With a lot of operators looking to expand and or improve their esports market coverage, or for those yet to take the leap, understanding the various esports titles is vital.
As the live betting on esports panel at last week’s Betting on Sports Conference agreed however, it’s not always the most popular esports, or gaming titles generally, which translate directly into popular betting markets.
Peter Ivanov, Head of Esports at Ultraplay, pointed to the fact that whilst League of Legends is the most popular esport that this doesn’t translate directly to betting volume. He said: “For us, it’s actually third in terms of betting volume.”
Sportradar’s James Watson also discussed FIFA in similar terms. Whilst it’s a game for which the competitive gaming scene is only really beginning to get off the ground, it’s one which is played recreationally by millions globally. Watson said: “Despite this, no one is watching on Twitch. It’s a thousand miles away from the top tier esports in terms of stream viewership.”
With a $1.3m (£999,453) prize pool promised by EA for FIFA 17’s competitive gaming over the course of the year this could be set to change but for now at least it does not get anywhere near the amount of viewers that CS:GO, Dota, LoL and others generate.
Watson made an insightful prediction about the state of play in betting over the next decade. He said: “What this generation is growing up with, with technology everywhere, they’ve experienced sports in a vastly different way…will these people grow up and bet on horse racing? Certainly not. They’ve grown up around esports and this is what they’ll bet on.”
When questioned by moderator Sarah McChesney of Fresh8 Gaming over whether live betting in esports trumps pre-match betting, RTSmunity Founder Pavol Krasnovsky stated that many esports are ideally placed for in-play betting with extensive and exciting markets unfolding every second. McChesney had pointed to the fact that Sky Betting & Gaming had recently stated that 65% of their esports bets are placed on live markets.
The data crunching live betting in an esports environment session at Betting on Sports was certainly educational and boasted an expert panel that will have left operators and suppliers alike with numerous points to consider going forward.