Although the esports space has expanded significantly in recent years, it continues to be primarily dominated by three main titles, with Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) the market leader.

For Esports Technologies’ Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Bart Barden, however, this may not last, as new releases could emerge to challenge the triple monopoly of CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends.

Discussing esports betting developments with SBC Media’s Erin Gallagher at Betting on Sports Europe, Barden shared his predictions for the future development of the space whilst also outlining Esports Technologies’ operations, including its leveraging of Aspire Global’s B2C divisions and its targeting of the European market.

“In Esports, people are wagering on three main games – CS:GO is probably the leader, there’s League of Legends and Dota 2. They tend to have almost the majority – around 85% of 80% of betting happens there. 

“The interesting fact that I like to use, of that 85%, only 47% of all the views – if you take all the Twitch broadcasts and all the YouTube broadcasts – are on those same games.

“In five years, given that, there’s got to be a game like Fortnite or Valorant, which tends to be a very popular game, or maybe sports games like FIFA or NBA2K, will come up and challenge that big three.”

“CS:GO will always be big – it’s a great tournament and a great competitive game, but I definitely think that in the next five years there will be one or two games that will become much more popular.”

Looking forward into the new year, Gallagher enquired as to what Barden’s predictions were for the continued growth of the sports betting industry, with the interviewee dividing his answer to cover both wider traditional betting and the expanding esports wagering scene.

“I think in general, given what we’re seeing in popularity and people coming out of COVID, I think 2022 will see some innovations come up at the end of the year,” he said. “There’s already people working on certain things – I think you’re going to see a cool set of innovations come out of the space. 

“There hasn’t been one since mobile betting or cash out features, everyones been forced to consolidate themselves with COVID and I think you’re going to see much greater opening of innovation.”

On the esports element of betting, Barden predicted that the popularity and reach of the sector will continue to grow, strengthening its foothold in new markets outside its core base of Europe – with the US pointed to as a key example of this. 

Commenting on Esports Technologies’ operations and corporate ambitions, Barden explained the firm’s approach to the European market as a US-based operator, as well as its leveraging of Aspire Global’s assets.

Earlier this month, Esports Technologies completed its full acquisition of Aspire’s B2B assets, with the COO stating at BOSE prior to the finalisation that the units had granted the firm access to several European markets where it was previously inactive.

“With a lot of the news that we’ve had and with esports being much more regulated in Europe, we’re actually very focused on the European market instead of the US,” Barden commented on the company’s European focus.

“We’re a US company but we’re actually looking to drive a lot of our business related to esports betting into Europe, and some of the things that we’re doing with the Aspire assets that we’ve worked on is pushing that forward.”

Bart Barden of Esports Technologies on challengers to the status quo