The world of esports and gambling is inextricably linked, and it's a market that's only set to get bigger. So much bigger, in fact, that analysts are now predicting more than 15 million people will be placing a bet on esports in four years.
The figure is part of the base line projections from the latest annual report into esports and gambling from Natus Advisers and Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. It's another part of the mountainous hill that is becoming industry's expectations for how big the esports pie will become.
According to this latest report, at least 15.4 million unique people will place a bet on esports in some form by 2020. The value of those bets, whether they be with cash money or virtual skins, will reach around $US29.8 billion.
There's also projections provided for the amount of case money expected to be wagered on esports events every year until 2020, otherwise called the "gambling handle". The conservative estimate is that $US525 million will be bet this year alone, with that figure rising to a minimum of $US5.954 billion by 2020.
What's intriguing is the projected growth in prize pools and the amount of events with prize pools. Around $US65 million was given out across 4,680 events last year, while $US84 million is being given out over 5,616 events this year. (That figure will probably change when funding for the The International is finalised, however.)