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What makes eSports betting so different from traditional sports betting?

eSports betting is not a niche anymore. It is an equal and direct competitor to sports betting and a full-fledged segment of the betting industry. Capturing almost 22% of the global betting revenues – and what is more interesting is that it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 14% by 2030, surpassing the traditional sports betting market which is forecasted to grow at nearly 10.5% CAGR – eSports is now on the top of preferences of bettors and on the top priorities and agendas of sportsbooks. 

eSports is flourishing in several parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Some countries have also become the epicenter of eSports’ action and competitive leagues and they are literally attracting the eyes and the attention of billions of fans from around the globe. Europe is one area where some countries get to shine in the eSports world arena. For example, bookmakers in Italy are recognizing the country’s transformation into an eSports’ hub and are transforming themselves into eSports’ expert bookies. 

But what is it that makes eSports betting so popular in these last years? Well, it is probably the fact that it is very different from traditional sports betting and this is why it has grown so much in some markets, reaching the high figures of conventional betting.

Not an online version of sports…

The thing with eSports is that it does not try to imitate the traditional sports, transferring it to the online world. eSports is a type of sport of its own, quite different in all its principles, facets and processes. 

And this is in fact the best way to treat eSports: not as another version of traditional sports, a transfer of the physical world to the virtual world or an online ‘translation’ of the offline nature. eSports stands on its own, has its own rules, its own philosophy and its own dynamics. This brings us to our basic question which is none other than what is so different in eSports betting compared to traditional sports betting?

Different skills, different competencies, different outcomes

One of the basic things to consider when we think about eSports betting is that it is considerably different from the known, traditional sports betting in that it requires a different kind of reading into players, teams and their capabilities. 

Players in CS:GO for instance develop completely different skills than football players let’s say. But then again this is quite obvious. Well, FIFA players also develop completely different skills than traditional football players. 

So, when betting on eSports you have to look at totally different things about players, instead of the most common things like fit, shape, physical condition, injuries, fatigue and so on. You have to be able to read players from a whole different angle, compared to reading players in physical sports. 

And it is not just the players, it is the teams as well, the managers and everything that is involved. You need to be able to search for an edge on matters that may have absolutely no value in traditional sports. 

… the technology involved

eSports happen entirely and exclusively in the digital world. This means that their whole ‘being’ can be broken down, statistically analyzed and digitally processed in ways which can provide unique information and data for more sophisticated decision making. 

There is increased effort to do the same with traditional sports, but let’s admit it, it is the real, physical world and there is always a bit of info that is going to be missing from the picture. 

On the other hand, with eSports, everything is right there in front of you. You can obtain stats and make betting choices that are predominantly data driven. 

The speed of things…

You have probably heard a lot of times that eSports betting is challenging because eSports is a volatile market. But what does this mean in practice? 

Well, first of all, volatility has to do with the fact that everything is rather fluid in eSports. The story of an underdog that beats the favorite is in fact very common in the world of eSports – unlike the world of conventional sports, where upset stories become headlines. And why is this? Because everything happens digitally and the rules of competitive gaming are very different from the rules of traditional sports. 

Second, volatility has to do with the speed of things. Everything in eSports betting is equipped with an unprecedented speed that goes along with the digital technologies and the internet. It is very rare, for example, to see teams or players sustaining their dominance for a long time – just like you would see Juventus and Milan being on the top of the league for the most part. New players, new teams, new rosters, new squads are constantly coming at the forefront, kicking off champions and the whole thing becomes so volatile, unpredictable and ever-changing. And this, of course, reflects back on eSports betting!

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