Even the most die-hard esports fans will admit that the epic escalation in popularity in online gaming as a sport is something many people simply did not see coming. Gone are the days when gaming was restricted to the bedrooms of moody teenagers, and now adults are cashing in on what has become a thriving industry.

Many people have an issue with the term esports, as it is clear that online gaming is quite unlike any conventional sport, but once you realise that gaming is actually a cerebral workout, rather than an activity that focuses on the physical, you may be more willing to accept the term.

To fully comprehend the epic escalation in popularity of esports, it is worth checking out some facts and figures such as those collected by the market research company Newzoo who state that in 2014, approximately 205 million people participated in, or watched esports. Research also reveals that almost as many women as men enjoy playing online games, and that many gamers are parents and more mature players who take competitive gaming very seriously.

What may surprise many is that people actually enjoy merely watching gamers battle it out in esports tournaments, much like spectators of more traditional sports would. However, as you have the opportunity to bet on these games, just like any other sport, it may become clearer what makes esports so exciting. For example, the League of Legends championship not only sold out in 2014 when it was held at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul, but also attracted a viewership of 27 million LOL fans. Companies such as Betway have realised the importance of allowing League of Legends fans to cash in on the game’s betting potential and allow fans access to the exciting LOL betting markets online via their mobile devices and PCs. The growing demand for the opportunity to bet on esports is testament to the ever-increasing popularity of this unconventional type of sport and it will be intriguing to see just how this genre evolves.

Spectators are of course not the only gaming enthusiasts who stand to make serious money, and esports participants can earn an astonishing amount of money by being at the top of their game. In 2014, the League of Legends champions were awarded $1 million and in 2015, CoD champions received $0.4 million. These figures definitely quash the view that involvement in esports is waste of valuable time and actually points towards a new type of aspiration for the next generation. A career in esports is now seen as a viable option, with each game requiring developers, designers and many other contributors besides the actual gamers themselves. It will be extremely interesting to see how esports develop in conjunction with new emerging mobile technology and if this type of sport will eventually be as popular as more traditional forms of sport.