The big winner in sports betting during 2020’s year of empty stadiums was esports. Professional video game competitions were for several months the only events available to sports fans and betting enthusiasts. In 2021, esports is being brought into the fold of legitimate business as Morgan Stanley and Wall Street speculators give their blessings.
With the rise and fall of Gamestop stock in February, investors are beginning to see the power of casual day traders culturally steeped in the gaming world. The impact social media has on market fluctuations is now directing further attention to esport stock. Investors are looking at esports tournament hosts like Esports Entertainment Group, as well as bookmakers with significant esports options in their sportsbooks.
Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen has publicly changed his position on esports investment after overall 2020 sports betting revenue in the US was 50% greater than forecasted, topping $3 billion. With esports carrying the torch for all of Q2, traditional investment strategists are betting on competitive gaming within the realm of stable growth.
Some fear Wall Street is one step behind where esports betting is concerned. While esports audiences grew exponentially in 2020, so did the assortments of bookmakers offering betting options. Fears of market saturation have already been voiced at the executive level by operators like Pinnacle.
However, the esports gains in 2020 have largely been retained, and the Gamestop phenomenon speaks to a new demographic active in the market. As more fans are brought into the fold, idiosyncrasies and all, traditional investment will be given a fresh update.