Esports is becoming increasingly popular online. People enjoy watching it but also betting on it. Even athletes seem to feel the wind turning. Mesut Ozil announced he would move on to esports after his football career. While it’s surprising news to see such an iconic player even considering the possibility of esports, it’s not such a foreign idea.
Sports betting fans have already made the transition to esports, and many are those who decide to bet online and place their point spreads, handicaps, or futures on both real-life events and esports. What makes esports so interesting for athletes and sports bettors?
Esports Provides New Ways to Enjoy Competitions
Traditional sports competitions still have more attraction power than esports, but this won’t always be the case because of a new community built around engagement. Many competitions try to implement some sort of gamification to the esports to make the viewer active as opposed to any other sports where the viewer is passive.
Esports embrace the digital side of their competitions to the fullest, and you can follow them in VR (virtual reality), which adds a third dimension to the experience and gives viewers new ways to witness the game. Esports competitions are also not limited to video games per se anymore. You can find games like Hado, which is played using a VR headset and a mobile phone strapped to the arm to reproduce a game of dodgeball.
Dedicated Platforms Are Increasingly Popular
The evolution of platforms like Twitch has kickstarted a new wave of platforms like YouTube Live. A live format is an incredible tool that allows the viewers to communicate with each other on what’s going on and helps these new sports build a tight community around the events. Some esport events are created with a caritative goal, which means that viewers can donate during the various streams, and the money goes directly to an association. It’s a new way to approach competitions, and it’ll likely help sports become more transparent.
It Welcomes a New Generation
The world has changed, and so have our consumption habits. The youngest generation grew up with video games and mobile devices connected at all times. A football match isn’t as interesting as it used to be to this new demographic. A simple temporary shut down of a service like Instagram is enough to leave us frustrated.
The International Olympic Committee is interested in the potential use of virtual reality in their competition and as a way to incorporate esports into the Olympic program. However, it wouldn’t be just traditional sports as we know them but rather new disciplines with rules playing around and relying on technology.
Esport Is Already Big Economically
Despite its short existence in the mainstream, esports is already making millions, whether it’s through ticket sales or sponsorships. It’s already a $1.8 billion industry with influencers, athletes, and artists participating in those events.
Even though some people still argue over whether or not it should be considered a “real” sport, esport athletes defend the fact that plenty of preparation goes into mastering a game and getting ready for a competition. The legitimacy of the discipline isn’t in question; however, the games played during the competition can be. Why? Because when you’re in a game and glitches or bugs occur, who do you blame? It’s one of the questions that need to be addressed for esports to get the attention it deserves.