The Growing Relationship Between Casino and eSports
If you aren't familiar with the term eSports, now is arguably the perfect time to get acquainted. In a nutshell, eSports is an umbrella term that covers all aspects of competitive video gaming, whether that be on the console or PC. Whilst competitive gaming has always been a "thing", the rising popularity of eSports has led to major deals with broadcasters such as ESPN and popular streaming sites such as Twitch. The casino industry is also enjoying somewhat of a renaissance online thanks to the advancement of the internet and other technology and it appears that the world of casino and eSports are forming the kind of relationship that will see both industries flourish for the foreseeable future.
Whilst eSports is generally used to refer to some of the more popular video game titles such as Dota 2 and CS:GO, there is an ongoing debate as to whether poker and other casino games such as roulette can actually be classed as eSports themselves - there is now a plethora of online sites that allow users to play their favourite casino games for money, such as live roulette at William Hill; with the added real-time options, online casino has never been so competitive or realistic. Of course, which side of the debate you're on really depends on whether you're an online casino player or more of a competitive console gamer, but nevertheless, there is a blossoming relationship between the two that could settle the debate once and for all.
Back in January 2017, Brazilian poker professional Andre Akkari teamed up with former Brazilian striker Ronaldo to purchase a 50% stake in a CNB eSports club, which at the time, was one of the largest organisations of its kind in South America. One of the founders of the club, Carlos "Fury" Junior, told eSports Betting Report that he hoped the involvement of two global superstars would help the organisation reach new heights. It does appear that whilst poker probably needs eSports more than the other way around, the respective audiences and demographics of the two aren't too far away from crossing paths and this was confirmed at the World Series of Poker earlier in the year.
Source: Ronaldo Nazario via Facebook
The event attracts around 250,000 per year and for the first time year, poker players, watchers and enthusiasts were able to indulge in a variety of titles including Hearthstone, Fortnite and FIFA on the UMG gaming stage. This stage remained opened throughout the duration of the series and appeared to go down well with spectators, who were able to experience life on the other side of the competitive gaming coin. After the success of this venture back in July, the future crossover potential is there for all to see as both realms provide players with the chance to apply their skills and strategies in order to take home huge cash prizes. With the eSports industry forecasted to carry on growing at an exponential rate, the opportunities to build upon the synergy enjoyed by both sports look endless and it'll be interesting to see where we go from here.