As a whole, esports is still a relative newcomer to the global stage as it has only really been the past decade or so that has pushed growth – within the growing esports market however there has also been a push for the betting industry which is also much younger only really appearing in the past three or four years. Players from across the world can turn to a growing number of sites, some of which are offering bonus codes found here for getting started too, and it has helped kick-start and push the growing esports trend. But how did the betting industry within gaming go from relative obscurity to the size it has become now?
The early growth largely came from one title – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In 2013 the game developers introduced an update to the game that allowed players to obtain in-game cosmetic items, with an existing online marketplace the rare cosmetic items quickly amassed a real world value and this built what would become the skin betting market. At a time where real-money betting wasn’t yet a development in esports, skin betting had become the first real way for players to wager on games and have the potential to get something back too – one of the issues here is that the real world value was tied to the market in which the cosmetic items can be sold on, and selling them outside of this market was both against the terms of service and a big risk to the individual too because of scammers – a secondary issue popped up once a North American based team were found to have deliberately thrown a match in order to benefit from this system leading to the game developers quickly making a change to prevent skin betting.
Estimates put the value of the market at around $7 billion per year, however, when things were drastically changed in 2016. An opportunity seemingly too big to miss out on, many of the big betting operators were quick to join and suddenly the big names in the industry began to represent different tournaments and teams and the quick rise for esports betting followed shortly after.
Other forms of betting have started to emerge during this period of time – one of the more popular is a fantasy styled approach known as Pick’Ems which sees players guessing results and earning points for correct guesses – those who amass a certain amount throughout group stages are often in the running to win a prize during the knockout stages, often a small in game cosmetic item with some sponsors even offering up huge prizes to encourage players to take part too. As esports continues to grow and becomes more popular amongst a changing and more diverse audience, it’s expected further growth will continue to be seen as those looking for a familiar hobby in betting take part in the crossover – but with year on year growth figures continuing to push the market, expectations are certainly very high.