eSports

eSports

Evolution is a must for survival

Looking at global trends in entertainment over the past five years, one thing is clear: traditional pastimes need to change if they’re to keep appealing to younger generations.

 

In the brutal fight for eyeballs and engagement from the key 18-35 demographic, traditional pastimes such as watching or taking part in sports, or gambling in a brick-and-mortar casino are losing out, struggling to keep pace with the surging popularity of Esports and iGaming. These new industries are threatening to re-shape the entertainment landscape for good.

 

Last year, the Esport Free Fire World series 2021 Singapore recorded a peak viewership of 5.41 million. These figures, crucially, do not include the event’s largest market, China, where viewing data is not available but where almost a billion people have access to the internet. If you don’t already know, Free Fire is a battle royale game which sees 50 players fight it out on a huge island map.

 

These figures are no surprise to anyone who pays attention to entertainment trends. Free Fire was the most downloaded game worldwide in both 2019 and 2020, surpassing over 1 billion downloads on Google by mid-2021. The company stated that they saw a peak of 150 million active users in 2021.

 

That a gaming tournament would generate these audiences might seem staggering to the older generations, who can’t comprehend why people would be interested in watching people shooting animated characters with fantastical weapons. However, for young people, they see no difference between this and, say, ‘America’s pastime’ baseball.

 

Interest in traditional sports such as baseball remains strong, yet fairly static. 14.3 million viewers tuned into Game 6 of the 2021 World Series – and comparable figures can be seen for the past few years. When you consider that Free Fire was only released in 2017 (whereas the first official baseball game was played in 1846) and take into account that the average age of the viewer is significantly younger than baseball, the indicators are that Esports will become a real rival in the coming years, and may well become a dominant force in the future.

 

Increasingly, ‘brick and mortar’ casinos and their traditional online counterparts are being shunned for the exciting word of crypto igaming. Prior to 2021, the mean age of visitors to Las Vegas was progressively getting older (19% of visitors in 2019 were over the age of 65, this was up from 12% just 3 years prior). Older generations hold a romantic affinity to Vegas, remaining loyal to their entertainment and gaming venues. This historic loyalty is not being passed down to the younger generations who are turning to online igaming, and specifically crypto casinos as their gaming providers of choice.

 

Because of this, venues such as the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino – Vegas’ oldest casino (founded in 1906) – are resorting to new initiatives such as ‘dancing dealers’ which they say will ‘turn up the heat on your table’ to bring in more customers. This echoes the ‘Party Pits’ seen in other established casinos, where scantily clad women dance on podiums while the customers play Blackjack where the pay-outs are even worse than on the traditional tables.

 

These gimmicks fundamentally misunderstand what younger generations increasingly want – an experience which not only provides them with fun, but the security, transparency and choice that they demand.

 

The fresh new visions of crypto casinos like Roobet, which has become the fastest growing site of its kind, are taking the industry by storm. They are thriving exactly because they understand what drives these younger consumers, and it delivers it in a bright, bold and immersive world. With hundreds of innovative igames, Roobet offers the type of gaming variety that traditional, physical casinos cannot.

 

An example of where crypto casinos offer an experience beyond what physical casinos can only dream of is in the field of “live betting” which is taking the industry by storm. Live betting on Esports matches (and even baseball games) where the lines are so fluid and constantly moving is near-on impossible in a physical casino. Customers would lose out because they simply would not be able to follow the fast-moving games, while watching every bet being made and responding quick enough.

 

Platforms like Roobet were born from the gamer community and so truly understand this. Along with others in the igaming space, Roobet have created a platform which delivers on the promise of genuine live betting by enabling countless bets to be passed back and forth and entered/closed out in real-time throughout a match. This makes for a far more fun and entertaining experience, and it’s also more secure for the customer.

 

Blockchain innovations also allow these crypto casinos to offer a superior customer service which aligns with the wants and needs of a new generation of igaming and Esports.

 

The decentralisation and open-source transparency of the blockchain means that sites like Roobet can provide odds which are totally transparent – all users know what they’re going to win, and that they’re not subject to the tricks that some conventional sites are guilty of.

 

They also provide the reassurance of not holding credit card details, a key selling point to the 18-35 bracket who better understand the risks posed online and are more cautious because of it.

 

If Vegas and traditional online gaming sites want to turn the tide and appeal to younger generations then they need to innovate and change, just as sports need to adapt to compete with Esports. If they don’t, consumers will shift away from the likes of Major League Baseball and the MGM Casino, instead opting for games like Free Fire and shifting to crypto casino sites like Roobet where technology meets their needs for fun, novelty, and security.

Crypto Casinos: A Change in the Landscape

Our human and technical landscape is in a constant state of flux.  Ideas that are generated by the human brain and increasingly through artificial intelligence, revolve, metamorphose, and adapt.  In the mist of this dynamic landscape is the ever-changing world of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies are developing at an incredible speed. Every day, more and more options for their practical application emerge onto this changing landscape. 

Cryptocurrencies, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos, and Litecoin, “only exist digitally” and use a “decentralized system to record transactions and manage the issuance of new units”. Since their emergence in 2009, they’ve been a boon to entrepreneurs, investors, and small business owners, facilitating more streamlined, secure, and flexible transactions. According to Fundera, more than 2,300 US businesses, including Paypal, Sotherbys and Starbucks accept bitcoin. Some of the most reputable charities in the world including the Salvation Army and Save the Children encourage donations in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in the firm belief that crypto can be a force for good. 

In the same way, one of the most important industries this innovative technology has penetrated is gaming. Creative and new opportunities harnessing this agile space have led various companies in the estimated $1bn esports industry to sign lucrative deals with crypto-focused platforms like Bybit and Crypto.com. There are a number of inventive and forward-thinking businesses, such as Roobet, that have worked to create new and accessible online crypto gambling spaces. They’re called Crypto Casinos. 

Based solely online, these spaces allow members to privately play for entertainment. Everything is transacted seamlessly using cryptocurrencies, which is one of the reasons why people like myself see these as an extension or evolution of physical casinos. The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology allows users to see that games are safe and fair. Cryptocurrency transactions are registered within the framework of blockchain technology, increasing the levels of trust in operators and there is less room for foul play. 

Now players, like the OASIS gamers in Steven Spielberg’s futuristic blockbuster Ready Player One, can beam themselves into a virtual chamber from the safety and comfort of their homes. Crypto casinos can also be seen as another step towards the metaverse – a fascinating but somewhat nebulous destination that has widely been described as the future of the internet.

Of course, everyone doesn’t think this way. Radical change – in any context – is hardly (if ever) embraced by those who are invested in the status quo. Accordingly, crypto casinos, much like cryptocurrencies, have mostly been criticised for pushing the envelope too quickly. Indeed, there’s a tendency for some to portray all crypto innovators as daredevils flying too close to the sun. The reality, I would suggest though, is quite the opposite. Everything on this crypto geared landscape is in flux and it’s in our interest to experiment, explore – and in doing so – advance. 

Power Snooker joins the E-sports revolution


Power Snooker, a faster and dynamic brother sport to traditional Snooker, is now available on smart phones. The Power Snooker App which incorporates The Power Pool App can be downloaded from Apple Store or Google Play for free.

The popular app, which has been downloaded over 600,000 times, is just the start for Power Snooker Group, who are hoping to make this into a fully competitive E-sport in its own right. With tournament-style play built into the new version they are very close to achieving this vision.

Costas A Joannou, the Chairman of Power Snooker, explained that, “E-sports are a rapidly growing sector with huge potential – games such as Counter Strike and League of Legends pull in millions of viewers both online and in live tournamentsWe want to support innovation in cue sports, and one of the ways we can do this is to look at how the landscape of sport is changing, supporting new platforms and greater connectivity E-sports open up new avenues for generating revenue,” Costas added, “We are already in talks with betting companies who want to purchase a licence to the game, and the potential for sponsorship, streaming donations and of course live events is massive.”

“Our goal in the long run is for audiences to have multiple ways to play and watch Power Snooker.” Costas said, “We want cue sports to be something for everyone, whether you are playing Power Snooker in a club, on your phone or in a VR headset.”

Costas finished by saying that, “We have an excellent team of developers working on our App and I am confident that they can bring this ambitious vision to fruition.”

If you would like to find out more about Power Snooker, the sport, it’s game apps or PowerSnookerCoin, visit https://www.powersnooker.com/

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Lockdown esports boom sees Luckbox prepare to go public on TSXV


Booming business during the COVID-19 lockdown has accelerated one company’s plans to go public.

Luckbox – an esports betting platform – has reported a “huge uptick in KPIs” during the first half of 2020.

The company is now preparing to go public on the TSX Venture Exchange after signing a letter of intent with capital pool company Elephant Hill (TSX-V: EH.P).

With much of the world’s population in lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the esports industry is among the few sectors to thrive.

While almost all traditional sport has been interrupted by the pandemic, esports – pro video game matches – are able to continue online.

This has been welcome news for Luckbox, with total bets up 500% since lockdown started.

Luckbox CEO Quentin Martin said: “All of our key performance indicators have been through the roof in the past three months. We’ve seen a huge uptick in KPIs across the board.

“Clearly, these are challenging times for many people across the world but, for many, esports and gaming is a welcome distraction.

“As well as an increase in customers and betting activity, we’ve seen a huge level of interest from potential investors, who are realising that esports is resilient to many of the forces that affect traditional sports, not least COVD-19 and a potential recession.”

Esports is regarded as the sport with highest growth potential and the industry as a whole has been one of the few sectors to succeed during lockdown. Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch reported an 80% increase of concurrent viewership since January, while gaming platform Steam reported record concurrent users.

Ahead of the potential public listing, Luckbox is engaging investors during a short funding round led by Gravitas Securities and Beacon Securities.

Luckbox, which is based in the Isle of Man, has been accepting bets from customers in more than 100 territories for just over a year.

The company holds a full gambling licence and offers real-money wagering on popular games such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, Overwatch, FIFA and NBA2K.

Martin said: “The potential of esports betting is well documented and these past few months have brought that into sharper focus, accelerating the numbers.

“Many fans of traditional sports have been exposed to the excitement of esports for the first time and, hopefully, they like what they see and will be sticking around.”

About Luckbox

Luckbox offers legal, real-money betting, live streams and stats on 13 esports. Luckbox was built by a team combining vast experience in the igaming industry and a passion for esports to offer players a unique and legal CS:GO betting, Dota 2 and League of Legends betting. Real Time Games Holding Limited – the company behind the Luckbox brand – holds a full licence under the Online Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA), issued by the Gaming Supervision Commission. Luckbox is committed to supporting responsible gambling.

Pictures: CEO Quentin Martin, the Luckbox website

Contact: For more information or interview requests, email: james.mcmath@luckbox.com

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How TourGame uses big data analytics for eSports in global market


There’s been an explosive growth in esports popularity over recent years, fuelled by mobile games specifically designed with online tournament such as Dota 2 and League of Legend. Many esports communities started to prosper in a digital ecosystem. In the digital esports world, collecting large amounts of structured data is no mean task – but it is worth the effort.

Like any other sport, winning doesn’t just depend on skill, dedication and luck. Strategy and analysis of past performance often play an essential role in success. Data collection, aggregation, and analytics lead to highly scalable business models, especially in a dynamic digital industry. As a result, big data analytics becomes economically relevant in esports.

TourGame, one of the leading gaming and eSports platform provider, has seized the opportunity to enhance their eSports platform with an AI-supported analytic tool to assess hundreds of data points collected from digitally recorded games. With big data analytics in esports, players and teams are able to leverage their information in ways that were not possible before. The tool provides useful statistics, identify weaknesses of competitor players and teams and predict the likelihood of an opponent’s next move in any given situation. Players, coaches and teams are eagerly investing in this tool for valuable information to give them a competitive edge.

Just as data analytics with traditional sports, big data analytics is vital for esports today and in the future. TourGame strives to continue its mission to shape the future of eSports using big data analytics and data protection technology and infrastructure.

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