The esports industry, also known as the competitive video game industry, has experienced exponential growth over the years. Some of it has to do with the changing demographics, as people who used to play games at a young age can now enjoy a completely new experience brought on by professional video game competitions, but there’s more that goes into that.
In the last decade, the esports world has been making its presence known in the mainstream media, but it has also gained some serious traction in the world of betting. If you were to search for Vegas NFL odds, you would find yourself only a couple of clicks away from looking at esports betting markets, which only shows how far the esports industry has come.
Over the years, esports has morphed into one of the most popular competitions amongst bettors. Many online betting sites, including BetUS, have acknowledged that and didn’t hesitate to incorporate esports betting markets into their sites, but there’s more than just the betting side of things that keep pushing the esports forward as it looks to cement its status as one of the most exciting industries heading into 2022.
Esports Become a Medal Event at the Asian Games 2022
Many people stand by their idea that “esports is not a sport,” but merely kids playing video games while other kids watch them. That may be true – esports professional players don’t have to run as fast as football players, nor do they have to jump as high as basketball players.
Still, suppose we are technical about it. In that case, the definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Hence, by that definition, esports definitely is a sport. And beyond the description, esports competitions have many similarities to sporting events, and as of late, that includes a medal event.
The continuous growth of esports’ popularity has sparked interest by the global competitive gaming community, eventually leading to what is now billed as one of the most significant milestones the esports world has achieved. As revealed, esports will be a medal event at the upcoming 2022 Asian Games, slated for September 2022.
The event, which is held every four years, and is by some recognized as the Asian version of the Olympic Games, will be the first major sporting event to recognize esports as a discipline, with cash prizes and medals.
This, however, is not the first time Asian games introduced esports, as video game competitions were already present at the tournament in 2018. Albeit, it will be the first time that Asian Games will fully incorporate esports into the event, featuring seven esports titles.
As revealed, the 2022 Asian games will hold competitions for Street Fighter V, Dota 2, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile, FIFA, Dream Three Kingdom 2, and Arena of Valor.
The Industry Continues to Boom
The COVID-19 pandemic, which halted almost every industry and sports entertainment venture, hasn’t had much of an effect on esports.
Admittedly, offline events had to be canceled, and there are still very few that happen; however, unlike other sporting events, esports had the option to continue with online play.
It’s more than fair to say that the global pandemic helped esports grow in 2021, largely because it had left the industry largely unaffected. And it shows in the gross revenue produced in 2020, 2021, and the projected numbers heading into 2022.
The esports industry managed $1,1 billion in 2020, with those numbers growing exponentially in 2021. The industry experts are projecting esports’ revenue to reach $1,8 billion by the end of the year, with projections for 2022 showing even more exciting numbers.
2022 promises to be a monstrous year for esports, with early projections estimating the total revenue at $2,5 billion. To put it into perspective, that’s a 38.9% increase from 2021.
While those are only projections, they are based on the increased viewership of esports around the world. And since there is no end in sight of the global pandemic and the possibility of returning back to “normal life,” the prospect of seeing esports further grow in 2022 and beyond seems like a real possibility.
Betting on Esports
But it’s not only the esports viewership numbers that continue to grow but also its popularity on online bookies. Nowadays, you won’t find a single bookmaker that doesn’t offer lines on esports events.
While some are still very cautious about offering markets on esports, most reputable brands have gone all-in into the world of competitive video games in 2021.
Big betting brands such as BetUS offer esports betting on almost any esports title imaginable as a response to the COVID pandemic, which effectively shut down most of the professional sporting leagues. And having nothing to offer to its customers, bookies had to resort to starting exploring new opportunities – of which there were plenty in esports.
With time, esports betting gained serious traction, as bettors who never thought of playing a bet on a video game now started betting on esports and began following the scene.
By introducing something new and refreshing to their offer, the bookmakers reduced the losses from missing out on accepting bets on sporting events and found a new revenue stream that is here to stay.
As we move into 2022, betting companies have fully embraced the idea of offering esports betting, opening a new market niche that was barely touched pre-pandemic.
And with the continuous growth of esports popularity, it’s more than fair to say that online betting companies will continue expanding their esports betting offers, effectively helping the industry grow for years to come.