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eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming
eSports – The Rise of
Competitive Video Gaming
Brett Abarbanel, Ph.D.
UCLA Gambling Studies Program
University of California, Los Angeles
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
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)
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
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
Gambling on eSports
eSportsbook
Daily Fantasy eSports
Game-mediated betting
Head-to-head betting
Gambling in eSports
Image Courtesy of Dr. Daniel King, University of Adelaide
Gambling themes in-game - Slot machines,
Borderlands 2
Gambling in Video Games
Professional teams
Levels of training
Tournament Organization
Sport Psychology
Ethics in eSports
Performance-enhancing drugs
Etiquette and BM-ing
Competition – Sport and Gaming
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
Hearthstone
Transform into a random minion
Discover mechanic
Attack/Damage a random minion
Deal randomly-distributed
damage
Game Mechanics - Gambling
“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
BlizzCon Hearthstone Exhibition –
Poker Player Match-up
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
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
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…
Questions? Comments?
Brett Abarbanel
BAbarbanel@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-9942
eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming

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eSports: The rise of competitive video gaming

  • 2. eSports – The Rise of Competitive Video Gaming Brett Abarbanel, Ph.D. UCLA Gambling Studies Program University of California, Los Angeles
  • 3. 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
  • 4. 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)
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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
  • 9. Image Courtesy of Dr. Daniel King, University of Adelaide Gambling themes in-game - Slot machines, Borderlands 2 Gambling in Video Games
  • 10. Professional teams Levels of training Tournament Organization Sport Psychology Ethics in eSports Performance-enhancing drugs Etiquette and BM-ing Competition – Sport and Gaming
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Hearthstone Transform into a random minion Discover mechanic Attack/Damage a random minion Deal randomly-distributed damage Game Mechanics - Gambling
  • 13. “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
  • 14. BlizzCon Hearthstone Exhibition – Poker Player Match-up
  • 15. 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
  • 16. 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
  • 17. 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…