It is a source of great pleasure for me to witness the excitement that the world of sports has witnessed in 2019. The year began with fans gathering in their thousands to watch the latest installment of the popular “Italics” football series. This year’s edition pitted the two Milan clubs against each other for the right to face Juventus in the final. Things did not exactly go according to plan as Fiorentina emerged victorious, but it was a competitive match that showcased some incredible goal-scoring displays. The next few months saw fans flock to their living rooms to witness the conclusion of the La Liga and the English Premier League as well as the UEFA Champions League.
The Evolution Of Sports Gambling
2019 was the year of sports gambling. Not only did the legalization of online gambling and sportsbooks see a significant increase, but so did the number of betting shops. The World Cup saw unprecedented growth in countries such as Brazil, which has over 500,000 active betting accounts, and the United States, which has over 300,000. The most popular World Cup betting game was the Brazil vs. Germany match, with Germany being the favorite, with Brazil as the underdogs. Naturally, Germany won the match 2–1, but the game ended up being a draw in points, leaving both sides with a good feeling.
The popularity of esports betting is also growing. While many see esports as a form of entertainment, the betting community looks at it as a legitimate sport with a worldwide audience. The biggest tournament of the year was the Overwatch League Grand Finals, which had a staggering viewership. While many regard virtual sports as a safe alternative to regular sports betting, this was certainly not the case in 2019. One of the more serious cases of match fixing occurred during the Oceanian qualifiers for the 2020 International Darts Association season. Four matches were fixed, with the organizers implicated, with bookies being arrested and charged. It is not yet known what, if any, effect this will have on the future of virtual sports in Australia.
The Impact of Technology On Sports
If there is one area that 2019 truly lacked it was in the field of sports technology. There was plenty of advancement in areas such as analytics and broadcast quality, especially when comparing it to 2018, but the lack of progress in terms of on-field performance still grates.
Gammers use technology to an incredible extent, and as a result, the quality of matches has increased significantly. Modern gaming technology has made cheating at games more difficult, which in turn, makes the games more exciting to play. While the line between recreational gambling and competitive gaming has blurred, it remains an area ripe for improvement.
The Future Of Sports
It is fair to say that sports in general, and football in particular, enjoyed a glorious 2019. The World Cup was a genuine celebration of sport and saw record numbers turn out to watch the world’s best players compete for the Cup. In the United Kingdom, the Premier League completed the domestic football season as the top-flight earned £2.14 billion in 2019, a record for any league. The English football (soccer) season will start on June 24th, with the first international friendly taking place the very next day, with England taking on Spain at 2:00 p.m. BST. Europe’s biggest football day of the year, the UEFA Champions League, kicks off on July 3rd.
The most exciting part of the upcoming season, for fans of Manchester United and Liverpool, will be the rivalry between the two clubs, which has been rekindled following Jürgen Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool manager. United and Klopp both have a trophy room full of silverware, but their first meeting on the pitch will be a do-or-die situation.
Across Europe, the Italian and Spanish leagues, as well as the Bundesliga, have already started their seasons, and it is only a matter of time before the French and Russian leagues do the same. In June 2020, the Canadian and American leagues will begin their seasons as well.
It is safe to say that next year will be even more exciting. The world of sports is a constantly evolving landscape, and it is a source of great pleasure for me to be a part of the exciting changes that occur. Thank you for reading, I hope this article has been informative.