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How Data Caps Will Affect the esports Betting Market

By Chris Blain in Sports
| September 4, 2017 12:00 am PDT

Two words that have become more common and feared amongst the online gaming community…data caps. State by state within the United States global cable giants are starting to introduce the concept of data caps to their customers.

What does this mean to you?

In simple terms, it means that you now have a restriction on the data you can utilize in a given month until you go over this limit and then receive overage fees. We are all familiar with the concept of data caps via our cell phones.

How affordable unlimited plans with the main companies have become more elusive. You must seek out wifi spots in order to conserve your precious data for fear of receiving overage fees.

This is where the problem becomes clear. As a society, we have learned to adapt to data usage with our cell phones and data use by as stated, finding wifi spots to connect.

These wifi spots now will be utilizing that data as well. No longer will our homes be a wifi haven in which we can stream and watch without fear of overage fees. The cable companies such as Comcast, Centurylink, and Cox have been experimenting with this business model through out the US.

How Much Data do We Get?

Initially, Comcast had a 300 gigabyte (GB) cap, but extended it to 1 terabyte (TB), with the 1TB seeming to be the standard cap number that these cable companies will currently be going with. These cable companies believe that this is more than adequate for what their customers need.

Stating that 1TB is an excessive amount of data and that the majority of their customers would not even come close to using this amount in a month. 1TB is 3x more than the 300GB amount Comcast initially offered its customers with their initial data cap. After all, 1TB is an obscene amount of data it would seem, right?

On Consumer Reports website, they did a bit of a calculation in order to explain how much data 1TB actually is. They utilized video streaming via Netflix as their method of calculation with estimates between around  1.6 – 3 GB per video, based on if it were streamed in high definition or not.

Going with the numbers provided it was estimated that a single person in a household would need to watch 416 Netflix Videos at 90 minutes each to reach 1TB. If the household contained 4 individuals, that would break down to 104 videos a month.

This is viewed as far over a typical months usage of data and amount streamed by most customers. 1TB sounds like quite a huge amount if you break it into those types of numbers, doesn’t it?

Well maybe if all that you did was play on social media and watch videos. If you are a gamer 1TB is nothing in all honesty. Most hardcore gamers will be playing roughly 5-10 hours of games a day and it might sound excessive but it truly is not.

A normal work day or school day is 8 hours and when people have their days off, 10-12 hours of gaming is not out of the question. It isn’t just gaming, however, because many people are multi tasking while playing games as well.

Watching both Netflix series, tv, streaming music, using their phones, so on and so forth. Multiple tasks all at once which will result in massive data usage making that 1TB go by quicker than one would think.

Let’s not forget that this is only based upon the usage of one person in that household. If there are multiple people within a house hold all utilizing this same batch of data, maybe performing similar activities, the data will go by even quicker.

Rationing in the esports World

Now let us be fair that one could argue the excessive use of electronics, gaming, binge watching, social media, and the such could be seen as problematic in certain cases. What about within the world of eSports however?

Those who are involved with esports are reliant upon gaming as their livelihood and what may sound excessive to an average person can be quite normal to many in these circles.

When an individual is not directly involved with tournaments and is not a part of a team they can utilize streaming on platforms like Twitch as their tool to getting to the masses. This gives them a platform in which to garner support and viewership without necessarily being a world winning champ.

Even those that are world champs utilize these streaming methods to grow their fan base and provide a source of income in their down seasons. Not every world class player is constantly winning or has a team with a financer.

The individuals that finance themselves need to find means to support their career while continuing to improve upon their game play.

The issue that we see with both professionals and amateurs with the data cap in the esports world is the ability in which one could practice or try and generate revenue.

As outside influences have an impact on a gamers ability to sustain their level of gameplay change will be required. Logically, this can have dramatic issues on those involved in the esports world completely.

The Data Slippery Slope

As stated, a typical esports professional, whether they are making this their profession through social media platforms and sponsorship or through tournaments, share something in common, the need for data. Data caps are popping up more and more around the world and changing the dynamics of how we will spend our free time.

No need to fear though because there is always the option of unlimited data plans for an additional fee! Well no more concern to be had with data caps! Right?

How many times have we been subject to the promises of unlimited data plans when it came to our cell phones? The bait and switch is real. We are no novices when it comes to the business practices of cellular companies when they offer their unlimited data plans.

An amazing deal to be had when there is the offer of unlimited data with a reliable and great network. We may extend our plans or jump ship from one company to another to try and optimize our performance and get the best bang for our buck.

Once we commit…things seem to change. Those changes seem to mean the offers, plans, and prices.

How often have we watched unlimited plans change their dynamic or go away completely?  The once great deal we found will now be changed to have even more increased fees? We will not be getting any difference in service aside what we have to pay them of course.

The changes the dynamic of the market for what will be offered as well since companies adapt to the strategies they have seen with cellular companies. Centurylink, for example, decided to start pulling back from their particular data cap model while Cox is expanding to more states.

Companies will provide competition for one another in certain areas while those with a monopoly will work harder to enforce their particular grasp on markets.

Certain companies within other countries such as China have taken steps even further than just data rationing. They have decided to implement time rationing upon their particular games.

According to Fortune.com, the Chinese based company Tencent has begun the process of rationing their game time in Honor of Kings upon children below age 18. If a user is below the age of 12 they will be limited to 1 hour of game time a day and users between 12 and 18 will be limited to 2 hours a day.

Honor of Kings is similar to the very popular eSports game League of Legends but for the Chinese market. The rationale behind limiting the game time was to dispel parental worries regarding video games and addiction relating to them.

This is the potential problem that the common application of data caps and rationing, in general, can have. We give up an inch and companies will take a mile.

In the particular case of Tencent, they have decided what is an appropriate time to utilize their product and taken that decision away from the consumer. What if other companies decide to follow in this manner?

The arguments that anything more than what is being offered is considered excessive and maybe a life style change is in order can be made. Yet why should these companies get to decide how someone should live their life or choose what they spend their free time upon?

What is an appropriate time for social media to be used? What is an appropriate time for internet usage in general?

It seems like we are on the path of being told exactly that day by day.

How This Can Impact Your Bets

On a brighter note, there is a beneficial aspect to data caps and rationing when it comes to the benefit of the eSports world. When identifying certain characteristics and backgrounds of professional players, keeping up to date with their locations and current laws of the land can increase your chances of success when placing your bets.

Looking at certain characteristics regarding age, family dynamics, living situations, so on and so forth can have an impact on their ability to practice and train for certain events. The choices they make in their internet and cable providers can play a large part as well.

Based on their location many of these professionals will opt for an unlimited type package or service that is not attempting to charge them for these data caps. If they even have those options in their particular location.

Many individuals based on their locations will be stuck with very few choices if not one choice period. If they are able to switch providers, if that is even an option, it can result in a possible impact on the service they are accustomed to.

Their gaming practice could be impacted based on the change of service or the changes that have come to their particular data networks.

There are far more options to seek out when looking to make your bets on esports then just simply viewing a person’s ability, their entire lives must be taken into account. The finer details of world events must be taken into account and by acknowledging what is going on in society can have a great impact on your success when dealing with esports.



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