Professional esports has never been as popular as it is today, with millions of more fans following, watching, and even gambling on the outcome of games at bookies like bet99. The esports industry has always been a prosperous one, but what are the reasons behind this sudden spike in new fans and players? This article investigates then explains all.
On this page, you’ll discover some of the factors behind the rise of esports over the last two years, what is attracting followers to esports and how you can get involved. We also pick out the games that won millions of new fans in 2021—the stars of the show.
By the end of the article, it’s our intention to have a ensure you have a firm grasp of where esports is at the moment and where it could be headed. The more you know about the industry the more chance there is of you becoming a successful player or even just a better-informed fan of this trend.
Taking advantage in 2020
Esports had always been growing and fast, meaning the industry was well placed, waiting to explode onto the mainstream market. It did just that in the middle of 2020 when most professional sports were forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns in major cities across the world meant the sports schedules, including NFL, boxing, the English Premier League, Grand Slam tennis, golf Majors, and horse racing, were put on ice.
With millions of sports fans stuck at home isolating with no competitions on TV to help occupy their time, they turned to what was available – esports. With many professional esports players able to compete in the top competitions playing the most popular games from the comfort and safety of their own homes, the schedule wasn’t impacted as much as we saw in more traditional sports.
The players were covered and available to take play esports, and the games were screened on live streaming sites. This was, for many, their only chance to watch live sports, even if it was very different to what they were used to. The regular esports crowd got their fix, and it attracted a long list of new fans. The newbies may have stumbled across esports by accident or in unfortunate circumstances. Still, many found they enjoyed it and stuck around even when their favorite sports like football and horse racing returned.
Top games and players
The increased viewing figures led major advertisers to join the fold, bookmakers ramped up their betting coverage, and the prize money grew, which led to a higher standard of players joining the ranks and contesting more competitions and leagues. Followers began not only watching the action and cheering on their favorite teams and players but also betting on the play too, targeting a profit.
If you are looking to get involved in watching the best players in esports compete, you may be at a loss to know where to start. There are many games and titles used in professional esports, but some are more popular than others. Some of the games to look out for are titles you probably already know. There are no special, pro-only esports games. One of the most popular titles played at the professional level today is DOTA2 with teams and players in the United Kingdom, United States, and further afield. Other games to keep a lookout for are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch, King of Glory, and Hearthstone.
These games are played at different levels, but, like the games, some leagues are rated higher than others and attract more viewers. The best esports competitions available to watch on live streams and betting apps include the ESL Pro League and the Chinese LPL. You can make predictions on the leagues mentioned and more, including calling the outright winner, players and teams to qualify, and group winners.
You can make these predictions at various esports websites, and legal betting apps before the games have started but also during the play. You may want to get in early and make your call, or it could be better to bide your time and make a decision on the winner based on how the early exchanges of play are going.