Esports video games hold vast betting potential, experts say
Video games, not to be confused with the tabletop games that came before them, are among the most important, most profitable and dynamic forms of entertainment on the internet.
While some bet on a handful of sports — from football and basketball to baseball and more — others are more interested in a range of games, including poker, fantasy sports and esports.
In 2019, esports is expected to be at the heart of $1.5 billion in U.S. revenue, said a report by Newzoo. This number may be underestimated, as the number includes the estimated $500 million spent in Asia on esports events, which do not generate the same levels of revenue as their North America counterparts.
“In order to compete with the traditional sports industry, esports must be developed in more interesting and exciting ways than the ones used today,” said Stephen Smith, the vice president of Global Strategy at Newzoo, in the report.
Here are some of the top sports and esports video games, from the most popular to the fastest-selling to the most popular ones.
League of Legends
The battle between teams in League of Legends has become especially popular as a competitive spectator sport, and the global esports scene is now estimated to be worth $2 billion, according to Newzoo.
The popular, battle-oriented team-based game has quickly made its way to mobile devices. There are now more than 5 million players worldwide, making it among the most popular sports video games.
FIFA, the international football simulation game from Electronic Arts, was the No. 1 selling sports video game in Q4 2018, with $500 million in revenue. FIFA has long been a powerhouse in the world of sports; the game has been around for 80 years and is among the most successful video games ever.
The 2018 edition of the game is a $750 million video game launch for the franchise.