With eGaming increasingly in the entertainment headlines, more and more players are wondering just what it is, and whether or not it is different to online casino gaming. While the term is now almost predominantly associated with eSports, it also covers games such as bingo, as well as those you would find at online casinos such as River Belle.
We’re going to focus on the eSports side of things, as most of what you read and hear about eGaming concerns this fast-developing area. In addition to offering you a basic introduction, we will also touch on its relevance to online gambling.
What’s In a Name?
In government legalese, eGaming is usually given the very broad definition of being an interactive game operated and run by computer circuitry, such as those played on computers, consoles in arcades or attached to home TVs, and hand-held consoles. In fact, any game that is played with the assistance of electronic devices falls under this definition.
However, when players in the know talk about eGaming, they are generally referring to electronic sports, competitive video gaming, or pro gaming. The form this usually takes is of multiplayer tournaments and competitions in which first-person shooter or multiplayer online battle arena games that require real-time strategies are played.
The genre has spawned numerous tournaments. Some of the most well-known include the League of Legends World Championship, the International, the Evolution Championship Series, the Smite World Championship, the Intel Extreme Masters, and the Battle.net World Championship Series.
Some of the most widely-played eGaming games include League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Smite, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Hearthstone.
How Professional is eGaming?
Video game competitions have been organised for almost as long as they have been around. However, players saw a massive shift occur in the late 2000s.
Competitions and tournaments became far more professional, began to attract spectators and viewers, and saw game developers include features conducive to such competitions in new games. Besides this, some of the events introduced not only large amounts of prize money, but live broadcasts and competitor salaries as well, giving rise to professional players and teams.
By 2013, the worldwide eGaming audience had grown to an estimated 71.5 million people, the vast majority of whom are males between the ages of 18 and 34.
Established eGaming organisations now exist in several regions around the world, although in some places, anti-gambling laws that do not make enough of a distinction between online games of chance and video games have made it difficult for such organisations to operate.
By 2015, the global audience had jumped to an incredible 226 million people, and generated revenue upwards of US$300 million. Revenue is expected to reach almost US$500 million by the end of 2016.
Its fans take eGaming so seriously, clubs are now boasting about player signings in the way that other professional sports teams do. One example of this was Wolfsburg, a German Bundesliga club, announcing its signing of British professional player David Blytheway.
One of the biggest challenges facing eGaming now is getting the general public to recognise it as a valid sport.
eGaming and Online Casinos
eGaming could mean different things for online casinos. One of those is that software developers may introduce even more video game-style elements or multiplayer functionality into their games.
It could also lead to various countries’ online gambling laws being clarified. The genre has already created additional betting opportunities for punters who enjoy sports betting.
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