The advent of the digital era has revolutionized all aspects of industry, including the iGaming sector. The evolution and growth of online gaming, especially skill-based iGaming, draw both newcomers and gaming veterans into immersive competitive experiences, altering the dynamics of the current gaming ecosystem. The resurgence of skill-based iGaming reflects a paradigm shift from viewing gaming merely as a leisure activity and acknowledges it as potentially profitable career. The future of this field appears bright as technology advances and social norms evolve, with the increasing interest surrounding the world of competitive online gaming and eSports.

The dawn of the digital age has witnessed revolutionary changes across various industries and sectors, and the landscape of iGaming is no exception. Amid the high-paced evolution of online gaming in the past few decades, the recent rise of skill-based iGaming specifically points to the intriguing intersection of digital leisure activities and competitive spirit. The blending of immersive games with fierce competition is attracting both novices and game aficionados alike, redefining the entire gaming ecosystem.

Based on the arcades of yesteryears where skill deemed players victorious or defeated, the current trend of skill-based iGaming is starting to be recognized as more than just a hobby; to many, it has become a lucrative profession. The inclusion of elements such as strategy building, critical thinking, and proficient motor skills sets this genre apart from traditional, luck-centred gambling games.

Today, an increasing number of online platforms offer a varied array of skill-based games that let players battle it out for rewards and bragging rights. These range from eSports, multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), first-person shooters (FPS), puzzles to digital versions of traditional board games and sports.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a boutique research firm focused on the gaming industry, estimated in a report in 2016 that the revenue from such skill-based games could reach $4.6 billion by 2020, highlighting the sector’s potential.

However, what’s truly propelling the rise of skill-based iGaming is the development and popularization of eSports, where competitive video gaming has emerged as an unanticipated but a significant phenomenon. According to the market research firm Newzoo, the global eSports market is expected to exceed $1.79 billion by 2022. Tournaments and competitions have taken these games from individuals’ screens to stadiums, with thousands of fans cheering.

Being a natural progression from live streamed competitions, the boom of the eSports industry highlights the gamer’s thirst for competition. As reported by Livestream, more young people watch eSports than traditional sports, with 83% of millennials being active eSports viewers.

Meanwhile, companies are capitalizing on these trends. Not only are the game developers coming up with more skill-oriented games, but startups are also entering the iGaming market with unique offerings that fuse gaming and gambling.

One such example is SP8DE, a platform built on blockchain that pairs casino-like games with skill-based gaming. By removing the element of chance, players face off using their competencies, making the outcome more predictable and controlled.

Similarly, other solutions like GameCo have developed Video Game Gambling Machines (VGMs), combining the fun of video games with the thrill of wagering. Their system includes popular culture-themed games that are not only enjoyable but also require skill to win.

In contrast, events like Microsoft’s Xbox Arena allow you to play your favorite games in a competitive environment, demonstrating the cross-pollination between iGaming and eSports. Participants can join leagues and tournaments to compete for prizes.

However, this upward trajectory of skill-based iGaming is not free from challenges. Regulatory hurdles persist, as do concerns about addiction and cheating. Though organizations like the eSports Integrity Commission (ESIC) work to maintain ethical standards, the nascent industry still grapples with legality issues in many jurisdictions.

Yet, if recent trends hold, the future of skill-based iGaming looks promising. As technology advances and societal boundaries shift, the interest in competitive online gaming continues to surge. As more players don their gaming headsets and dive into the immersive world of digital competition, the rise of skill-based iGaming promises a thrilling experience for players and spectators alike – all while transforming the definition of sportsmanship in the 21st century.


1. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. report 2016.
2. Newzoo, global eSports market research, 2022.
3. Livestream, online viewer habits report.
4. SP8DE, blockchain iGaming Platform.
5. GameCo, Video Game Gambling Machines.
6. Microsoft’s Xbox Arena, competitive gaming platform.
7. eSports Integrity Commission (ESIC), maintaining ethical standards in eSports.

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