eSports have certainly piqued the attention of professionals as of late within the online gambling industry and beyond. There are all sorts of numbers getting thrown around in regards to the size and scope of eSports, but no one really knows how big this industry will become or even remain.
What we do know is most of the eSports players and viewers are quite young and many are not even of legal age to gamble. As these enthusiasts grow older and gain more disposable income, one would think the eSports betting industry has a lot of potential to grow in the future.
Adrian S, the Founder and Developer of e-SportsBetting.org, a resource for eSports bettors and affiliate website, believes there is a bright future for the eSports Betting industry, although it may take longer to boom than the online gambling industry is betting on.
A former eSports player himself, Adrian was on the Starcraft National Team thirteen years ago and claims eSports and betting are his two most favorite hobbies. He has put a lot of time and love into e-SportsBetting.org and in this edition of Becky’s Affiliated, we’ll hear his perspective on just how much skill is involved in excelling at these games and how the most popular eSports games differ from each other.
Adrian’s passion for the eSports industry is obvious, but competing on the Starcraft National Team was a real eye-opener for him when it comes to the amount of dedication necessary to excel in the sport.
“It really was a short stint because it burned me out pretty quick. To be at that level you have to be practicing all day. I just went to school, came home, played and then went to bed…you can call me lazy I guess, but I really admire those who can keep it up with that schedule”, Adrian said.
Similar to “regular sports”, becoming a competitive player in the eSports arena requires an enormous time commitment and a great amount of skill.
A common misconception within the online gambling industry is all eSports games are similar, but this is not the case- they’re about as similar as American football is to basketball. There are a handful of popular eSports games the online gambling industry has honed in on and Adrian broke down the differences between them.
“We have the three biggest games, two that are called MOBAs – they are team games and played five against five; League of Legends and Dota 2. And then you have another team game, five against five and it’s a first person shooter called Counter Strike Global Offensive. Then you have two smaller games, but those are more individual based, you play one against one- there are still teams here- those are a card game called Hearthstone and Starcraft 2, a real time strategy game”.
He continued, “And then you have all other kinds of smaller games. You have World of Tanks, its again a team game where you control the tank and try to blow each other up. This one isn’t as big as when it comes to betting, its kind of hard because some games grow and some fall in popularity”.
Here’s a breakdown of the games mentioned above:
League of Legends (LoL)
LoL is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), realtime strategy game. Players assume the role of “summoner” and control a “champion”, with a goal of destroying the opposing team’s “nexus” at the center of their base. The 2014 LoL championship tournament has been noted for its 2.3 million prize pool.
Dota 2 is also a MOBA with each team occupying a stronghold containing a building called “the ancient”. Players control “hero” characters with a goal of destroying “the ancient”.
Counter Strike Global Offensive
Counter Strike Global Offensive is a first person shooter video game set in locations all over the globe. Players assume the roles of counter-terrorist forces and terrorist militants with customized weapons and currency earned at the end of each round.
Hearthstone is an online collectable card game. Players can obtain additional cards by purchasing them or completing Arena runs. The game is turn-based and players play cards from their hand, casting spells, using weapons or summoning minions to go to battle.
Starcraft 2 is a military science fiction real-time strategy game, especially popular in South Korea. The game is set in the Earth’s 25th century with three species fighting for part of the Milky Way Galaxy, the “Koprulu Sector”.
World of Tanks
World of Tanks is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) taking place in the mid-20th century, featuring fighting vehicles.
Despite the extreme differences in these games, from a bookmaker perspective, the way to approach eSports is like any other sport- its still in the numbers.
“You just have to find out how these teams match up in strength, so I guess you could say its very similar to regular sports”, Adrian said.