eSports is huge right now and it continues to grow year over year. The timing couldn’t be any more perfect given this new pandemic landscape we’re living in, plus the explosion in sports gambling.
eSports easily lend themselves to being wagered on, and this industry is growing and evolving right along with the sports betting industry. Dota 2 is one of the leaders in the space, forming a big three alongside Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.
If you look at the upcoming schedule of Dota 2 matches, you can see the most updated odds on the eSport. When it comes to Dota 2, The International is where you want to be, as it’s an annual championship competition with a big money jackpot. The most recent edition, held in Suntec Singapore in October, had a total purse of just under $19 million for this five on five eSport event.
While that is a big chunk of change, the event held in the previous year, in Bucharest, Romania had a take of over $40,000,000. With such lucrative payouts, the stakes are always very high and that of course, attracts eyeballs.
Most of the media coverage of Dota 2 matches, The International and eSports in general centers around Twitch, the live streaming app and social media service.
With Facebook obviously long passe, Twitter in serious decline and Instagram having likely seen its best days behind them, now could be the time for Twitch to rise as the next big social media app. It’s also interesting to see the Pacific Northwest as an epicenter for this kind of thing.
From 2012-17, every edition of The International was held in Seattle, Washington (USA) meaning six of 12 (or literally half) of all the Internationals ever were staged in the emerald city. The next year, 2018, it was staged just 140 miles north in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).
If there is one thing we know about the Pacific Northwest, it excels in producing industrial innovation that rises to an imperial scope.
Microsoft, Nike and Starbucks are three such examples. It’s a trend-setter too, given Seattle’s rich history in music. Maybe The International and/or Dota 2 are The Next Big Thing to grow up in Seattle, and then take off.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.