Here is how you play dream esports: Thousands of esports fans construct an eight-player dream league lineup of expert video players, working to remain below a demarcated salary cap in hopes of making the most points based on stated players’ performance in the totally real, not fantasy video game tournament.
Unsurprisingly, those four sports see the most action in pure sports betting too. At present, esports is still a small percentage of the overall business, but with entry fees for League of Legends fantasy games up 59 percent in 2017 — and tracking at a higher rate for 2018 — there’s reason to expect an actionable surge in the near future. As sports betting wraps its tentacles around an accepting, mainstream America, esports represents not just an alternative revenue streak but also a lifeline for daily fantasy operators that have seen annual growth plateau and an untapped frontier for casino bookmakers.
It has offered rudimentary esports contests since 2015, but the Supreme Court’s decision last May to legalize sports betting signaled to the rest of the industry that more action is soon to come. Experts like the team at the Action Network, which provides insight and analytics on all things gambling, were quick to take notice. “[Esports] continues to be in the forefront of invention as much as it reaches lovers and how it presents its own events,” says Chad Millman, head of media for Action. “I’m bullish on esports in most types, from the growing crowd widely as well as also the manners it could drive gambling.”
Millman is so bullish on esports, in fact, that Action hired a writer to cover the space on a regular basis this year. Ultimately, it was a bit early, and the company pulled back on coverage due to a lack of audience demand. Expect that to change in the future, especially when it enables a full menu of esports options. Since entering into the esports arena in 2015, it has only offered daily fantasy contests for League of Legends, rather than expanding to games like PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, Fortnite or Dota 2. Likewise, FanDuel in 2015 acquired an esports DFS company called AlphaDraft; that partnership quietly fizzled a year later, and today the’ League of Legends league stays the sole applicable esports activity from the daily dream area. “We are certainly aware of how fast the sport has grown,” the primary revenue officer told CNBC. “One of the reasons we believe esports could be much bigger on there is we haven’t really penetrated to the full breadth of games.” Regardless of the fact that 2015’s expectancy might have been early, esports are increasingly getting more popular — and businesses expect gaming will push the sector even further.
After expanding from nonexistence in a business that created an estimated $3.26 billion in consumer entrance fees in 2017, everyday dream businesses have struggled to draw new users . Between the websites, which represent approximately 97 percent of their whole DFS marketplace, it is projected that entrance fees will have increased a measly 2% in 2018 — bad news for the DFS juggernauts. However, while it is very likely that the incessant marketing and advertising efforts of the giants have reached every willing and capable sports gambling mark on Earth, that is hardly true regarding esports. If esports DFS gets moving, watch for the exponential development of a client base with disposable earnings to follow.
Disposable income, you say?
“More and more people will start speculating with skin in the game,” states Peter Jennings, co-founder of this dream analytics website FantasyLabs and a part of this Action Network. “The [gaming] demographic is getting older and the engagement for esports is off the charts.”
If American esports fans wish to put a bet on the International Dota two championship at Shanghai following year, they could visit the FanDuel Sportsbook at East Rutherford, New Jersey, or even the internet publication to put a legal bet. Since Jennings alludes, gamblers will stick to any game so long as there’s money to be produced. And as esports fans era to a more mature market, anticipate sportsbooks to supply more fan-friendly betting choices to catch the customer base.
“The betting possibilities are endless for esports,” says Zach Leonsis, senior vice president of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “There’s an infinite amount of data to bet on. Once the bookmakers’ technology catches up into the gambling business, esports live stakes might be incredibly common.” To Leonsis’ stage, international wagering encompassing major esports names was estimated at $5.5 billion in 2016 and is estimated to approach $13 billion by 2020.