The electronic sports betting industry has seen phenomenal growth on a global scale. Every online betting company in the Philippines and other countries alike has seen the number of people engaging in gaming rise. Evelyn Balyton explores how technology has fueled the growth of e-sporting, touching on the sports activity itself and betting.
Research shows that the e-sport gaming and betting industry fan base has increased. Pre Covid-19 period saw the audience grow to 500 million with a revenue base of US $ 1billion. Like most industries, e-sports agencies, as well as clubs, lost huge amounts of revenue as the pandemic raged.
However, the loss in this emerging industry was not as huge compared with traditional sports betting agencies. During the COVID-19 period, the electronic sports industry saw an increase in the number of viewers, players, and punters especially for the events that were held online. Arena-related e-sports were affected by the pandemic just like any other sporting activity that experiences huge gatherings. The international League of Legends championship which was hosted by China was not the usual competition, it was held under strict observance of COVID-19 measures something that impacted the revenue collected during the event.
Between 2015 and 2020 the figure generated in e-sports gaming saw a huge rise, from the US $ 315 to 24 billion. The huge rise, although it was affected by the pandemic is attributed to technological advancement that was witnessed during the period.
So what are these technological advancements that have fueled the growth of e-sports as a sporting activity and related gaming services?
The smartphone technology
Look around the people in your circle and you will find that most if not all own a smartphone. The success of e-sports gaming is highly attributed to this phenomenon. Some years back, to participate in e-sports or sports betting one must have owned a laptop or a desktop computer that is connected to the internet. Nowadays you will hear people say they are addicted to iPhone or Android phones. Apart from class connotation related to a given operating system, being locked or loyal to a certain OS means that the users have come to love the features that are provided by the given OS. With just a mobile phone, we can do so many things including betting and even engaging in e-sports activities.
When it comes to sports betting, smartphones are providing a similar experience and sometimes better when compared to a desktop or a laptop. Bookmakers have even gone a step further where they have developed high-quality applications which offer users unlimited access to e-sporting betting. The wide availability of the internet, even in the remotest points of the earth means that one can place bids anytime and anywhere.
Although Virtual Reality has slightly changed the realm of e-sports betting, bigger changes are in the pipeline. This technology has huge benefits in electronic sports and betting as a whole. Virtual Reality gives you a completely new environment and a taste of another dimension, features that come in handy in an electronic sports sphere.
The Internet has grown tremendously within a short period, development of 5G technologies; high-speed connectivity makes it easy for the players and bettors. For e-sports fans, the high connectivity capabilities make it easier to stream the matches on betting sites. For the players, the capability enables engagement in the matches with the lowest latency and lag. It has also enabled a powerful combination of Augmented Reality and VR, two components that are transforming the e-sports realm at a high rate.
Blockchain technology has provided a whole new experience in e-sports betting. First, it has given the industry more payment options in form of cryptocurrencies. Now it is possible to make deposits and withdrawals using the main cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin among others. Cryptocurrencies offer secure payment and withdrawal options where those who are locked out of the mainstream financial system have an opportunity to participate in e-sports betting.
Second, the capacity of Blockchain Technology to store information in a distributed public ledger gives the e-sports bookmaker the trust that they need. With the use of a peer-to-peer network, bookmakers cannot interfere with the system building on trust. This is good for the bettors and the industry itself. For bookmakers, blockchain technology minimizes errors leading to more trust from the bettors.
The use of social media platforms has provided all the players with a medium through which they can engage. Players can get almost real-time reviews while bookmakers can use the platforms to engage with their customers.
Technology has played a big role in the sharp rise of e-sporting activities. The future is bright for this industry, more is yet to come, watch this space to get insights on the emerging gaming experience.
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