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Will eSports Betting Continue to Grow in 2018?

Industry Growth Shows No Sign of Slowdown

There’s plenty of debate online about whether eSports should actually be called a sport at all, but whatever your position on it, competitive video gaming and the betting associated with it are both growing, and fast. A recent Business Insider article on the subject predicted that revenue from betting, sponsoring and advertising could reach $800m by 2019, almost doubling the size of the money generated by the burgeoning industry when compared with the figures for 2017. That is an explosive growth by any standards, and with sites as esportbets.se springing up all over the web, the growth is  clearly organic and driven by eSports enthusiasts. That is a healthy indicator of a non-commercially driven, short-lived fad, but of something that is here to stay at the behest of the global eSports community.

So, will eSports continue to grow? Let’s first take a look at what eSports really mean, and how the industry has grown over the past few years.

What Exactly are eSports?

Many people feel that the term ‘eSports’ is a bit of a misnomer, since no actual physical movement is involved (apart from the thumbs) in most cases. eSports, broadly defined, involves competitive video gaming on games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Street Fighter, with both solo players and entire teams battling it out for dominance in leagues and tournaments.

A lot of eSports activity takes place from home, but things have grown so much in recent years that there are now actual eSports tournaments held in physical locations around the world. Some serious cash prizes are up for grabs, and unsurprisingly, a huge betting market has sprung up around eSports.

To put it simply, eSports is any form of organized, competitive video gaming…and it’s growing rapidly.

How Much Has eSports Grown and How Much Will it Grow by in the Coming Years?

While nobody has a crystal ball which can predict the future perfectly, we can look at past and present trends to make some reasonable predictions about where eSports might end up within the next few years.

According to NewZoo, a market intelligence firm with its finger on the pulse of the eSports industry, the total number of people participating in eSports as players, spectators, and bettors, was around 235 million in 2015. That mushroomed to 385 million in 2017, showing well over 50% growth. As far as revenue goes, the industry generated $325 million in 2015, and a whopping $696 million in 2017, effectively doubling in two years and indicating exponential growth in eSports financials. If these trends are anything to go by, the next few years look very bright indeed.

What could drive the growth going forward? A few factors spring to mind.

First, more and more people are coming online every year, and it stands to reason that a certain number of them will be interested in eSports. Roughly 3 billion people are yet to come online in the coming years, increasing the pool of potential eSports enthusiasts dramatically.

With projects like OneWeb edging closer by the day, the speed at which these people come online will only increase. The ever increasing affordability of laptops and devices capable of bringing potential participants online will also drive this growth. Increased demand is one of the fundamentals of growth in any industry, eSports included.

Second, technological advancements like the rise of virtual reality will only make eSports more enjoyable, realistic, and competitive. As the prospect of living out a real-to-life shoot ‘em up tournament grows closer by the day, so will the number of people interested in participating in eSports. Lastly, as the prize pools continue to increase, and more and more gambling sites adopt eSports betting, the number of people getting involved for sheer financial gain will increase. There are few incentives greater than money in the pocket, and as the number of ways to profit from eSports continues to grow, so too will the number of people who want to get involved.

Of course, it is impossible to pinpoint an exact figure on how much the industry will be worth in the future, but going back to NewZoo’s data again, the figure is estimated to be well over $1 billion and close to 600 million people involved by 2020.

If there is an industry to get involved in, eSports would be it. 2018 looks very bright indeed, and we can safely say that betting on eSports will not just grow, it will skyrocket in the coming year and those that follow it.

Infographic: Esports 101

Electronic sports are the world’s fastest-growing sport

In the age of digital revolution, the world’s fastest-growing sport is competitive video gaming also known as eSports. Electronic sports are a form of competition that is facilitated by electronic systems.

eSports have gone from an industry mostly featuring amateurs to an industry with professional players, and now even includes the creation and maintenance of professional teams. So forget football, e-sports are the world’s most fastest-growing sport is video gaming. In fact, the eSports industry has been experiencing double-digit growth for several years.

According to the research group Newzoo, the eSports industry broasts a global community of 148 million enthusiasts, and that number is projected to hit 2015 million by 2019. Professional gamers on teams may receive a salary, tournament prizes and team sponsors sometimes cover travel expenses. In 2016, Li Peng has become the highest earning pro-gamer with £1,561,306 of a total prize money earned from 13 tournaments.

The history of eSports goes as far back as the early ‘1970s. That’s when the earliest known video game competition took place on 19th October 1972 at Stanford University for the game Spacewar.

In the 1990s, many games benefited from increasing internet connectivity, especially PC games. That’s when eSports truly started to come into its own after the turn of the millennium, with the rise of both popular tournaments and the games that now make up the backbone of the eSports world.

ESports consist of a variety of video games, but the most played competitive video game of 2016 is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The number of professional players reaches 6071, and the prize money awarded is £18,988,810 from 1946 tournaments. Amongst other popular eSports games are League of Legends, Counter Strike, Dota 2 and StarCraft II.

sigma-igaming-Infographic-eSports-101

 

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

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ESports: Is it Time for iGaming Companies to Cash in Now?

Football continues to be one of the biggest sports in the world not just in terms of viewership, but also in terms of the revenue it brings to the plate through betting. Gambling on football is huge and it is the biggest driving force behind the industry. BBC Sports came out with a report in 2013 about the industry being worth around $1 trillion a year; football is understood to contribute around 70% of those figures. However, recent years have seen rapid rise from the world of e-sports.

Arrival of Major Tournaments

Only a decade ago, video games were largely regarded as a favourite pastime but the growth of the e-sports has been tremendous and rapid. Today, it is possible to come across major tournaments involving e-sports like Counter Strike: Global Offensive or DOTA. These are some of the popular games at major tournaments, while individual tournaments also exist for these sports. A true sign of the industry moving away from being considered as a hobby or a pastime is the amount of work being put in by the gamers in order to achieve success; it would not be uncommon to see a professional gamer train for around 12 hours in a single day.

Esports Tournament

Esports Tournament

Partnerships

E-gamers have now started achieving celebrity status just like in the case of real-world sportspersons. FIFA tournaments may have a substantially lower prize pool compared with the other e-sports, but it has provided the opportunity for e-gamers to sign up with a real professional football teams. The partnerships being made have also extended into the world of online casinos and major betting companies. Betway E-Sports recently signed up as a partner with Ninjas in Pyjamas – a renowned team when it comes to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad.

Betting Markets

Aside from getting more involved with the gamers and the sports in general, one can also find bookmakers and online casinos are ensuring that fans are also able to interact much more. Betradar have been able to come up with partnership that allows them to provide odds on e-sports to major bookies across the world. Gone are the days when football used to get majority of the markets when it came to each event. Today, Betrader has helped e-sports punters get more than 90 high quality events to bet upon in the first tier of the e-sports.

Punters who bet on the football event will be able to get their hands on multiple betting markets like half-time/full-time, correct score, first goal scorer, anytime goalscorer, and number of goals from a player. It is estimated that each football event will get around 200 markets from various bookmakers around the world.

eSports Spectators

eSports Spectators

Prize Money

There is a huge differential when it comes to price money being offered in e-sports as of now. Some of the popular games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, League of Legends, and StarCraft contribute the biggest chunk of prize money in e-sports. Today, it was in the region of around $200 million, and it has already made several e-gamers as millionaires. Yet, the popularity is expected to increase in the coming years and this would lead to a substantial jump in the prize money. The various e-sports tournaments around the world in 2017 is expected to be witnessed by around 350 million viewers, but it was only around 150 million viewers three years ago.

E-sports viewership is expected to increase to a whopping 500 million in the next three years. This would be met with an equal amount of increase in sponsorship and the quality of the gaming.

Traditional sports is incredibly popular when it comes to selling media rights, and it manages to gather most of its revenue from this medium. E-sports has a big disadvantage on this front, but it is expected to improve in the next three years.

Betting Opportunities

The clear increase in the popularity of e-sports is a huge boon for iGaming companies. There is already a clear shift towards this industry, as companies do not want to be left out of the race. However, the betting market is still at a nascent stage and it is expected to evolve as the years go by. The interest shown by the iGaming companies in e-sports is understandable considering the huge potential available. The number of fans are expected to increase with every year, and those fans want to start their interactions with tournaments like the League of Legends World Championship in a far bigger way.

E-sports betting is on the rise and sports have every reason to fear at this ascent.

Esport pro players crushed by Elon Musk’s OpenAI Bot

There is a new pro in competitive e-sports, thanks to Elon Musk’s startup, OpenAI. This robot has learned enough in two weeks to beat Dota 2. Engineers claim that in this robot’s two-week learning period, it contained more knowledge than lifestimes of experiences. In previous attempts, this nonprofit used a neural network in order to train the bot with real-time learning, however, this is the first time AI has taken the victory over competitive e-sport pros.

Dota 2, a game with extreme complexity, has seen pro, Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin please crowds for quite some time. This game features 113 ‘heros,’ each possessing unique capabilities. Countless items in the game can enhance and extend each hero’s skill capacity. Two teams of five players each, compete in destroying the opposing team’s base. The possibilities in this game are inconceivable to the human imagination. Once Dendi was crushed twice in a 1-vs-1 match, he decided to forfeit any forthcoming matches, claiming that the robot’s movements appeared eerily human.

Musk has been active in taking precautions against artificial intelligence, as he fears it could someday destroy civilization. The OpenAI team is investing to prevent this from happening. The team’s intention is to now broaden the competence of this robot so that by next year’s Dota 2 tournament, it can compete in a 5-vs-5 match.

This and related hot issues in esport will be discussed at SiGMA this November. One of the panel discussions will, in fact, be entitled: Foresight 2030: esport, sports betting and AI. Esport and sportsbook are miles apart today but what will happen in five, twenty years from now? The limited barriers for esport to spread in popularity as well as the cost of producing esport champions vs traditional sports champions will be discussed.

The full agenda for all conferences can be found here.

Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

The future of eSports betting

There is no denying that the eSports market has expanded drastically over the last few years and it has become a popular pastime to watch pro players battle it out in their favorite games. These Twitch chart toppers include Counter Strike: GO, Dota 2, League of Legends and Overwatch, though the number one issue still remains the viewership numbers. If we compare these figures to those of mainstream sports, they are merely a blip on the radar. So, what does the future of eSports betting have in store tfor the gaming industry?

The Ever Growing Fan Base

It comes as no surprise that eSports don’t draw in the same viewer numbers as major sporting events – while millions tune in for major football events, the numbers around eSports events are much lower. However, this doesn’t mean that the world of eSports is not going anywhere, quite the contrary, there has been a year on year increase in the number of people who are watching eSports at events and at home. According to Newzoo, there are an estimated 148 million eSports fans and enthusiasts around the world. This number will increase over the next few years as more and more millennials are watching eSports on a regular basis. Newzoo have estimated that almost 22% of males under the age of 35 in the United States watch some form of eSports. This puts it almost on par with ice hockey and baseball, though this is for all eSports combined.

 

Revenue Growth and The Media

The industry saw massive revenue growth last year and this is estimated to be doubled to over $1 billion by 2019. These are promising figures for something that was until recently only viewed as a hobby by our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. The younger fan base means that platforms such as Twitch, Smashcast (formerly Hitbox), YouTube Gaming and Mirrativ have become ever more popular as the so called Y Generation moves away from mainstream media such as television. However, this has not stopped cable television stations from trying to swoop in on the action.

The Games

eSports is a loose term for any form of professional gaming and includes a large selection of gaming titles that feature great competitive play. The competitive play aspect is the greatest draw cards for these games and is one of the main reasons why so many of these great titles have gained large followings in recent years. Another reason for these games’ popularity is the fact that many of them will run on lower end computers and this makes them very popular among gamers with even the most basic budget gaming PCs.

Viewing Figures

If we look at the figures from January to June 2017, there are three main contenders in the eSports world. Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends dominate the top three spots of the top 10 list of Twitch views. League of Legends has a staggering 26.1 million viewed eSports hours on Twitch in June and Dota 2 came in second with 23.5 million viewed eSports hours. Trailing behind them in third place was CS: GO with 10.2 million viewed eSports hours. While these figures will fluctuate from month to month, it is clear that they are go-to games for eSports and betting.

 

The Current Betting Scene

It will come as no surprise that there are already a number of betting sites on the internet that are dedicated to the world of eSports. Typing in “eSports betting” into your given search engine will bring up a substantial volume of search results related to this very topic. The real question is, how many of these are sites of substance and how many of them are merely fighting for their place among the best betting sites at the moment? One thing is clear, and that is that the top 3 Twitch contenders are also among the most popular games to place your bets on. Much like any sport, there are odds and an in-depth knowledge of the various teams and players will mean the difference between making a profit with a firmly placed bet, or blowing your bank on a badly thought out bet. Generally, enthusiasts and fans are more willing to bet on the outcome of a game due to their in-depth knowledge of the games and teams, however, there is still the issue that a good portion of these fans are under the age of 18. This means they are not legally allowed to bet on the outcomes of any league matches, so despite their knowledge, they still remain a market that cannot be tapped.

 

The Future Betting Scene

The forecast for the world of eSports is very bright and this is great news for those who have their finger on the pulse of this market when it comes to betting. With revenue on the rise and set to double in the next 2 years, it makes sense to get into the game now while it is relatively small. We use the term relatively small very loosely due to the fact that it is already a large market. Nonetheless, it is set to grow and has the potential to expand exponentially due to the fact that more and more people between the ages of 16-49 are enjoying the world of eSports. The current fans who cannot legally bet on any games will soon find themselves coming of age and will become part of the ever growing pool of fans and enthusiasts that are willing to place their money on the table for their favorite teams and games. The top games are also unlikely to change in the near future and it will more than likely be follow up games of the current top 10 that will take their place.

Wrapping It Up

The world of eSports has definitely grown and will keep growing for some time to come. The fact that many of the Y Generations or Millennials as we like to call them are more focused on video games than traditional sports speaks volumes for the potential of this market. The current generation of fans will soon join a class of gamers who will legally be able to place bets on their favorite teams and titles, making for a very optimistic forecast for those currently running or looking at starting a dedicated eSports betting website.

 

Are you in eSports? iGA is coming in March

Last year at iGA, Mark Robson from Isle of Man Government defined how mobile technology is changing the landscape of how the market participates and interacts with eSports. He also discussed the latest market research and statistics that depict the growing market size and what this means for businesses in the playing field. You can view his presentation here http://btagi.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cf8c230189531e9f7ec9d048e&id=23220e1003&e=688995668e.

Don’t miss this year’s iGaming Asia Congress on 27-29 March 2017 at the Grand Hyatt, Macau. Topics to be discussed this year include:

  • The growth of eSports leagues
  • The Virtual Reality (VR) revolution and popularity of skill-based games
  • Cyber security threats and blockchain payment technology
  • A pre-congress one-day masterclass on online gaming start-ups

And many more! Download the brochure here http://btagi.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cf8c230189531e9f7ec9d048e&id=e8b04d637a&e=688995668e.

Readers of e-Game Spectrum get a 10% discount to attend the event. Make sure you quote BU951EG to receive the discount:

  • Click here to register online http://btagi.us7.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=cf8c230189531e9f7ec9d048e&id=e81df6f1cb&e=688995668e
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  • Phone: +852 2219 0111

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unparalleled congress – A must-attend for everyone with a role in the iGaming field in Asia.

We look forward to seeing you in March in Macau.

Best regards,

iGaming Asia Congress

Regulating eSports in the iGaming Industry

Christopher Dalli

Dr Christopher Dalli, Gonzi & Associates Advocates

From the united states to Korea, the UK and even Malta, ‘esports’, defined by the UK gambling commission in a recent discussion paper as ‘the playing of computer games which can range from play by two individuals (including ‘match-ups’) to playing in professional competitions’, has hit the igaming industry by storm armed with an exponential potential for growth. With popular contests including league of legends, dota, and counter-strike:global offensive (cs:go), surveys carried out by digital games market intelligence firm newzoo show that awareness of esports has increased by 36% from 2015, 69% of which are males between the ages of 21-35, the key target demographic in the gambling industry.

In view of this recent spike in popularity, regulatory authorities in various states have cautioned against the risks involved in eSports, with issues such as cheating, match-fixing and under-age betting becoming a legitimate concern. With papers such as that issued by the UK Gambling Commission, the implication seems to be that regulation is inevitable. In terms of the local dynamic, a distinction is made by virtue of which betting on eSports falls within the ambit of a Class II licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), whilst organising of tournaments is not considered to be licensable by the MGA.

In its position paper ‘Digital Games of Skill with Prize’ issued in December 2015, the MGA suggested that digital games which include chance but are ‘significantly influenced by skill’ should be licensed with a ‘lighter touch’ than other gambling games, stating that the requirements should reflect the risk posed by the operation, whilst simultaneously distinguishing such games from those of pure chance. In fact, in August of this year the authority issued a notice stating its intention to introduce legislation regulating certain skill games to mitigate increased risks to the consumer. In the interim, Legal Notice 271 of 2016 has exempted daily fantasy sports from requiring a gambling licence but no such equivalent exists for eSports as yet, so it will be interesting to see whether eSports will be catered for by the entry of this new legislation.

It may be stated from the outset, that regulation is both encouraged and embraced and is an indispensable tool to avoid incidents such as the conviction in South Korea of StarCraft II star Lee “Life” Seung for match-fixing earlier this year. As with all growing industries, regulatory checks and balances are imperative in the fight against corruption. With that being said, the manner and form of regulation are factors which must be carefully assessed, in the words of the MGA, so as not to ‘go beyond what is necessary to ensure a safe and fair environment for consumers, free from criminal activity’.

Is Regulation For eSports Really Necessary?

Providing facilities for gambling without the required licence is an offence in all jurisdictions which regulate gambling.

It is necessary therefore for operators and regulators alike to clearly distinguish between activities needing a licence and others which do not. Maltese regulators have stated that currently, games including both chance and skill are licensable if the authority considers that chance is the prevalent factor in determining the result. Games with a negligible amount of chance therefore do not need to be licensed, although certain standards such as age restrictions and financial protection should still be imposed.

Opinions are many but conclusions are few when it comes to determining whether eSports would be considered a game of chance, a game of skill, or a combination of both. The MGA has sought to determine the extent of skill in games by looking at factors such as whether the game is played against human players, whether the skilled players win more often than those which are unskilled, and the presence of random draws. Whilst on the face of it eSports would be considered a game of skill, when taking into consideration that the outcome of eSports contests are influenced by a random number generator (RNG), the answer becomes somewhat less clear.

Regardless of the above, it is uncontentious that betting on skill-games, which is what betting on eSports would seemingly fall under, is a licensable activity under the laws of Malta; but is a ‘traditional’ gaming licence enough to cover the entirety of the risks posed by eSports, and should the organisation of eSports competitions also require regulation?

The Envisaged Risks
Match-Ups

Regulatory authorities across the board seem to be in agreement in acknowledging that betting on eSports should be no different from other events upon which bets can be placed, with the risks presented such as cheating, excessive gambling, and match-fixing being the same as all betting activities.

The rise of eSports has also brought about the emergence of companies which offer facilities for players to play against one another (match ups) for prizes. Some of these allow the players to bet on, or even against, themselves. The Gambling Commission is of the opinion that a company offering such match-up facilities would be tantamount to a betting intermediary, providing a service which facilitates the making or accepting of bets between others. This, according to the Gambling Commission, is a licensable activity determined by assessing various factors, most notably the number of people involved in the competition where a large amount of participants would lean more towards the organisation of a tournament (which is unregulated) than that of a match-up. Match-ups provide risks of cheating and collusion, where a contestant may on the one hand cheat to win by using tactics such as ‘trigger bots’ allowing players to shoot enemies without the need to aim their weapon, and on the other hand cheat to lose, where players could bet against themselves by maintaining different accounts.

Money’s Worth

The terms ‘virtual currencies’ and ‘money’s worth’ are often associated with currencies such as bitcoin and litecoin. However, close attention is to be given to in-game items such as skins or even playing accounts, for these can be won or purchased within games and later traded in for cash. These skins are aesthetic upgrades for knives and weapons which are bought, sold and wagered. To boot, because of the lack of regulation, checks such as age verification are non-existent resulting in minors betting high value virtual items which are then converted into real money.

Based on this premise, the UK Gambling Commission has in its discussion paper held that when skins are traded or tradeabe, and when facilities for gambling with such items are offered, a license is required. This could have various effects on the eSports industry, mostly due to the fact that if the number of skins sites decrease this may indirectly affect the sponsorship of eSports teams by such sites.

An important factor which has been overlooked by regulators thus far is that such virtual in-game items are often only convertible into money via illegal third party marketplaces which usually breach the terms and conditions of the game itself. In order to introduce this new effective addition to our gambling legislation, a risk analysis as to how virtual items such as skins are traded must be carried out, failing which we could be experiencing significant consequences for the iGaming industry.

Games For Prizes

A further factor which needs to be assessed is at what point do eSports games, where a prize may be won, is considered to be a gambling activity. This is determinable based on whether eSports is considered to be a game of chance or a game of skill. It is uncontentious that the outcome of many eSports contests are influenced by a RNG, which gives rise to the question of whether participating in such games for a prize which locally would fall under a Class I Licence. Determining which eSports titles are considered to have a sufficient level of RNG, thereby requiring organisers to obtain a licence, is a difficult task and onerous when considering that the discussion here targets the underlying game mechanics. This would affect tournament organisers who may be required to obtain appropriate licences, and the development of eSports games, where organisers would be deterred from including elements with complex consequences for eSports industries.

The Way Forward

The operative question in the iGaming industry is whether new developments require new legislation or whether it is satisfactory to the industry that games such as eSports are encapsulated within traditional licences.

Malta must, as it always has, strive to retain its position as a remote gaming hub and therefore regulation must strike a balance between the protection of the consumer, remaining innovative and the sustainable growth of the industry. This exercise is one which must be carried out with the cooperation from both the authorities and the operators who must, in an effort to avoid complex legislation, display self-regulation and ensure a reliable environment for players. We augur that the process shall involve the various stakeholders in the industry to ensure the appropriate application of modern future-looking legislation while also avoiding the stifling of this young and growing niche.

Author: Christopher Dalli

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.

Ladbrokes on Rumours Regarding eSports Market Temporary Drop

Bookmaker Ladbrokes has officially stated that it will continue to take bets on the vertical, responding to news reports that it had closed down its eSports market.

eSports Betting Report was the first to notice that the online bookmaker had taken eSports off the virtual shelf. The reports by esportsbetting.com stated that eSports would no longer be offered as a market, and Ladbrokes cleared up these rumours.

The bookmaker detailed that the rumours of its eSports closure were simply a misconception between the news source and its customer support services. It stated that its eSports market had been closed temporarily in order to carry out improvements to the vertical.

Commenting on the matter, PR Manager and Head of Ladbrokes News, Alex Donohue, said: “We have been in the process of upgrading our eSports product. At no point have we decided to stop taking these bets, and we will shortly have more markets available to all our customers.”

Ladbrokes is a British-based betting and gambling company that aims to provide its customers with an enjoyable experience available from its shops to its website, mobile app, and phone services to make betting simple and fun.

Ladbrokes will also be showcasing at the biggest upcoming gaming event of the year – SiGMA16. If you are interested in coming to watch Ladbrokes as well as the many other great exhibitors at this iGaming summit in November, click here to register today.

Esports Insider Launches and Joins the SBC Family

Going a step further in its provision of in-depth news and knowledge about all things gambling, SBC News has launched Esports Insider.

This will provide readers with daily news updates focusing on the business of esports, in addition to the expert insight from its editorial team as well as interviews with the major stakeholders all across the esports sphere.

Esports Insider’s primary focus will be on the business aspect of the rapidly expanding industry, and it will also be keeping its readers up to date with all goings on with a weekly betting preview, events coverage, and also an events calendar.

Interviews will be carried out with teams, players, organisers, developers, and startups as well as non-endemic companies all looking to make their way successfully.

SBC’s Sam Cooke will be leading the team, supported by Oliver Ring; a freelance journalist who writes extensively for Redbull, and Michael Moriarty; an expert in the CS: GO scene.

Commenting on the launch, Esports Insider Editor Sam Cooke said: “We’ve been looking to move more into the esports space for some time. With the excellent contacts we’ve established and worked with at SBC, I believe that we can quickly establish Esports Insider as one of the primary sources of esports business news worldwide.

“It’s much needed and will only continue to grow in relevance. Newzoo predicts that esports will be a billion-dollar industry by 2019. Those thinking that esports is a bubble that’s going to burst…it isn’t. It’s very much here to stay.”

The Betting on Sports Conference in London last week had four esports panels. Speakers included ESL UK’s James Dean, Sportradar’s James Watson, Betgenius’s Moritz Maurer, RTSmunity’s Pavol Krasnovsky, ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith, and more.

Rasmus Sojmark, Founder of SBC, also commented on the launch, saying that: “SBC has continued to expand its esports coverage and as the industry grows and professionalises, we have expanded SBC Media to include an arm dedicated to the business of esports.

“Any company that is interested in reaching an esports audience should get in touch.”

SBC will be taking part in Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year, SiGMA16. If you are interested in joining this iGaming summit in November, click here to register.

Tipbet launches free live streaming for ESL eSPORTS

Tipbet is eager to announce that it has implemented a free Live Stream Channel for ESL eSports events, supported by Betradar, onto their website: www.tipbet.com. This new feature combines live streams of all major events together with comprehensive live scores and statistics, thus allowing users to watch live competitions with high quality picture and simultaneously bet on the games with Top Odds.

Betradar’s live streaming solution, with 1,500 + live streams in partnership with ESL guarantees the highest quality data feeds available in eSports betting and a faster signal than any other available source. The live stream is available for free for all registered users on the sports betting site, and the ESL transmissions include eSports Events for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota 2 and League of Legends (LoL) .

Philippos Naskos, Product Manager Tipbet:

“Offering betting on eSports presents a unique opportunity for us to enter a new and fast-growing market outside the traditional sports genre. There are currently over 200 million people who are passionate about eSports, and this new and exciting market keeps attracting new fans at an exceptional rate. Therefore, with this new addition, we hope to attract a completely new generation of customers and to offer them a truly impressive and entertaining experience.”

Tipbet