A while back, the topic of esports was discussed and how the industry offered the entertainment community an ideal opportunity to collide. Although this article gives a wide panorama of both esports and, to a lesser extent, the world around esports betting.
One of the key questions and dilemmas facing everyone who really cares about the gaming industry–as Stepan Shulga, head of esports at Parimatch, emphasised in a recent interview in the iGaming Business Magazine–is “how to attract and retain customers from the generation of players in their 20s and 30s.”
How have the Millennial generation’s habits changed? For years, major sports competitions would always draw the world’s largest crowds, and also see huge amounts of people make a gamble on the result.
The Superbowl, the largest sports event held in the United States nearly every year, had been confirmed by 98 million viewers in 2018. The League of Legends Worlds series, by comparison, had 100 million combined online viewers.
Both numbers give a hard reading for the betting market, notably in view of the success of centuries in each, with slightly less tuning in order to watch traditional sports events, while millennials make up a significantly higher percentage of those who watch online the Legends World or indeed many of the other major sports tournaments.
It is abundantly clear that for the millennial generation the basic facets of sports betting have shifted, and that betting company must, therefore, tackle this problem. As a result, esports betting on many platforms is now becoming much more common and separate.
In reality, there are a number of esports betting sites including Unikrn, Betway esports, bet365 esports, BUFF.bet, GGBet and others that have incredibly high profile sports inside their betting offerings and sometimes the platform are solely for sports betting in itself.
There was a time when bookmakers sold only sports and emerging markets, like in the U.S., where sports betting is only now only about to start to take off.
However, as Mr Shulga points out in his interview: “the popularity and growth trajectory of esports is only going to increase. The value of the vertical has already been demonstrated, so bookmakers need not consider moving into esports as a ‘risky’ move. Its audiences are engaged, passionate and use new technologies, so bookmakers must carefully consider their approach in order to reflect this and thus ensuring they attract fans.”
As for the new century, esports betting gives bookmakers a far safer bet than sticking with traditional sports alone. For a millennial or z-better generation, the world today is very different. Bookmakers need to respond to that, and it is one of the simplest and best ways to connect with this audience by far.