While sportsbooks are tightening their grip on traditional casino gambling, the world of esports is still embracing the excitement of long shots and favorable odds.
Why are esports gambling fans still entering wagers of all sizes?
We examined the state of esports gambling in North America to get a sense of the appeal of betting on games. Our findings were surprising. Not only are esports gambling fans more established and reliable than sportsbook wagering fans, but they’re also more engaged with the game they’re betting on.
How are esports betting fans engaging with the games they love to bet on?
Using our proprietary Customer Engagement Index, we analyzed millions of anonymized consumer interactions to gauge the intensity of fan experience. We considered elements like the frequency of purchases, reviews, and status updates to create a score that indicates how frequently a fan interacts with the game they love to play and how committed they are to the experience.
Our analysis shows that esports fans are significantly more engaged with their favorite games than traditional casino and sports betting fans. On average, an esports fan will interact with the game they love to play more than four times per week, compared to three times for traditional casino gamblers and two times for sportsbook bettors.
It’s clear that esports and gaming in general are booming. In 2018, Forbes projected esports revenue to hit $1.36 billion by next year.
The Growth of Esports
Esports grew by 31% in 2018 and is projected to hit $1.96 billion in 2020. While the industry itself is still in its early stages of development, the demand for esports betting is here now and will only continue to grow.
Which Games Are Most Popular?
It’s important to note that esports isn’t just about betting. The most popular games and leagues can also be found on traditional online casinos, where players can also engage in real-money wagering.
To determine the most popular games in esports, we looked at the frequency with which fans interacted with each title. As mentioned, games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 have been around for many years and continue to see high engagement across all platforms. These games also have traditional sportsbook counterparts, meaning you can place bets on them using any betting website.
On the flip side, the MOBA (Multi-Player-Multi-Agent) genre, which blends strategy and action, isn’t as prevalent as one would think in esports. Only two of the top 50 games in our analysis are MOBAs, as compared to the four or five that one would typically expect. This could be because the genre is still considered “tactical” by many and difficult to understand by the average person. Or, it could simply be due to the randomness of matching players in multiplayer mode. Regardless, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of MOBA’s. League of Legends, for example, is one of the most popular games in esports and has been around since 2011. It recently surpassed the 27 million monthly active user milestone.
Traditional favorites like Counter-Strike and Dota 2 will remain popular with esports fans in the coming years. The pair account for 12 of the Top 50 games and combined have over 500 million players. With the world of online casinos expanding to embrace esports, it’s likely that these two titles will only continue to see popularity in the coming years.
Bettors across all platforms
We also wanted to examine the differences between sportsbook, casino, and esports wagering fans. To do this, we utilized our customer insight tool to analyze over 400,000 anonymized interactions with our web properties (including our blog).
We found that while there are many similarities between the groups, there are some notable differences. For instance, we saw that while all three groups may enter wagers on games they’re passionate about, only esports fans will interact with the games they love to bet on. This is likely because traditional sportsbook and casino users are already aware that they’re betting on real-life sporting events or contests, whereas esports fans may not always fully understand the game they’re playing. The latter also tends to be more loyal to their teams and players. This could be due to the fact that many esports fans aren’t as familiar with the concept of “deserving” wins as compared to traditional sports.
Regardless, no matter which type of gambler you are, you’ll find a way to have fun with it. And, if you’re looking for a new way to bet, you can also try out our fun and innovative new game, BetOnApps. It’s completely free to join and you can download it today from the App Store.