The iGaming industry is known as an industry that is dependent on the newest consumer trends and preferences. A couple of years ago, many people expected esports to be one of these trends that would pop up for a few months and then slowly disappear, but no. The thing with esports was and is different. Esports is here to stay and has completely changed the whole iGaming industry in just a few years.
That is mainly because of the shift in consumer and player preferences, and now, esports is the quickest-growing segment in the industry. But how has esports affected the industry in recent years? We talked with Finnish iGaming experts from Kasinosivustoni.com, and according to them, esports has impacted the iGaming field in a way we have not seen before. What are the things esports affected the most? Let’s find out!
New Revenue Streams & Collaboration Opportunities
The most significant way esports have changed the iGaming industry is how it brings new revenue streams for the esports clubs and iGaming operators and gives opportunities for new collaborations. For example, the rise of esports has opened up new opportunities for brand sponsorships and partnerships within the iGaming industry. Plenty iGaming organizations are already sponsoring several esports teams and events.
In-game monetization models are another example of how these two industries have collaborated in recent years. Esports-inspired monetization models are popular amongst consumers, and that’s why games now incorporate in-game purchases, loot boxes, and cosmetic upgrades with iGaming operators. That provides additional revenue streams beyond traditional game sales or subscriptions for both parts.
From the consumer perspective, esports brings something new and entertaining to the field. For most consumers, it’s not only about how many esports bets are available on a betting site or having casino games where the theme is modified to be similar to some esports games. For them, it’s also about entertainment, what esports brings to the iGaming industry. Esports teams and personalities often partner with iGaming influencers and content creators to produce engaging and entertaining content that appeals to a broader audience. That is something you don’t usually see happening between traditional sports and the iGaming industry.
The Rise of Esports Betting
Esports betting is the single biggest thing how esports have changed the iGaming industry over the last couple of years. Overall, the rise of esports has expanded the range of betting markets within the iGaming industry. Besides the regular outright betting, esports betting options now also include a chance to bet on individual player performance, in-game events, and other specific aspects of esports competitions.
Live betting is another aspect of betting that esports has changed drastically. Because esports often have a high tempo, iGaming sites needed to update their live betting sections to work quickly enough in esports betting and every other sports betting. Besides the quickness, esports betting also brings players various unique betting variations. Because of all the new special bets around esports, iGaming sites are nowadays offering more special bets in other sports too.
It has also been interesting to follow how many iGaming operators have started creating sites where the central focus of the entire website is esports betting. That is something we have never seen with traditional sports betting since no successful iGaming site only focuses on football, basketball, or baseball. Esports betting-focused iGaming platforms provide comprehensive coverage of esports events, statistical analysis, and a user-friendly interface for a seamless betting experience. They also provide graphics, special offers, and live streams from smaller esports events that more prominent iGaming operators aren’t targeting.
The Expanding Role of Esports in Online Casinos
Besides esports tremendously impacting the betting industry, many don’t realize how massively it has also affected the online casino industry. The most visible way to see this is the increased esports-related content in online casinos. There are new esports-themed casino games, collaborations between online casinos and esports brands, bonus campaigns related to esports events, and casinos where the central theme of the whole website is esports.
A perfect example of the role esports currently plays in online casinos is the increasing amount of esports-themed casino games. No matter which more popular esports game you are interested in, it most likely has its own casino game. For example, if you are a Player Unknown’s Battleground fan, you might want to try a slot game called Loot Luck. If you are into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you can play One-Shot Multiplier or CounterPunch Pro.
Besides esports entering the online casino industry, nowadays, online casinos are also more visible in the esports industry as well. A good example is that Betway is one of the main sponsors of an esports team called Ninjas in Pyjamas. With this collaboration, Ninjas in Pyjamas players wear clothes that have a Betway logo. Betway also created a casino game related to Ninjas in Pyjamas called NIP: CSGO Slot. These kinds of collaborations between online casinos and esports teams are something we’ll most likely see more in the future.
From a technological point of view, esports has developed the iGaming industry differently. For example, the increasing popularity of esports is one of the main reasons why even more iGaming sites offer live streaming services. Streaming esports is more straightforward and cheaper for online iGaming brands than traditional sports like football, baseball, or basketball. It’s also an easy way to prove to customers the site is offering new kinds of services to improve the engagement rate and make them spend more time and money on the site.
Indirectly, esports has also affected how the iGaming industry uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve their services. Esports’ utilization of AI and machine learning algorithms for various purposes, such as player behavior analysis, game balancing, and anti-cheat systems, has influenced the iGaming industry’s adoption of these technologies. AI and machine learning techniques are now employed in iGaming platforms to enhance gameplay, improve customer support services, detect fraudulent activities, and personalize player experiences.