Bridging the esports and sports betting knowledge gap

June 24, 2021

For individuals who have not grown up with the most well-known esports titles, the world of esports can appear impenetrable. Observing a Dota 2 event can be a befuddling experience for the uninformed. The action is nonstop and keeping track of everything going on the screen might be challenging.

On the other hand, such tournaments are just as exciting for viewers as the World Cup is for football enthusiasts. It's also lucrative: Dota 2's international world championship smashed esports prize pool records for the ninth year in a row in 2019, with a total prize pool of US$34 million.

In the world of esports, there is a generational and cultural split. A FIFA or NBA2K match might become as engaging as its real-life football counterpart for many young people in terms of stimulation games. This audience grew dramatically during the pandemic-induced lull in real-life sport. While simulation-style esports titles are now more accessible to the average middle-aged sportsbook executive, there is a gap in recognising the latent potential of betting on such items — even more so when it comes to actual esports titles.

This information gap, as well as a lack of understanding of the scale of attraction across the full scope of the esports offering, is causing missed opportunities in our sector. Around the world, there are expected to be half a billion esports followers, with projections that esports would have 84 million spectators by the end of this year in the United States alone.

Pure esports' audience is youthful, interested, and prepared to spend money digitally and on a large scale. According to McKinsey, Generation Z and Millennials have a combined spending power of $350 billion in the United States, and the evolution of demographic patterns means that the viewership for esports is larger than that of the NBA or MLB.