ESports is now the fast-growing segment in online sports betting. Industry observers estimate that the betting market will grow to more than $1.5 billion in 2023. When it comes to the total value of wagers, this industry registered $8 billion in bets in 2018 and it’s estimated that this amount can reach up to $16 billion yearly in the next few years. The trends are looking good for the eSports betting industry and this extends to countries where betting is allowed like India.
In India, there are several factors that help boost its popularity. One of these is the growing number of exciting and competitive eSports games to bet on. Sports fans no longer enjoy these games for friendly competition; amateur and professional tournaments are now hosted year-round that allow real money bets. To fully understand the popularity and growth of eSports betting in India, it’s important to learn more about the popular games that capture the attention and interest of players.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The most popular eSports in the world is also the market leader in India. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooting game that has dominated the industry for years. Introduced in 2000, this asymmetrical shooter game has proven its durability even in the face of competition from emerging eSports games. This game rests on an exciting premise- there are two separate teams, and players choose whether to play as ‘Terrorists’ or ‘Counter-Terrorists’. There are different rounds played in the game, and each side is assigned a set of weapons, strategies, and conditions. There’s a Bomb Defusal mode that’s highly competitive and appeals to players looking for more action. Since players can choose a side and weapons can be customized, Counter-Strike provides punters with an exciting set of betting opportunities.
Although not as popular compared to Counter: Strike, Dota 2 or the Defense of the Ancients still commands a sizeable following in India. Again, this game comes with two teams composed of five players with the ultimate objective of destroying a structure called ‘Ancient’. First released in 2013, Dota instantly became popular thanks to its gameplay and the use of iconic heroes that players use and train. Aside from the exciting gameplay and more than 100 heroes to choose from, Dota 2 is popular among punters and eSports players thanks to several lucrative tournaments. The most popular Dota 2 tournament is the Dota 2 International that boasts massive prize pools, often exceeding $30 million! With many Indian eSports players participating in these tournaments, you can expect that this game will continue to gain ground in the Indian online betting market.
If battle royale rocks your boat, then Fortnite should be on your list. This is another popular game among Indian eSports fans and offers exciting betting possibilities. There are three distinct game mode versions that you can play with the Fortnite Battle Royale as the most exciting option for many. Just like in other games, this game mode allows you to compete with 99 other players to become the last man standing.
Also, Epic Games released the Fortnite Creative where participants can create battle arenas and worlds where they can play and compete. Just like Counter-Strike and Dota 2, Fortnite is also played in different tournaments. The most recent addition to the growing number of tournaments is the Fortnite World Cup where a 16-year old player took home $3 million in cash!
Call of Duty
This is an emerging game that’s also gaining popularity in India. Although it cannot compete just yet with Counter-Strike, this game is making its presence felt. The nice thing about Call of Duty is that players are given options on how to play and participate. It comes with a Multiplayer and Ranked Match modes and there are season passes too that can help players participate in different types of matches using a variety of weapons.
Just like Fortnite, Call of Duty also features the Battle Royale. In this game mode, players can participate individually, with a partner, and as part of a four-man team. Again, the objective in Battle Royale is to become the last man or team standing.
These are some of the leading eSports games that are popular among Indian eSports players and punters. The games are now played on different platforms, and there are several tournaments in place that showcase these games. With an increasing number of games introduced in the market and with lucrative prize pools in tournaments, we can expect a brighter future for eSports betting in India.