EveryMatrix has released a comprehensive 41-page report entitled “The State of Esports Betting,” analyzing the betting market in 2020.
Recent State of Esports Betting and Sportsbooks
In March, EveryMatrix announced that it was working on an esports feed for sportsbooks which wanted to diversify their offer and introduce esports markets in a hurry. The company first released an esports solution back in 2019 when EveryMatrix struck a partnership with Luckbox, a pioneering crypto esports bookmaker, to supply the bookie with a competitive offering for 2,500 events monthly.
In February, the global COVID-19 outbreak led to the cancellations of virtually all sports events out there, prompting the wider adoption of alternative betting markets, and competitive video gaming in particular.
Esports has proven a palliative to many sportsbooks. Nevada approved betting on a series of esports events and NASCAR drew a massive 1.3 million viewership for the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, a SIM race/esports event modeled after the motorsport.
Blockchain-powered sportsbook Cloudbet said that estimated one fifth of all wagers were generated from esports markets in April, and Wagerr, another crypto bookie, revealed in a recent update that esports markets have played a key role in bolstering the company’s revenue in the face of lack of professional sports.
Newgioco and Win.gg also released their esports betting products, prompted by recent events, and not least, five men in Australia are now facing up to 10 years in prison for fixing esports matches.
EveryMatrix: The State of Esports Betting in 2020 and Beyond
In its 41-page report, EveryMatrix factors all of the above and distills it with big data. Specifically, the report focused on several key aspects of breaking down the market and analyzing it up close:
- The rise of traditional sports
- Available betting coverage
- Growth during a period with no sports
- Impact on betting behavior
- Who bets on esports
- Data from esports betting markets
- Long-term profitability
FIFA and NBA2k Drive 80% of the Total Betting Volume March 9-April 19
EveryMatrix started its report stating that esports are very likely to become more than a mere fad, or an emergency solution for embattled sportsbooks which have seen revenue fall up to 90%+.
Sportsbooks are integrating esports markets readily and pushing for the accompanying regulatory changes. Betting agencies, as it turns out, are also looking into the long-term potential of esports betting.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak struck, analysts expected the esports betting market to generate anything between $12 billion between $15 billion in terms of total wagers. There would also have been half a billion esports enthusiasts (a term used by Newzoo to describe individuals who are actively participating in esports – whether as competitors, audiences, consumers or other). These numbers have now changed.
In analyzing the market, EveryMatrix considers two main types of esports competitions, taking into account the growing interest in eNASCAR, NBA2K and FIFA 20. The report differentiates between simulation of rea-life sports games and classic games.
EveryMatrix has collated data from 10 bookmakers, showing that esports betting activities have grown 40x times between March 9 and April 19. Estimated 80% of the total betting volume can be attributed to FIFA and NBA2K.
As to traditional or classic games, the report noted that League of Legends (38%), CS: GO (29%) and Dota 2 (18%) accounted for 85% of the total esports betting volume in that segment. While this already sounds promising, EveryMatrix has warned operators to take action.
The key is to act fast – especially since drops up to 90% across some sports bookmakers have been estimated.
EveryMatrix has cited data and argued that implementing fast and reliable esports solutions is the safest and most reliable way to retain audiences in the long-term.
Esports Betting Coverage: As Big as Real-Life Sports
If EveryMatrix is correct in their analysis, and they should be, given that they work with sportsbooks and have access to their cherished data, then esports has more potential than it looks like.
According to EveryMatrix offers “a colossal amount of engaging content and betting markets.” With the adoption of esports by sportsbooks, mainstream punters or bettors are exposed to esports for the first time.
To back the claim that esports betting markets are as popular as mainstream sports events, EveryMatrix has provided a comprehensive infographic focusing on esports event offering for April 2019 and April 2020, comparing it with traditional sports data from the same period.
Only four weeks after the sports crisis began, esports coverage has grown to 50,000+ esports events monthly. Esports has become one of the main drivers of revenue with EveryMatrix reporting a big spike of bookmaker revenue from this segment in the week April 6-12 occasioned by FIFA and NBA 2K.
What Are the Most Popular Esports Betting Markets?
Another interesting metric in which the report looks into is the most popular esports betting markets. As it turns out, for FIFA, 76% of all wagers go on Over/Under, with 18% on Home Draw Away and just 4% on Both Teams to Score.
For NBA 2K, the figures are divvied up between Asian Handicap 52%, Over/Under 27%, and Home Away 18%. Classic games have also been featured.
- Home Away 78%
- Rounds Over/Under 10%
- Rounds Handicap 6%
League of Legends
- Home Away 80%
- Correct score 5%
- Maps Over/Under 3%
EveryMatrix also featured the average bet size before and during the lockdown, as well as projections for after the lockdown, on both esports and mainstream sports.
Betting Behavior: Have People Stopped Betting on Esports?
Estimated 10% of traditional bettors – i.e. bettors before the lockdown – transitioned to esports during the lockdown. The report has also looked into revenue from sports and esports markets per player.
Before sports lockdown:
- Average Turnover per player on Real Sports: €930/Median: €67
- Average Turnover per player on Esports: €159/Median €8
During sports lockdown:
- Average Turnover per player on Real Sports: €733/Median: €45
- Average Turnover per player on Esports: €473/Median €29
Meanwhile, the average gross gaming revenue has grown from €13 for an esports bettor before the lockdown to €31 during the lockdown.
Main Driver of Esports Betting Activity
EveryMatrix acknowledges that there are many esports games out there, but the report has focused on those that the company holds to matter the most for the esports betting market, including:
- Sports games: FIFA, NBA 2K
- FPS: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rainbow Six Siege
- MOBAs: Dota 2, League of Legends
- RTS: StarCraft II
- Third-person shooters: Fortnite, PUBG
What Does EveryMatrix’s Report Means for Esports Betting?
EveryMatrix provides interested parties with valuable insight. Having an accurate read of the industry and bookmaker’s esports betting numbers is definitely important.
A drawback to the report, though, is that it doesn’t compare the total handle over the period, i.e. total sports handle placed versus total esports handle placed. The numbers are nevertheless handy and they show potential in esports.
The question, though, as EveryMatrix puts it, is whether bookies will be able to avoid the worrying 90% loss of newly-acquired esports bettors.
Commenting on the report, EveryMatrix Group CEO Ebbe Groes had this to say: “the last eight weeks were quite dramatic. Esports entered the scene with a bang, from being a niche or small sub-segment of sports betting without receiving many considerations from operators, to being today a very large part of the offering available on the market.”
“Operators who already had esports or who were able to integrate them quickly, are ultimately the ones making the most out of the current lack of real-life sports events. The ones who were not so agile, are unfortunately seeing massive losses,” he added.
Still, Groes believes that esports are here to stay – more so than ever before. Diversifying sources of revenue should be the main sportsbooks’ focus right now, Groes concluded.