During the global pandemic we’ve seen many businesses begin to struggle as many are forced to close in the short term, one of those sectors can be found in betting as traditional sports experienced wide scale postponements and cancellations – whilst it seems many are back on track as sporting events across Europe are getting underway again, it could still be a long time until a real sense of recovery is felt – but whilst difficulty has been felt in traditional sporting events, the opposite is true for esports as the betting operators have managed to thrive.
(Image from marketwatch.com)
Although a number of offline events have had to be cancelled or postponed, many were still able to take place online as esports were able to overcome a problem that traditional sporting events weren’t able to – and because this had been one of the only forms of competition live for viewing, many games were able to capture a growing audience as those who may not have typically been involved within esports have managed to find a new passion within some of the games. It had recently been announced that the popular shooter Counter-Strike Global Offensive had become the most bet of all esports, largely because it holds a betting operator as a sponsor, but many of the others also draw in big numbers.
This growth in viewership and popularity has provided many operators with a lifeline as they’ve been experiencing more challenges than just the pandemic – recent regulation changes have led to many seeking alternative ways of operating, a ban to all credit card betting was recently issued within the UK, a change that had went hand in hand with the introduction and progression of an initiative called Gamstop which had been aimed at reducing the participation options for problem gamblers – this initiative had recently been made mandatory to all UK operators causing many to change where they operate. There are now many betting sites not on gamstop that have a focus on esports that are available to players around the world without restriction.
We’re now seeing many sporting events returning on a bigger scale, many are doing so with a very packed schedule in order to make up for lost time over the past two to three months and as such operators will be in a better position than many, but being in the position to do so is largely in part to how well esports has been performing. It may also now be the case that this period of time has managed to attract a large number of new viewers to the already growing sport as it has quickly risen to be one of the most popular sports with viewership numbers that are often rivalling some of the biggest sporting events on TV, and doing so whilst also selling out the huge stadiums when offline events take place too – if there had been any doubt that the future may be in esports, this period of uncertainty shows just how resilient the growing sport is.