What are the Main Differences Between Esports and Traditional Sports Betting?

Around 15 years ago, esports and content creators were just getting started. The likes of KSI and his Sidemen were only just starting to make their first hilarious FIFA compilations, and the playing both the beloved soccer simulation and other games competitively had only just started to ramp up.

Meanwhile, the sporting world was gearing up for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, a tournament that would shatter records both in terms of the billions of viewers watching and the amount of hard-earned cash being lumped into the action.

How Did We Get Here?

As that wonderful tournament – the first ever to grace the African continent – unfolded, it became clear who the team to beat was. Spain were the reigning European champions and, despite a shock opening day defeat to at the hands of Switzerland, were the favourites for the title. They duly lived up to the billing, kicking out continental rivals Germany and the Netherlands to become world champions for the first time. The competition wasn’t just a groundbreaking one for the Spanish, it was also a marquee occasion for the world of esports.

That summer, the FIFA Interactive World Cup, now known as the eWorld Cup, became the most-entered online tournament on the planet with over two millions players, an effort that secured it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Three years later, the record was shattered once again as 2.5 million joined in. Fast forward to today and, not only is the tournament (now in its current FC iteration) as popular as ever, punters can also bet on it as well.

Where To Place an Esports Bet?

All the top online bookmakers in modern times now offer betting on both FIFA – or EA Sports FC as it EA’s football series is now known – as well as a bucketload of other games. Popular comparison site Oddschecker offers a number of promotions for these bookmakers, such as no deposit offers with sites like LeoVegas and Kwiff, both of whom have prices for the ongoing Counter Strike 2 – ESL tournament.

But how has betting on esports become this popular, and how does it differ from its more traditional counterpart?

Demographic Effect

A stark difference between the sports and esports is in their respective audiences. Sports appeal to a broader, often older demographic that appreciates the long-standing tradition. They are already aware of who the best teams and players are, as well as the main markets on offer. That’s why in any given Premier League football match, there are hundreds of lines that a punter can bet on, right down to whether a player will have a shot on target or how many passes they will complete.

In contrast, the online counterpart attracts a younger, digitally-native audience that has grown up with video games and is comfortable navigating the landscape. But the niche is also new for providers as well and, as such, the number of markets available to bet on is drastically reduced. As well as that, some avid esports fans may be more knowledgeable than the traders working for the bookmaker, so the possibility to place value bets is far greater than in traditional sporting events.


In traditional sports, physical prowess, tactics, and conditions play significant roles, introducing a level of predictability and analysis that can be quantified. Esports, while also strategic, introduces an element of unpredictability, especially when it comes to patches, updates to games that can change the balance of power. The digital format itself, meanwhile, is less prone to external, unpredictable factors like weather.

Market Growth

Esports betting is part of an industry that has experienced explosive growth. With video gaming becoming increasingly mainstream and the number of competitive events skyrocketing, its potential is vast. Analysts predict that as the audience continues to grow, so too will the market surrounding it, possibly outpacing some traditional sports in terms of year-over-year growth.

Source: esports-news.co.uk

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