The past few weeks have been huge for eSports and its corresponding betting market. The first major announcement came last week as the Electronic Sports League (ESL) confirmed they will be providing live virtual reality coverage of one of their events for the first time ever.
The ESL coverage news came on the heels of major news from the popular streaming service used by most eSports athletes, Twitch. The streaming service announced the launch of their own currency, Stream+, while simultaneously announcing their first official gambling systems.
All this is followed by the news impacting the sport and it's betting market presumably the most: Betway becoming the first UK-based gambling operator to sponsor an eSports team is a sign to many of the budding eSports betting market getting ready to blow up!
We have to start with the biggest eSports story from the past few weeks; Betway announcing their sponsorship of the Swedish-based eSports team Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP). The UK-based bookmaker, Betway Sports, has signed a six-figure deal to sponsor the top eSports team which means its members will now tout Betway-branded gear for all media appearances and tournaments.
Betway will obtain all content usage rights for the team as well as branding in their home gaming house. The deal also gives Betway full access to all NiP members which include eSport athletes Patrik Lindberg, Christopher Alesund, Richard Landstrom, Adam Friberg and Jacob Mourujarvi. The unique and ground-breaking partnership means a lot to the eSports betting market, not just the bookie.
eSports has been on a metoric rise the past few years and like most budding competitions, its success was quickly followed by imaginations of its corresponding betting market. Bookies immediately noticed the rise in popularity and began offering betting markets for eSports. As eSports betting continues its rise, legitimizing the sport to compete with other top market has been tempered.
Until now, despite the eSports betting market's growing popularity, no top UK-based operators seemed interested in sponsoring a team, a common practice among top gambling operators in sports they cover. Fortunately, Betway has broke that barrier becoming the first major UK bookie to sponsor a team which in turn, many believe, tells the betting world this market is about to go mainstream.
The Betway announcement is certainly huge for eSports punters looking for the market to continue its growth but to perspective eSports fans in gerneral, the ESL announcement was even bigger. Thanks to a partnership with SLIVER.tv and the virtual reality production studio WonderWorld VR, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) will be begin streaming its ESL One tournaments with live virtual reality coverage.
The first ESL One tournament to feature the luxury streaming will be the New York based tournament held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on 19th & 20th November. Players will simply need to download the SLIVER.tv app to view the stream on a desktop, through a Panorama-360 mobile device or a virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard.
As expected, the most complete virtual reality experience for ESL One will be witnessed via the top virtual reality devices like GearVR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The SLIVER.tv app functions great with these devices and allows for fans/punters to truly engulf themselves in the action. This personal experience will surely draw a whole new crowd of perspective fans, a must for any budding betting market.
The last of the big announcements concerning eSports from the past few weeks revolves around the sport's most widely used streaming services, Twitch. The world's most popular streaming site has become the go-to site for all eSport athletes looking to get their talents out in front of fans' eyes. Almost every top eSports team and athlete has their own Twitch account featuring all their latest competitions and gameplay.
Twitch's close relationship with eSports has pushed the streaming site to consider the value of the betting market growing right along side the sport. This lead to Twitch's announcement of their own currency called Stream+ which will be used to facilitate viewers' ability to wager on matches and "earn Stream+ Coins by watching."
The announcement of Stream+ and the new Twitch Gambling Systems has eSports punters beyond excited. Anyway to streamline the embrace of a betting market is a major plus in the eyes of most savy punters. Partner this development with the ESL announcement bringing in new fans and Betway partnership legitimizing the sport and you have the making for a boom in eSports betting.
If you want to be on the forefront of this budding market as it looks to become a premier betting market similar to the likes of football and rugby, simply head over to Betway's eSports portal and get started today!