E Sports is exploding in popularity and our team of eSports bettors will keep you updated on every betting matchup on the wagering board. From League of Legends to DOTA 2 and more.
Across the world, eSports popularity is booming. Whereas most sports generally grab a foothold in one region and then slowly expand worldwide, eSports has exploded on the scene and is popular across the globe. Even more remarkable is the growth of eSports in such a short amount of time. Its growth seemingly multiplies each year and now bettors and sportsbooks alike are seeking to cash in.
The origins of eSports trace back to the 1970s, but the eSports of yesteryear are totally unlike what we’re seeing today. The rise of broadband internet and increased capabilities of gaming platforms has led to lightning fast changes in eSports.
Most athletic sports only make slight changes year-to-year, but with eSports there is a new game or update/expansion to a popular game every few months. The popularity of games waxes and wanes and games that were once considered staples of the eSports community can become afterthoughts seemingly overnight.
Nowadays, most of the popular eSports games were PC, but that wasn’t always the case. In the mid-2000’s the most popular genre in the eSports community in the United States was first-person console shooters and the star of the genre was the Halo series, specifically Halo 2.
Halo 2 tournaments were massive events and were the first eSports tournaments to get broadcast audiences on television and ESPN.com. This also fueled the rise of the first big professional eSports organization in America, Major League Gaming.
Major League Gaming, or MLG, was one of the major catalysts for the growth of eSports and after a dozen years of bringing eSports into the mainstream, it was bought out by Activision Blizzard. MLG is still considered one of the premier leagues in the world and along with the rise of other leagues, eSports has never been in a stronger position.
As eSports has grown in popularity, the opportunity to bet on the results of matches has risen. What was once a niche industry is starting to become mainstream with betting available on 10 different games across a plethora of leagues. Nowadays, there is eSports betting available for CS:GO, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Call of Duty, Halo, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Street Fighter, and Super Smash Brothers. The leagues are of varying quality and the popularity of these leagues and games differs from region to region.
The prevalence of these games and leagues are just some of the challenges that sportsbooks face when it comes to eSports betting. In addition to trying to line all these events, unlike traditional sports there is constant shakeup among rosters. At seemingly every major tournament, there are instances of players switching teams at the last minute and their former teams having to rally to find replacements. This leads to a ripple effect with teams poaching players from other teams and makes it even more difficult to set lines.
The difficulty of lining e-Sports matches leads to opportunities for well-informed bettors. Bettors keeping up-to-date with the latest gossip can react to news before sportsbooks and exploit an information advantage. There are very few sports where bettors can have an information advantage over the sportsbooks, but eSports is one of them.
There is a bright future for eSports betting. As more and more kids turn away from traditional sports for various reasons, the popularity of eSports is growing among children and young adults. There are communities like Twitch where people can watch their favorite eSports players stream matches and unlike traditional sports its possible to interact with your favorite players on a daily basis. eSports have also expanded their reach and now have their own section on ESPN.com and it was recently announced that the PAC-12 Network will broadcast eSports matches between students from different schools in the conference. All these things suggest that eSports is not just a passing fad, but here to stay for a long time.
TBS spent much of May promoting its eSports show and it is the first of its kind. Never before has there been a multi-week eSports tournament appear on television, but TBS is hoping to strike gold on the eSports revolution.
The show, “ELeague”, started airing on May 26, and returns from the first episode have been promising. Despite going up against Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals in the same time slot as well as launching on Memorial Day weekend, the hour long show managed to pull over 500,000 viewers on average. This number was only a slight drop off from TBS’ typical programming in that time slot and the hope is that as time passes and more word of mouth gets out more and more people will tune in.
There is still a massive hurdle that TBS will have to cross though to realize its rating potential. How do you get people to watch the event on television instead of just streaming the feed online? Indications are that 10 times as many people streamed the first episode of ELeague on their computers rather than watching it on television. In this age of cord cutting, it’s unclear how or why young people could be persuaded to watch this event on television and it’s going to be something that TBS will have to come up with a solution for.
It isn’t just TBS getting in on the action, the Pac-12 Network is also about to start broadcasting eSports as well. The Pac-12 Network announced that this summer it will start broadcasting matches between teams from Pac-12 member schools in the hopes of tapping into this market as well. They’ll face some of the same problems as TBS but could possibly benefit from broadcasting during a time where there is a dead period for sports.
The TBS show will focus on the most popular shooting game there is right now in CS:GO. Since its launch almost four years ago, CS:GO has climbed to and remained one of the most competitive games in the world. Whereas most other popular games have gone away from the shooter model, CS:GO has succeeded because of its rapid pace and great gameplay. This game isn’t plagued with bugs, glitches, or design issues like other games of the genre, and that’s what has kept it in such high esteem.
The tournament on TBS will be 10 games long with a prize pool of $1.4 million and that money has drawn the best teams from all over the world. Since it’s a shooter, it is a pretty easy game to explain to non-gamers and the hope is that will lead to more casual viewership as the tournament progresses in the weeks ahead. Continue
League of Legends (LoL) is the esports game with the largest community on the internet. The number of active players in LoL every day is tremendous and the numbers of viewers, watching the competitive eSports matches in front of the live streams has steadily grown over the years.
League of Legends is now officially the biggest online game in the world. Often abbreviated to LoL, League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game. The game is relatively easy to pickup and play, but to make it to a competitive standard requires a lot of skill and a lot of practice. Continue
Aside from CS:GO, there is another major event going on this week, the Manila Major. Like tennis or golf, DOTA 2 has a majors system with four majors that are considered more important than all the other tournaments. The Manila Major is the third of the four major tournaments and action will kick off tomorrow now that all the qualifiers have been decided over who is in and who is out. The prize pool will be three million dollars and with the list of teams scheduled to compete, it should be an amazing major.
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