular culture.
The rapidly growing phenomenon surrounding eSports continues to gather steam, as the intersection of gaming and sports offers an innovative wave of branding opportunities, engaging content, and activations for millions across the world. The eSports market revenue worldwide was 1.08 billion USD in 2021, and the global eSports audience size was expected to reach 380 million in the same year.
The most popular games among eSports fans aged 18 to 24 worldwide as of September 2021 were Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. These games have massive followings and host international tournaments with substantial prize pools, further fueling the growth of the eSports industry.
The eSports audience is primarily made up of young adults. Among internet users, 15% are eSports fans. Among eSports fans, 1 in 3 are aged 20–25. 60% of the total eSports audience in the world comes from the age group 16 to 24 years old. This young, tech-savvy demographic is highly attractive to advertisers and sponsors, contributing to the industry’s revenue growth.
The rise of eSports presents significant opportunities for the sports betting industry. Traditional sports betting has been a staple of the gambling industry for years, but the advent of eSports betting is shaking up the scene.
In 2023, the projected revenue in the eSports Betting market is estimated to reach US$2.1 billion. This market segment is expected to exhibit an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 10.45%, which would lead to a projected market volume of US$3.2 billion by 2027. The United States is expected to generate the highest revenue in this market, with a projected market volume of US$554.0 million in 2023.
However, the regulatory landscape for eSports betting varies widely. In the US, it’s down to each individual state to decide whether they should allow eSports betting to be permitted. Some states have legalized eSports betting through new legislation or state agencies’ statutory interpretations. Despite the regulatory challenges, the potential for growth in the eSports betting market is enormous.
The sports betting industry is also experiencing significant growth. The global sports betting market size accounted for USD 83.65 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% from 2023 to 2030. The integration of eSports into this industry is expected to contribute to this growth.
The digital infrastructure’s growth and the penetration of connected devices are key factors driving the sports betting market. As eSports are primarily digital, they fit perfectly into this landscape. The increase in the number of sports events and leagues is driving the demand for sports betting platforms, and eSports leagues and tournaments are contributing to this increase.
The future of sports betting holds tremendous potential, fueled by technological innovations and changing consumer expectations. Augmented reality, virtual reality, mobile betting, personalization, blockchain technology, cryptocurrency integration, eSports betting, and artificial intelligence will shape the industry in the years to come.
The rise of eSports is reshaping the landscape of sports and betting. As the popularity of eSports continues to grow, so does its impact on the sports betting industry. The integration of eSports into sports betting platforms offers new opportunities for growth and expansion. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how these two industries continue to evolve and influence each other. The future of sports betting, with eSports at its core, promises to be an exciting journey.