Although esports gaming was affected by COVID-19, the impact was short term and losses were limited, allowing it to remain resilient during the health crisis.
Unlike traditional sports, disrupted esports events were able to resume with fewer challenges, because of the virtual nature of the playing field. Broadcast engineers, producers, directors and professional gamers were able to work remotely in no time; ably recreating the excitement of live events, despite taking place in a studio environment and absence of audiences.
Even if restrictions on large gatherings continue, the related income-decline from tournaments represents less than one percent (1%) of the wider gaming market. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic could even boost growth in the esports sector, since some sports leagues TV networks had turned to esports competitions. In lieu of broadcasts for cancelled sporting events, eSports competitions were being featured as live TV content.
Traditional Sports Bettors Drawn to eSports Betting During Pandemic Lockdowns
The cancellation of sporting events during the pandemic lockdowns had also led many customary sports bettors to the discovery of betting markets for esports gaming. Reports have it that since April 2020, the sports betting industry was able to attract around 30 percent of the traditional customers, who actually placed bets on esports tournaments.
After all, the 2020 Call of Duty League and the 2020 Smash World Tour, which kicked off last January 24, 2020 and February 29 respectively, were able to immediately shift to online broadcasting; continuing under a no-live audience format during the COVID-19 lockdowns
Additionally, the following are some of the esports games currently carrying on with their scheduled tournaments for the year:
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
May 17 to June 28 – Hellcase Cup 8
June 07 to Oct. 11 – ESL Pro League 12
June 14 to June 21 – 2020 BLAST Premier Spring European Finals
June 16 to June 22 – 2020 2020 BLAST Premier Spring N.America Finals
June 15 to June 28 – WePlay Clutch Island
June 12 to June 29 – BTS Pro Series Americas 2
June 19 to June 27 – Beyond Epic Europe/CIS and China Divisions
League of Legends (LoL)
June 11 to Aug. 30 – 2020 LoL European Championship Summer
Asian punters are among the largest contributors to the increasing popularity of esports betting, to which support was given by Asian igaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). After suspending all gambling businesses in mid-March, PAGCOR allowed some Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in May, to continue providing technology and related services to many Asia-facing online gambling platforms.
Thexe88 mobile gambling platform, formerly known as SCR888, are among the popular licensed sites in the region that continue to provide Asian bettors, not only with esports betting products, but with online casino games as well.