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Author: Nicolas Morel

All Bets Are on in New Markets and the Premier League Will Win

Liverpool Football Club Fans in Kuala Lumpur

Gambling legislation is changing in several jurisdictions around the world, and once all the legalities are in place the English Premier League and the most popular English clubs will be huge on betting in these new markets.

 
The online bookmakers are focusing on some new markets where sports betting is now opening up due to regulation. The US, Brazil, India and Sweden are the front runners in this new era of football betting in countries away from the traditional markets. For countries that don’t have a strong local championship, the Premier League offers the most exciting betting offer. Its elite clubs will attract most bets, yet all the Premier League clubs are set to benefit.

A global league for a global world

Football is by far the most popular betting sport in the world by the number of bets and turnover, and the Premier League in England generates the most betting interest. There are a number of reasons for this global success.

Matches in the English Premier League are broadcast live on television all around the globe. Television money means the EPL can afford to pay the wages that attract the best players from Europe and South America. People in those nations support and bet on teams in which one of their countrymen plays and score goals. Quite logical, isn’t it?

The Premier League is, therefore, the most cosmopolitan league in the sport and all the major football nations and some of the more obscure have representatives playing for the 20 clubs. Many of the top players have gravitated in La Liga in Spain, the Bundesliga in Germany, Serie A in Italy and Ligue 1 in France. The number and impact of foreign players has only been growing in the last two decades, helping the Premier League to connect to a worldwide audience.

The league’s global nature is not limited to players. The managers of the top six are all from overseas, including five from Europe and one from South America. Needless to say that bettors in those countries are more likely to be betting on teams managed by one of their compatriots.

New markets for the Premier League

The most significant new market for sports betting is the United States. Legislation has led to more states allowing their residents to bet on sports. Something that will be on the lips of everyone, All-in Translations included, at the Betting on Sports America event in New York this spring. Teams in the Premier League that have won titles and Cups over the last 20 years are the most popular. Manchester City are relative newcomers to the elite and they have emerged as a force, being under the same ownership as New York City, but in the US the most popular clubs are still Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

What About the PAI League?
On another island – Malta – one league has grown hugely popular and is played by 30 of the most prominent iGaming companies in Europe.

Brazil is a huge footballing nation that is relaxing sports betting legislation. There, the long list of Brazilian stars signed by Chelsea has forged a link between football fans in Brazil and the Blues. One of the most iconic current crop of internationals is David Luiz. Luiz has played for Chelsea since 2011 in two spells and has played for Brazil over 50 times. One of Luiz’s teammates at Chelsea is Willian, another current Brazilian international player. Felipe Scolari was the manager of Brazil when they won the World Cup in 2002. He also had a brief spell as the manager of Chelsea. Consequently, Chelsea are popular in Brazil, so will generate most bets.

India is on the brink of legalising sports betting and in this country the most popular team has always been Manchester United. Under Sir Alex Ferguson they became the most successful team in the Premier League. United are the only English team to win the treble of the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in the same season. The achievement in the 1998/99 season made news all around the world. Huge matches involving the club were broadcast live in India where a fan base grew and many of these supporters will be placing bets on their favourite English club.

In Sweden, Liverpool’s recent performances in Champions League and the Premier League have put them back on the football map. Liverpool have had strong ties in Scandinavia and former players include Jan Molby from Denmark, John Arne Riise from Norway and Glenn Hysen from Sweden. On match days at Anfield there are many supporters who have travelled from these counties. Swedish football fans are now allowed to bet and Liverpool is set to be the club they bet on.

The bigger the club, the bigger the bets?

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are still the most popular British clubs abroad and so are best placed to create betting interest in the markets set to legalize sports betting. Global searches made on Google in the last 5 years on the top Premier League clubs demonstrate that abroad, the Big Four still exists.

Nevertheless, Manchester City and Tottenham now compete for the major honours in England and Europe and have a growing global fan base. The top six are broadcast live and play in the key matches more often than teams further down the league. The global popularity of a club increases with more media and TV coverage and that leads to more betting on those teams. Fans often bet with their hearts rather than their heads which means bettors will often back their favourite team when logic suggests otherwise. The nature of supporting a team means for some they have to be backed.

Of course, there is an alternative view that backing the opponents is insurance against a disappointing result. If you are a huge fan of Manchester United, you want them to beat their opponent on match day. A financial interest in this other club softens the blow of a defeat but some fans cannot be consoled. The debate is still open, but on balance more supporters bet on their favourite team out of loyalty rather than backing the opponents to compensate for a potential defeat.

Growth strategies

For clubs aspiring to break into the top six and the rest battling to avoid a drop into the Championship, the exposure of the Premier League is a crucial factor in their growth. It is understandable why sportsbooks would wish to sponsor these clubs. Globally each Premier League club can develop a fan base and generate betting in a particular market, region or nation. Levers to encourage betting on a football club include the nationality of their star players, the city demographics and historical roots.

This extract from Unibet interactive map shows that two clubs with a comparable fanbase can have a very different geographical footprint.
Premier League Worldwide Facebook Fans Map

Finally, digital communications level the playing field, allowing the most creative clubs to get attention. AS Roma have adopted a unique strategy to produce original social content. The club marketing strategist Paul Roger recently revealed a key reason behind the club growing global attractivity.

“In Italy and in Rome there is no shortage of content about the club. But if you’re a fan in Nigeria or Indonesia, Bosnia or America, it wasn’t always easy to follow the team. We addressed that by increasing the amount of content we produced on a daily basis and launching over 20 new official social media accounts. Now we communicate in 12 or 13 languages daily, including Farsi, which I believe we’re the only, or one of the only, European clubs to produce content in.”

This model could inspire Premier League clubs to attain football popularity and a share in the global betting market.


37 million
The number of words translated, written or edited by All-in Translation for the iGaming and sportsbetting sectors in 2018.

Get in touch with All-in Translations to develop your global audience with research-based and data-centric sports and sportsbetting analyses such as this article.

The Esports Effect: Malta’s Destiny Defined by a Joystick

Super Mario run to eSports

Internationally, Malta has been one of the top forerunners in the innovation race. For esports – the new buzz word that’s soon to be at the tips of everyone’s thumbs – it’s no different.

 
Stretch those fingers out gamers, your chilled FIFA days are long behind you. Gaming is no new thing in the world of online entertainment; it’s a practice as old as Dungeons & Dragons and has the power to connect gamers from across the globe. The spike in online gaming was heavily influenced by online casino – a thriving industry that’s captured the attention of the entire planet. But even though online slots are taking a leap into the future, the variety of the 21st century has also presented eager gamers with esports as a slot and table game substitute. Something that Malta is not going to pass on.

While the iGaming industry, crypto and blockchain technologies are prime features of the country’s tourism status, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat recently tweeted his support of the esports industry, saying, “#Malta will be making a strong pitch to attract #eSports festivals and tourism. We believe this can be a vibrant addition to our product – JM #mediterraneantourismforum”, a comment left on his active Twitter page on February 15th.

Growth on the horizon

eSports game screenshot
This official declaration puts Malta on the esports map, thus opening the door to an expansion of the industry, a boost in Malta’s economy and hopefully job opportunities on the island too. Although esports is finally getting some high stake attention now, it has long been an active industry on the Maltese islands. Gamers such as Kurt Fenech are a great example of this thriving industry on our shores, “Kurt0411” is an avid player of online competitive sports and has earned himself a whopping $37,500 from FIFA esports competitions. Not too shabby.

Some of the most popular co-op games include Call of Duty, where Black Ops 4 became the focus game for The GO Malta Esports Festival 2018, a festival where local and international talent was recognised with a €5,000 cash win. This yearly event brings excitement, anticipation and a whole lot of gamers to the scene; this sense of community evokes a sense of determination and commitment to the industry – one which is absolutely necessary for the sector’s success.

The industry itself was projected to sum up $905m in 2018 with a 38% year on year growth in its market. Our future could well in fact be an esports oriented one, where the go-to source of entertainment is esports, a notion that MaltaToday noted will draw up an estimated 427 million people worldwide who turn to some form of esports.

It’s great news: the possibilities of entertainment for our future are endless and we’re beginning to get a glimpse of live online interaction on a major scale. The new developments in technology, graphic resolution, connectivity and overall user experience make game play so much more exciting. With STEEP Multiplayer Beta competitions or Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 Co-Op challenges, a whole new game is revealed to players who can take on the mountain or skatepark respectively with a virtual friend who’s on the same mission. Epic. Chat while you play, work together or show eachother up with some killer grinds and grabs. It’s your game play.

The island goes all-in

Although Poland is a firm point of reference in the esports industry, Malta is not holding back in what it has to offer to its loyal gamers. In an industry projected to generate 77% of its revenue through advertising, sponsorship, media rights and content licenses, companies such as Catena Media, Quickfire and Gamers Lounge are ticking all the correct boxes when it comes to their absolute commitment to esports.

Workshops set up with serious gamers take place as an introduction to the professional environment of esports with 2018 event organisers claiming to increase awareness and know-how of the industry. Recent statistics show that the top Maltese gamers, such as Kurt0411, can earn approximately $40m playing FIFA 2018, with others such as Christian Spiteri earning $4.5k in the recently launched FIFA 2019, that’s quite a sum to draw up seeing as this online version of FIFA has only been around for 5 months. Other local, high-winning games include Call of Duty, League of Legends, Overwatch and Fortnite.

Esports Insider also commented on Malta’s success in the industry:

“Malta has historically done well to attract new and upcoming industries to its shores in the past. We only have to look at its success in attracting blockchain, gambling and iGaming startups in the past. It’ll be interesting to see if esports companies take to the island in the same way. We personally wouldn’t mind a trip down to Malta to watch some esports anyway.”

This colossal statement boosts gamers attraction to the industry and urges them to treat esports as a discipline equally important in their active lifestyle. With all the forums, conventions and activities taking place in Malta, it’s a clear advantage to all those interested to join the tournaments and dive head first into their console games. The Supernova CS:GO tournament was one such event that took place on Maltese ground, with Quickfire as the leading organiser for its duration. All-in Translations covered the event where gamers hailing from across the globe battled it out for a cash win of $150,000 and a title of the supreme gamer. There we learned from Nicolai Gauci how the esports and iGaming industries can complement each other; something that the Maltese economy is well positioned to pioneer.

So with all the positive developments in the industry, the active community on the island as well as the PM’s backing of the sector; it may in fact seem that Malta will be taking on the big dogs in not only iGaming, blockchain and other economic outlets, but esports as well.


Get in touch with All-in Translation to entertain your iGaming and esports audience with fresh and informative articles such as this one.

Featured image: Super Mario at the beach. Photo under cc-by-2.0 license by Simone Ramella.

Why Sportsbooks Should Focus on American Millennials

US Millenials enthusiastically gathered around their laptops, following latest US court decision on Sports Betting

A growing demographic with climbing income and a love for digital consumption. Here’s why Millennials are the consumer segment set to make or break operators in the now-legal US sports betting market.

 
In the United States, a 1993 law prohibiting sports betting was overturned in May of 2018, opening the doors for not just brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in various states, but also online sports betting. Prior to this, only four states were legally allowed to take bets, the most famous of which is Nevada, home to Las Vegas and Reno. While casinos in many states across the country could still open on the lands of Indigenous Peoples, even they were often prohibited from taking sports bets outside of racing.

Now, things are different. As more states legalize sports betting and existing casinos roll out plans for sportsbook lounges, most Americans will no longer have to travel far to place a legal bet. For anyone in the sportsbook industry, this is great news. The more immersed in the market Americans become, the more opportunities to attract their Millennial demographic, who are projected to become America’s largest living adult generation in 2019.

Income on the rise and most of it is spent online

Putting aside their population, Millennials admittedly underspend older generations on entertainment. However, consider this: they currently fall within the ages of 23 and 38. This means that a large chunk of them are just entering the workforce, paying off loans, and were early-career victims of the Great Recession. The older they become, the more financially stable they become. Financial stability equals disposable income, which equals more spending on entertainment. That’s just basic math.

Girl inside supermarket storage cart, millenials are making more money, and spending itEvery year, Millennials are making more money. And sportsbook operators: just wait until you find out how they spend it. According to a UPS study, Millennials make 54% of their purchases online as a whole, while 63% use their smartphone for transactions. To put that into perspective, Baby Boomer spending (ages 55-73) is 19% online. You might see people of retirement age (65+) lining up for the slot machines, but they’re not going to join an online casino, much less start getting into sports betting.

Can't Read, Won't Buy
Millennials will purchase your service online if you can speak their languages. Litterally! 56.2% of consumers value information in their own language over price. Discover how All-in Translations can help you reach Millennials in the right language and lingo.

Mobile transactions are also on the rise, as are online purchases. Presumably, because Millennials make more money every year. Most Millennials grew up in a time when online transactions were extremely common. Their parents, however, did not. 83% of Millennials are reportedly unconcerned about online security, which is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when convincing land-based sports bettors to consider online betting. By showcasing legitimacy through reviews, reputation, and referrals, a sportsbook is far more likely to convert a Millennial over any other consumer demographic in the United States.

Loyalty vs. generic brand balance and search for the best deal

An interesting and seemingly contradictory statistic is that 60% of Millennials stay loyal to a brand, while 60% say they’ll reach for a generic item over its name-brand counterpart. That means two things for a sportsbook. First, they’re likely to stay loyal if you continuously impress them. Second, you can attract them away from brands their loyal to by offering a comparable product with a twist. If they can get the same thing but more (i.e., saving money, having access to additional features, etc.), their statistical loyalty can falter considerably, and vice versa.

Promotions and online betting go together like bees and honey – and Millennials love themselves a good coupon. In fact, 94% use them! That’s an enormous chunk of the demographic. Let’s all get those images of old ladies clipping coupons out of our minds: Millennials will line up for a bargain. If you want to stand out from the competition, make them feel like they’re getting the most bang for their buck. While that’s true for marketing in general, it’s especially true for Millennials, especially when compared to luxury item rollouts.

Considering Millennial interests

Most people know that they can bet on sports. During March Madness college basketball alone, Americans bet over $10 billion. However, the interests of Millennials could be highly advantageous to sportsbooks that list alternative betting events. Esports is an obvious example. Too obvious, in fact. It’s a fast-growing market in the United States already, with hundreds of millions in annual revenue. As that popularity grows, so will gambling on them. Esporting should already be an option at a competitive online casino.

Men wrapped in a US flag, what are the millenials interests?

However, other avenues, such as politics and pop culture, could be hugely attractive to Millennials. Most don’t know that you can place a bet on the next character to die on the HBO television show Game of Thrones. Most are unaware that they could bet on major award shows, like the Academy Awards. They can bet on who wins an election, bet on whether we’ll get to Mars, or whether a celebrity will be found guilty of a crime. Using these obscure but eye-catching events on top of competitive pricing and established legitimacy, you can pull in at least some of the $1.4 trillion Millennials are projected to spend in 2020.

American legality and implications for offshore operators

It’s easy to think that regulated sportsbooks in the States will just increase competition and lower the offshore market share. But are you taking Millennials into account? The United States federal government just made it law that sports betting can be legalized. Meanwhile, the vast majority of US States do not have a legal market. While more competition will pop up as more states allow it, that will also raise more awareness for sportsbook betting as an entertainment option. Besides, if it’s legal to bet in your state as an American, what are the odds you’re going to go out of your way to make sure the website is regulated within your state?

Taking that a step further, we’re talking about a demographic that seeks out a bargain while being open to trusting a wider swath of online companies. If you have a legitimate sportsbook that’s better than the one licensed in their specific state, and you have placed your content and SEO chips properly, they’ll find you, and they’ll choose you. The statistics spell it out in neon light.

Appeal with a mix of skill and luck

While Generation Z (the younger demographic to Millennials) are the big video gaming market, Millennials are particularly fond of games that combine both luck and skill. Slots like Big Buck Hunter offer bonus features that require the player to actually shoot a target, not just hope a target gets shot.

Skater doing some tricks, millenials are all about skills and luckRewarding skill and precision with real-money payouts is just one of many ways to get Millennials to make a deposit. Virtual reality is another one; allowing them to sit in the arena from home while placing bets at the same time.

Here’s the kicker: most Millennials are not fond of brick-and-mortar casinos. Maybe it’s the movies, maybe it’s the older crowd – whatever the reason, it’s a fact. Not only that, but only 28% are against the legalization of online gambling, while half believe it should be legal. Now, it is. And thanks especially to Millennials, it’s a fascinating and exciting time to be a sportsbook operator focusing on the US market.


Get in touch with All-in Translations and our content writing service to set your activity and develop an audience on the US markets with insightful sports and betting articles such as this one.

New Ages for the Old Slot: Something out There for Everyone.

Slot Jackpot Gamification

While the classic reels and lines have been described by some as passé, gambling is not likely to go anywhere. What’s more, help is on its way! Whether you’re a casual gamer looking to have a good time or a serious esport fanatic, the iGaming industry has a slot for you.

 
If you started following the progress of the iGaming industry, you’ll know that there have been quite a few changes, upgrades, introductions and alterations to the sector. Simple retro slots were once the coolest of the cool until real life game play crashed the party. We’re spoilt for choice here on the world wide web, with optimum games delivered on a whim and increased user experience at the top of everyone’s list; we’ve got it good.

The game industry is alive and constantly adapting to change in crowd preferences; a factor affected by demographic and age gaps in entertainment forms and content. Due to this, slots developers’ gameplans have always been to keep evolving and updating the slots themes and gameplay. This way they stay attractive generation after generation, from baby boomers to ‘echo- boomers, and passing by generation X that we almost forgot.

Oldies but Goodies

For decades slot aficionados have had the luxury of choice. With themes, storylines and well-known characters flocking to the reels to entertain their avid followers in hopes of bagging a few extra coins – the selection of genres to try out are amazing!

Miss Kitty GameTwo slot themes that will probably never go out of fashion – Gems and Retro slots that appeal to older demographics, mostly because of the nostalgic tone they possess. If you’re looking for your next big obsession; give Juicy Ninja by 1×2 Gaming a try!

There are so many slot themes to look out for, from Animals and Wildlife to Arctic and Safari; all animal lovers flock to such slots with great anticipation and an eager goal to roll in some coin. Some Animal and Wildlife slots include Next Gen’s Gorilla Go Wilder while super Safari themed Stampede by BetSoft make for excellent escapes from the mundane city life.

Ancient History and Historical Figures featured in slots such as Viking Runecraft by Playn Go, together with Adventure and Explorer themes are great for the Indiana Jones lovers who fancy themselves some sort of Tomb Raider. IGT’s. Other themes appealing to a great range of gamers include the Fairytale and Fantasy slots where mythical creatures such as leprechauns or dragons swarm to the reels to entertain the players, as takes place in Playn Go’s Prissy Princess – a 96% RTP rated slot machine that tackles fantasy and medieval themes. This theme is mostly popular with female gamers who are living their fantasy through the princesses and knights on screen.

Generation X Factor

If we look at the stats, it’s pretty clear that revenue from traditional online slot machines is diminishing and as a result we are getting a glimpse of what the future of gaming has in store for us. In addition the demographic analytics show that the target market for slots is of an older age group – either because of the simplicity in ‘try your luck’ games or on the other hand, this might simply boil down to customer loyalty.

This is probably why the iGaming industry has given their slot interfaces a well-deserved facelift to help attract the younger adults to the world of slots. This was done by incorporating popular characters, themes and storylines to high res slots.

Pop culture has been on the tip of everyone’s tongues for eons now – the craze and appeal has only grown stronger in time. With commercial figures seen in popular TV Shows such as the Microgaming creating of Game of Thrones, fans can follow their favourite characters from their TV screen to their preferred gaming device. Other popular online slot machines that have taken inspiration from Hollywood include Reality TV themed slot, Judge Judy, brought to you by IGT as well as the Aliens Video Slot created by NetEnt. Some of these themes appeal to all demographics and help to create a bridge between the young and the old. Some others help game creators to appeal to more specific demographics, based on their cultural preferences, age and genre.

Figures like those from Movies and Comics, like Batman vs Superman from PlayTech, also find themselves as the main inspiration for themed slot machines – bringing superheroes to life with every spin of the reels. Let’s face it, everyone wants to have a superhero in their life; whether it’s an updated Clarke Kent or the the Man of Steel himself; comic book heros are universal.

Storytelling is also one very important aspect of the mass media pop culture that has made its way into slots. It has become a major factors in helping to attract a good fan base, allowing player to experience a degree of personal and emotional involvement. Jungle Jim: El Dorado by Microgaming has quite an interesting storytelling perspective where the explorer and adventure theme is exhausted throughout game play. This catches players’ attention and keeps them hungry for the big cash payout at the end of the game. We owe this devotion to home gaming consoles, where games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are blurring the lines between gaming and cinema.

It’s fair to say that gaming consoles also triggered an increased focus on the quality of graphics displayed on online slot machines. Here special effects developers work tirelessly to create seamlessly integrated features into the basic game play, while vibrant neon colours are added by game designers. Some legendary games with great graphics include Green Tube’s Gangster Paradise, NetEnt’s Jungle Spirit Call and Strolling Staxx as well as Everi Game’s Shark Week – a quasi-real life slot based on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week theme.

Millennials welcome

It is also clear that new industries will rise and soar, especially with the younger generations who are more inclined towards skill-based online games. The massive success of the esports scene did not go unseen by an iGaming industry looking at bringing Gen Y back into their games. Slowly but surely, some winning recipes from the newest launches in the gaming world are finding their place into slots.

Gone are the days of pure luck in spinning the wheel of fortune; new gamers are eager to show off their stuff in the new tactical slots where actual talent translates into higher ranking levels that of course help story development in the game progress according to user capabilities. Scores, rankings and other forms of gamification are also key points that new age gamers will take into consideration when choosing which online games to play. This is identical to home console game play where games unravel according to how far along you advance in the story. This leads us now to personalisation; another key when it comes to snatching younger gamers. They are used to altering their game character’s appearance, props and routes whenever the desire arises. Giving gamers the option to choose what happens in the game, even if it’s a slight alteration, means that their interaction with the game is further increased and highly anticipated.

Gamer playing at Game Championship

Gamers might even wonder where these changes influenced by the esports and the gaming scene might take the slots’ future gameplay. Green Jade Games Managing Director Benedict McDonagh can be seens as an advocate for a complete radical change. In a recent interview he commented, “I’m not saying we need to change the mathematical profile, of the hit frequency, but we absolutely need to get away from – for a specific audience – win lines and reels”. If you are curious to where this might be heading, Luckbox Chief Product Officer Boris Mihov’s recent interview on esports betting offers insights into what is cooking into the hashes of the now massively extinguished skin-betting scene.

All these top slots deliver high res graphics, seamless user play and an even deeper appreciation for user experience and return to player. Times are changing, so are expectations and rewards. So there you have it! There’s bound to be something to tickle your fancy; whether you’re an old-school gamer looking to line up some jewels or a straight outta The International Dota 2 esport champ aiming to score the winning shoot, there’s something out there for you.


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Football and Esports: The Future Is to Play For

Rocket League is a popular football-based esports game.

The football industry is making a new and deeper connection to esports in ways that could change the shape of both sectors.

Since the world of esports has blown up in recent years (with no signs of it slowing down), it has become a key focus for many gaming brands and sport teams to further explore. Esports is on course to hit £1 billion in revenue and reach over 600 million audiences by 2020. So the big illuminated signs that read ‘Massive Potential’ are being noticed by everyone.

While esports is described as a form of sport entertainment that can over time become more popular than traditional sports, the future might bring a mixed picture as football and esports are getting more intertwined.

FIFA and PES: The origin

Gaming and football have never been a million miles away from each other with the hugely popular and competing FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer computer games. These games played on Xbox, PlayStation and many other platforms have a huge following and paths are being created to lead them over to the esports world. With players crossing over from video game player to esports follower, esports player or punter, the potential is clear as daylight.

There have been many tournaments played over the years to find the best players, but with esports, it’s got bigger, much bigger. Watching the highest quality of football gaming isn’t like watching the actual World Cup but there is a very attractive factor there that will appeal to many casual video game players and football fans alike.

The FIFA eWorld Cup and PES League and the recently launched ePremier League are great examples of how casual video game players can cross over into esports. Gamers can live their own reality of being a ‘footballer’ and compete against each other through qualification, playoffs and finals that are broadcasted to huge audiences. You may not have made it as a professional football because of ‘injuries’ or whatever other excuse, but if you’re good at this, you can make it a lucrative esports profession and that’s another attractive element to the casual player.

Football clubs are getting more involved

The unrivaled rate of esports popularity has caught the eye of a number of professional football clubs who see the opportunity to grow their club. These activities in the gaming sector improve their brand, their fanbase and enable clubs to connect with new generations, such as the computer loving millennials. The audiences are somewhat similar and there are numerous examples of football clubs getting involved.

French Champions Paris Saint Germain have their own esports franchise. Dutch-side Ajax have done a great job in linking esports with real-life soccer by using FIFA players in their social outreach, such as filming training sessions with the players or offering home game tickets. 5-time Champions League winners Barcelona, Portuguese historical team Boavista F.C., French sides AS Monaco and FC Nantes, Scottish Champions Celtic, and German side Schalke 04 have partnered up with the eFootball.pro league through their esports Pro Evolution Soccer team, forging their way into the booming esports industry. Since All-in Translations is an official sponsor of Boavista F.C., it’s pretty easy to guess for whom we’ll root during the competition.

Lower-league teams are also jumping at esports as an avenue to attract a worldwide audience. League Two’s average game attendance is fewer than 5000 while FIFA eWorld Cup figures reached over 160,000 online viewers. Esports is a new opportunity for a lower league teams to make it as a top tier club in the world (of esports). Danish side Brondby IF and German second-tier VFL Bochum are a prime example of esports success. It’s great exposure on a global scale, clubs with fewer fans can make a name for themselves and become more recognised.

Recognising this development opportunity, football clubs have started to employ some of the most talented FIFA or PES gamers to represent them at the esports tournaments, many on a full-time basis! The German top division sees the majority of their clubs feature professional gamers on the books, whilst the Premier League only has a few teams who employ gamers, but this is just the beginning. Esports players are yet to reach their peak when it comes to earning a contract with a club, but more and more clubs are doing it.

Betting on the new football forms

Is your fake-shot-roulette combo a bit too clumsy to monetize on your esports football skills? There is always a possibility to compete for a profit with betting; a well-known football alongside activity that is also changing and adapting to esports. It’s no secret that football betting is the largest betting market, it is the most popular sport in the world after all! Most of us like a punt on the footy, whether it be a 10-fold accumulator or a ‘safe’ double.

Football betting is so much more now, in-play betting entered our lives, then cash out betting and now it’s spilling over into esports and Fantasy Football Leagues, there is something for everyone. Punters can now bet on esports football tournaments, as some major sportsbooks are now including competitions such as the FIFA eWorld Cup in their betting portfolio.

Moving away from traditional sports betting, fantasy betting is attracting more players with free to play leagues that offer huge cash prizes and high stake leagues. US based leagues such as FanDuel, DraftKings or European newcomers such as Fantasy Bet are now offering extended betting possibilities to fantasy football fans. The betting industry is making a move toward fantasy sports with the acquisition of fantasy sports league FanDuel by betting giant Paddy Power Betfair.

The esports game is on

Are there limits to the potential growth of football-based esports? FIFA and PES esports games have now hit the world stage thanks to the viewership, player base and quality that comes with their product. Social Media will certainly add fuel to the growing fire, with a young, social-savvy digital consumer base sharing, boasting and posting about thrashing their friend in a game. And it doesn’t end at standard gameplay as old and new forms of football games are lining-up to hit the esports charts.

Football Manager, a football management game that has grown over a long time outside the scope of esports, being played mainly in solo mode on PC, now has its very own esports competition; something we covered in depth here.

There’s plenty of room for a creative twist as well, with games mixing football with the most popular esports gameplays such as first player shooting and multiplayer online battle arena. One example would be the Rocket League, which can only be described as ‘football with rocket-powered cars’, providing a more ‘action-packed’ version of the sport.

Launched in 2015, Rocket League has grown tremendously in the last couple of years on its esports version, and is now labeled as one of the most promising games to shape the future of esports.


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Featured image: Rocket League is a game mixing football and MOBA elements. Photo under cc-by-sa-2.0 license by BagoGames.

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