How Online Casinos Can Engage a Bigger eSports Fan Base
In recent years, the gulf that traditionally existed between the worlds of land-based casinos and fantasy sports leagues has been considerably narrowed. Due to rapid technological advancements, the increased accessibility of smart mobile devices, and environmental factors such as COVID-19, we've seen many land-based gaming venues close down, only to be replaced with online casino platforms.
Similarly, exponential growth in the developing eSports industry has also triggered mass migration online, with eSports bettors and casual casino gamers now occupying the same spaces on the web. In this article, we'll consider the convergence of the online casino and eSports industries and take a look at some sure-fire strategies that gaming operators can apply to bridge the ever-decreasing gap between these two user bases.
The Growing Link Between Online Casinos & eSports
Although virtual sports tournaments may seem like a somewhat modern phenomenon, eSports has existed in one way or another since 1978. In this year, the first large-scale competitive gaming tournament was held, with thousands of players competing for the title of champion of the Atari arcade classic Space Invaders. Since then, the eSports industry has become increasingly sophisticated and incredibly popular in major territories such as Australia and the United States.
Today, both professional and casual players compete in public tournaments based on an incredible section of games, from popular video game titles to realistic fantasy sports leagues. Typically, eSports tend to revolve around casual games, fighting games, first-person shooter games, multiplayer online battle arena games, and sports simulation games. Similarly, the online casino industry has come in leaps and bounds since its first major boom in the 1990s.
It now encompasses almost every classic casino game imaginable, with advancements in blockchain, AI, and VR tech providing a more realistic and authentic casino gaming experience than ever before. Due to the inherently competitive nature of both online casino games and eSports (and the fact that both largely rely on the same technologies to execute their services), it's no surprise that the two industries intersect more with each passing year. But what strategies can top online casino sites take to engage eSports fans better and boost their player base in 2023?
Casinos with Diverse eSports Section Have an Advantage
In the rapidly evolving landscape of the gaming industry, casinos that have integrated a diverse eSports section undoubtedly stand out from the crowd. As the realm of eSports has grown, top-rated, safe, and trusted casino sites have recognized its global appeal and massive fan base.
By transitioning from niche to mainstream entertainment over the years, the best Canadian online casinos that adapt to include a wide range of eSports events not only cater to classic casino players, but also attract a younger, tech-savvy audience. Such diversity not only enhances the overall user experience but also positions these casinos as modern, forward-thinking establishments. Embracing eSports provides a competitive edge, ensuring these casinos remain relevant and appealing in a saturated market.
Hosting eSports Tournaments
Another tried and tested strategy for diversifying services and attracting the eSports demographic is providing in-house access to eSports events. This could include competitions like tournaments and 'knockouts,' get-togethers, conventions, and meet-ups for like-minded players to mix and compete with each other.
Online casinos, by ensuring usage of league tables and ranking systems, will be better equipped to appeal to the many eSports fans who approach their gaming with a competitive edge. This should also encourage new users to sign up with the specific casino platform in order to earn a top spot on the leaderboard.
Incorporating Sports Betting Services
While much of the competitive eSports market may be based on the game genres listed previously in this article, there's no denying that real sports betting and eSports are intrinsically linked. This is especially true for eSports tournaments based on sports simulation games and fantasy sports leagues, which often attract players with up-to-date working knowledge of sports odds, teams, and forecasted outcomes. By merging online casino and eSports services with safe and trustworthy sports betting options, operators will likely attract a wider base of players and add a degree of authenticity to their platform, at least from the perspective of prospective eSports bettors.
Offering Comprehensive eSports Coverage
Because a relative lack of recent media coverage has been criticized by some eSports tournament gamers, online casinos should be able to gain an advantage for their platforms by providing extensive coverage of the latest eSports news, including upcoming events. In a sense, providing media coverage of the eSports scene is even more simple than hosting events. Shining a light on currently underserved or underreported aspects of the eSports world will appeal to new and existing eSports competitors.
Competitive Bonuses & Promotions
Bonuses and promotions have always been a key tool online casinos use to attract and retain new players, and eSports platforms are no different. If anything, the ready-made bonuses and promotions that are likely already employed by online casinos (such as no deposit bonuses, deposit match bonuses, free spins, and referral bonuses) are perfect for attracting eSports enthusiasts.
For maximum results, casino operators should try to do a little market research and tweak their bonus selection to better accommodate eSports players with competitive bonuses. These could consist of regular casino bonuses or specialized offers, such as free tournament entry, that could be better suited to eSports fans.
The Anticipated Combo of eSports, Sports Betting, and Online Casino Platforms
In the near future, we'll likely see increased integration between online casinos, competitive video gaming platforms, eSports tournaments, and real sports betting sites. While this amalgamation of services can be extremely tricky to achieve (depending on the gaming laws and regulations), reformed or relaxed laws will likely emerge to help operators bridge the gap between these separate player bases.
As more and more iGaming platforms employ emerging technologies to provide a better user experience and depth of service (this could include metaverse tech and VR-optimised game content), the divisions that exist between these markets melt away altogether. Whatever the future holds for the iGaming sector, we're pretty sure that integrated eSports / online casino services will play a key role.