Over the past five years or so, esports has turned into a new global obsession, especially among the youth. Elite esports athletes are now earning no less if not more than top NBA and NFL players. As traditional sports were put on pause during the pandemic, esports has grown even more. Skeptics are already proven wrong; esports can easily compete with traditional sports now. And esports betting threatens to overcome regular sports betting.
The popularity of gambling has been growing for a while. As more governments are making it legal, gambling becomes more accessible, which increases the number of fans. The pandemic has given the industry a further boost. With most traditional entertainment options unavailable, online gambling has seen unprecedented growth. Operators are offering free demos of online casino games now, so people new to gambling can try it without paying anything. This adds to the popularity.
Sports betting (including esports betting) is yet another part of the gambling industry that has recently experienced its best days so far. It is getting increasingly legalized all other the world, and fans have a lot of sports to choose from to place a bet, with football being among the most popular ones. Sports betting is an exciting way for sports fans to test their knowledge and luck. One’s chances of winning go up when a bettor knows everything there is to know about the teams’ or athletes’ performance history.
The only problem with sports betting in recent years has been the lockdown. It made most live sports off-limits, and no major leagues played for a while. The situation is looking up, but some consequences can’t be reversed. One of them is the newly gained popularity of esports betting. Because of the lack of traditional games, esports has become more in-demand than ever. And so has esports betting.
Video gaming and esports are the fastest-growing segments of the entertainment industry. They were among the few fun activities available throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, so it’s only natural that both have experienced extreme growth. Even though the world has reopened now, the momentum that esports gained is not over. In fact, the industry is growing roughly 12% a year. This is an immense number, considering that as little as a decade ago, almost no one knew what esports even was.
Today, everyone does. Esports used to have fans mostly in East Asia, but it now is growing all over the world. According to recent estimates, the Asia-Pacific esports market has roughly 1.5 billion players, but the United States has close to one-third of this number. European and Latin American markets are emerging as well. The thing is, the growth of gaming and esports go hand-in-hand. Esports will keep growing as long as video gaming is.
So the answer to the question of whether esports will soon be more popular than traditional sports is a confident yes. It is already getting there. In fact, back in 2020, it was estimated that the NFL would be the only major sports league more popular than esports. Looks like the prediction was right. It is astounding, but the popularity of esports exceeds even the NBA now. So football is the only traditional sport that holds its ground in face of esports for now.
What’s more, it is safe to assume that esports betting will soon become a larger industry than traditional sports betting. At the moment, the only thing that prevents gambling from getting even more popular than it already is is that it is still illegal in a lot of countries. Once this changes, there will be nothing stopping online gambling and esports betting from taking over the world. Seeing the current trends, it won’t take long.