Many predicted that the global esports industry would make over $1 billion revenue by the end of 2019. This is how massive esports has become over the years. But there seems to be no stopping as this industry looks to keep getting support from investors—including celebrities—who believe in the strong future of global esports.
Along with the rise of the global esports scene is the popularity of online esports betting. In an interview with Savak Limbuwala, COO at Winners.Bet, by BestBitcoinCasino.com, he said esports market is still bigger than the esports betting market.
League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Dota 2 are some of the highly played games in the local and international scenes, and comprise the bustling esports betting market. But other sporting events like NBA, Formula 1 and NASCAR have entered the world of esports, too. Pre-match and outright odds for the matches of various tournaments, leagues, and competitions are available in different Bitcoin sportsbooks like Stake.com, Playbetr, and Sportsbet.io.
But before esports was given its time to enjoy the limelight, it needed support from those who believed and saw the huge potential for esports to be a big hit on a grand scale. Over time, prominent celebrities from different fields came into the picture and contributed to the success of the esports industry today.
Mark Cuban, a billionaire investor and Shark Tank television celebrity, made headlines when he invested in Unikrn, a Seattle-based esports betting and entertainment company founded in 2014. Unikrn made more buzz in 2015 when Ashton Kutcher, along with Guy Oseary, also invested in the said startup through the Sound Ventures investment firm. In May 2019, Unikrn announced that it would unveil AI-powered tools that are designed to improve the betting opportunities for its users.
NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal also caught the attention of esports fans in 2016 when NGR Esports, which is an esports organization that he co-owns, signed the Mixup team for Overwatch. But O’Neal is not the only professional athlete that ventured into esports, as Major League Baseball’s Alex Rodriguez joined the ownership group behind NRG Esports composed of other sports personalities.
Another NBA Hall of Famer joined the esports scene in 2018. News revealed that Michael Jordan made a major investment in aXoimatic Gaming amounting to $26 million through an investor group. aXiomatic Gaming is a startup that bought Team Liquid in 2016.
Meanwhile, Dutch music DJ Nicky Romero became the latest addition to ReKTGlobal’s investment team, which also includes Steve Aoki and Imagine Dragons. American musician, DJ, and record producer Aoki also happens to co-own Rogue, a US-based pro esports organization with players competing in Fortnite Battle Royale, League of Legends, Apex Legends, FIFA and Rocket League, among others.
Despite the slow down in the esports scene due to the coronavirus outbreak, the global esports industry is expected to rake in more revenues this year, especially as more prominent personalities join in investing in this billion-dollar market. This is also possible with new games like Valorant debuting in esports betting scene.
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