As the world goes on without in-person sports, the betting market is turning to an unorthodox way of attracting bettors. Currently, the only real competition happening that can be gambled on is esports.
Recently daily fantasy sports websites like FanDuel and DraftKings have decided to allow fantasy betting on League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) and even Call of Duty. These competitions have survived during the coronavirus outbreak and can be played online where competitors can play in their own homes.
Many who play daily fantasy sports in other sports are excited by the opportunity. Jerin Tekolste, a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, thinks it is a good step up to legitimize esports.
“I always feel like esports don’t get the respect they deserve,” Tekolste said. “This will let people watch them who wouldn’t usually watch them.”
Just recently the Rocket League Championship Series had some of its matches aired on ESPN2 for the first time ever. Nick Wieskamp has played Rocket League since it came out in 2015 and has always followed the professional league.
“I was so happy when I saw ESPN airing the Rocket League tournament,” Wieskamp said. “Those players put as much time into their game as regular professional athletes and it was good for them to get the respect they deserve.”
According to Front Office Sports, esports betting was expected to rise to a $30 billion industry this year because of the coronavirus. Drew Jensen has a few apprehensions about betting on the validity of esports.
“Sometimes I feel like esports aren’t on a level playing field,” Jensen said. “Internet connection can vary causing issues, and it is definitely something that can throw a wrench in a fair competition. I also feel like esports are less regulated and could more easily be tampered with.”