Whether you have embraced the well-publicised esports revolution, or remain cynical over its status as a sport, there is no doubting its growth as a betting proposition, writes 1xBet’s Head of Business Development Evgeniy Kiriushin.
Just 10 years ago few were interested in esports, but now sporting websites across the world are keen to get involved in this exciting and rapidly developing sport.
There are many who remain cynical of esports and question whether the name is really justified, but even the most sceptical have to admit that whatever you call it, esports is in a league with the fastest growing sports in the market.
1xBet has always tried to stay ahead of the game by keeping up with the latest esports trends and developments. We took our first bets in November 2011, when the StarCraft sequel was one of the most popular games. Then, in December of the same year, we started taking bets on Counter-Strike.
We had spent 18 months studying the new sport, exploring opportunities, assessing the risk, and checking for unforeseen pitfalls. Eventually, we gained the experience we needed to enter the market with a product which would quickly become a frontrunner in the betting industry.
Our esports portfolio has since expanded from two (StarCraft II and Counter-Strike) to five permanent sports (with the addition of Dota 2, League of Legends and Overwatch). We have even taken this further for customers who are unable to watch live streams by developing a product which is unrivalled amongst our competitors – an information board for Counter-Strike and Dota 2.
The great thing about this sport is that alongside the more mainstream games, such as Counter Strike and Dota 2, there are lesser known games with a similarly dedicated fanbase. It’s for this reason we often offer bets on Heroes of the Storm, WarCraft III, Hearthstone, Quake Champions, Call of Duty, and the old favorite, StarCraft: Brood War, a cult real-time strategy video game.
We also have FIFA simulators and fighting games such as Mortal Kombat. These games are included in tournaments and have their own leagues, championships, legends and champions.
While other companies cling to basic market choices, 1xBet has considered what esports customers are really looking for. Games contain too many exciting and unexpected moments to be reduced to simple “Team 1 To Win” or “Team 2 To Win” bets.
Total frags? Of course. First Blood? Absolutely! Round Winner? Most definitely! And these are just a few from our standard set of markets – we also have special bets including player selections and individual player records, to name just a couple of examples.
As with traditional sports, unexpected player transfers and last-minute exchanges occur in esports. And while bets on transfers have become commonplace in mainstream sports, they are still novel in esports. We have become one of the first companies to offer bets on transfers, even down to semi-professional level, while we are prepared to extend the market to include local competitions.
By the way, what have you heard about fantasy leagues? You have probably heard of fantasy football, but have you heard of fantasy esports? We are gradually developing in this direction and will continue to do so. We have lots of interesting ideas in store for our customers…
Our goal is to be the top esports betting company!