Electronic Sports, or in short eSports, are the latest craze in online betting. This electronically driven sport has already garnered significant attention, with over £50 billion wagered on eSports competitions worldwide. It is without any doubt one of the biggest sports betting stories over the last couple of years. In this piece, we will go over everything you need to know about eSports betting. This includes the best eSports betting sites, and a detailed rundown of the most popular eSports betting markets and video games.
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Bet365 features probably the most professional eSports betting product out of all online bookies. Their fantastic selection of betting markets can only be matched with very favorable odds they present their customers with. They cover all major eSports events and have an eSports betting section that is really easy to get around and place bets on.
Bet365’s structure and the entire betting site is easy to navigate, user-friendly and offers little to be desired. Outright, handicap and match winner specials are available almost every day, offering you with an eSports betting product you will hardly find somewhere else.
This UK bookie is definitely one of the best eSports sportsbooks out there. Their customers can choose between a variety of games to bet on including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota, Overwatch, World of Tanks, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends and Starcraft. Besides this, they are also held in very high regard, mostly thanks to the great betting odds they present for each eSports competition.
William Hill generally has a great reputation for the overall quality of their betting product. This quality can also be seen in their eSports section, where you can find plenty of betting opportunities, including in-play betting options.
Betway is a relatively recent arrival on the betting scene compared to the previous two bookies, as it is only a little more than a decade old. It is also one of the most forward thinking and innovative bookies on the market. As such, Betway is very committed to eSports and its popularization, even sponsoring eSports teams, most notably Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Betway offers a fair amount of markets and featured sports. Not only this, it’s one of the very few bookies that provide exclusive eSports promotions from time to time. The odds are pretty generous compared to other sportsbooks, and the Betway blog, which includes regular eSports articles, makes Betway a perfect all-around package for all eSports pundits.
eSports betting has become a vital part of the rising electronic sport. With 250 million people strong industry such is eSports, betting on video game competitions has never been more lucrative. If you’re interested in taking part in this exciting new product, here are four popular eSports games you can bet on:
Part of one of the best first-person shooter franchises of all time, Counter-Strike made a long way from just being a Half-Life mod. Using an economy system in a linear FPS environment, the game emphasizes the importance of strategy and tactics, and is not by any means your average shooter game. When Counter-Strike Global Offensive launched back in 2012, it caught the world by storm and quickly became a popular betting option in many online sportsbooks. Now there are professional CS: GO tournaments and even unique betting markets, that all cater to pundits who like to bet on Counter-Strike Global Offensive.
DotA 2 is an amazing real-time strategy game that combines the best out of two cult games from the early days of gaming - Warcraft III and Starcraft. The original DotA is regarded as one of the best online multiplayer games of its generation, and the sequel isn’t far behind. When the sequel came out, it experienced massive success, and DotA betting odds and markets skyrocketed. DotA 2 made its mark in history as one of the first major eSports games that attracted a large number of viewers and bettors. To this day, the game is still going very strong and is an all-time favorite for eSports pundits and holds a special place in the heart of every eSports fan.
League of Legends(LoL) is one of the biggest eSports games out there. It is also one of the most popular eSports betting games among UK punters. It is a highly dynamic and action-packed game that combines multiple genres. Since it is a game that heavily revolves around strategy and tactics, it is also one of the toughest eSports games to bet on. It combines multiple factors, including map control, economy optimization, and strategy. You have to keep every aspect of the game in mind when evaluating odds and markets. LoL enjoys great popularity and fantastic event coverage. You can watch professional LoL matches on almost all streaming platforms, in addition to a few tv stations.
Although it is the youngest of the listed games, having released back in 2016, it is already regarded as one of the most popular eSports to bet on. Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter game, where players pick between 24 heroes, all of them with different strengths and weaknesses. It’s a very fast-paced video game, so there is often a lot of room for an underdog to surprise the favorite. Like all eSports you can bet on, Overwatch is best learned through observing, especially in the early competition stages. The game holds massive betting potential, as there are a lot of Overwatch betting markets going around.
Sportsbooks are just beginning to catch up with the eSports betting craze. This means that there are new markets coming out every day, offering more betting possibilities. Due to the nature of eSports betting, the bets can be divided into two separate categories. General eSports betting markets include main eSports betting options, that can also be found in almost any other sport you can bet on.
When placing an outright bet on an eSports event, you are placing a wager on the overall winner of the tournament in question. This is one of the simplest bets you can make and is also usually available months prior to the actual start of the event. Of course, the major drawback of betting on a winner months ahead is that it offers much slower returns, and you never know what could happen before the competition begins.
When you place an over or under bet in eSports, you will be generally predicting a particular statistic the bookie has presented you with. For example, if you’re betting on a CS: GO match, you can place over/under bets on the number of kills each team or player will have.
Handicap betting is basically betting on the team of your choice, just with the odds slightly altered. The odds of the favorite are lengthened, which helps increase your return. However, placing handicap bets on eSports is very risky, as the weaker side can much easier surprise the favorite in a sport that’s so fast-paced.
The first option is available if the tournament is organized in groups. You can place a bet on the winning group of the tournament. The second type of bet is a bet on the group which contains the player or team you will think will win the entire tournament.
Similar to the over or under bet, is the number of rounds bet. You can place a bet on a specific number of rounds or if the overall match will go over or under a certain number of rounds.
The special types of eSports betting markets are still fairly underdeveloped, although you can find exotic markets to bet on in several eSports games. Some of the most popular special bets include:
This special bet is available in almost every eSports game where the main goal is to eliminate the opposing side. You can place the first blood bet on a team you think will score the first kill of the match. This can be compared to betting on the first goal in a football match.
In eSports games when the main goal is to win the map, you can place a bet on the team you think will hold the map at the end of the round. You also have the option of betting on the total number of maps a team will win during a match, or if a team will at least one map. You can make this bet on a number of eSports games, but it's most popular in DotA 2 and League of Legends.
If you’re a real adrenaline junkie, this might be a great eSports bet for you to wager. You are placing a bet on a player or team you think will score the first kill in either the knife or pistol round. This is virtually impossible to predict and is a bet that ends in a matter of seconds, as soon as someone notches the first kill.
Despite being a global betting phenomenon, eSports is still very young, and many bettors haven’t gotten the chance to master it yet. Many casual gaming and eSports fans are jumping onto the betting bandwagon, without any knowledge of how eSports betting works. It's important not to get caught in the frenzy and lose your hard-earned cash because you didn’t read up on how it works. Familiarize yourself with some of the most popular sports like CS: GO, League of Legends, PUBG Fortnite, Overwatch and StarCraft II. Learn the basic and special betting markets and start slowly.
Choosing the right eSports betting site is ultimately a very subjective thing. You’re the one who will pick a website that you find most suitable. With that being said, there are three general things you should always look in a good eSports betting website:
The popularization of eSports has to lead to it becoming a regular mainstream sport, with bookies like Paddy Power and William Hill already introducing permanent eSports betting sections. There you can find regularly updated markets and betting options at your disposal. If you’re a more serious eSports punter, you can also stream eSports events live, available at some sportsbooks.
For the most part, the current eSports betting scene covers only a few of the most popular video games, most notably CS: GO, League of Legends, Fortnite and Overwatch. Some yearly major tournaments include a couple of other eSports events like FIFA and DotA 2 tournaments or Hearthstone events. On reputable betting sites like bet365, you will find a great variety of featured sports you can bet on a daily basis.
For major eSports events that include the above-mentioned games, bookmakers will often include a wide variety of different betting markets. Odds also tend to vary significantly from one bookie to another, so it's most advisable that you shop around for a bit before opting for a particular sportsbook.
Plenty of betting markets to choose from
Still young and underdeveloped compared to other sports
Specially featured at many reputable online bookies
Betting regulations are still in the works
Similar to regular sports betting, which makes it easy to learn
Excellent coverage, convenient to follow and bet on
Betting on eSports has become very popular in the last couple of years. With this, there has also been an emergence of many eSports betting sites. Betting on eSports is still a bit unregulated compared to other markets, and there are some issues surrounding it. There are many countries that allow eSports betting, most notably the UK. Other countries, like the US, still deem it to be illegal.
According to the most recent insights, there are over 3.3 million eSports enthusiast in the UK. The most popular eSports franchise in the UK is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with League of Legends taking a close second place. Close to 10% of all bettors have placed a bet on eSports events at least once.
The basic principle of eSports betting doesn’t stray far from regular sports betting rules. The only difference is that, instead of competing on a physical level, competitors are competing in a video game. There are some specific betting markets, unique only to the eSports community, but other than that there is very little difference between regular sports betting and eSports betting.