With the recent news that legendary Olympic medalist Usain Bolt has joined the Dublin-based eSports organization WYLDE, the eSports community continues to expand in unforeseen directions. Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, has joined WYLDE as a co-owner and has vowed to support the team by focusing on diversity and inclusivity, while also elevating WYLDE’s global brand.
WYLDE presently has teams contesting in Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, Rocket League, and FIFA. They also run a number of academies and boot camps to coach and identify talented up-and-comers. With Bolt on board, expect to see WYLDE’s community outreach stretch out to Jamaica and beyond.
The Fame Game
While there have always been celebrity gamers, Bolt is just one of many recognizable figures to become involved in eSports. Other sporting greats have invested in, or added their name to, eSports teams including football legend David Beckham, who acted as co-owner of Guild eSports back in 2020. The world of entertainment has also seen prominent individuals place a stake in eSports with rapper Drake becoming co-owner of 100 Thieves and the controversial actor Will Smith involved with an investment in Gen.G.
Celebrities have often sought to use their wealth and status to become involved in sports, with Ryan Reynolds and producer friend Rob McElhenney catching the headlines recently by taking over Wrexham, a football team in North Wales looking to find their way back to the Football League after a 13-year absence. Celebrity involvement is just one of the ways eSports is similar to other sports, but a more significant similarity is the ever-growing trend of betting on sporting events.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) April 2, 2022
While celebrity investment continues to grow the eSports community, regular folk are also looking to make money by becoming involved in eSports. While the dream for many is to make money by being paid to professionally play their favorite video games, the next best thing is to make money by playing at a lower tier or using their knowledge via eSports betting opportunities.
We mentioned Drake’s investment in 100 Thieves, but the rapper also invested in Players’ Lounge, an eSports platform for players to find competitors and do battle with wagers on the line. Those that join Players Lounge can make real money through playing tournaments, head-to-head games against similarly skilled players for wagers ranging from $2.50 to $500, and streaming payouts. There are plenty of ways to deposit funds and start competing through Players’ Lounge, but as the company takes 10 percent of wagers, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
— 100 Thieves eSports (@100T_eSports) April 2, 2022
For those that don’t wish to use their gaming skills in lower-tier competition, simply being knowledgeable about eSports can help to make informed eSports betting selections. eSports gambling is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent areas of interest for online casinos that offer a sportsbook. There is still a lingering sense that those that offer eSports betting opportunities don’t actually have the professional personal and eSports experts to truly understand eSports in the same way they do football, basketball, or other sports that have been wagered on for many years.
That might be naive or simply wishful thinking, but with the sheer number of eSports events, games, and teams, there’s a lot for the online casinos to keep abreast of and there are certainly opportunities to identify potentially profitable bets. Just like in other sports, there are no sure things and risk should be managed by making prudent bets based on adequate research of the teams competing.
People keep debating when eSports will become mainstream, but with numerous celebrities involved and a growing community of people looking to make money from eSports, it seems it may already be in its prime.