Impact of COVID-19 on esports betting

The immense growth of esports across the last few years has paved the way for esports betting. Wagering on esports has also become an enormous thing. It even grew more prominent during the COVID-19 crisis.

Home » Impact of COVID-19 on esports betting

Because of lockdowns and health protocols (e.g., social distancing), traditional sports leagues like basketball, football, tennis, and more are halted. Land-based businesses and casinos were forced to close. As a result, fans and gamblers are driven to alternative sources of entertainment and gambling—esports. This is because esports could still function as usual. After all, professional gamers can still participate in esports tournaments virtually, unlike traditional sports that require physical gatherings.

As a result, virtual esports betting began to rise significantly. EveryMatrix, a company that provides B2B iGaming software solutions, reported that data shows that betting activities have grown 40 times between the first months of the pandemic between March and April 2020. The most significant percentage (80%) of the total betting volume was attributed to FIFA and NBA2k. Classic esports games, League of Legends, CS:GO, and Dota 2, reckoned 85% of the total esports betting volume. The high betting volume in FIFA and NBA2k manifests the sudden transition of traditional sports fans and punters to esports leagues and betting.

Another factor that helped esports betting increase massively is the easy access to esports content. In this pandemic crisis, schools, offices, businesses, and people depended on and adapted to technology to remotely continue operations and daily life routines. So, technologies like video call software, instant messaging applications, social media, and more helped professional gamers and tournament organizers converse, hold live streams, and attract millions of online audiences. In turn, casual audiences were drawn to watch leagues and esports betting.

According to the survey of the popular esports media, Esports Insider, around 36% of the thousand punter participants said they placed bets on esports when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. While 22% of the non-esports bettors said they were willing to participate in esports betting within three months. Moreover, more than 50,000 esports events were held monthly after only four weeks of the COVID-19, and the sports crisis began. This caused a massive spike in bookmaker revenue.

Praesent magna lacus, faucibus ac sapien vel, efficitur ullamcorper ipsum. Maecenas varius risus at ipsum hendrerit, non aliquet sem scelerisque. Vestibulum vel augue eget nibh laoreet facilisis ut ultricies sapien. Aliquam sit amet velit egestas, ultrices lacus ut, elementum sapien. Cras ac enim a ante condimentum cursus id nec lorem. Cras sit amet justo venenatis, rhoncus dui sit amet, fermentum ipsum. Fusce eget augue commodo mi sollicitudin finibus. Donec bibendum augue in erat porttitor, id pharetra purus mattis. Integer gravida ornare auctor.

Furthermore, eSports gambling sites such as Luckbox, Puntt, Unikrn have achieved lucrative record-breaking numbers because of the audience increase brought by the global pandemic that made esports betting into focus. Luckbox had a 500% growth in 2020, which helped them go public even being in the industry for two years only. Traditional betting sites have also embraced specific eSports products, probably because they saw the high demand for eSports betting during the first months of lockdown.

In Las Vegas, people turn to esports betting because of the closure of casinos. That is why the Nevada Gaming Control Board or GCB approved the bets in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ESL Pro League, ESL Dota 2 event, eNASCAR, League of Legends Championship, Overwatch League, and Call of Duty League. These leagues are some of the biggest titles in the esports scene today.

The report of EveryMatrix also showed how the numbers increased during the global pandemic. The betting revenue from esports and traditional sports was compared. Before the lockdown, the average Turnover per player on sports was 930 euro/ 1,137 USD and 159 euro/94 USD on esports. However, during the lockdown, the revenue situation shifted. The average Turnover per player on traditional sports during the lockdown lowered to 733 euros/896 USD. While on esports, the average Turnover per player on esports was raised to 473 euros/ 678 USD. At the same time, the average gross revenue of an esports bettor increased from 13 euros/16 USD to 31 euros/38 USD.

Ultimately, the global pandemic spearheaded the skyrocketing of esports and esports gambling in 2020. With the closure of traditional sports and people’s dependence on technology and the Internet, it was expected to prompt more sports fans and bettors to consider esports betting. Even when the sports return to normal operations, there is still a potential that sports fans have come to a liking to esports and will be sticking around. Thus, the growth will most likely be on a more steady rise going forward.