May 25 2022

Betting for gamers: E-sports and the rise of betting

If you are someone that enjoys playing video games either occasionally or as your main form of entertainment the chances are very high that you have either run into something related to E-sports. The scene and interest from the general public are growing massively and today E-sports is a multibillion-dollar industry.

With this, a lot of things have changed. At the first competitions for what we today consider staples in the E-sport world the prize would usually be a couple of hundred dollars and free pizzas for the entire team. Today the best players in the world can take home a salary that matches professional athletes in big traditional sports.

The general interest in the gaming community has also increased massively, with the majority of the growth coming from Europe and North America. Today big games can be watched by upwards of a million people through live streams and the like. With this betting has also become an important part of the industry. Even though Esports is not as intertwined with betting as for example, horse racing is something that is evident when looking at the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes.

How betting in Esports started

One of the biggest Esports today is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This First Person Shooter is perfectly tailored to suit an Esports environment, and thanks to something called “skins” in-game it soon became the go-to for people interested in betting on matches.

These skins are in-game items that change the appearance of one’s weapon or character but don’t give the player in question any form of advantage whatsoever. These skins can be purchased using real money at a marketplace provided by the developers. Soon enough players with some programming experience made websites where one could place bets on the outcome of the match using the skins as a token for the value of their placed bet.

Betting on Esports today

Due to a variety of legal issues, this soon became prohibited by the developers. But this showed gambling companies that there was serious interest from the public, and therefore also money to be made. Many gambling companies, mainly in Europe, quickly jumped on the bandwagon and started providing customers with the ability to place bets on esports. The scene is still growing, and many people now enjoy playing a couple of dollars on an Esports match in the same way one would with a traditional game of Football.


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Elle Gellrich

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