How Sponsorship Kick Started Esports Betting

Esports Steve O Speak

It’s hard to ignore the enormous growth and successes seen within the esports industry over the past decade, and the recent League of Legends Worlds event shows just how big things have been getting as millions of viewers tune in and take part in various activities related to the games and tournament, recent months have also led to many new players and fans as the cancellation of traditional sporting events have provided an opportunity for esports to attract new demographics.

The growth of esports has also led to the development of a– a huge stream of both online and offline events run by officials and by the community provide punters with plenty of options for participating, but there were plenty of steps needed to be taken to grow the esports betting market in the way it had grown – and perhaps the most prominent of these had been within sponsorship opportunities that came to a number of games. The first to really introduce these options had been within Counter-Strike, after the cosmetic skin betting marketplace had seen forced change, a number of different operators began to see the growing number of opportunities and decided to get involved.

Much like in more traditional sports, many teams started to be sponsored by betting operators and jerseys began to represent the growing number starting to put their mark on the developing scene, soon after many would  also start sponsoring community run events as the popularity growth would put yet more eyes on the names – players looking to find events could begin searching through sites such as find the growing number of betting opportunities, and it didn’t take long until official events would start allowing these sponsors too as within Counter-Strike specifically major events are now sponsored by many operators.

Some of the other big titles still don’t openly advertise different operators as sponsors or as being directly involved with the game, but other forms of betting do take place as twitter polls and other features such as Pick’Ems have become much more present and have helped continue to push esports forward to a wider market, changing the existing demographic from a younger teen audience to now include those from other sporting events too.

The next big step will be the further integration with more established sports and that has already been seen – the NBA have moved into esports themselves with the introduction of their own NBA2K league and this direct contribution may certainly help sway fans of one sport to another, similarly other big games such as FIFA have started to attract the football crowd into esports as the postponement and cancellation of many games have led to many seeing the big opportunities that online gaming alternatives can bring – whether gaming will reach the wider market is yet to be seen and it may require diversity in other platforms such as mobile, but the added sponsorships and additional time dedicated to many esports titles have certainly helped in the growth for the short term.

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