It is fair to say that eSports and online gambling are both on an upward trajectory from a financial perspective at the moment.
eSports has come a long way since its early ‘geeky’ beginnings, with the genre now firmly established as a mainstream entertainment activity.
Online gambling has had a head start in that respect due to people’s long-standing interest in both sports betting and casino games.
However, with some experts believing that eSports will compete with online gambling in popularity, we assess how likely it is to happen.
eSports has shrugged off the misconception that it is an activity for spotty teenagers to become a truly worldwide phenomenon.
Its popularity as a spectator sport has grown massively, with people spending around seven billion hours per year watching the different competitions and tournaments.
Those figures have attracted interest from broadcasters and advertisers which will inevitably help to drive further growth in the sector.
These factors have already sparked a huge growth in the amount of prize money on offer in eSports and this is a trend that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Much like the Champions League in football or ice hockey’s Stanley Cup, the eSports calendar features some massive events.
The Fortnite World Cup is one of the highlights, with the event itself attracting more than 10,000 to New York and millions more watching live online broadcasts of the action.
The International (Dota 2), Call of Duty League and the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships are amongst the big competitions that are driving this growth in popularity.
Each of these are already attracting sponsorships from major global brands who are becoming increasingly switched on to eSports and its star players.
The global online gambling market is worth more than $53 billion and experts have predicted it will rise by over 11 percent annually during the next few years.
Sports betting remains a hugely popular pastime for millions of people and that culture is unlikely to change any time soon.
It is a similar story for online casinos, with advancements in technology and easier access via mobile devices powering huge growth in the sector.
At this moment in time online gambling is in front of eSports as a form of entertainment and it’s difficult to imagine that changing.
It is probably a misnomer for anyone to believe that eSports and online gambling are in direct competition, when in reality they are intrinsically linked.
Gambling firms already offer odds on eSports throughout the year and they are likely to expand their offering as public interest grows.
That will help to drive their revenues even higher and strengthen the industry’s position as a mainstream entertainment activity.
This is likely to lead to gambling firms eventually sponsoring eSports tournaments, further cementing their status as bedfellows rather than competitors.