There is no offline sport to bet on due to the coronavirus pandemic. Confronted with the loss of major markets, bookmakers are now offering their customers eSports betting. To place a bet on virtual sports, the only thing you need to do is have Internet access and go to Twitch, a platform where most online tournaments are being held. In our today’s article, Megapari is going to discuss how the pandemic has affected Russia’s eSports market so far. So, we are giving the floor to Megapari.
MEGAPARI Partners is an affiliate program with an exclusive focus on gambling and betting. Our database showcases a wide range of betting, eSports, and gambling offers with more than 1000 events in line daily. Payments are made on the RevShare model. The program gives seasoned affiliates an opportunity to make money even in times of turbulence and uncertainty.
When it comes to virtual sports, we have more than 30 eSports offers such as Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Call of Duty, StarCraft 2, King of Glory, etc. So, we decided to write an article on Russia’s eSports industry for ZorbasMedia.
eSports in Russia and CIS
Russia recognized eSports as an official sport back in 2001. Over the past twenty years, virtual sports in Russia have made great progress in all respects and numerous eSports organizations have been introduced. One of the largest of these was the National eSports League founded in 2004. The League was holding large-scale eSports tournaments among professional gamers and is credited with establishing Russia’s first eSports club and launching a regular championship. Today, this institution no longer exists.
eSports organizations are also common in other CIS states including Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
One of the major CIS tournaments that was held quarterly from 2003 to 2013 is ASUS Open. Its prize fund reached up to 1 million rubles (about $14,000), which is not so much by modern standards.
The CIS states also hosted WCG Preliminaries, and the winners were allowed to compete in the international World Cyber Games championship. WCG events are no longer held nowadays. Another noteworthy event in the CIS countries is the international eSports festival TechLabs Cup. The TechLabs Cup tournaments have been hosted by Moscow, Minsk, Kyiv, and Almaty since 2010.
Various non-commercial tournaments such as the Russian Quake II Duel League are also held or were held in CIS states. Russian StarCraft 2 League is the largest individual StarCraft 2 eSports event in Europe. CSPL is considered the most large-scale league that combines Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2. The major League of Legend championship in CIS is the LCL League.
Most eSports games are team games, although there are some single-player events. The most popular virtual sports today include:
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
One of the most popular first-person shooters in the world. The game pits two teams against each other. These are Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. The task of both sides is to eliminate the other and also complete separate objectives.
- Dota 2
This is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game. Dota 2 is played between two teams with each player independently controlling a character who has a unique set of skills. The team that is the first to destroy its enemy’s base wins.
- League of Legends
One of the most popular eSports disciplines in the world. Like Dota2, it is also a representative of the MOBA genre. The game is played in separate sessions that can last from a quarter of an hour to 60-70 minutes.
A popular digital turn-based card game between two opponents who are trying to destroy each other using their decks of 30 cards. To improve their decks, players can buy packs of new cards or win them as an in-game prize.
Perhaps one of the most famous football simulation video game.
Fortnite is often called a copy of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but the former is now becoming even more popular as evidenced by a huge number of views on Twitch.
Well-known eSports games also include Overwatch, StarCraft 2, and PUBG. Moreover, this list is expanding bit by bit as new tournaments are being held, and so the eSports market in general is also growing steadily.
eSports industry development in Russia and CIS
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russians have been showing an increased interest in online events and eSports in particular, according to Kommersant.
eSports events went online due to various restrictions imposed by quarantine.
Yaroslav Meshalkin, ESforce Strategic Communications SEO, believes that the eSports market was able to adapt to the changing environment due to its initial focus on online events. Therefore, it now has a competitive advantage over more conventional sports.
The eSports niche has indeed hit its peak. For example:
- the League of Legends Continental League broadcast was viewed by 80,000 people, according to the Russian Riot Games office;
- Warface tournaments organizers have doubled their events in March and April. The tournaments were attended by 70 000 people in each of these months.
Experts are confident that the eSports will continue to grow in popularity during the pandemic. However, online tournaments are unlikely to become a long-term trend. Offline sporting events are expected to regain their foothold once the quarantine is lifted.
eSports tournaments are now enjoying a spike in popularity and attract tremendous audiences. More than 20 states have officially recognized eSports players as professional athletes. So, it’s not surprising that eSports betting is also on the rise. Numerous bookmakers and online gambling platforms accept virtual sports bets. What’s more, a lot of sites are offering their customers to place bets both on major tournaments and smaller-scale semi-professional events that are held much more often.
There are several types of eSports bets:
- main outcomes;
- the results of individual matches, fights, card games, etc.;
- totals and handicaps on frags or cards;
- stats on cards, players, long-term bets.
The odds may vary, but all major bookmakers offer odds between 1.85 and 1.9 for equal event outcomes. Most bets can be placed live online during the game.
If you open Megapari.com and go to the eSports section, you will see a wide range of eSports games including CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, and many more. If you run betting traffic (obviously, not only from Russia), you will be able to monetize it effectively by signing up on Megapari.
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