American sports, or lack thereof, got you down during a pandemic? Are you a fan of betting and need a small sports gambling fix? American sports are usually a robust industry, but of course are limited in the wake of coronavirus. If you're in need of a small gambling fix, or even a larger one, esports betting might be worth your time and attention.
Esports have grown from the LAN parties of the early 2000s to a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. The most enthusiastic fans and zealous participants are often found in North America, China, and South Korea. However, partially as a result of billions of people being stuck at home over the course of 2020, esports have found an even bigger audience. This is apparent in the size of the online audience for the ESL One Cologne streaming tournament, where teams divided by continent will compete in the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Esports are organized just like athletic events, with formal tournaments, and league play. However, much of esport play is international. Therefore, esports players are not restricted to national play or regulated leagues. Esports have grown in popularity and organization over the last decade. However, they are still an emerging field of competition. In the time of multiple streaming platforms and user created content, esports have gained enormous popularity. Many esports competitions are available on streaming platforms, bringing them to a larger audience. Additionally, services like YouTube host a massive amount of gaming content, bringing esports to a wider audience. Multiplayer games and first person shooters account for a huge number of games in esports competitions. Popular titles Dota 2, Counter-Strike 2: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Starcraft II, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and the universally popular Fortnite.
In the absence of professional athletics and high stakes tournaments like March Madness or the NBA playoffs, many sports gamblers have moved on to esports. Although esports betting is more common overseas than in the US, this form of gambling is gaining traction at this time. Apparently, esports betting in the UK has exploded during the pandemic. Esports gambling is only legal in a handful of American states, as the federal government has not taken a formal stand on the subject. Some states prohibit all forms of online gambling, including Louisiana. States where you can properly bet on esports include Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
While some states do not regulate online gambling or esports betting, some gamblers seek international firms. Many betting firms from Central American and the Caribbean operate in the US. Much like in the UK, lots of esports gambling occurs across Europe, especially in Sweden. As traditional sports have returned, especially across Europe, esports betting revenues have dropped slightly. This was predictable, but the esports markets are still predicted to expand dramatically over the next several years.
Overall, esports betting can whet the appetite of the most enthusiastic sports gambler. While it might not replace traditional athletics, global quarantines have introduced new audiences to esports, which will fuel a huge amount of growth in the future.