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Will eSports Soon Become an Integral Part of the Online Gambling Industry?

Zoltan Tundik

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Image by dife88 from Pixabay
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The eSports industry is growing at such an astounding rate that it is now impossible for other major sectors to ignore.

Competitive gaming viewership is expected to be up to 646 million in 2023, and it has so far attracted more than $4.5 billion in investment. Instead of trying to compete with eSports, some sectors have begun to think of ways to merge the industry with their own. An example of this is the vast number of huge eSports arenas that are now being built in casino complexes all over the world. This could pave the way for eSports to become an integral part of the online gambling industry as well.

Which Casinos Have Added eSports Arenas?

With spectator figures on the rise each year, eSports arenas are being built with haste. For some events, existing sports stadiums are used to house viewers. One of the biggest eSports crowds to date was at the Sang-am World Stadium in Seoul for the League of Legends finals in 2014. There were 45,000 gaming fans in attendance at the epic event.


Casino owners know that eSports and casino games are closely linked in the thrills that they offer, so shrewd developers have attached arenas to their resorts to attract the competitive gaming crowd. From there, these players may then be interested to take part in the other games in the gambling house.
In the world’s biggest gambling city, Macau, casinos are already embracing eSports. The Studio City casino resort has opened up an eSports venue which can accommodate up to 300 people. In Las Vegas there is the HyperX eSports Arena at the Luxor, and it appears as though eSports will soon make a big splash in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

How Could eSports Become a Part of Online Casinos?

With eSports arenas swiftly becoming interlinked with land-based casinos, it would be safe to assume that online casino operators will try and follow suit in the near future. When looking at online casinos such as the ones listed here, it would be hard to pinpoint the main differences between the digital versions and brick and mortar options. They have the same game selections, and online casinos now even feature live links to table games.

Online casinos won’t be able to have eSports arenas in the physical sense, but they could try to incorporate channels like Twitch which allow spectators to view professionals playing the games.

There is also the possibility that iGaming developers may try to make certain eSports accessible to gamblers. Card games like Hearthstone, for example, could potentially be modified to involve some staking on the hands.

Staking on competitive gaming events is already widespread in the online betting industry, and it only seems like a matter of time before online casinos become more closely linked with eSports. How developers plan to bridge the gap between games of skill and games which feature staking on instances of chance remains to be seen.

eSports

Voodoo Ranger Becomes Official Beer Partner of Dignitas

Niji Narayan

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Voodoo Ranger Becomes Official Beer Partner of Dignitas
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Voodoo Ranger has become the Official Beer Partner of the esports organisation Dignitas.

The partnership marks the first in esports for Voodoo Ranger and features community-centric social, digital, and future on-location activations with the goal of connecting Dignitas’ vibrant fanbase through the organisation’s content creators and athletes.

Through the partnership, Voodoo Ranger and Dignitas will collaborate on exciting new content to celebrate Dignitas’ passionate esports fans and community. In Voodoo Ranger Community Game Nights, streamed live on Twitch, Dignitas athletes and content creators will square-off in battles of bragging rights and brews. Dignitas will also hold a series of fan-focused Happy Hours and release original content, celebrating the special connection between gaming fans across the world and the future of the global esports community. Dignitas and Voodoo Ranger will continue to connect gaming fans and athletes at live, in-person events in the future; offering opportunities for tasting, sampling and celebrating.

“Our partnership with Dignitas is an amazing chance to support a team and community that loves beer and all things gaming and esports but includes the community support and initiatives that we as a brewery also hold extremely close to our hearts. Cheers!” Patrick Morgan, Voodoo Ranger Community Manager, said.

“Aligning with a brand that values bringing people together as highly as we do makes Voodoo Ranger a natural fit. Community is the lifeblood of esports and gaming, and we’re proud to partner with a brand dedicated to uplifting and celebrating the lives and moments we all share together,” John Spiher, Vice President of Partnerships at Dignitas, said.

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eSports

BLAST Premier extends broadcast reach for 2021 season with eight new media deals

George Miller

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BLAST Premier extends broadcast reach for 2021 season with eight new media deals
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Media deals include linear TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+ after increased viewership in 2020

Esports tournament BLAST Premier has extended its international broadcast reach with eight new media rights deals for the rest of the 2021 season.

TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+, among other new deals, will take the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series to a number of new regions around the world, including: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Canada, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and the Caribbean.

The new rights partnerships will extend the esports media network’s portfolio of media rights to over 35 partners, meaning BLAST Premier will be shown in 18 different languages and across 157 territories.

The announcement highlights a period of growth for BLAST’s TV and online distribution footprint after a year of increased viewership for esports. Newszoo’s 2020 report estimated a year-on-year increase in the total esports audience by 11.7% to just short of 500 million people, while revenue from media rights and sponsorships ($822.4m) was expected to account for three-quarters of the total market.

Last season, BLAST Premier enjoyed increased viewership and more than 83 million hours of content watched across all seven of its Counter-Strike tournaments while posting the most watched CS:GO online match of all time during the Global Final.

Alexander Lewin, VP of Distribution and Programming for BLAST, said: “We are thrilled to see so many new partners join the BLAST network of leading TV and online channels. These deals will offer even more fans the opportunity to tune in to watch BLAST Premier from around the world, which is now accessible in over 150 territories and 18 languages. We expect to continue our path of expansion during an exciting period of viewership growth at BLAST Premier and in esports.”

BLAST Premier is a global Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven BLAST Premier events this year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

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eSports

Formula 1® announce female-only qualification route for F1 Esports Series Pro Championship

George Miller

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Formula 1® announce female-only qualification route for F1 Esports Series Pro Championship
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Formula 1® has today announced plans for the F1® Esports Series Women’s Wildcard, a female only qualification route into the Pro Exhibition, where F1® teams will be scouting talent to add to their rosters for this year’s Pro Championship, which will start in the autumn.

The Women’s Wildcard will be open to female competitors only, where drivers will compete to set the fastest lap times on the official F1® 2020 video game, developed by Code masters, across a one week window in early May (3-9). The participant who sets the fastest time will be invited to take part in the Pro Exhibition later that month, an online combine where the next generation of Esports drivers will showcase their talents in a series of in game assessments, testing their abilities for the ten F1 ® Esports teams to assess and potentially choose for their Pro Championship rosters. The Pro Exhibition show featuring the Women’s Wildcard qualifier will be broadcast on Thursday 27 May on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Huya (China) channels.

Whilst previous F1® Esports events, such as the Virtual Grands Prix, have had female participants, there has never been a female driver competing in the professional ranks of the F1® Esports Series. This is the first female only competition the sport has run, which Formula 1 ® hope will encourage more drivers from the passionate and talented female sim racing community to engage with the F1® Esports Series at a grassroots level, in the hope of becoming the first ever female driver to be signed by an Official F1 ® Esports Series Team.

The introduction of the F1® Esports Series Women’s Wildcard follows the reaffirmed commitment to improving diversity and inclusion Formula 1 ® has made as part of the WeRaceAsOne initiative for 2021 and beyond.

 

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