A History In ESports Betting
Betting makes up a huge part of our favourite traditional sports, and in many it serves as a core component in how prize money is determined – but as we move in to a time of increasing accessibility with our mobile devices, betting has found the footing to grow in other markets extremely quickly, so much so that efforts have been made to reduce the potential exposure. Initiatives within the UK such as Gamstop have been set up in a bid to curb the growing spread of gambling and many operators turn to registering offshore where gaming laws may be a little more relaxed and consumer focused – thebest-casinos give a list of these casinos that don’t operate under Gamstop, and in way has been the direction taken by many in esports betting to help kickstart the market.
Within esports, betting had a bit of a rocky start as it didn’t start in the traditional sense with money like we know – it started with cosmetic items. There were some sites that would allow betting prior to this, however they wouldn’t be what you could consider safe – in 2013, the popular esports title Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had an update that would add cosmetic items, ‘skins’, into the game. These skins had no real monetary value, but a trading scene quickly developed, and as it grew so did a betting scene that used these in game cosmetic items as the currency. These trading sites would then begin adding a monetary value outside of the virtual store, and in 2014 following the continued growth comes the rocky start – a match fixing scandal for a team that had already qualified would go in to throw a match for a number of these high value cosmetic items which led to many changes in how the skin trading system would work. Skin betting would remain for quite some time, but eventually enough changes had been made that the trading and real-money market of these skins slowly began to decline, but the interest shown saw the rise of conventional betting in esports.
The big names in betting quickly moved in to secure their spot in the growing market – despite this hiccup CS:GO would continue to become one of the biggest names in esports, other games such as League of Legends and DoTA2 would also see phenomenal growth, and whilst there are still some instances of match fixing, increased prize pools and player salaries have more or less brought an end to the practice. With hundreds of events per year, across multiple games, betting as we would see in other sports has now become a mainstay practice – the more questionable sites have since closed or see no traffic, and the big names in betting with brick and mortar stores all over the world have adopted esports whilst viewing numbers continue to grow, safe betting was made quickly available and advertised amongst streams as sponsors – long gone are the days of sending off your skins to a third-party bot in hopes nothing untoward happens, in favour of the growth of safe and legitimate betting sources.
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.