Esports changed sports betting dramatically. The question now is: How to make this new group of sports approachable and interesting for bettors?
For a long time, the variety of sports available for traditional sports betting was a mostly stagnant pool. Fringe sports sometimes snuck in for the larger bookmakers, whilst others just stuck to the tried and tested mainstream titles. The rise of esports changed the status quo in a drastic way – a fundamentally different group of sports with massive overall popularity, and constantly shifting individual popularities. For both bookmakers and bettors, this presented an important crossroads: to join the wave early, or wait and see.
Those that did decide to join in early see themselves confronted with a number of challenges that need to be overcome. They need to find ways to make esports and esports betting more approachable since most of the older generations have not had enough exposure to esports yet.
Most importantly, spectating esports can be very frustrating. In most esports titles (like Dota 2, League of Legends, or even CS:GO), every single player on a team is assigned a very specific role, meaning that at any given point in time, players might be pursuing a different objective from one another, causing the action to be spread all across the map which cannot be viewed at once. For experienced fans, juggling the attention between what’s going on all across the playing arena is not an issue, but for newcomers, the overall viewing experience can be jarring and difficult. Titles like FIFA, Madden, or Rocket League have an innate advantage in this case since they can feed off of the experience viewers have of the sport they are based on.
Educating newer viewers through simplified broadcasts in which some of the basics of the game are explained in greater detail can help counteract this issue.
However, that by itself will not suffice. Tackling the lack of exposure people have to esports is another key challenge. While it is unlikely that your local sports bar will be showing esports tournaments anytime soon, bookmakers can make an important first step by advertising esports more aggressively. Both of these challenges go hand in hand, as even the greatest educational content will not make a difference if there are no newcomers to esports and even the greatest advertising will not keep newcomers hooked if they cannot understand the games.
The unique challenges associated with esports may look like impassable barriers to some, but they can be navigated with a keen understanding of them and a willingness to be innovative.
Read the full article here: Bayes Esports: Challenges in marketing esports to the 'traditional' sports bettor (sbcnews.co.uk)