Let us first give you our definition for ‘What are eSports?‘ eSports is the term we use to cover all forms of competitive gaming.
Throughout it’s history, video games have been a popular format of competition. Even in the very early days of games like Pac-man, there was always fierce competition over who can achieve the highest score.
As gaming progressed we saw split-screen console games where you, and a group of friends, crowded around your TV playing the likes of Goldeneye, Mario-Kart or a variety of others favourites.
Long gone are those days, as competitive gaming now involves millions of players and spectators participating in tournaments with million in cash prizes to be won, all across the world.
The Genres of E-Sports Games
Much like the more traditional sports, e-sports can come in many different forms and types. The most common genre of eSport videos games are:
- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) – games like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients 2, where two teams fight across a battlefield in order to reach and destroy each other’s base.
- Real-Time Strategy (RTS) – games like Starcraft II where individual players control an army with the aim of destroying opposition player’s army.
- First Person Shooter (FPS) – games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive where teams of players take part in a firefight across a map either with the aim of killing the opposition or completing an objective such as planting a bomb.
Sports games like FIFA and fighting games like Street Fighter & Super Smash Brothers are also popular and the card game Hearthstone is an extremely popular e-sport.
Ultimately esports covers a broad range of games that you can play online, competitively.
The more popular the game, the more likely it is to be turned into a tournament and, by default, made available to place esport bets on the outcome.
The Growth of eSports
While for some, the idea of e-sports still sounds a little ridiculous, it is actually an incredibly fast growing past-time.
The League of Legends World Championship attracts more viewers than many major sports tournaments, such as baseballs’ Word Series & the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the prize pot for the DotA 2 International is larger than the Super Bowl and the US PGA Championship.
Indeed total audience and revenue in e-sports is growing so fast that the Newzoo report on e-sports claims that within a few short years viewership could easily reach a billion.
Newzoo even predicted that within this short time, there will be almost as many e-sports fans as there are for American football.
That would make it a major player even against most established traditional sports.
The top e-sports gamers are also gaining rockstar-like-status in gaming communities, and can earn over a millions pound per year in sponsorship, appearance fees and tournament winnings.
These players are full time professional players who train as much as any famed sports personality, and require just as specialist a skill set; with fast reflexes, incredible mental agility, and a high level of strategic and tactical insight.
The Growth of eSports Betting
Along with the growth of competitive e-sports gaming, there has also been a fast growing and exciting e-sports betting scene.
In many ways this is just like betting on a football match or any other sport. However with such fantastic, free, online coverage of all major e-sports tournaments, this can be even more exciting and accessible than betting on the traditional sports.
You just need to look at a bookie like Pinnacle Sports to see how quickly and how popular this form of betting has become. They’ve lead the way with a lot of online e-sports gambling, offering a wide variety of betting options on several tournaments for each of StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Defense of the Ancients 2.
Pinnacle took their first ever e-sports bet in January 2010 on a StarCraft II tournament and haven’t stopped since; in fact they took their one millionth bet in December 2014.
E-Sports is now Pinnacles 7th most popular gambling market, ahead of the likes of Golf & Rugby.
This really shows just how quickly this industry is growing.
To discover more about eSports and the games that are currently popular in competitive gaming, you should check out part two of our beginner’s guide that will tell you all about the video game genres and titles that we can watch and bet on.
If you think you know e-sports really well already, but want to know more about e-sports gambling then you can jump straight to our articles on the best eSports bookmakers and understanding eSports betting odds.
From there you can find out everything you need to know to make your first e-sports bet.