eSports might be a formidable industry. However, eSports betting is not popular due to several challenges that are plaguing the industry.
Sports and betting have always gone hand in hand. Nowadays, traditional bookmakers are sharing the market with online betting sites. It is not surprising that the meteoric rise of eSports has also led to eSports betting as an active force in this unique brand of competition.
There is no question that eSports are a multimillion dollar industry which will get bigger. However, compared to traditional sports, eSports betting industry is still struggling to harness its popularity.
Understanding eSports Betting
When we talk about e-Sports, it is about the broad array of competitive computer game leagues such as League of Legends (LOL), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), DOTA 2, Call of Duty, FIFA, Hearthstone, and Starcraft II. As fantastical as it sounds, eSports is a worldwide industry with competitions taking place in the main arenas and final matches being watched by millions globally.
The majority of bookmakers and big online betting sites now accept e-Sports bets, especially those involving LOL, CS: GO and DOTA 2. In-play betting is also popular, and eSports Betting info page by freebets.co.uk presents markets on the matches’ various outcomes like map betting, handicaps, and direct winner. It is recommended to take a look.
Challenges Faced by eSports Betting
eSports has been around for a few years now. However, it seems that betting in this field does not carry the prestige and popularity of traditional sports betting and analysts have pinpointed some of the eSports betting challenges that are holding back the industry.
The bookmakers receive data a major problem in eSports betting. As expected, the kind of games played relates to the data-intensive industry and controlling where maximizing this data is problematic. For one, it is nearly impossible to offer fair odds or prices to bettors if there is no specific data. Granted that some games, like DOTA 2 are great with data as they have an API that stores statistics and historic data. However, other games do not have data or whatever data does exist is controlled by in-house technologies.
Some major online betting sites use a different betting system, one wherein bettors are pitted against other players, usually by choosing or answering contextual questions instead of going for traditional bets. One CEO of a major online gambling site admitted that it is hard to competitively price e-Sports. The conceptualized betting system they designed was created to appeal to the players’ views on the games since it is so fluid.
Traditional sports like tennis or football are not owned by anyone, making it easy to create an open market for betting. However, in the case with eSports, some people or corporations own DOTA 2, Starcraft and League of Legends. The organizers of eSports tournaments also make betting on these games more challenging.
Betting sites and organizers will have to establish relationships with game owners if they want to establish clear e-Betting standards. Most game publishers would rather own or at least have some control on the betting than letting online sports books run. The publishers are not too keen on cooperating with online bookies. No wonder that eSports betting sites have opted for systems where they do not need to work with the game developers and publishers, especially as betting is an open market.
Rules and regulations are not established
The depth and extent of the eSports industry and its lack of standard controls sometimes feel like an insurmountable problem for online gambling operators. It is a sentiment that Ian Smith, a commissioner at the eSports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) says carries some truth. However, he was also quick to point out that the lack of betting regulations is not the industry’s problem but more of the operators’ dilemma.
It is also a fact that eSports are not like normal sports. It is less formal and does not have a reliable or regulated structure. The games, and its popularity. Also, it changes constantly which makes it harder to pin down regulations. However, these challenges can be resolved with more understanding or expertise on eSports.
Bookies and operators can do to work in close collaboration with tournament organizers and the ESIC to weed out match-fixing, maintain its integrity, and establish some form of regulations. eSports has the potential to push online betting to new heights. It will take the right format, reliable data, and clear e-Sports betting information for it to take off and let many people enjoy it.