The number of users who bet on esports with 1xBet increased by almost 350 per cent in 2018 when compared with the corresponding period of 2017, according to a company report.
This report finding – first shared with SBC Magazine for its Sports Betting Guide to ICE – led the international operator to predict that esports will become one of its top five most popular sports within the next 20 months.
Last year’s rise was aided by the addition of a number of new esports, including Quake Champions, Arena of Valor, Rainbow Six and Clash Royale, as well as Age of Empires II, a game that still holds a lot of fans despite a lack of really big tournaments.
In fact, Overwatch was the only esport not to gain more active players, notwithstanding a sharp rise in both the number of tournaments and subsequent availability on 1xBet.
By contrast, League of Legends (LOL) – a multiplayer battle game developed and published by Riot Games – showed 47 per cent growth when compared with 2017.
The number of bettors on LOL, for which the average stake is almost twice that of CS:GO – the most popular component of 1xBet’s online esports offering – is expected to increase by at least another 30 per cent in 2019.
The nature of esports players has contributed to an increase in the amount of customers accessing 1xBet via mobile. This number now stands at 77 per cent, an increase of 12 per cent from the previous year. Interestingly, Android players account for more than 80 per cent of this 77 per cent total.
Eugene Kiryukhin, 1xBet’s Director for Development of International Partners, explained: “This is not the first time that esports has made it into the top 10 for overall player popularity, but their full potential has not yet been reached. As for the trends within esports betting itself, bets placed from mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular.
“Increased player activity and renewed interest in esports have motivated us to create unique markets for betting. In particular, bets on frags of individual players in a team last year became a permanent market alongside the regular major event bets. Successful tests for this market were conducted in live mode which demonstrated the level of player interest.”
He added: “We also saw an initial decrease in new player engagement with unusual types of bets. However, this is due to the wide range of services offered. A few years ago, there was just a set of thee standard markets for matches: win, handicap and total.
“Now, there are dozens of options for major tournaments, which is particularly unusual for new visitors to our site who have come to us from other websites which may be limited to just a couple of markets.
“At first, new users such as these prefer to bet on events that they are used to. However, after two to three weeks, their interest in unusual markets increases compared with that of older customers for whom these markets are no longer new.
“Interest in additional markets gradually increases until it accounts for up to 40 per cent of bets placed by new customers, as compared with their initial choice of betting markets.”