- Legal States
Stoyan Todorov February 4, 2022 4 min read
Uplatform Report Suggests 170% Growth in Esports Betting in 2021
Pinpointing the esports betting market is a tall order, and what numbers are floated publicly are usually hard to verify. Uplatform, a global sports betting and casino solutions provider, has tried to assess the size and reach of esports betting across 60 video games in 2021.
The company cites interesting numbers, estimating that the global esports audience reached 474 million and is on track to hit 577.2 million by 2024. This is based on a report by Newzoo, an analytics firm, released in March 2021.
Esports Betting Handle Showing Growth and Promise
Uplatform estimates that the total esports betting handle is set to hit $16 billion over the next years. This is still a lot smaller than the amounts bet on traditional sports. For example, the Super Bowl alone is expected to pull $1 billion in total handle, but if the numbers are to be trusted, there is a growing appetite for esports betting.
Uplatform has outlined several intuitive reasons for the mass adoption of esports betting products. One is the generational shift, with younger video gamers interested in placing an esports bet. Esports betting is ingrained in the mentality of gamers, too.
Ever since GosuGamers, there have been mock betting contests with nothing more than bragging rights on the line for the winners. But esports betting is making a splash. New Jersey and Nevada, two states that have recently made more definitive steps towards legalization, adoption, and liberalization of the esports gambling market, are leading the pack.
In the United States, there are 12 states that more or less allow esports betting and have enshrined this activity in bills defining them “athletic events” and allowing wagering on such events in the first place. Uplatform took into consideration the overall growth of the activity, citing a 170% jump in esports betting in 2021.
The platform also used its own data to provide further insight into the industry. Titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends remain the most interesting titles. In fact, Esports Charts has recently published data that League of Legends is the most-watched esports game out there. League of Legends saw 664.16 million hours watched, followed by Counter-Strike with 410.81 million.
This is an exciting trend comparing the user bases of both games. League of Legends has around 125 million active players on average, according to Active Player, an analytics platform tracking gaming population.
The platform stipulates that CS:GO posts a mere fraction of that, with just 36,000 players giving or taking the monthly average. However, CS:GO does peak to 2.2 million simultaneous players often enough. Despite the difference in player bases, CS:GO still secures the most significant chunk of the betting volume. Uplatform posts some specific numbers in terms of the share of the betting market per game:
- CS:GO (44%)
- Dota 2 (31%)
- League of Legends (31%)
- Other (9%)
Even though they are tucked away with others, Uplatform said that games such as Age of Empires, StarCraft II, and Quake generate a fair bit of interest. However, a game that had good momentum but suffered a major blow to its popularity was Warcraft.
Many factors determine why one of the timeless esports classics lucked out, and it mostly has to do with Blizzard’s ineptitude in releasing an unfinished product and then failing to provide any meaningful support for its future development.
Who Bets on Esports as per Uplatform?
Uplatform looked into the demographics of esports bettors. The company established that 75% of all esports bettors are aged between 23-25, but only 4% of them are female. This means that male gamblers heavily dominate the activity. Not only that, but when comparing all age groups, only 5% are female bettors.
The company has looked into the regions that tend to bet on esports, including Latin America, CIS, and Asia. Uplatform cited that the lack of sports contests in 2020 made it possible for esports to take a central stage, however briefly. The lack of events motivated Nevada and other states around the US to take esports betting a little more seriously and show it more understanding.
Nevada initially passed an esports betting bill back in 2017, so the Silver States is, in fact, one of the early adopters. Meanwhile, endemic companies such as Rivalry, Loot.bet, and Luckbox have long advocated for building dedicated betting solutions geared towards esports fans.
Uplatform argued that the availability of esports made the events more desirable. After all, to tune in and watch most sports, you need to pay a subscription. None of this is true when you watch esports on Twitch, though.
“You can expect to hear a lot more about esports betting in the next few years, as this sector continues its enormous levels of growth across the planet,” Uplatform concluded.