This year has been a huge year for gaming of all forms in Montreal, particularly those in the online space. and gaming moving in completely different directions.
All over the world, eSports is becoming increasingly popular as a spectator sport, encroaching on the $1 billion-mark valuation. It’s an incredibly impressive feat, especially when you consider the push-back from many more traditional sports fans. Montreal has been on board for some time now, launching its very own eSports academy before opening the grand Esports Central gaming complex earlier this year.
The rise of eSports has seen this online/digital-based sector establish itself enough that it warrants brick-and-mortar premises, whereas in another line of popular gaming in Canada – that of casino gaming – the biggest moves have been in the opposite direction. The iGaming sector has become increasingly influential on the Canadian gaming market, with its convenience and selection proving to be more appealing than that of traditional offerings.
As one form of gaming gains popularity, it establishes itself with a venue in Montreal, while the other already very popular mode of casino gaming has made great strides by moving into the online space. Both are digital forms of gaming, Montreal has fully embraced them both, and yet they are moving in different directions.
eSports takes root in Montreal
Montreal has become a global hub for video game development, with big names like Eidos, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Square Enix, and Epic Games setting up shop in the largest city of Quebec. So, it makes sense that the city would be quick to embrace the growing world of eSports.
First came Montreal Esports Academy, the very first academy devoted to eSports in Quebec, which gave people the chance to harness their gaming skills as well as learn about the importance of academic success and a healthy lifestyle. They even brought in legendary mixed martial artist and Quebec-native Georges St-Pierre to bolster their Esports Day Camps programme. Earlier this year, they celebrated their first birthday and 12 months of success in Montreal.
Just across town, the biggest eSports complex in Canada opened up this year, with the Esports Central complex offering a huge range of facilities – from console and PC gaming to virtual reality – all of which have been involved in competitions to enhance Montreal’s standing in the global gaming scene further.
Casino gaming becomes increasingly popular online
While the eSports industry’s origins are on home PC and gaming consoles connecting to the internet to create competition, the origins of iGaming are at land-based casinos, where people would go to play games like roulette, poker, and slot machines. These casinos often boasted a kind of glitz and glamour allure, including the Montreal Casino, but now anyone in Montreal can play those same popular games.
The online form of gambling is becoming the dominant force around the world, including Canada, with the ability to continually update and upgrade the offering being the main source of its increasing allure. As the area is so competitive with online casinos offering bigger bonuses to Canadian players all the time through specialised websites such as this one, platforms also have to continue adding new games and easier ways to play, such as through mobile apps, to uphold their appeal.
While land-based casinos like the Montreal Casino are still quite popular with locals, the inability to quickly add new games and incorporate new technologies has put them at a disadvantage to the online offering. Now, iGaming is simply too convenient and varied for it to be anything less than the dominant force in casino gaming. The people of Montreal still frequent the city’s casino, but much of the gaming is done online these days.
Montreal has willingly embraced the moves made by two of its most popular forms of gaming. The eSports industry wanted to enhance its live presence, leading to Esports Central, while casino gaming wanted to reach a wider audience, and so iGaming websites were forged for Canadian players.