Esports is an academic discipline? Economic development factor? An alternative to traditional sports? In general, this is exactly the case, because in many countries it was officially recognized as a sport. The industry is actively developing, and high-profile world events contribute to this. Hardware companies create powerful devices for today’s high-budget games and support esports competitions around the world. Professional cyber athletes are actively developing the global infrastructure. Trends in this industry and its impact on our lives in the near future deserve special attention.
Profession – cyber athlete: how much do famous gamers earn
According to international studies, in 2019 the audience of esports was 454 million people with an increase of 22% over the year. The industry’s turnover increased by 10% and amounted to $ 950.6 million. More than 60% of the revenue is the sale of media rights and sponsorship receipts. In 2020, despite the cancellation of most competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the market volume has grown by about 20% more.
Esports competitions are supported by global brands: Lenovo, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Toyota and others. In 2020, according to various forecasts, the industry’s revenue was supposed to exceed $ 1 billion, and the audience would be about 500 million people. And these figures were more than justified.
For example, the prize pools of the top competitions in 2019 (USD million): The International – 34.3; Fortnite World Cup – 30.4; Overwatch League. Season 2 – 3.5.
Cybersport is significantly different from other sports disciplines. In particular, up to 90% of the prize money goes to the players, not the club leaders. The winnings are usually divided proportionally between the team members. The captain can get a little more, and the coach is paid about 5%.
The record holder for earnings in 2019 was the representative of Finland Essay “JerAx” Vainikka. He received over $ 3.16 million in prize money. In general, the maximum salary for superstars is about $ 35,000 per month. Top and promising players get a little less – up to $ 15 thousand. Beginners can count on $ 2-5 thousand.
Esports in the world of bookmakers
Many bookmakers, both specialized and covering all sports, allow betting on esports on the Internet. Bookmaker companies are actively expanding their esports betting lines. Many entertainment sites, including online casinos, have also added esports to their pages, said Darren Keane from Storm International.
The betting line and the esports events list in bookmakers are similar to traditional sports. Bookmakers accept all main types of bets on them:
- 1X2 bets on the victory of one of the teams or a draw in the match;
- on the result of a single round or map;
- for totals by maps, frags or other achievements;
- individual totals of individual players;
- the number of rounds or maps in the match;
- for individual events in the game.
The line of the best sites that accept esports bets covers both the world’s leading competitions (such as The International in Dota 2) and smaller local tournaments. At the same time, the list of matches in them often compares favorably with ordinary sports. If in football or basketball an extended set of outcomes is available only in top matches, then in esports even small competitions can please with a good selection of secondary options.
Esports in the new world: how its popularity is growing
World offline tournaments for cyber athletes are just the tip of an iceberg – an opportunity to highlight the solidity of sports and reach a new audience. The main events take place on the Internet.
And here cyber athletes have an advantage. While traditional sports attract hundreds of thousands of spectators, the audience of gaming tournaments numbers in millions. For example, in 2019 EPICENTER Major with Dota 2 was visited by 46 million viewers (excluding China’s audience). During the period March-August 2020, the number of viewers began to grow. In particular, one of the regular ESL Pro League competitions was watched by about 489 thousand people, while in 2019 the final of the tournament was only 370 thousand.
According to Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet, in March 2020, the audience of the Twitch streaming platform (which is most often used to stream games) grew by 23% compared to February. The watch time on the Mixer (+ 14.9%) and YouTube Gaming Live (+ 10.7%) platforms increased.
It is not only the audience that is growing. The number of cyber athletes has also increased. So, in April 2020, in Dota 2, the peak of simultaneous play exceeded 800 thousand people, which is 12% more than the usual rate. The average number of players who simultaneously played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in March reached 671 thousand, which is 23% more than in February.
Athletes also play
The traditional sport has also become “cyber” since March 2020, noted Darren Keane, Storm International. One of the most notorious events was the series of virtual grand prix from Formula 1, which had to cancel the usual races. Therefore, on March 22, top pilots met for the first time on a virtual circuit with famous cyber athletes. The check-in collected almost 400 thousand views on various platforms. Bets on these competitions have raised millions of dollars.
Live esports betting
Betting in live mode, with watching live broadcasts of games, in esports is most often available for CS: GO and Dota 2. Streams on LoL, VoT or Overwatch are less frequent, but you can also bet money on them live. If you just want to delve deeper into the essence of esports, you can find random battles with broadcasts in the line.
Live betting allows you to bet during the match, noted Michael Boettcher from Storm International, starting from what you see on the screen. Such bets may have lower odds, as the intrigue often fades during the course of the competition. But they have a more predictable outcome and allow you to watch an exciting battle and win.