NEW YORK, March 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With the gaming industry having more of an online and mobile presence, esports are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the industry. The future of gaming is currently being determined by the whims of Gen Z, which seems to be pointing towards users being more likely to engage in esports rather than traditional sports. With lockdowns occurring around the world due to the world health crisis, individuals have had to turn to activities that socially distance them from others. With esports platforms not being impacted by these new regulations, they were able to carry on as normal. Even prior to the world health crisis, predictions were saying that esports would become even more mainstream and lead the gaming industry. Companies such as Real Luck Group Ltd, "Luckbox", (TSXV:LUCK), Golden Nugget Gaming (NASDAQ:GNOG), Rush Street Interactive (NYSE:RSI), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO), and Enthusiast Gaming (TSX:EGLX) (OTCQB:ENGMF) have seen waves of change with the growth of esports thus far in 2021.
Real Luck Group Ltd, "Luckbox", (TSXV:LUCK) observed the spike in players shifting from betting on sports to esports in 2020, and, by moving quickly, managed to add 500% more new customers to its esports betting platform. In early February, Luckbox also noted an increase in esports activity prior to the IEM Katowice International Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) esports tournament that was set to take place. In a previous year, this tournament drew in more 1 million viewers, which further suggests the rise of esports in recent years.
Luckbox CEO Quentin Martin has said, "esports betting, which essentially uses the same licensing and infrastructure as the existing traditional sports betting industry, offers the potential for higher profits and has barriers to entry from the betting models."
For the 2021 CS:GO tournament, Luckbox was focused on customer acquisition. The company's strategy included offering a IEM Katowice bonus and free bets for both existing and new customers. With the IEM Katowice tournament being one of the major highlights for the esports platform, it is a great opportunity to acquire users.
Luckbox COO Thomas Rosander stated, "we have committed a budget of at least CAD$2 million to user acquisition this year with a healthy part allocated for near future activities. In previous years, Luckbox has seen a spike in betting activity around IEM Katowice, and this year we are going to capitalize on the opportunity again."
Other Platforms Commence Advances in Esports and Online Gaming
Enthusiast Gaming (TSX:EGLX) (OTCQB:ENGMF) announced in mid-February that it has signed with nine leading video game fan communities. Enthusiast Gaming has been noted to have over 300 million gamers on a monthly basis, as well as the world's largest social network for esports fans. Furthermore, video game fan communities are noted as the leading factors behind Enthusiast Gaming's platform. With the new additions, Enthusiast Gaming is looking forward to creating more content for its dedicated gaming and esports fans.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO), most recently honoured by Forbes Travel as a leader in the industry, hosted a three-day esports event in December 2020. The esports event took place at Macau's City of Dreams, with a total of 50 competitors in the "GBA Sim Racing Grand Prix 2020 Grand Final". Melco recognized esports as an "emerging new generation sport and entertainment experience." Melco also commended its commitment to the expansion of esports by paving the path for local players to participate in future tournaments.
While not technically esports, Rush Street (NYSE:RSI) did announce the launch of its online social gaming and social sportsbook platform in the summer of 2020. In partnership with the Coushatta Casino Resort in Louisiana, Rush Street has been operating the Coushatta Casino4Fun site. This platform is powered by the same technology that is also used to operate Rush Street's real money gaming sites.
Golden Nugget Gaming (NASDAQ:GNOG), a well known online gaming and digital sports entertainment establishment, not too long ago mentioned its future potential for growth in the online gaming space. The company released its full-year 2020 results on February 8, announcing that it had managed a 63% year-over-year increase, from $55.4 million in 2019 to $90-91 million in 2020.
Given the current world circumstances, there is both excitement and skepticism around the revolution of iGaming and esports, but both are proving to be considerable alternatives at this time, and companies like Luckbox are in a good position to capitalize from these growing trends.
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