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The start dates and times displayed on our website for E-Sport matches are an indication only and are not guaranteed to be correct. If a match is suspended or postponed, and not resumed within 48 hours from the actual scheduled start time, then wagers on the match will have no action and be refunded.
The exception being any wager on whether a team/player advances in a tournament, or wins the tournament, will have action regardless of a suspended or postponed match.
If the name of a player/team is misspelled, all bets will stand unless it is obvious it is the wrong object.
If in an official match a player plays with the wrong nickname or on a smurf-account, the result is still valid unless it is evident that it is not the player that was supposed to play that match.
All wagers will be settled using the official result as declared by the relevant governing body of the competition concerned.
If a draw option has not been made available, then extra time will count, if played.
Handicap betting: A spread in E-Sports can be Rounds/Maps or other counting measures dependent on the game. The spread will only be referred to as the spread. (For example, in Counter Strike the spread will be rounds won, while in Starcraft 2 the spread would be maps).
Handicapping is a way of making a sports contest more even and thus more interesting as a betting object. In E-Sports betting, this is done by awarding one of the teams/players, the underdog, some maps/rounds ahead
For example: Handicap Odds Player A -1.5 2.00 Player B +1.5 1.85
If Player A wins the match by two maps or more, Player A bettors win and Player B bettors lose. If Player A wins by exactly one map or Player B wins, Player B bettors win and PlayerA bettors lose.
Total Betting: A total in E-sports can be Rounds/Maps or other counting measures dependent on the game. The total will only be referred to as the total.
Example for a best of three SC2 Match: Over 2.5 1.93 Under 2.5 1.93
If either player wins 2-0 all bets on under 2.5 will win, while bets on the over will lose. If either player wins 2-1 all bets on the over win, while bets on the under lose.
If a match is not completed because of a player retirement or disqualification, all bets on the outcome will have action and will be validated based on the official declared winner. All bets on the spread or total will be canceled and monies refunded. Counter-Strike matches are exceptions to this rule, for which all moneyline, spread and total bets are canceled if a team retires or is disqualified before all scheduled map rounds are played.
Should a player/team withdraw before a tournament begins, or retire during a tournament, bets on that player/team to win the tournament, or to advance in tournament, will be canceled and monies refunded.
If the respective player/team withdraws before the tournament begins while being listed as “must start”, then wagers on whether a player/team advances in tournament or wins the tournament, will have no action and monies refunded – this applies to all players/teams participant in the tournament.
If the announced number of maps/rounds is changed all bets on the handicap or total are cancelled. Bets on the moneyline (outcome of the match) have action.
If a player/team is given a walkover on at least one map, all wagers on the moneyline, spread and totals will be canceled and monies refunded.
Live Betting: In live betting, if a map is replayed due to a draw, disconnect or similar reasons, all live wagers on the respective map will be canceled. The replay of the map will be treated as a separate game.
League of Legends BASICS
Also known as LOL. The League is one of the most competitive games ever. It is a classic MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), where two teams compete for the defeat of the Nexus.
In order to win to equal teams of 5 persons, start near their base (Nexus) and their main target is to get and destroy their competitor's base. To get to the enemy base they have to go through 3 lanes of damage making towers, called Turrets. Each team defends their lanes with different strategies, and various numbers of heroes to choose from, called Champions. Every Champion has different abilities called Skills. Every player masters its own champion, and makes incredible combos in order to get kills or support his teammates.
The Lanes is not the only thing they have to defend. There is a scary Jungle filled with creatures called Monsters, which also give experience and money when being killed.
Money is an important part of the game. Destroying a Turret, killing a Champion, defeating a monster or simply smashing a minion gives you certain amount, which can be spend in the shop.
In the Shop you can find a huge assortment of items giving different upgrades and unique skills.
In the Professional Competitive scene the game is presented by pro teams competing in a complex structure all around the globe, having one thing in mind – becoming the world Champion!
The different tournaments apply different formats. The most popular are best of 3 and best of 5. The current game their playing is called map. The first is called map1 the second map2 etc. Other important factors are the "First blood" and the "Most kills", giving advantage to the team that accomplishes them.
League of Legends Betting
"Who wins the match" bet
As there is no categorization between home and away. The teams have been identified by numbers. The team standing on the right sight is identified as 1 and the left team as 2.1.Team NA’VI 1.502.Team Liquid 2.00
If you place a bet of 10 units backing team 1. Means you think NA’VI will win and you will get 15 units. 10 * 1.5 = 15 and the profit is 5.
"First Blood" bet
The First Blood bet indicates which team will get the first kill of an enemy champion.1.Team NA’VI 1.802.Team Liquid 2.50
If you place a bet backing Team Liquid with 10 units. You would expect that a member of Team liquid will make the first kill. And this bet will be considered as won. 10*2.5=25 There is a 15 units of profit.
"Who wins the tournament" bet
This is an outright bet for the winner of the whole tournament. If there is 8 teams competing, there will be given odds for each one of them. As the favorite will be with the lowest and the underdog with the highest.1.Team NA’VI 1.302.Team Liquid 1.603.Example Team 1.904.Example Team 2.305.Example Team 2.606.Example Team 2.907.Example Team 2.308.Example Team 2.609.Edward Gaming 2.90
If you place a back bet for Edward Gaming to win the whole tournament, you would expect them to reach the final and win. Any other outcome will result this bet as lost.
Starcraft 2 BASICS
Starcraft 2 is the sequel to the original military real-time strategy game called Starcraft released in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment. Starcraft revolutionised the strategy game genre with its features and especially with the introduction of three races (Terran, Protos, Zerg) that fight against each other having unique advantages and drawbacks which in turn allows the players to develop their own winning strategy. Starcraft 2 was unsurprisingly an instant hit when it was released in 2010, becoming the fastest selling real-time strategy game ever with more than 3 million copies sold in the first month of existance. The nature of the game is to build armies and take control of the battlefield with strategic thinking the key to success as you have to observe your opponents, stop their attacks and eventually destroy their base.
Starcraft 2 Betting
Since the early days of Starcraft back in 1998, the multiplayer side of the game was its most popular feature making Starcraft the most successful e-sport game of its time and a pioneer in the industry with its own ranking system and even television channels dedicated to broadcasting games. The game is a global hit with million of players and viewers but especially in Korea it has a status of a religion. No surprise that most of the best players in Starcraft 2 come from there. We have decided to give you the unique opportunity to express and support your favourite players in the game through our betting section of Starcraft 2 so we have developed the following markets for Starcraft 2 for you to bet on:
- 2 Way Market: Which player will win the whole game as per official tournament rules.
- Who wins Map 1? Market: Which player will win only Map 1 and the final result will not have any effect on this bet.
- Who wins Map 2? Market: Which player will win only Map 2 and the final result will not have any effect on this bet.
- Total number of Games/Maps Played? Market: What number of games will be played before the winner in the game is decided.
- 3rd Game played? Market: In games played in the best of 3 format, will there be a 3rd game played or one of the players will win 2:0.
- 5th Game played? Market: In games played in the best of 5 format, will there be a 5th final game played or one of the played will win before that.
Counter strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a first-person shooter based on the common scenario featuring two teams(Terrorist & Counter-Terrorist) trying to achieve their goal or eliminate the other team in preset conditions referred as map. Each team consists of 5 players and that is why this game is considered team game and only team objectives have effect on the result of the game.The game itself is divided into rounds which are won by the team that either completes the given objective or eliminates all members of the other team. Major CS:GO games are played in a format MR15 (Max number of rounds: 15) which means that one team starts as Terrorist and the other as Counter-Terrorist and play 15 rounds afterthat they swich sides playing another 15 rounds in order to fully show their capabilities in the game. The winning team is the one that reaches 16 round wins first on the same map. Depending on the tournament format that you will come across games are played in best of 1 game, best of 2 games(either on the same or different map), best of 3 games on different maps, best of 5 and best of 7 usually only avaible on major tournament finals.
Since the day Counter Strike game was developed, it was an instant hit among gamers making it probably the most played first-person shooter multiplayer game of all time. That's why like in real sports, we believe that betting on your favourite team could bring you as much emotions and money. So we have developed the following markets for CS:GO for you to bet on:
- 2 Way Market: Which team will win the whole game as per official tournament rules.
- Who wins Map 1? Market: Which team will win only Map 1 and the final result will not have any effect on this bet.
- Who wins Map 2? Market: Which team will win only Map 2 and the final result will not have any effect on this bet.
- Total number of Games/Maps Played? Market: What number of games will be played before the winner in the game is decided.
- 3rd Game played? Market: In games played in the best of 3 format, will there be a 3rd game played or one of the teams will win 2:0.
- 5th Game played? Market: In games played in the best of 5 format, will there be a 5th final game played or one of the teams will win before that.
- Who will win round 1 on map 1? Market: Which team will win the first round played on the map. Bear in mind that players start with pistols as weapon and that's why this round is called "Pistol Round".
- Who will win round 16 on map 1? Market: After playing 15 rounds on the map, the two teams switch sides(Terrorists become Counter-Terrorist and vice versa).Bear in mind that the game restarts and players play with pistols as weapon and that's why this round is also called "Pistol Round".
World Of Tanks Basics
World of Tanks is a team-based massively multiplayer online action game dedicated to armored warfare. Throw yourself into the epic tank battles of World War II with other steel cowboys from all over the world. Your arsenal includes more than 220 armored vehicles from America, Germany, France and the Soviet Union, carefully detailed with historical accuracy. A flexible system of authentic vehicle upgrade and development allows you to try any of the vehicles and weapons in the game. Whether you prefer to exhaust your foes with fast and maneuverable light tanks, make deep breaches in enemy lines with all-purpose medium tanks, use the force of giant heavy tanks to eliminate opposing armored forces, or become a heavy sniper with long-range howitzers, each unit type has its own advantages and can be extremely effective when operated by a true tank ace. But being a great tank commander alone isn't enough to win! In World of Tanks, it’s all about teamwork. Victory is achieved by combining your combat skills with those of the other members of your team, each playing their own role on the battlefield. Just add your favorite strategy to build your own iron empire and display the indisputable authority of the power of the tank!
Match Odds Betting
Because teams don't have home grounds, they are changing by turns, one turn team Supreme attacks and team Virtus.pro defends, and the other turn team Virtus.pro attacks and team Supreme defends!
How much you win depends on what odd the team you placed your bet on has. For example if you place your bet on Supreme with 10 units and they win, you will gain a total amount of 15.6 units from which 5.6 is your winnings!
This is betting on what will be the total number of rounds in which the game will end, odd or even! For example if you place your bet that the game will end in 5/7/9 rounds(odd) with 10 units, you will gain a total amount of 15.5 and your winnings will be 5.5! In the other case, if you place your bet that the game will end in 6/8(even) rounds with 10 units, you will gain a total amount of 21.5 from which your winnings will be 11.5!Supreme 1.56Virtus.pro 2.05Odd 1.55Even 2.15
This is to guess the exact number of rounds that will take the game to end, for example to guess that the game will end 5:3 and the exact number of rounds will be 8!
Heroes of the Storm Basics
Angels and demons bring their eternal conflict to the Nexus, where bitter enemies may become allies, and vice versa, in a war as ancient as time. Great heroes collide on ageless battlefields, vying for the supremacy of the High Heavens or the Burning Hells. Only one side shall prevail—until the next match, of course. Heroes of the Storm represents more than 20 years of Blizzard gaming history, settings, and iconic characters, all mashed up into an epic, off-the-wall team brawler. Fight out classic showdowns such as Tyrael vs. Diablo and Arthas vs. Uther, or settle those late-night debates you've had about who's the stronger leader—Raynor or Thrall? Could Zeratul take down Illidan in a fight? Who's more badass . . . Kerrigan or the Demon Hunter from Diablo III? The combinations of Blizzard heroes and universes are endless.
Match odds betting
You bet on which team will win the game. How much you win depends on what odd the team you placed your bet on has. For example if you place your bet on Wild Growth with 10 units and they win, you will gain a total amount of 42.5 units from which 32.5 is your winnings!
You bet on which team will win the game. How much you win depends on what odd the player you placed your bet on has. For example if you place your bet on Lifecoach with odd 1.79 with 10 units and he wins, you will gain a total amount of 17.9 units from which 7.9 is your winnings!
This is betting on what will be the total number of rounds in which the game will end, odd or even! For example if you place your bet that the game will end in 3/5 rounds(odd) with odd 1.67 with 10 units, you will gain a total amount of 16.7 and your winnings will be 6.7! In the other case, if you place your bet that the game will end in 2/4 rounds(even) with odd 2.24 with 10 units, you will gain a total amount of 22.4 from which your winnings will be 12.4!Smite is a third person action multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Hi-Rez Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. In Smite, players take on the visage of a mythological god or other mythological figure and take part in arena combat, using powers and team tactics against other player-controlled gods and non-player controlled minions. The game features many different game modes, with the most popular being Conquest. Players are formed into two teams, with three to five players to each team. All players begin at opposite sides of a map at their team's 'fountain'. Before the players enter the map, they are granted an amount of gold (usually 1,500) to buy starting items. These items grant special bonuses or abilities that enhance the player's god. There are one to three continuous 'lanes' running from one side of the map to the other. Each lane is defended by a 'Phoenix' which is accompanied by a pair of extra defensive towers. Phoenixes and towers deal a large amount of damage to any enemies that come too close. The goal of each game is to destroy the opposing team's Phoenixes and the Titan, a giant warrior who must be defeated to win the game. The players are accompanied by 'minions', small soldiers with a weak attack; these minions spawn at the Phoenixes every thirty seconds and run along their lane until they meet opposition and attack immediately. Minions will attack not only players and other minions but also towers, Phoenixes and the Titan; in fact, their presence is required for players to deal full damage to these objectives. Defensive positions will prioritize enemy minions over players, allowing players to attack a tower without receiving damage; however, towers will fire upon players if there are no minions nearby or the player attacks an enemy player under their tower. If a game is going badly for a certain team it can decide to surrender, though this requires a majority of the team (4 players to 1) to agree. With every game, players have to choose a god or immortal to play with. Currently, players can choose between 68 gods and immortals from seven different pantheons: Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Mayan, Norse and Roman mythology. Two players on the same team cannot choose the same god (with the exception of Match of the Day, which rotates daily), although they are free to choose gods from the same or different pantheons. The player controls the god in a third person perspective, which is a unique characteristic of this multiplayer online battle arena game, as other games of this genre are typically played from a top-down perspective. Each god has a basic attack and four spells with varying effects, such as area of effect damage, crowd control, buffs and many more. These spells are acquired and upgraded when a player's god levels up by gaining experience from being in range of creeps when they are killed, taking down towers or phoenixes and killing enemy players. The maximum level is 20 and each successive level is harder to reach. Gold, which is used to buy equipment that increase power, defense, and passive effects, potions, wards and abilities, is accumulated through standard periodic income, by slaying enemies or by selling owned items. The large areas between the lanes make up what is called the 'jungle', where computer-controlled monsters such as packs of cyclopes or furies periodically spawn at specific locations distributed symmetrically across the map. Killing certain monsters in said jungle causes a 'buff' to drop on the ground, where it can be picked up by a player. This buff grants the player one of the following buffs for a limited time, depending on which monster was killed: mana (mana regeneration & cool down reduction bonus), damage (basic damage & power bonus), speed (movement speed bonus), or attack speed (in-hand attack speed & power bonus). There are two special neutral monsters who spawn less frequently, the Fire Giant and the Gold Fury. When killed, they grant the entire team who killed it a powerful damage buff for a medium length of time or a set amount of Gold, respectively. There also exist monsters which do not offer a buff, only experience and gold.
In Smite you bet on which team will win which game, in this example they are playing Bo2 so it can end as a tie(1:1), you can bet on Game1 for Dignitas to win with 10 units on odd 3.00 you will gain a total amount of 30 units but your actual winnings are 20 units, and for Game2 you can bet on Titan for which with 10 units on odd 1.36 you will gain a total amount of 13.6 units but your actual winnings are 3.6 units!Team Dignitas 3.00Titan 1.33Team Dignitas 2.85Titan 1.36
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
Since the dawn of time, man has competed against fellow man for gold and glory. Cavemen clubbed each other to death, Spartans raced up and down Greece’s hills at heart-thumping pace, and skilled archers and riflemen altered the course of battles. Today, we call such competition ‘sport’, and we try to be quite civilized about it. So civilized, in fact, that you can now do it from your desk…
Enter, eSports: the professionalization of video gaming. No longer a pastime of purported basement-dwellers and arcade-loitering youths, gaming is now a valid career choice for a skilled few. Teenagers are earning millions, signing lucrative sponsorship deals, and dating supermodels, all because they can play games really, really well.
But what makes eSports so popular? Gaming, just like any sport, is something people inherently enjoy doing. When you get lots of people doing one thing, talented individuals will emerge. If you like a particular game, it makes sense that you would want to see the very best players of that game compete. It’s entertaining and inspiring. And now it’s getting the recognition it deserves.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know where to start with eSports. There are so many games, so many players, so many teams; it’s easy to miss out on the diamonds because you’re bogged down with the rough.
Here’s our beginner’s guide to all things professional gaming…
eSports – Games
There’s no definitive list of games that are good for eSports. The beauty of the industry is that in any game where there’s competition to be had, gamers will surely find a way to battle it out. That said, there are some titles that stand out above the rest in the professional circuit. We’ve rounded up a few to give you an idea of what sort of game is good for spectator viewing.
League of Legends
League of Legends is arguably the most popular title in the professional gaming circuit right now. The 2014 World Championships was the most viewed eSports event of the year. Its popularity largely stems from the game’s sprawling player base. Recent figures are hard to come by, however. The last official stats from Riot came in January 2014, with the studio revealing that 67 million gamers were playing the title each month. What’s more, 27 million users play at least one game daily, and peak daily figures total around 7.5 million. Social gaming site Raptr claims League of Legends holds a 19.97% share of PC games played in January this year, which puts it in top spot for the world’s most popular game. The hype clearly hasn’t died out, then.
The original Counter-Strike launched in 1999, and has been a staple of PC gaming ever since. This enduring popularity helped grow the game’s competitive scene, with the original title now having awarded over $10 million in prize funding over 540 tournaments. Its sequel, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, launched in 2012, has seen similar success, with competitions doling out over $4 million across 615 tournaments – that’s over just three years.
Dota 2 isn’t the most popular game on this list, nor are its tournaments the most viewed. Neither fact stops it from being the most lucrative eSports title in the world, however. If professional gamers want to earn serious cash, there’s no better keyboard-and-mouse outlet to pick than Dota 2. All of the top ten highest earners in eSports are Dota 2 players. The top five have all accrued north of $1 million each in prize money alone. And The International 2014 Dota 2 tournament offered up the biggest prize pool in eSports history – over $10 million.
Call of Duty
Like CounterStrike, Call of Duty has seen moderate success in the eSports arena. It still hasn’t racked up the level of hype that rival shooter Halo sees, but there’s a dedicated following and plenty of money to be made. Total prize money for most of the series’ games have amounted to upwards of $1 million, and that’s thanks in part to the huge success of the games among casual players. The entire franchise has reportedly sold over 150,000,000 units since the first Call of Duty game launched back in 2003.
The StarCraft series is one held in high esteem in the professional gaming world. That’s because the skill level required to play at the top end of StarCraft is exceptionally difficult to achieve. It’s also important to note that South Korea has a huge stranglehold on StarCraft and StarCraft 2 in terms of eSports. Of the top 20 highest earning players for StarCraft 2, 19 are from South Korea. It’s long been seen as the most popular game in the country, and many see it as the national sport.
eSports – Players & Prospects
So exactly how much money can you earn as a professional gamer? According to esportsearnings.com, the most spoil-hoarding player is a Dota 2 pro who goes by the handle ‘Hao’ – as in, Hao much cash does he have? The Chinese star, whose real name is Zhihao Chen, has raked in a staggering $1.2 million in prize money alone. That’s not bad pocket change for a 24-year-old.
The problem with esportsearnings.com is that it only deals in prize money. But that’s not the only revenue stream open to those who are handy with a joypad. Take US-born Tom Taylor, aka ‘Tsquared’, a 27-year-old who found eSports fame courtesy of the Halo games. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because his face appeared on 175 million Dr Pepper bottles throughout 2009. Neither Taylor nor Dr Pepper would reveal exactly how much the deal was worth, but we’re sure it didn’t come cheap. And if that wasn’t enough, he was charging upwards of $100 an hour for private videogame lessons at the same time.
Professional gaming is not without its risks, however. Just last month, professional League of Legends player Hai Lam decided to retire from the game after suffering a repetitive strain injury in his wrist. A moment of silence, please.
That brings us neatly on to job prospects. Just because you start out as a pro gamer doesn’t mean that’s all you’ll ever do. While professional gaming might not count for much on a CV for most jobs, it’s an assured boon for a host of industry-specific roles. Corollary jobs include coaching other pro gamers, tutoring amateurs, commentating (or ‘casting’) live games, managing teams, or working within an eSports organization to put together tournaments.
eSports – Tournaments
Of course, players wouldn’t be able to pad out their wallets if it weren’t for the tournaments that they compete in. Well-funded, officiated competitions are the backbone of the eSports industry, and they’re becoming increasingly big business. Aside from building a name for yourself through competitions as a pro gamer, you can often earn a decent living.
We’re not talking small change, either. The most lucrative tournament to date was last year’s The International 2014, an event organized by Valve that saw 16 of the world’s finest Dota 2 teams go head-to-head for a big cash prize.
It was held in Seattle, USA, in the KeyArena, which has a seating capacity of 17,000. The total prize pool was $10,931,000. Moreover, 46% of the spoils went to the winning team, ‘Newbee’, which cashed a cheque for just north of $5,000,000. To put the prize pool in perspective, the total capital on offer outweighed a host of sports tournaments’ payouts, including the Super Bowl 2014 ($9.9m), the Masters Golf Tournament ($9m), and the Tour de France ($2.73m).
The International tournaments have been going since 2011, and have contributed just over $17,000,000 in prize funds since its inception. That’s followed by the MLG Pro Circuit, the cumulative payouts of which total around $6,800,000. Riot’s League of Legends World Championship is third with around $6,465,000.
Tournaments need officiating, mind. That’s why South Korea has its own dedicated body created to manage eSports in the country. It’s called the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA), and it falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. That’s no big shocker, mind.
You may be surprised, however, to learn that the UK also has its own official eSports body. The United Kingdom eSports Association (UKeSA) is a member of the International eSports Federation and is headquartered in London. The company eyes itself as the eSports equivalent of the Football Association, helping organize tournaments and support pro teams and players.
eSports – Sponsorships
We’ve already talked about how much money flows into player hands, but we skimmed over one very important stream of gaming moolah – sponsorships. Like any other competitive arena, eSports has its fair share of sponsors, all keen to dole out top dollar for prime publicity.
Remember our friend Tom Taylor from earlier? He had a fairly lucrative contract with MLG worth $250,000. He then bagged a further $150,000 yearly from varying endorsement deals.
Samsung is these days best known for its Galaxy range of smartphones, but you may not have heard of the Samsung Galaxy eSports teams. Since 2000, Samsung has sponsored South Korean professional gaming teams. It currently manages players for StarCraft 2 and, more recently, League of Legends.
Samsung isn’t the only big-name brand to get involved with eSports sponsorship, however – there’s Coca-Cola, Nissan, Red Bull, Intel, Razer, American Express, Nvidia, HTC, SanDisk, and even Rupert Murdoch’s News UK.
So what makes eSports so attractive to sponsors? There are many reasons, but there are three key factors that help woo advertising capital.
The first is the sheer number of participants involved in the eSports industry. For example, take last year’s League of Legends World Championships. It was by far the most watched eSports event of 2014. Some 27 million viewers tuned in to watch the tournament, which ran from September 18 to October 19. What’s more, the peak viewership totaled 11.2 million fans during the match between Samsung Galaxy White and Star Horn Royal Club. This isn’t just a one-off either; the total audience for 2013’s World Championships was 32 million viewers.
That brings us neatly on to the next plus point for marketers; the global reach. A study by Super Data Research in April last year revealed that eSports now reach over 70 million people worldwide – it’s likely even more now. For international brands, being able to reach such a wide scope of people through a single medium is marketing gold. The market for eSports is truly global, so it’s no surprise companies are keen to make bank on the industry.
The final pulling factor for cash-dispensing sponsors is the user demographic eSports attracts. Research shows that the majority of eSports viewers and young and male. That’s the same group that is now watching TV less and less as other entertainment mediums take centre stage. By pushing branding through eSports, companies can tap into a market they may otherwise struggle to reach.
Where to watch eSports
Right, we know what eSports looks like, sounds like, and how it fills the coffers of those involved. Now how do we actually watch it? The easiest way to get in on the action is through one of the ever-expanding roster of sites that stream eSports content.
The biggest of the bunch in terms of dedicated gaming content is Twitch. In January this year, the company announced it had reached a huge milestone of 100 million monthly viewers. The platform also boasts 1.5 million unique broadcasters, and 11 million broadcasts each month. It’s worth noting that not all of Twitch’s content is eSports. However, it does broadcast tournaments, and many pro players regularly stream on the service during downtime. There are plenty of other sites offering similar gameplay goodness though, with dedicated platform Azubu and video-sharing service YouTube both offering eSports content.
The internet needn’t be your only source of eSports content, however. Just last month, ESPN2 aired a Heroes of the Storm tournament final called ‘Heroes of the Dorm’. It raised a lot of questions about whether professional gaming constitutes as a real sport, but mostly it went by unnoticed – we’re talking 100,000 viewers total. The real question to ask is whether eSports actually needs broadcast television. Some say eSports being beamed direct to living rooms is a prime source of validation. We’d argue that eSports has already found its perfect medium on the internet. Twitch’s viewing figures speak volumes in that regard.
If you want a more immersive experience, however, then why not check out an eSports stadium? Many big tournaments hire out huge venues, and South Korea has actual stadiums built for competitive gaming.
Closer to home, the UK’s first eSports arena opened its doors earlier this year, showcasing the Counter Strike: Global Offensive Spring Masters back in March.
It’s thanks to a partnership between eSports company Gfinity and cinema chain Vue, with the dedicated arena situated in Vue’s Fulham Broadway location.
But why stop at just watching? There’s now a new high-stakes way to get involved with eSports – gambling. A long-time corollary to real sports, betting is a beloved pastime throughout the world, and can amp up the atmosphere for any game.
That’s why a Seattle-based start-up called Unikrn has created a portal for betting on eSports tournaments. The company was set up by Rahul Sood, a former Microsoft GM.
“eSports is one of the largest sports globally, attracting viewer numbers that are on par with traditional sports such as American football and basketball,” explained Sood. “We see this huge opportunity for people who spectate or watch to bet on games.”
Bets are placed against the house, and participants can only bet on the outcome of a single match.
How to become a professional gamer
By this point, you’re probably wondering why you’ve been following a sensible career path instead of getting paid to play video games. We should all be so lucky. For the committed few, however, there’s one question to be asked: how do you actually become a professional gamer? We’d say avoid peddling a montage of your best CoD kills to Intel in hopes of a lucrative sponsorship deal. The path to eSports stardom is a long and grueling road, and only those with heaps of time to spare have any real chance of making it in the industry.
If you live in South Korea, you can actually join a gaming house. They’re a bit like student digs, except instead of residents building elaborate beer bongs and falling asleep on dissertation textbooks, they play videogames all day (and most of the night).
Perhaps the easiest way to start building a name for yourself is competing on a website like Gamebattles. It’s an easy platform to compete against other skilled players, although you’ll need to settle on a game first (and put in plenty of hours too).
If that goes well, you can enter amateur tournaments. They’re not as well publicized as the big events, so you’ll need to search a bit harder to find something local to you. And if that fails, you can always set up a Twitch stream in hopes of getting noticed that way.
If you do find yourself becoming a bit of a gaming prodigy, it could also be an easy way into higher education. Two universities in the United States are actually offering scholarships for ‘eSports athletes’. Both RObert Morris University in Chicago and the University of Pikeville in Kentucky are keen to get high-skilled League of Legends players on board.