Among the many changes the coronavirus pandemic has wrought is the cancellation of a full season of many sports. This has created quite a quandary for bettors and bookmakers, who count on sports contests to set odds and make bets.

The solution? Virtual sports. It’s all the fun of live sports with none of the timeouts and delays. And you can bet on e-games!

Virtual sports betting is poised to take off like a rocket. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s a list of compelling virtual sports statistics for 2021.

Editor’s Choice: 5 Virtual Sports Stats

  • 4.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2020 Virtual Grand National horse race.
  • A 30% increase in virtual sports betting across Europe – that’s one of the unexpected consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $12 to $15 billion is the estimated worldwide total of esports wagers in 2020.
  • 80% of current virtual sports bets are made on FIFA and NBA 2K events.
  • In the first three weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, Golden Race signed 100 new virtual sports operators.

Virtual Sports Events

1. 4.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the Inspired Entertainment’s “Virtual Grand National 2020”.

(Inspired Entertainment)

Nearly five million people watched this virtual horse race. It was a lucky day for those who wagered on Potters Corner’s digital double.

2. 1.7 million viewers watched the “The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown”.

(Inspired Entertainment)

America’s most famous horse race got virtualised, and its numbers earned it a place on our virtual sports statistics list. A total of 1.7 million people sat in on this virtual event and saw the pounding hooves of 13 Triple Crown winners.

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is currently the top bettable esports game, with a current average daily player count of more than 750,000.

(Steam)

CS:GO has seen a massive rise in the number of players, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, the game recorded a historic peak of more than 1.1 million players in one day.

4. Torque Esports’ “All-Star Esport Battle” clocked 12.1 million minutes of aggregate viewing time and more than 30,000 comments on YouTube.

(YouTube)

Auto racing’s best drivers have taken on the virtual sports simulator after live events were cancelled or postponed. The best racers participated in a series of virtual spectacles to satisfy the hunger of speed-starved fans.

5. Lando Norris’s viewership on Twitch jumped from an average of 2,000 to 70,000 viewers during his virtual Formula One race at the Albert Park Circuit.

(TwitchTracker)

Many F1 racers turned to virtual races because of event cancellations. Organised by Veloce as part of its “Not the Aus GP” project, Norris’s race was streamed live via Twitch and YouTube. This was Norris’s personal best when it comes to viewership in his virtual sports room.

6. Fans enjoyed 7 million viewer-minutes of the inaugural MotoGP Virtual Race through online streaming and TV stations.

(Red Bull)

Race organisers said more than 2 million people tuned in to watch Alex Marquez from the Repsol Honda Team win the first Virtual MotoGP. The event was also broadcast on TV stations worldwide.

Virtual Sports Betting Statistics

7. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a 30% spike in virtual sports betting activity among 10 leading European operators.

(Optimove)

A shortage of stadium sporting events swayed players to adapt their behavior and wager on casino games, bingo and virtual sports.

8. Total esports and virtual sports wagers could reach $12 to $15 billion per year in 2020.

(EveryMatrix)

The popularity of virtual reality sports is yet to be established, but virtual sports are coming on top as key drivers in changing the world of sports betting games.

9. 3,200 is the number of virtual sports matches BetConstruct offers per day.

(Virtual Sports Betting)

One of the leading sports betting providers, BetConstruct is constantly working to increase the number of games and bettors. The lineup currently includes eight virtual sports and more than 3,200 matches per day.

10. 80% of bettors’ virtual sports money is spent betting on two major titles: FIFA and NBA 2K.

(EveryMatrix)

The virtual counterparts of two of the world’s most popular sports reign in the digital realm as well. These virtual sport stats were collected across 10 bookmakers between March 9 and April 19, 2020. They help illustrate the year’s 40x growth in cyber sports.

11. OLBG – the Online Betting Guide – has experienced an astounding 943% increase in traffic to its esports betting tips page.

(OLBG)

The global pandemic has changed many aspects of everyday life. This also includes major changes in gaming and betting habits. More people than ever have turned to watching, playing and wagering on virtual sports games online because of the global health situation.

12. League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2 account for 85% of total esports betting volume.

(EveryMatrix)

These tried-and-true market leaders continue to deliver what pro gamers, audiences and bettors want.

13. Average bet values on real sports and esports after lockdown rose in favour of esports.

(EveryMatrix)

After the lockdown, the average bet was €15 on FIFA, €22.50 on NBA 2K and €17.2 on other esports. The average bets for “real” football (€12.50), basketball (€21.8) and other sports (€18.9) lagged behind.

Virtual Sports and Virtual Esports

14. More than 50,000+ virtual sports and esports matches were organised during the first month of the sports crisis.

(EveryMatrix)

At the very beginning of the sports drought, EveryMatrix documented a breathtaking 50,000+ computer sports and competitive gaming events monthly – compared to 2,500 events per month the company tracked in early 2019. This is a mind-boggling rise of 2,000%.

15. How many video sports and games enthusiasts are there in the world? Half a billion.

(EveryMatrix)

This estimate was made before the COVID-19 crisis, so it won’t be surprising if these virtual reality sports games statistics prove to be even higher.

16. Sports organisations have increased their involvement in virtual sports tournaments and leagues.

(EveryMatrix)

Sports organisations across the world have started backing virtual tournaments like the NBA 2K Players Tournament. The 2020 tournament featured 16 NBA players who battled it out and showed their Xbox One gaming skills, including Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell.

Virtual Sports Market Statistics

17. Inspired Entertainment saw an 11% rise in the number of virtual sports operators at the beginning of 2020.

(Inspired Entertainment)

This global game technology company saw an increase to 111 live operators of virtual sports worldwide, which translated into a notable rise in their virtual sports revenue compared to the same period the previous year.

18. Golden Race signed 100 new virtual sports operators in the first three weeks of the COVID-19 crisis.

(iGaming Business Ltd.)

The Malta-based gaming and sports-betting software company experienced a surge in virtual sports clients. The company believes the number of operators will continue to increase through the end of 2020 at least.

19. 4% to 6% of UK online gambling revenue is generated from virtual sports.

(UK Gambling Commission)

Virtual sports are steadily increasing in popularity in the UK with 24/7 offerings, a variety of virtual sports games online and easy access to a diverse range of online gambling options.

20. $12 billion is the estimated total global revenue of esports in 2020.

(EveryMatrix)

The videogame industry has developed into a multi-billion-dollar business over the past two decades. EveryMatrix’s 2020 forecast was made before the global health crisis drove bettors to virtual sports, so this global revenue number might as well be surpassed.

To Sum Up

Virtual sports statistics clearly show that the tournaments are on the rise. This came as a result of technological advancements that fit perfectly into place when the pandemic closed sports betting shops. Players and bettors alike were on the lookout for the next best thing. Virtual sports and esports became an engine to drive change.

Sources:

FAQ

How do virtual sports work?

Virtual sports are computerised match-ups of real players and teams. All players view the same computerised sports events and use the same odds books to make bets.

How is virtual football programmed?

A virtual football match is a simulation of a real game, just like all virtual sports games online. Virtual football uses special software and an unbiased random number generator that influences gameplay and determines the results of each play. The system is programmed to make games much shorter than real games, which makes betting simpler and faster.

How do you always win virtual football?

Virtual sports are highly volatile. The software that runs the game delivers random results. There are no virtual sports betting secrets or bullet-proof strategies based on statistics or computer science. You can be smart about virtual football betting by starting with smaller wagers. Bet on match favourites, as they have an advantage and should win most of the time. Although it doesn’t guarantee a win, betting on the 1.5 goals option could win you the bet amount if a virtual team scores more than two goals. The maximum number of goals per football match is four in the virtual world, so there is less risk compared to making the same wager in real-life football.

Will virtual sports grow?

All predictions and virtual sports statistics suggest that the field will continue to grow and develop as technology advances.

What is virtual sports revenue?

Worldwide, online gambling generates about $66.7 billion dollars per year. The UK Gambling Commission estimates that 4% to 6% of that comes from virtual sports betting. Worldwide, that would be $2.67 billion to $4.0 billion. Those figures don’t include sponsorship money, streaming fees and other revenue.

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