Esports betting site Unikrn, pronounced “unicorn,” is now live letting fans gamble on competitive gaming matches. Currently, Unikrn only supports League of Legends.
Betting is restricted to jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. That excludes Unikrn’s base of Seattle and most of the U.S. Those in Europe, Asia and Australia, for the most part, will be able to partake in the wagering.
Anyone can view the site and follow the various esports statistics. CEO and co-founder Rahul Sood told Geekwire, “You can register, you can win prizes, and you'll be able to watch and see the odds and chat.” You just won’t be able to place bets.
Unikrn noted that around 71.5 million spectators watched competitive gaming in 2013. The 2014 League of Legends World Championship had 28 million viewers with 288 million cumulative daily unique impressions.
Esports, according to Sood, are “attracting viewer numbers that are on par with traditional sports such as American football and basketball.” Unikrn isn’t the first to get involved in esports betting, but it’s likely to be a growing industry in the coming years.
One of the challenges that it is likely to face is the issue of match fixing, which competitive gaming is no stranger to. Earlier this year, several professional Counter-Strike players were banned from Valve-sponsored event after it was found that wagers generated more than $10,000 as a result of match fixing.