Pinnacle, the winner of both the SBC Award and the EGR Award for esports betting this year, released some infographics this week boasting of its growth in bets taken across esports markets.
The two key takeaway figures are that the bookmaker states it has had a 127% increase year on year in bets placed on esports, and a huge 400% increase in live betting in the same period.
The online bookmaker is an old timer in esports betting terms and has been taking wagers since 2010. The past year has seen a number of big name bookies open markets in esports, with Sky Bet, Betway and Bet 365 typically offering the broadest range of these.
Some such as Dafabet, Betway and smaller operator GG.Bet have also gone down the route of team sponsorship whilst VitalBet is the title sponsor of a newly created Balkan Pro League.
Perhaps the more poignant statistic to be released by Pinnacle was the individual year on year changes for the major esports titles. Dota 2 saw the biggest change with a 205% increase for 2015, whilst CSGO went up 166% and League of Legends 98%. New competitions in each and greater promotion will have helped matters, with ELEAGUE and ECS doubtless being responsible for a sizable chunk of the CounterStrike growth.
A stat that’ll be of little surprise to those in esports circles is that Starcraft fell 21%; this is in part due to bookies dropping it amidst a panic over corruption and a general decline in interest and viewership of the title.
Marco Blume, Pinnacle’s Trading Director, stated this year that he believes that ”esports will surpass ice hockey, in terms of bet count, by the end of 2016.” This year has been a year of testing the waters for a number of operators, and indeed incidences such as OpTic Gaming winning ELEAGUE saw Betway take a hit having offered 500/1. There are some that believe it can be a top three market and with non-endemics bodies investing and viewership firmly on the up in North America, Europe and SE Asia this is surely feasible.
Esports Insider says: A fantastic year for Pinnacle then and it’s well placed, as are a few other bookies, to carry this momentum on into the new year. 2017 will see the emergence of the Overwatch League and this is one title which bookies will need to learn fast about how to price accurately. Others such as Rocket League could also warrant some further investigation.