The Indianapolis Colts are dipping their toes into the world of esports.
The team just inked a deal with Esports Entertainment Group to bring new video game tournaments to fans.
Colts and the Esports Gaming League
The world of esports is growing every year, and the Colts want in on the action.
This new deal will have the team sponsoring special Madden NFL tournaments for the Esports Gaming League (EGL).
The EGL lets fans play their favorite video games competitively, without needing to be Twitch star to make it happen. Gamers can compete against each other for prizes in all sorts of games like Call of Duty and Halo.
Partnering with sports franchises gives the league a way to reach the overlap between video game players and sports fans.
The EGL already has several other deals in place to make that happen. It’s working across the NFL, NBA, NHL, and FIFA to reach fans around the globe.
Since each of those professional leagues has a popular video game centered around them, the fit is a natural one for both sides.
There are hundreds of thousands of Madden players in the US alone, and the Colts want to drive some of them toward the team’s brand.
Roger VanDerSnick, the team’s chief marketing officer, is expecting the EGL-sponsored tournaments to be a big hit with fans.
“The popularity of esports has soared since the start of the pandemic, and we are excited to work with Esports Entertainment Group to operate exciting, action-packed tournaments that we believe will be very popular with Colts fans and a fun way to compete in an entertaining and social environment with gamers throughout our fan base.”
That may end up working out for the Colts, but the team will still be missing out on a key part of Esports Entertainment Group’s business.
No esports betting in Indiana
Esports Entertainment Group offers all sorts of gaming tournaments through the EGL platform, but it also has its hands in the world of esports wagering.
Unfortunately, you can’t bet on esports events in the Hoosier State.
In fact, Indiana law expressly forbids it. It’s the only state to take such a harsh stance against the industry. It’s a strange position, given the up-and-coming status of esports around the country.
“A certificate holder or vendor may not accept wagers on
e-sports regardless of whether the e-sports event involves one (1)
or multiple players.”
Indiana has done a lot of things well when it comes to gambling, but this isn’t one of them.
There are all sorts of sporting events that you can bet on, so leaving esports out of the picture was a short-sighted move by legislators.
The esports ban likely won’t be going anywhere in the near future either. Legalizing online casinos is the main priority right now for expanding gaming in the state.
So even though you can bet on Colts games in Indiana, don’t expect to place a wager on the team’s new EGL Madden tournaments.