May 26, 2023

eSports: Everything You Want to Know About Skin Betting

For everyone who loves to play video games, everyone who likes to watch eSports and follows tournaments and competitions, and everyone who enjoys wagering on eSports at, skin betting is not something new. In fact, skin betting has been with us for nearly a decade now, and although estimates and forecasts did not see skin betting growing much, to everyone’s surprise, it did grow exponentially, and it remains one of the popular means of eSports’ wagers.

But, first things first.

What is “skin”?

Skin is the term used to describe items that can change the appearance of characters or equipment in video games. They are purely cosmetic, as they only change the aesthetic component of characters or equipment, and they have absolutely no functional value. In video games, players use skins in order to modify, for example, how their avatar looks or how specific equipment appears on the screen.

So, skins can be anything from costumes, colors, and accessories to special drawings of weapons and cases for equipment.

The idea behind skins is that they are used in-game in order to make the game characters look more realistic or much more like the players want them to look. So, simply put, skins are used to make the game more fun and more entertaining.

Who started the skins?

The first skins were introduced by Valve back in 2014, when it launched some wearable items for the game CS:GO. They were an instant success, and players got really crazy about them. Initially, they could purchase, trade, and sell skins at the Steam marketplace, but skins became so popular overnight that third-party sites were soon developed offering secondary markets for the skins.

The value of skins

Now, you might start to wonder how come, from the initial launch of some wearable items, we’ve come to talk about skin betting in eSports. How is it that skins are used for eSports betting just as traditional money is used for Wimbledon betting, let’s say?

Well, the thing is that not all skins were rolled out to the market. Skins can be purchased and earned when certain milestones within the games are reached or even won.

There is a variety of skins in the market, but some of them are really rare, while others are mainstream. This makes the rare skins highly valuable, especially as many players see them as collectibles. The rarer a skin is, the more value it has, and the more value it has, the more returns one can get from trading them.

How did skin betting start?

As skins became collectibles and gained value – initially value only within-game – some third-party websites decided to enable players to bet with these digital assets. And just like that, an entirely new trend emerged.

How big is skin betting?

Skin betting on eSports rose sharply in 2016. And that was only two years after skins were first rolled out by Valve. In fact, in 2016, the global market for skin gambling was nearly $ 4.8 billion, way much higher than cash betting on eSports. In 2018, skin betting skyrocketed, reaching almost $ 30 billion, while for the next two years, the growth was unprecedented.

What is going on today?

The skin betting market has gotten so big and has been out of control and boundaries, and for that manner, there is an ongoing attempt to regulate it. Valve, for instance, has announced that it will prohibit skin gambling on Steam in order to prevent the excessive growth and the uncontrolled pathway that skins have been undergoing since they were first introduced to video game players.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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