The world is experiencing a new era of sports—eSports, to be more specific—and it’s taking the world by storm. Every year, these games rake in billions of dollars in revenue. That’s right…billions. If you don’t know what eSports are, the explanation is simple.
Esports are short for Electronic Sports. These include video games like League of Legends, CS: GO (Counter Strike Global Offensive), DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) and many others. With these video games comes esports betting and the profits which can result are huge.
The Two Most Profitable Games
Two of the most profitable games in the esports industry are DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) and League of Legends. Both games have scored millions of dollars and hundreds of millions of players in their gaming communities.
So, why do I say you should bet on League of Legends instead of DOTA 2? It’s simple. Though DOTA 2 was at the revolutionary front for the esports explosion, resulting in its early dominance of the industry, it quickly died out and was replaced by League of Legends.
To this day, League of Legends is the most-watched video game in the entire world. It has international players from around the globe and one of League’s best players, Faker or Lee Sang-hyeok once had four hundred thousand people watching him play League of Legends.
Before you can understand why betting on League of Legends is the better route, we must dive into its rich history and the complexities which slowly led to League of Legend’s rise and Defense of the Ancient’s fall. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started.
DOTA (Defense of the Ancients)
Defense of the Ancients 2 came out in 2013, scoring almost 18 million dollars in revenue per month instantly. For years, it was the pinnacle of the esports world, rivaling only that of Starcraft due to their large Korean audience.
The free-to-play aspect and the wide champion pool given to any player willing to participate in its highly-intense match play were instantly hooked, drawing in hundreds of millions of gamers. Those who were skilled enough eventually went on to the international stage.
The best players were earning millions of dollars with some of its top earners claiming around three million in prize money in one year. This meant bigger payouts for those who invested in key players and larger prize pools for the betting sites which resulted in more contributors to the audience.
In fact, with DOTA 2 being at the revolutionary front of the esports explosion, it was one of the first games on which to wager, and players earned huge profits due to the large supply-and-demand factor that DOTA had been giving during their dominant years.
DOTA’s Large Paycheck and the Fall of Viewership
Prize pools of up to 10 million dollars could be awarded to the top teams. That’s right…ten million dollars and that’s not even the largest prize pool that’s been awarded. Currently, at the International 2017, a total prize of 24 million dollars is at stake and is rising every day.
Players like Kuro Takhasomi have earned up to 3.5 million dollars in revenue and countries like China have earned up to 45 million through their players alone. Though many still watch the game and contribute to the copious amounts they earn, the betting has waned and so has the viewership. Even with large prize pools and addictive game-play, somehow, it hasn ‘t managed to reach the heights of betting that it once was.
But what happened to all of the DOTA viewers and bettors? With games like Counter Strike, League of Legends and Overwatch coming, these more modern and increasingly more popular games quickly took the stage. At first, DOTA tried to catch up but ultimately failed in doing so.
Slowly, the numbers began to dwindle as the other esports rose to the audiences around them. To this day, DOTA still brings in hundreds of millions of players every day and has a large revenue per month but when compared to games like Overwatch and League of Legends, it’s only a small fish in a large ocean.
League of Legends
The current king of the esports world is League of Legends. In 2016, it brought in forty-three million unique viewers and was broadcasted on twenty-three different channels in eighteen different languages.
In 2016, they made an annual 21.9 billion dollars in revenue according to Riot Owner Tencent. With numbers like these, it’s hard not to believe why League of Legends is the most played game in the world. So to what does it owe its success?
A large part of the League of Legends audience comes from China and South Korea. Ten percent of the South Korean population plays this game which so many have mastered; add in North America’s interest, and it’s easy to figure it out.
Teams like the Philadelphia 76er’s have bought esports teams and large names like NBA-legend Rick Fox have become widely-known in the franchise. With large corporations like the NBA, Lionsgate and FC Shalke backing it, the teams have also brought in people from different demographics who have added to the hype in unbelievably large numbers. It’s no wonder they bring in billions of dollars each year!
However, we haven’t addressed the important topic yet. Why should we prioritize LOL over DOTA 2? The answer is simple. While DOTA 2 and League of Legends have the same type of gameplay, League of Legends has many more competitors and viewers, and this growth trend does not seem to be slowing for quite some time.
With the stakes higher and more players betting, the prize pool is larger than that of DOTA’s. More players equal more money and more corporations investing in League of Legends equals more chances for more money.
Though DOTA 2 has had its run, the new king is League of Legends. With the game racking in billions of dollars a year, millions of viewers and millions of players, there’s no doubt that when you want to bet on a game, you bet on League of Legends.
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