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Games that Changed eSports Betting Forever

By Hank Blaine

One of the fastest rising betting options, eSports popularity continues to gain. When we think about eSports, six games come to mind. Keep reading to discover why the following six games changed eSports betting forever.

6 Games that Changed the World of eSports Betting

League of Legends – Kia gets involved

The first eSports competition happened in 1972, but eSports betting didn’t take off until the 2010’s. The game that started it all was League of Legends.

Created by Riot Games, League of Legends released in 2009. By 2010, LoL tournaments, especially in South Korea, had begun to become popular. Soon, sports bettors could wager on League of Legends’ matches.

Eventually, South Korean organizations like Kia got involved to add to League of Legends, and eSports, legitimacy. DWG Kia became the top LoL team, which has led to other corporate entities getting involved in eSports.

Dota 2 – Elon Musk creates an AI team

eSports fans recognize The International as one of the world’s top tournaments. The real reason is that the prize pool for The International is the largest in the world.

When Elon Musk was the head of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, Musk developed a Dota 2 AI team. In 2018, Musk entered the team into The International.

Although the AI squad lost, Musk’s involvement put Dota 2 on the map. Not only that, but the AI team opened the door to further advancements in artificial intelligence. So we can thank Dota 2 for ChatGPT.

Counterstrike CS:GO – Becomes part of the eSports Triumvirate

Counterstrike hasn’t had the same impact that Dota 2 and LoL have had on eSports betting. But in one way, CS:GO is more important than either.

The reason is because Counterstrike is popular in Europe and the United States. Sports betting is more prevalent in the U.S. and Europe than it is in Asia.

When CS:GO became popular it became popular for sports bettors. We can’t underestimate the significance of Counterstrike’s impact. Without Counterstrike, LoL and Dota 2 may have continued to be mostly tournament and fan-based.

Sports betting requires sports bettors. eSports is no different. CS:GO leaped into the top eSports category due to eSports handicappers, which makes it one of the most significant, if not the most significant, eSport in history.

Overwatch – Professional U.S. sports franchise owners get involved

Blizzard Entertainment created the Overwatch League like a traditional sports league. In 2016, Blizzard invited Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, and Stan Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams, to a Overwatch league pitch.

Kraft ended up creating Boston Uprising and Kroenke created the Los Angeles Gladiators. Comcast Spectacor, which owns the NHL Philadelphia Stars, owns and runs the Seoul Inferno.

So many heavy hitters mean the Overwatch League isn’t going anywhere. It also means that the Overwatch League has already and will continue to build upon the corporate ownership eSport model that first adopted by DWG Kia.

Valorant – Riot looks to build on League of Legends’ success

Riot is a smart company. The games organization saw the success that League of Legends had and instead of resting on their laurels, created an eSports first game, Valorant, in 2019. Riot released Valorant in 2020.

Valorant continues to expand. The Valorant Champions Tour 2023 is worldwide. Matches happen in almost every region on the planet. Riot created Valorant as an eSport first, which makes it unique and important in eSports betting history.

Call of Duty – The highest-grossing video game franchise of all time becomes an eSport

Call of Duty has surpassed Nintendo’s Mario Brothers and Pokemon as the highest-grossing video game franchise of all time. As of January 2023, Call of Duty has grossed $30 billion dollars.

Turning the most popular video game into an eSport is massive. Because the Call of Duty League is so young, it's difficult to know exactly what impact it will have.

But we shouldn’t be surprised if in the next few years Call of Duty becomes the biggest eSport in the world.

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