Online poker can transcend multiple audiences across the world. However one of the markets which is rapidly growing and shares a lot of synergies with online poker is eSports. Let’s discuss some of the more pertinent similarities which are drawing gamers to playing competitive poker.
One of the major points that transcend both online poker and eSports is the competitive element. At the end of the day, both online poker players and professional gamers sit at a screen and try to make money by being the best in their particular lobby. The process of finding the right environment to succeed at (either game or poker variation) to win. Given the similarities in the methodology of competing, it is easy for gamers to transition to play in the online gambling world.
eSports Already Familiar with Online Gambling
If you’ve used a major sportsbook operator in the last few years, you would have seen markets and opportunities to wager on eSports competitions. Whether punters are betting on who they think will win the upcoming big FIFA match tournament or which team will win the Counter-Strike championship, the two interests are already crossing over.
Ardent gamers will have probably already seen poker or other card games in video games anyway. Some of the most popular video game series like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption feature the ability to play poker with the primary character against other people within the storylines.
Pre-made Audience and Marketing Opportunities
eSports participants and even casual gamers (and even just the fans of competitive gaming) are usually pretty tech-savvy by default. If they can memorise how to set up their console and finetune their entire lives to play video games at an exceptional level, then the chances are they will know how to operate a smartphone and other devices. Therefore it makes for a very easy segway from contemporary gaming to online poker. The most famous esports players can also benefit from marketing opportunities as their dedicated fanbases can be quite impressionable. If their favourite gamer says they should play online poker then there’s a good chance that they will do so. Team Liquid, a popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team was sponsored by PokerStars back in 2016.
In 2023, the fanfare around content creators is at an all-time high with no end in sight. Regular people who play poker and play video games can now share their stories with the world. There’s a direct crossover in that there are plenty of people from both worlds who already do this.
Easily Transferrable Skills
The best video games that competitive gamers play tend to be more than button-bashing. There are multiple skills needed as well as luck. As a result it’s natural that these type of streams can appeal to more traditional gamers but also to those who want to gamble as well and it’s led to a completely new type of poker player. The increased popularity is making the game more diverse and interesting, so if you want to try your luck on real money poker sites this is a great place to start for new players.
More Opportunities to Win?
Contemporary eSports players typically have a good range of events to play in, but…it is dwarfed by the amount of poker tournaments that are on offer. While the best Gran Turismo players might be able to play in elite races every other week…is that as good as being able to play multiple poker events in a single day?
Online Poker Blending into the eSports Narrative
Given the rising interest in online poker, some platforms are trying to take the card game and make it synonymous with video game experiences. While the premise of playing poker remains the same, tailoring it for new audiences will only make it more appealing. Whether it’s simply aesthetical changes or adding new exciting elements this will progress the game to appeal to more eSports followers.
Challenges with Online Poker Breaking into the eSports World
Despite all the positives, there are some issues which can cause strife for all parties. Esports has a fair share of younger audience members, as a community. The industry has already come under fire for its close ties to energy drinks as it is seen to be glamorising the consumption of high-caffeine and very sugary drinks to its impressionable followers. Should online poker enter the same space, will the same angry voices speak up again? After all, video games can be seen as a largely adolescent pastime – it’s unlikely that parents and carers will want online poker plastered in their teenager’s heads.