Electronic sports or eSports is the rising star of the entertainment sector, and Vietnam presently holds significant leverage in this high-value business. This form of competitive video gaming sees multiple players battling against each other, typically in teams, usually in tournaments live-streamed to fanatics. For the first time, eSports is part of the list of sports contested at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. That gives bettors a chance to participate in eSports betting in the SEA Games.
In June 2018, the Vietnamese National Assembly passed a bill legalizing the principle of sports betting. Therefore, it is safe to say that online sports betting is legal in Vietnam.
History transpired in the recently concluded 30th SEA Games with the inaugural staging of eSports. The Philippines hosted an eSports event that may prove to be a historical turning point for the industry in the coming years.
Top gamers across the region battled for gold in Dota 2, Mobile Legends, Tekken 7, Arena of Valor, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II. These events have three categories: mobile, console, and PC.
Since its introduction in 1994, the Japanese TEKKEN franchise has become one of the best selling ever. It is known even to individuals with a casual background in fighting games. It was among the first in its genre to employ 3D animation, with the most recent addition (launched in 2018) celebrating more than 4 million copies sold.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Not as successful within western territories, Mobile Legends has a noticeable resemblance to League of Legends. That became a note of controversy resulting in a $2.9 million settlement fee to Riot Games. Nonetheless, the game is well known in Southeast Asia, totaling more than 75 million active players and 500 million downloads as of August 2019.
Arena of Valor
Developed by Timi Studios, Arena of Valor also mirrors the appearance and gameplay of League of Legends. This international adaptation of Wangzhe Rongyao is prevalent in several Southeast Asian territories, where it is published by digital services firm Garena.
Introduced in 2014, Hearthstone loads the setting and characters of Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise into a one vs. one card game. The game is familiar to the players of Magic: The Gathering, only quicker. Even with various rivals in the genre, Hearthstone is still the go-to card game for multi-eSports events.
Dota 2 is among the most celebrated and longest enduring eSports. It is best known for having the industry’s most significant prize pool competition. Its yearly premier tournament, The International, employs a crowdfunding system to finance the winnings, which hit a record total of $34 million in 2019.
The StarCraft franchise is known for significantly popularizing eSports in South Korea as well as the world. Still played more than a decade since its inception, StarCraft II was featured in a showcase tournament, the Intel Extreme Masters PyeongChang, coinciding with the 2018 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) supports this event.
Nine of the 11 participating nations have representatives in the inaugural SEA Games eSports tournament. Only Brunei and Timor-Leste did not compete in eSports. The figure is not surprising, considering that competitive gaming is recording a significant spike in popularity.
The inclusion of eSports in the SEA Games will not fast-track it into the Olympics. However, the fact that gamers now have a chance to win gold, just like figure skaters or gymnasts, is indicative of the industry’s growth in general as well as in Southeast Asia.
The Vietnamese eSports industry is growing at a tremendous pace. The youth quickly learned competitive gaming with much enthusiasm and built gaming communities around their favorite games in internet cafés or schools. With YouTube and Facebook gaining ground in Vietnam, local gaming communities are becoming more connected and growing faster. It is normal to see the locals engaging in online and mobile gaming.
In the upward trend of interactive digital entertainment, eSports is a fundamental component of the new demand among Vietnamese people. eSports fanatic players and viewers comprise a gaming community of well over 32.8 million. They are a significant driving force behind the success of gaming-focused Vietnamese startups such as SohaGame, Appota, VTC, and Garena. Moreover, they have been instrumental in producing the country’s first unicorn startup, Vinagame (VNG).
The Vietnamese gaming industry displays an astounding growth potential, especially regarding eSports. The younger generations and males serve as the main target audience of this industry.
Counter Strike Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2 are among the most famous games. Aside from these three, Crossfire, World of Tanks, and FIFA Online also enjoy great popularity in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese eSports market is booming with the increasing investment of businesses. That includes Vietnam eSports Development JSC (VED) staging a League of Legends championship and VTC Mobile entering into a co-operation with Mobifone to establish the Vietnam Pro League (VPL).
Furthermore, thanks to tech support from giants like YouTube Gaming or Twitch, channels broadcasting pro matches live, such as Vietnam Esports TV (VETV) and small groups, are gradually improving quality.
Betting is the single most important yet under-appreciated opportunity in eSports. eSports betting is a relatively new type of betting. It got off to a slow start but has eventually gained a lot of traction in recent years. With its explosive growth, the global eSports betting market is likely to be worth $30 billion in 2020.
That’s a massive figure, especially considering that eSports remains somewhat under the radar. The existing eSports fanbase is enormous, but it is still nowhere near as big as that of traditional sports like tennis, football, and soccer. Most individuals outside of those fanbases are clueless about what eSports are all about. Consequently, they are not knowledgeable about eSports betting.
For those who are completely new to eSports, it refers to competitive video gaming. Essentially, it is about individuals playing video games against each other in a tournament. It is nothing new in itself since players have been doing it at home ever since the inception of home computers and gaming consoles.
Before you start betting on eSports, you first need to gain a proper understanding of at least some of the video games. Otherwise, it will be impossible to make smart betting decisions. You do not necessarily need to be a legit expert, but you have to understand the ropes of the game, including the strategies.
While you can find a ton of eSports games, most professional tournaments feature only some popular titles. These include Dota 2, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, League of Legends, Call of Duty, StarCraft II, and several others.
You do not have to learn about all the games. However, you should be familiar with any that you wish to wager on. Understanding the format and structure of any eSports tournament you plan to wager on is crucial. It will help you make good betting decisions. There are numerous leagues and tournaments worldwide, but it is best to concentrate on the highest-profile ones to begin.
Some of the major eSports tournaments are Call of Duty Championship, World Electronic Sports Games, League of Legends World Championships, The International Dota2 Championships, and so on. Ultimately, you also need to learn about the participating teams and players.
The debut of eSports in the SEA Games provides more eSports betting opportunities. Vietnamese representatives for eSports in the 2019 SEA Games are as follows:
There are various ways to bet on eSports. Here’s a list of the most common eSports betting options in the SEA Games.
This type of eSports betting is the closest to traditional sports betting. It works pretty similarly as betting on golf tournaments, boxing matches, or football games. You place real money bets at agreed odds and receive the payout if the selections are correct. You can wager on any kind of outcome, including the overall tournament champs and winners of individual matches.
Skin betting or “item betting” is well-known among eSports enthusiasts. Many modern video games feature cryptocurrencies and other items transferrable between players. This property is usually highly sought-after among devoted players. Therefore, several auction and trade websites allow players to purchase, sell, and exchange items and currencies for some of the most popular video games.
Social betting is relatively common within the eSports community. Online contacts or peers place informal bets on the result of events between themselves. These wagers are typically for skins or other items, but they can also be for real money. Both parties agree on the terms and then settle them accordingly.
Challenge betting, also known as head-to-head betting, is where players compete against each other for skins, items, or real money. Many gamers organize bets among themselves and then settle up after their contest is done. Some websites organize things quite more formally where the teams and/or players settle entry fees to join a contest. The winner(s) receive incentives from the proceeds of those fees.