GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 49 - April 2021

The esports vertical continues to thrive. With new markets, evolving technology and increasing player participation, now is the time for affiliates to take notice. Is Esports Ready to Erupt? BY MAXIM ISHUNIN, Head of Business Development 1xBet in Latin America relatively new phenomenon, esports has already managed to transform public perception. So- ciety no longer perceives it as mere fun for children. The popularity of individual teams and esports players has skyrocketed, with brands such as OG and Team Liquid well known to hundreds of thousands of casual players. And the players involved invest a lot in esports. Millions of fans watch matches, and large brands are investing in this actively expanding sector. For a long time, esports was in the shadow of other sports, but today the situation has changed. Perhaps this was influenced by the events of the past year — the cancellations of sports tournaments, postponements of matches and empty stands. In contrast, esports competitions were held with enviable regular- ity, and the size of online audiences broke records. Of course, large bookmaker companies, such as 1xBet, had to pay proper attention to esports. 1xBet has long been working on continually developing esports and is rightfully acknowledged as one of the most progressive brands. In 2020, we were deemed “Esports Operator of the Year” at the prestigious SBC Awards. This honor came as no surprise to industry insiders as the brand’s combination of diligence and innovation has continually brought success. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 34