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eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming

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eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming

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Joint Session:
eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming
Dr. Brett Abarbanel, University of California, Los Angeles

Presented at the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, February 1-3, 2016

Joint Session:
eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming
Dr. Brett Abarbanel, University of California, Los Angeles

Presented at the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, February 1-3, 2016

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eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming

  1. 1. eSports – The Rise of Competitive Video Gaming Brett Abarbanel, Ph.D. UCLA Gambling Studies Program University of California, Los Angeles
  2. 2. What are eSports? eSports = “electronic sports” Competitive video gaming Variety of styles Team v. Team, 1 v. 1, individual performance Core of eSports is similar to the industry from which it derives its name
  3. 3. Industry Growth Total eSports industry is estimated at ~US$325M ~67.4% YoY growth from 2014 Biggest markets: US and China North America, China, and South Korea make up ~61% of eSports revenues (Newzoo, 2015; Eilers Research, 2015)
  4. 4. Estimated US$315M wagered in 2015 Projected US$23.5B by 2020 eSports are Pinnacle’s 7th biggest market in terms of volume Occasional eSports viewers and eSports enthusiasts are twice as likely to gamble in online casinos and/or on real-time sporting events Industry Growth
  5. 5. Broadcasting on regional and national channels in South Korea, Germany, UK, France, US “Heroes of the Dorm” on ESPN2 in April 2015 January 2016 – ESPN adds eSports to front page newsfeed Blizzard buys MLG for US$46M 2015 League of Legends World Championship Viewership: 36M viewers Full Tilt Poker FTP available on Steam platform Sponsorship of G2 eSports (LoL eSports, 2015 Newzoo, 2015) Industry Growth
  6. 6. Gambling on eSports eSportsbook Daily Fantasy eSports
  7. 7. Game-mediated betting Head-to-head betting Gambling in eSports
  8. 8. Image Courtesy of Dr. Daniel King, University of Adelaide Gambling themes in-game - Slot machines, Borderlands 2 Gambling in Video Games
  9. 9. Professional teams Levels of training Tournament Organization Sport Psychology Ethics in eSports Performance-enhancing drugs Etiquette and BM-ing Competition – Sport and Gaming
  10. 10. Defining gambling Risking something of value on an event whose outcome is in doubt RNG functions Proc Crit Deal rand([x y]) damage Game Mechanics - Gambling
  11. 11. Hearthstone Transform into a random minion Discover mechanic Attack/Damage a random minion Deal randomly-distributed damage Game Mechanics - Gambling
  12. 12. “Wizard Poker” Skill transference Competitive strategy games Sometimes with randomness involved Bluffing (and calling bluffs), going “all in” Negative behaviours Tilting/Getting Salty Poker branding already appearing in Hearthstone Gaming and Poker – the Example of Hearthstone
  13. 13. BlizzCon Hearthstone Exhibition – Poker Player Match-up
  14. 14. Potential Liabilities No universal/standardized rules or oversight Average salaries lower than most sport Player age Advertisements - Twitch Integrity Concerns Tournament self-reporting Match-fixing General CSR and Health Time on device, Time spectating Integrating RG Practices
  15. 15. Unikrn Competitive Integrity Certification program Player code of conduct Standards for investigating possible violations Specific rules tailored to both LAN and online-based events Integrating RG Practices - Unikrn
  16. 16. eSports and gambling are converging Industries meet…and explode Game components overlap Gambling components in video games Gaming components in gambling games Needs a unique approach to responsible gaming/gambling eSports contains both old and new RG issues To sum it all up…
  17. 17. Questions? Comments? Brett Abarbanel BAbarbanel@mednet.ucla.edu 310-206-9942

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