The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do just about everything, and that includes betting on sports. When the pandemic first hit and most of the traditional sports were shut down, one of the sports that resonated with bettors was Russian table tennis.
Another sport that started to find an audience among hard-core bettors who no longer had the NCAA Tournament, the NBA, the NHL or MLB to wager on was eSports. It certainly helped to convert some of the masses of sports bettors to betting on people playing video games when several of the regular leagues, such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NASCAR, began playing host to their own athletes competing in eSports, at the controls of virtual versions of themselves.
The foresight of online betting sites also paid off in this instance. Already, all of the online sports betting sites you’ll find at VegasBetting.com were offering wagering on eSports before the pandemic hit. With betting lines established, it was easy for regular sports bettors to transition into eSports bettors.
As mainstream sports returned to the playing fields, the marriage with eSports didn’t come to an end. In fact, things took a turn in the opposite direction. Many old-school sports institutions now recognize the inherent value of gaining presence within the eSports marketplace and are taking great strides to make inroads into what for them is a brave new world.
ESports Entertainment Partnerships
One of the most prominent players in the eSports betting world is the company ESports Entertainment Group. Based in Malta, Esports Entertainment Group is a licensed online gambling company that focuses all of its energies on the ever-expanding world of professional video gaming. They are also the only esports company currently listed on NASDAQ.
Operators of vie.gg, a sportsbook that is entirely dedicated to offering wagering on eSports, the ESports Entertainment Group has entered into affiliate partnership agreements with over 190 eSports teams. At the same time they are also making strong connections with the mainstream world of professional sports. Read more: slotxo
Since late last year, the company has landed partnership agreements with two NFL teams and one EPL side.
In December of 2020, Esports Entertainment Group entered into a multi-year partnership with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. The agreement will see Esports Entertainment Group set up and operate eSports tournaments for the Eagles.
“This innovative partnership with Esports Entertainment Group presents a wonderful opportunity for us to expand our reach in a growing market and create new experiences for Eagles fans,” said Catherine Carlson, Senior Vice President, Revenue and Strategy, Philadelphia Eagles.
A similar multi-year deal was agreed to in February with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. This pact will see the company operating bi-annual esports tournaments for the Ravens, utilizing its Esports Gaming League (EGL) platform. These are the first partnerships between NFL teams and an eSports tournament provider.
In November of 2020 Esports Entertainment Group signed an agreement with English Premier League club Arsenal to manage the Gunners’ Pro Evolution Soccer roster in the eFootball League. The eFootball.League is an esports tournament that welcomes competitors of all skill levels and is comprised of two main divisions: eFootball.Pro, the professional tournament aimed at elite esports players; and eFootball.Open, the amateur tournament open to all comers.
Esports Entertainment Group also offers player to player wagering on the ePremier League. The football league entered into partnership with Electronic Arts to launch the ePremierLeague.
All This Attention Is Understandable
Every company’s marketing department desperately wants to find a way to connect with younger adults, because they are their future customers. It’s no different with eSports gaming and betting. The crowd that follows and wagers on eSports tends to skew younger than regular bettors. Most are males between the ages of 18-28.
There are an estimated 350 million game enthusiasts worldwide, so it’s understandable why mainstream sports entities want to tap into this market. The enthusiasts of eSports are already wagering billions of dollars globally on their sports.
There are a growing number of NCAA schools that are now fielding official eSports teams and even offering scholarships in order to attract the top players. Rumblings are suggesting that eSports is also on the docket for consideration as an Olympic sport, perhaps as early as the Paris 2024 Summer Olympiad.