eSports is a type of competition usually in the form of organized events with multiplayer video gaming between professional players. The biggest world tournaments of eSports generate considerable interest in the gaming world with live broadcasts and lucrative prizes for the players.
Most of the competitions take place in South Korea, Europe, North America and China. According to various sources the worldwide eSports audience in 2015 has been 226 million people. It’s been estimated that in 2015 the global eSports industry yielded US $325 million in revenue and in 2016 it is projected that this fascinating figure will reach US $493 million.
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Brief history of eSports
The first video game competition was held in 1972 at the Stanford University (USA) for the game Spacewar. The Space Invaders Championship, which took place in 1980, was the first large scale video gaming contest with 10 000 participants across the USA.
With the development of internet connectivity and PC gaming between 1990 and 2000 the eSports games had gained tremendouspopularity.
In 2000 huge events such as World Cyber Games and Electronic Sports World Cup were launched and these are being held every year ever since then. Two years later the most popular league up to now started and namely the Major League Gaming (MLG), involving great variety of games in various genres.
Recently other significant eSports tournaments appeared such as the one at Dreamhack (Sweden) and the Global Star Craft II League (GSL) in South Korea which in fact is believed to be the most prestigious event in the RTS gaming field with more than 50 million viewers.
Additionally, competitions such as the League of Legends World Championship, The International, the Evolution Championship Series, the Battle.net World Championship Series, and the Intel Extreme masters represent a substantial part in the eSports calendar.
Betting on eSports
Gambling on eSports is a relatively new phenomenon and currently just a limited number of bookmakers offer markets and odds for real money bets. At the moment there are four main games which you can lay a wager on.
These are League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Counter Strike (CS:GO) and Dota 2. Betting opportunities for Smite, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm (HOTS), World of Tanks and Magic the Gathering are also available at some sportsbooks.
Placing a bet on eSports event is not difficult at all as it does not differ much to the normal bet you would do on a regular sports event like Tennis and Soccer. Normally you can bet on the outcome of a game or event or you may opt for the so called ”in play” events. Throughout major tournaments like League of Legends World Championship bookmakers tend to offer special bets as well.
It is worth noting here that gamblers can choose between two different currencies when betting on eSports and namely cash and skins. The eSports cash market is self-explanatory as it works exactly like a traditional online gambling.
The skins market on the other hand, which is considered to be more popular than cash betting, uses virtual items with the help of which players change appearance of their avatars, weapons or equipment.
Is it legal to bet on eSports?
Betting on eSports is legal as much as betting on other regular sport provided that the selected bookmaker has a valid gaming license to operate on the territory from which you intend to gamble.