American sports, or lack thereof, got you down during a pandemic? Are you a fan of betting and need a minor sports gambling fix? American sports are usually a robust industry but are limited in the wake of coronavirus. Esports betting might be worth your time and attention if you need a minor gambling fix or even a larger one.
Esports has 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 due to billions of people being stuck at home throughout 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 like athletic events, with formal tournaments and league play. However, much of sports play is international. Therefore, esports players are not restricted to national play or regulated leagues. Esports has 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 has gained enormous popularity. Many esports competitions are available on streaming media, bringing them to a larger audience.
Additionally, services like YouTube host a massive amount of gaming content, bringing esports to a broader audience. Multiplayer games and first-person shooters account for many 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.
Many sports gamblers have moved on to esports in the absence of professional athletics and high-stakes tournaments like March Madness or the NBA playoffs. Although esports betting is more common overseas than in the US, this form of gambling is gaining traction at this time. 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. Some states prohibit all forms of online gambling, including Louisiana. States, where you can adequately 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 America and the Caribbean operate in the US. Much like in the UK, 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 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, fueling a tremendous growth in the future.