The Esports Culture
The abbreviation esports stands for, as you’ve probably already assumed, electronic sports. ESports tend to combine two major but different fields in the world of online gambling – online gaming and online sports betting! That’s right, esports provide you with the opportunity to place a bet on various video game events, and this thing is going viral over the past decade!
So, if you want to take a break from online table games and popular slot machines, such as maybe Starburst, Mega Moolah, Dead or Alive, or free online slots rainbow riches, esports is a thing definitely worth trying, while it carries both the excitement of online gaming and online betting!
Esports has come a long way before taking the professional form as we know it today. The roots of electronic sports events (or simply put as video gaming tournaments) date back to the beginning of the 70s’ when the first-ever video game competition was held at Stanford University. The year was 1972, while the competitors were playing the game known as “Spacewar”.
The 90s’ were the golden years in terms of extreme growth in popularity. With the emergence of various gaming consoles, such as, for instance, Nintendo 64, video games became a global thing. The first proof of such occurrence is the EVO (International Evolution Championship Series) tournament, held back in 1996, where one of the offered games was the legendary Street Fighter. More tournaments were held over the decade, including Nintendo World Championships and World Game Championships.
True globalization of esports came with the beginning of the new millennium. Far Eastern countries, such as South Korea, were pioneers in building broadband Internet infrastructure, which eventually led to the organization of players and to the emergence of first LAN gaming centers and Internet cafés, which were a gathering point for all video gaming enthusiasts that shared the same goal – involving more and more players into a multiplayer mode, eventually reaching global scale!
The thing started to become more and more shaped and organized, which eventually resulted in the formation of the G7 Federation (or G7 Group) back in 2006. This particular federation originally consisted out of seven at the time outstanding Counter-Strike teams. The main goal of such an organization was to bring in systematization and standardization in the esports world, especially when it comes to player transfer policies, as well as achieving communication and cooperation between various leagues and organizations. G7 members were actively present in several advisory boards and included in the organization of multiple international tournaments. The organization ceased to exist back in 2010.
Becoming a Sport
Since esports initially became super popular in the Far East, it is not strange that the first country that recognised esports as actual sports was China, and they did such back in 2003. The first-ever American P-1A Visa, which is a certificate for an internationally recognised athlete, was issued to a League of Legends player in 2013. The legal regulation of esports took place in Turkey in 2014, and in France and the Philippines in 2016.
All these cascade events led to the greatest thing that has ever happened to the esports culture – the recognition from the Olympic Games! Following the exponentially growing popularity of esports, the OG Committee has decided to declare competitive esports as a sports activity, while it requires players to train and prepare nearly intensively as traditional athletes. Such recognition came back in October 2017.
ESports bring several advantages to the game, compared to traditional betting and online casino gambling. First, the range of games that can be included in esports events is much more widespread compared to online casino games, which are limited to table games, card games, online slots, and Live Casino games.
On the other hand, esports is mostly based around various “fighting” games, including FPS (first-person shooting), RTS (real-time strategy), and MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), but esports tournaments can practically be held for any multiplier game in which an individual or a team is competing against another one. The best examples for these three main esports games types are PUBG, StarCraft, and League of Legends, commonly known as LoL, probably the most popular esports MOBA game, next to, of course, Dota. And it doesn’t even have to be mentioned that such games introduce significantly better graphics compared to online casino games, providing a more complex gaming experience.
Esports and Sports Betting
Compared to traditional sportsbook events, particularly football, esports bring a higher grade of diversity, and such events are harder to predict than football matches. Although this may seem like not such a good thing, there is an advantage in it. Greater diversity means that you have more options to bet on. And, what’s most important, there is no middleman, such as the bookie, who dictates odds when it comes to traditional sports betting.
Since esports games are pure technology-based, and there is no human factor other from the player himself, the possibility of a mistake is brought down to a minimum. For instance, how many times have you seen a referee making some substantial mistake, such as the legendary hand-goal scored by Maradona? Esports events are, in most cases, equipped with state of the art anti-fraud programs and systems, which can detect any potential misuse, such as an attempt to enter a cheat-code. Such an attempt would be instantly detected and the player expelled.
Esports & Corona Virus
Many experts are saying that the COVID-19 pandemic period may be a prosperous thing for the esports industry. Coronavirus outbreak has put everything to a halt, including all traditional sports, especially ones that involve close contact. And that’s where esports take the lead! Since all “battles” are happening in a virtual world, and players are connected through the Internet, there are no reasons to ban such events during the pandemic. And the fact that a global esports betting profit has increased by 19%, compared to the first quarter of the year 2019, only confirms that electronic sports are experiencing what might be their second golden era.
Another thing that goes in favour of esports, eventually becoming equal to traditional sports betting lies in the target population of electronic sports fans. Esports events, teams, and the whole industry itself are mostly oriented towards younger players, especially millennials, who grew up next to technology, Internet, and social networks, and seem to be less interested in watching a TV broadcast of some national football game. And since these generations, as well as those after them, will eventually become adults, sports betting may experience a real threat in the years to come.