From very small beginnings it is fair to say that the world of eSports has become a worldwide phenomenon.
The genre has now crossed firmly into the mainstream, with broadcast and sponsorship deals helping eSports grow into a billion-dollar industry.
While it’s something that has eluded handheld gaming and the Vita completely, its rising popularity has inevitably attracted interest from other sectors, particularly from companies operating in the gambling industry.
Numerous UK bookmakers like these now offer odds on eSports competitions and tournaments throughout the year.
With interest in eSports set to keep rising, it is likely to only be a matter of time before betting brands start to sponsor competitions or teams on a regular basis.
Read on as we look at three major eSports events scheduled for 2020 that will draw massive interest from gambling firms.
The annual world championship for DOTA 2 – The International – will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, from August 17-22.
It is one of the biggest eSports betting events of the year, generating huge levels of excitement amongst fans around the world.
This year’s prize pool has risen to $40 million, highlighting just how far eSports have progressed over the past few years.
The 2019 event was won by OG, who defeated Team Liquid 3-1 in the best-of-five series final to become the first back-to-back winners of the title.
Fortnite World Cup
Much like the World Cup in football, the Fortnite World Cup has the potential to be a hugely popular event in betting circles.
The first-ever tournament staged in 2019 was watched by more than 19,000 people in New York, with over 2.3 million following the action via online streaming.
Organisers are yet to finalise the date for the 2020 World Cup, but fans are expecting it be even bigger and better than the inaugural event.
Fortnite leaks site HYPEX has already revealed that a new game mode may be included this year, further ramping up excitement about the tournament.
FIFA eWorld Cup
Even though the franchise has been hugely popular on the PS Vita, we’ve been overlooked completely when it comes to serious competitions. Whether it’s the perceived solitary nature of the Vita or difficulty in making handheld games a spectator event it’s unknown but it has left us out in the cold.
So we’ve missed out on the prestigious FIFA eWorld Cup, which could eventually end up rivalling its real-life counterpart in terms of its popularity and the revenues it generates.
Millions of players compete in a series of qualifying events that will eventually whittle the field down to just 32 competitors.
An estimated $3m prize pool is on offer to the players and teams, but that amount is expected to grow massively over the next few years.
Betting firms are already offering odds on FIFA games and their eWorld Cup coverage is likely to be on a par with their offering in the actual World Cup.