EFA Euro 2020 has been postponed by 12 months and most of the major sports leagues have been canceled until further notice – more and more countries are banning major events, and fewer and fewer sports events are taking place. But how can you react when enthusiastic bettors who want to pursue their hobby no longer have an offer they can bet on? What do you do as a provider who wants to remain relevant and provide its customers with an attractive offer?
The answers are Virtual Sports (betting on virtual sports events) and eSports (betting on competitions in computer games).
Virtual sports bets are mostly bets based on real sporting events, in which the games, match pairings and processes are calculated fully automatically by software. Die Wettausgänge hängen also nicht von realen Ereignissen ab, sondern zur Gänze von einem automatisierten Computersimulation. The betting outcomes do not depend on real events, but entirely on an automated computer simulation.
The basis of good virtuals is above all a large selection of types of bets and attractive odds – but realistic graphics and sophisticated gameplay features can also impress. What began as a virtual horse and dog race and now hardly stops at any sport has now reached the mainstream due to constant further development. In addition to the classics, the best-known and most popular virtual sports now also include soccer and football, but the list is much longer – it ranges from tennis and basketball to cricket, cycling, motor sports and even virtual darts. The offer has something in store for all sports fans!
Virtuals were not developed to replace real sports betting or its thrill, but to complement the existing offer due to their frequency and high fun factor. Especially in times like these, when the range of real sporting events is scarce, virtuals offer providers a good alternative to continue to offer their customers an exciting range.
Betting on popular online video games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft 2 and CS: GO can hardly be ignored in today’s betting market. Especially among the target group of the under 30 year olds, eSports are becoming more and more popular and are now broadcast 24 hours a day via channels like Twitch. The worldwide turnover on eSports betting amounts to over 1.8 billion USD, a number which is all the more impressive due to the comparatively small fan base. But eSports are gaining more and more fans, on the one hand due to an aging target group, but on the other hand also due to increasing awareness.
The top players themselves, who are comparable to professional soccer or tennis players in terms of professionalism and ability, meanwhile activate more fans than the superbowl, for example. The eSports tournament Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland welcomed more than 173,000 viewers on site and 46 million online in 2019. With prize pools of up to USD 100 million (Fortnite World Cup 2019), player salaries are no longer inferior to those of many professional footballers.
As with traditional sports, bets are placed on individual teams and players in eSports. Due to the large number of different types of eSports, the resulting number of types of betting is enormous – the simplest and most suitable type for beginners is of course the bet on the overall winner of the game.
The range of bets on eSports is growing steadily – and since it is customary in eSports to play without an audience (most seasonal matches are played in small studios), eSports events are a great alternative to the sporting events that take place in turn.
For sports betting providers, the following applies: depending on the legislature of the respective target market, eSports can supplement their offer and are becoming increasingly important. In the current crisis in particular, interest is likely to increase rapidly.
For more information about eSports, see ourblog post on the topic.
In the current crisis it is more important than ever: get creative and stay flexible. By expanding the classic sports betting offer with virtual sports and eSports, betting providers can create a good alternative for their customers both temporarily and in the future.
For more information on the topic or ideas and suggestions for your company, simply contact the ARLAND team at [email protected]!