Betenemy Analysis: Esports, The Phenomenon That Took Over the World

Veselin Ignatov
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Around 20 years ago, playing computer games for a living was really difficult, especially in some countries. However, things changed once companies noticed that the most popular competitive games have millions of fans worldwide.

Now, all those years later, eSports is nearly a billion-dollar industry that is bound to keep growing. Despite that, many people are still unaware of the different eSports and their impact, which is why we at Betenemy would like to share a few interesting facts about them.


What Kind of eSports are There?

The term “eSports” is used to describe every form of organized games, where professional players go up against each other either on their own or as a team. There have always been organized tournaments across multiple games, but most of them only gathered amateur players.

However, at the beginning of the 21st century, real-time strategies (RTS) became extremely popular in some parts of the world, especially in Asia. This had a massive impact on the gaming scene, which resulted in the first-ever big eSports events.

Nowadays, RTS games are not as popular as they once were because most eSports fans prefer watching MOBAs and first-person shooters (FPS). Still, there are other types of eSports games, such as battle royals, card games, etc. Here are some of the most popular titles:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2
  • Call of Duty
  • Fortnite
  • Rocket League
  • World of Warcraft
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Hearthstone
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Overwatch
  • StarCraft II
  • Smite

eSports and Online Bookmakers

Like any other sports, every e-Sport title has fans from all over the world who love watching their favourite team. Thanks to the numerous live-streaming platforms, everyone with a stable internet connection can tune in and watch any tournament they would like.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that many eSports fans also like betting. The online gambling industry has been flourishing in the last couple of years, which is why most top bookmakers, such as Cbet, for instance, have an eSports section. Most of them only focus on the most popular titles, but some are entirely devoted to electronic sports. Consequently, they cover every game and offer unique bonuses that you won’t find on other online bookies.

Since the gaming industry will continue to evolve, we expect to see many more eSports bonuses and markets across all online bookies. Take for example GGbet, some of them have also integrated the most famous live-streaming platform on their sites, allowing you to watch the hottest eSports events live.

Revenue of the eSports Market

esports market revenue chart

As we’ve already mentioned, the eSport scene is soon to become a billion-dollar industry. If we look at some of the online statistics, we’ll see that the global market revenue for 2018 was around $776,000,000. However, what’s even more astounding is that the eSports market grew rapidly in 2019, and it reached almost $957,000,000.

Unfortunately, the pandemic messed up almost everyone’s plans for 2020. Instead of finally surpassing the one billion mark, the eSports market remained more or less the same. In fact, it even dropped down to $950,000,000, which was expected because many of the big tournaments were cancelled or postponed for 2021.

As soon as things go back to normal, experts predict that the eSports industry will reach around 1.6B in 2023.


Leading eSports Tournaments by Prize Pools

esports prize pools chart

Many years ago, the most significant eSports events had prize pools of around $200,000, which was thought to be insane. Fast forward a few years later, and we have tournaments that provide more than $35 million.

Almost every eSport title we’ve mentioned above has numerous tournaments that lead to a final one, where only the best teams/players go to. One example here is Dota 2, a game that also happens to have the largest prizes in eSports’ history.

The International (this is the name of Dota 2’s biggest event) is held once a year. It has a massive prize pool that’s mainly funded by the community. Valve (the company behind Dota 2) releases special cosmetic items that players can purchase. Once they do that, a portion of the amount of money they spend goes towards The International’s (TI) reward.

As a result, the latest TI held in 2019 had a cash prize of more than $34,000,000. If we take a look at the stats, we’ll see that TI is the biggest eSports event in terms of prize pool since 2015.

Besides Dota 2, Fortnite also has tournaments that reach millions of dollars. For example, the Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 – Solo & the Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 – Duo both featured a $15,000,000 prize.

The last eSport that has jaw-dropping rewards is League of Legends. The LoL 2018 World Championship (which also featured the best teams in the world) allowed players to compete for around $6,450,000.

We will definitely see new records in the future, especially in games such as Dota 2 and Fortnite. The International 10, which was supposed to be held this year, but got postponed, surpassed the $40,000,000 mark, which is just incredible.


The Highest-Paid e-Sports Players

Since some tournaments have astronomical prize pools, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the best eSports players are well-off. As of 2020, the top five highest-paid e-Sports players are all from Dota 2. In fact, they also used to play for the same team called OG.

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen, Anathan “ana” Pham, and Sébastien “Ceb” Debs have won more than $5.500,000 each. N0tail is currently holding the richest eSports player’s title with total revenue of nearly $7,000,000.

Interestingly, the top 11 eSports players in terms of earnings are Dota 2 players. The only professional gamer in the top 30 who is not a Dota 2 player is Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf. The 17-year-old American is one of the most popular Fortnite professionals in the world.


The eSports Audience

esports audience

Apart from being fun to play, each e-Sport title is also a joy to watch, especially if you are a gamer. Hence, millions of people tune in to observe their favourite team competing for millions of dollars.

Some of you might not know, but apart from live streams, the world’s biggest tournaments also attract a live audience. Typically, these events are held in stadiums or concert halls that are visited by thousands of people.

As of 2020, the biggest eSports tournament in history is the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational 2018. Believe it or not, this event had more than 60,000,000 unique online viewers, which is impressive.

In terms of the overall eSports audience size, around 495,000,000 people watched their favourite titles in 2020, which is 100,000,000 more than in 2018. If the industry continues to grow, experts predict that there will be around 650,000,000 eSports viewers.


What can we Expect to See from the e-Sports Industry in the Future?

Judging by the current trend, the eSports titles will continue to become more and more popular. Apart from the fact that many people are becoming more interested in them, some of the world’s biggest companies discovered that these big eSports events are a fantastic advertisement opportunity.

If you are not into eSports yet, we advise you to learn more about the industry. We firmly believe it will eventually surpass even the most popular “traditional” sports, such as football, basketball, tennis, and so on.

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