The world of electronic sports is growing rapidly as it becomes an increasingly legitimate competitive concept. The bright future of eSports is evident by the emerging partnerships between leading online betting companies and eSport brands.
Such a deal was recently signed between the Electronic Sports Global (ESG) Tour and online bookmaker Betway, who became the head sponsor of the ESG Tour on the Greek island of Mykonos, held from September 7-10, 2017.
This isn't the first investment made by the firm in eSports, as it also signed a deal with ESL One, the Electronic Sports League premier offline tournament service. Experts predict many more link-ups between eGaming and online gambling brands!
As the head sponsor of the ESG Tour on Mykonos, Betway fronted an eGaming event that featured eight of the globe's leading Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams. The game is a multiplayer first-person video game, designed by Minh Le and developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation.
Released in August 2012, it has become one of the biggest eSports titles to date, winning several accolades including Best eSports Game at the eSports Industry Awards 2016. Within the game, teams battle against each other, taking roles as terrorists or counter-terrorists. On Mykonos, teams entered into play in a quest for a share of €200,000 in prize money.
Online betting sites are increasingly offering eSports betting markets on big events. The ESG Tour is an eGaming innovation created by PvPRO, the fully automated CS:GO platform for online tournaments and leagues. It aims to take the sport to another level, with eGaming tournaments in exotic locations, and the world's leading players and teams competing for big-money prizes.
The eGaming business and eSports betting are growing rapidly all over the globe, and with millennial audiences and VR technology predicted to send popularity to sky-high levels, it's an important niche interest for online betting brands such as Betway. Betway Director of Marketing and Operations, Anthony Werkman, commented on the strategic move to form a winning team with ESG:
"We are thrilled to partner with PvPRO.com for the ESG Tour in Mykonos. We can’t wait to see how the world’s best teams perform in this unique and exciting tournament location."
Taking the ESG Tour to distinctive locations is smart marketing move, designed to appeal to image-conscious young gaming audiences. In the case of Mykonos, it's become a hip destination that rivals party islands such as Ibiza for atmosphere, with stunning beaches, massive dance clubs and world-famous DJs.
As such, the Betway brand is positioning itself in a sector that's progressive, young and at the forefront of online gaming and gambling spend. Commenting on the Betway deal, Stamos Venios, Chief Executive of PvPRO, said that the company was very happy to partner with a brand that’s:
"fully committed to growing the industry with financial investment and broadcast innovation, as well as a strong focus on integrity. We expect fans of the Betway ESG Tour to appreciate what this partnership will bring to the table of what is an already strong product in the sector."
The Betway deal is the latest move by the ambitious PvPRO and ESG, who had already signed on the dotted line with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) Pro League. Werkman revealed the aim of the deal was to sustain the growth of the eSpots industry and the market position of ESG. He said:
"Our latest partnership is a continued sign of our commitment to the eSports industry, as we look to become increasingly involved through team and competition sponsorship, backed up by our unique and exclusive live odds feeds into the broadcast."
The move by traditional online bookmakers such as Betway into eSports betting comes as no surprise, given the need to diversify revenue portfolios in a fast-changing digital world. Analysts predict that eGaming will grow exponentially in the next five years, with games such as CS:GO already having over 11 million gamers playing them online.
And with concepts such as virtual reality headsets and augmented reality gaming increasingly looking likely to become just that, 'a reality', the move by bookmakers into other forms of monetised gaming looks to be an astute one.
While traditional sports betting isn't going anywhere fast, the future online gambler or monetised gamer needs to be considered, given the growing numbers who are betting on eSports. Head over to Betway's online bookmakers today to start betting all the latest eSports markets and odds!