Esports betting is one of the new favorite pastimes. Thousands of matches are played daily with bookmakers offering odds on every single aspect of competitive play. Esports.net is here to help you navigate the maze of the esports ecosystem and help you place your first esports bet!
We give you the all the essential information you need to give you the inside track on betting on esports. In this extensive guide to esports betting, we take you through how to bet on esports, we look at the legal aspects of it – can you bet on esports where you are? And even talk about the key things to look for when finding yourself the best bookmakers for gambling on esports.
What are esports and esports betting anyway?
First things first, let’s nail down just what we mean by esports and esports betting. The simplest answer is that esports are any sort of competitive videos gaming played between individuals or teams. Obviously this differs from simple video gaming in that the players are no longer competing against the computer but against other players.
Esports come in various genres and have absolutely exploded in popularity over the last decade, with massive esports tournaments with superstar esports teams and esports players competing in front of thousands of screaming fans, with millions of fans tuning in to watch on live streams such as Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming, or Facebook Gaming.
And of course, just as with any traditional sport, the competitive gaming involved in esports has opened up the world of opportunities to bet on esports!
Is esports betting like traditional sports betting?
Betting on esports might seem different to traditional sports betting, but as you get used to esports, you’ll see that a bet on esport action is just the same as betting on soccer, basketball, or horse racing.
So, how do you make an esport bet and how do you win an esports bet? It’s exactly the same as making and winning a traditional bet! Chose the esport bet market you’re interested in and check out the esports odds to make sure it’s right for you. The big advantage with esports betting is that it’s more interactive with communities, live streaming, stats, social media, and more from the best esports bookmakers that makes betting on esports such a great betting experience.
Esports Games, Esports Tournaments – A Betting World!
So many genres of games, so many great tournaments – you can bet on them all!
Betting on Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
There’s no doubt that battle arena games are very popular amongst esports betting fans. Titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends are some of the biggest esports in the world, and by watching streams of the finals of tournaments like The International and the League of Legends World Championship, you’ll quickly see why these team-based games are perfectly suited for some betting. There’s a never-ending range of battle arena games out there with mythological titles like Smite and fantasy games like Warcraft being particularly popular. Whilst some of the characters and gameplay can take some getting used to, there are plenty of people who’ve made some decent winnings from these titles.
Betting on First Person Shooters (FPS)
If you’re looking for some explosive action, then you can look forward to betting on plenty of great first-person shooters. There is little doubt that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular titles in this genre, but other games like Call of Duty and Halo have also found success in the esports realm. Although it might be odd to bet on military conquest, the team-based gameplay lends itself well to the betting world, and a quick look at top CSGO matches at tournaments like the Intel Extreme Masters shows you how much fun you can have in betting on a first person shooter. So whether it’s a new gaming phenomenon like Overwatch or a classic combat game like Call of Duty, there’s no limit to what kinds of things you can make your esport bet on. The same goes for lesser known esports titles, like Valve’s multiplayer first-person shooter game Team Fortress 2.
Sports Simulators – the easiest way to get started with esports betting
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find that many people like to take bet on esports teams and players in some great sports simulators. Obviously, if you’ve ever placed a football bet, esports like FIFA should be straightforward to wager on. For example, ever since the FIFA eWorld Cup came on the scene, there’s been a host of betting sites that have attempted to make betting on this esport tournament as popular as the real thing. And by using our experts esports betting guide, you can still make some decent money by wagering on this awesome sports simulator. Other popular esports titles in this category are NBA 2K and the vehicular-football chaotic Rocket League.
Other games to try for esports betting
Every year there seems to be yet another game that’s set to be the next esports sensation. From the world of card Hearthstone to the battle royale title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, there’s always something new to take an esports bet on. Whether you want to keep it simple with some Street Fighter V betting, or prefer to go deep with a wager on the strategic title like StarCraft II, there’s truly something for everyone. And with even collectible card video games like Hearthstone making it big in the esports world, you should have no shortage of ways to land a winning bet. You really have a wide choice of titles: from the most popular and well-known ones, to the smaller and niche ones such as the free-to-play H1Z1.
The esports world holds some of the biggest sporting events in terms of attendance, viewership, and prize money. And a great esports betting site will not only cover all of the biggest tournaments in-depth, but also give you betting opportunities on smaller tournaments and e-leagues around the world.
In terms of viewership, the League of Legends World Championship is huge, with over 3,985,787 viewers watching a huge 139,000,000 hours of competitive action and gameplay. Similarly, the likes of the Fortnite World Cup and Intel Extreme Masters Katowice all have viewing figures in the many millions of hours. But when it comes to prize money (and betting interest), there’s one outright leader – Dota 2’s premier event, The International, which boasted a staggering prize pool of $34.3 million in 2019.
Where Can I Bet On Esports – How To Pick An Esports Betting Site
The best bookmakers for your esports bets
Once you’ve decided which esport you want to bet on, then you will need to find the best esports betting site for every esport bet you want. There’s a growing range of online gambling sites that now facilitate esports betting from traditional bookmakers like Bet365 and Betway, to dedicated esports gambling sites like ArcaneBet and GG.Bet.
Some betting sites focus on the biggest competitions for CS:GO, Dota 2 and LoL, whereas some dedicated betting esports sites will have a constant range of pre-match and esports live betting odds for more niche games. So be sure to do some research into the site to make sure that they adequately cover your favourite game.
Find out which are the best esports betting sites for you in our dedicated section, based on your country and local gambling authority.
How To Bet On Esports – All The Different Betting Options
With esports betting, there’s more to bet on than simple real money betting. Various different types of esports betting have developed over the years, covering all aspects of the esports industry from competitive tournaments to Twitch streaming and even Skin gambling and trading. Here’s all the potential ways you get involved with esports betting.
Real Money Betting
Real money betting is the simplest form of betting on esports and is exactly like traditional sports betting. It’s simply a case of picking the tournament or event you are interested in, choose your market and match, and place your esports bet. All you have to do then is wait for the results!
Just as there are fantasy sports bets for many traditional sports, there are fantasy esports bets for your favourite esports. It works just the same, you first choose your players and/or esports teams based on how well you anticipate them performing. You earn points/cash for their esports performance in games, whether that’s winning a match or tournament or completing some pre-determined goal. In the world of fantasy betting, one of the originals and still one of the best is DraftKings.
1. Betting on Streamers
Betting on streamers at esports specialist sites such as Unikrn means laying down bets on particular elements of an esports players gameplay as they are streaming on Twitch or other streaming platforms.
2. Betting on yourself
This is exactly what it sounds like – you can bet on yourself playing video games, allowing you to win real cash by achieving specified accomplishments within esports games. Unikrn’s Umode is a great place for self-betting.
3. Item & Skin Betting
Skin betting involves using virtual currency of some form from a betting site. This virtual currency comes usually as certain in-game items or graphic downloads for the game or characters. You should be very careful with certain skin betting sites and they were traditionally unlicenced and unregulated and we’d recommend that you avoid any unlicenced site.
4. Esports Pool Betting
With a site like Puntt, pool betting involves all bets on a particular market pooled together and the total (minus any fee) divided up amongst the winners.
5. Social betting & Challenge Betting
With social betting, you bet within a group on the outcomes of games. Challenge betting is similar, being between just two people, effectively one challenging the other.
How to bet on esports for the first time
If you’ve tried a sports bet, esports is just the same
In order to place your bet, you usually just need to click on the desired odds that will be added to your betting slip. Then you have to decide how much you are willing to stake on your esports bet. Most betting slips will automatically calculate your potential winnings for you. And once you’ve clicked on the ‘place bet’ icon, then it’s just a matter of sitting back and waiting for your winning result to come in.
Once you’ve found a betting site who features your favourite game, you are ready to take your first esports bet. You will have to register a new account with the gambling site that can usually be done in just a couple of minutes by filling in a few personal details. Once you’ve verified your account, then you will need to pick a payment method so as to make your opening deposit. Don’t forget that this is the time where you can take advantage of any welcome bonus deals.
After you’ve set up your account and made your deposits, then you can scroll through the site’s esports odds to find a match that looks like it could deliver a good payout. You should be able to toggle between decimal and fractional odds so as to see how much your bet could return to you. Just don’t forget to research some water-tight betting tips before you lay your money down and always gamble responsibly.
Esports betting market
What kinds of esports betting markets are there?
Just as there are many different kinds of esports to bet on, there are also many different ways to take bets. Whilst there is nothing wrong with taking a simple match-winner bet, it can be much more exciting to mix up your betting strategies every now and then. Here are some of the main types of esports bets to try in conjunction with some decent betting tips.
Match winner esports bets
This is probably the most common kind of esport bet that you’ll find on a betting site. Just like you’d predict the winner of a football match, you can try and bet on the winner of a particular esports match of anything from League of Legends to Counter-Strike Global Offensive. If this sounds too simple, then you can try some handicap betting which can be used to put a clear favourite at a disadvantage in order to take advantage of the better odds for a bigger profit.
Outright esports bets
Outright bets allow you to make a wager on which team or player will win a particular esports tournament. Most decent betting sites allow you to do this well in advance of the esports competition. So if you have a good feeling about who will win a tournament like the DreamHack Masters, be sure to get your bets in early.
System esports bets
System bets require you to make more than one esports bet. You will have to have all of your selections win in order to get your winnings, but it’s worth remembering that the payouts from these bets can be very impressive. Whilst it can take some luck to win this kind of bet, the payouts that you could get from online betting sites should make it all worthwhile.
There are plenty of great bets that are specific to individual esports. So if you were betting on League of Legends, then you might get the opportunity of making a bet on which team would win the first map, and if you were wagering on CSGO, then you could try and predict which team would be the first to get ten kills. Many betting sites also allow you to make unusual bets like which team will destroy the first tower, dragon, inhibitor and so on. And with the option of taking bets on the correct score and even the time taken to complete a round, it shows that there are plenty of ways to make an esports bet.
Regulation, Security, Fairness, Legality
Be safe and secure with our esports guidance
It’s completely legal to bet on esports as long as it’s legally allowed in the country you’re registering from and you are over the legal age for gambling on esports. You should expect a good and trustworthy bookmaker to verify your age, identity, location, and payment methods after you open your account.
We will have all heard stories about gambling sites that operate without being licensed and regulated. This is illegal and it gives you no protection. So always check to make sure that your chosen betting site is licensed and regulated before deciding where to bet on esports. Never trust any site without a license, such as some of the skin betting sites, because a good licensing and regulatory authority ensures fairness in any bet on esport. When you’re looking at esports betting online, be sure to look for the more strictly regulated licenses – UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Gibraltar Gaming Ordinance, and Isle of Man Gambling Commission. These are far more difficult to acquire and will hold bookmakers for your esports betting to higher account than the way easier to get hold of licenses from the Curacao Gaming Control or Antigua and Barbuda Gaming Division.
Plus if you try betting on esports at GG.bet you will see that they have a certificate from eCogra which shows that they have high standards of player protection. And rather than getting involved in the dangers associated with skin gambling, be sure to check that the betting site only takes real money deposits from reputable credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies.
Deposit Methods & The Rise of Crypto Esports Sites
Esports sites lead the way in welcoming new payment methods
When it comes to esports betting sites, you’ll find a huge range of available deposit and payment methods, including old favorites such as debit and credit cards, bank transfers, and all of the e-wallets, including esports betting with PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, plus electronic pre-paid cards such as Paysafecard. Obviously, the payment methods offered and/or allowed will vary by country.
But the real innovation of the esports betting sites is in embracing the world of cryptocurrency far quicker than traditional sports and casino sites. Esports bookmakers recognized the value of esports betting with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies early on and have either integrated crypto payment methods alongside more traditional payment methods – such as betting sites including Luckbox, Unikrn, Arcanebet – or have set themselves up as dedicated crypto betting sites – such as Stake.com.
As we’ve already mentioned, be wary of those sites offering skin betting in lieu of real money deposit and payment methods – these are often unregulated and unlicenced and we would advise you to avoid them.
Making use of an esports betting bonus
Want to land a larger bet? Esports bonuses are the way forward
If you want some failsafe betting advice, then we’d let you know that there are many people who successfully use betting bonuses to get an extra level of profit on their esports bets. If in doubt, then just get in contact with a betting company’s customer service team to clarify any confusing terms and conditions.
We mentioned the fact that you can sometimes use a bonus when signing up to a betting site. This is a great way to get a significant boost on your profits. There are many esports betting promotions out there that range from matched deposit deals, to matched bet offers.
But before you sign up for a betting bonus, be sure to read the small print first. Most betting offers will require you to make a qualifying deposit or a series of qualifying bets before you receive any bonus funds. And don’t forget that many esports promotions will demand that you turn over your bonus a certain amount of times by making qualifying bets within a specific time period before you can withdraw your winnings.
Best Esports Bonus Offers: Find all the top promotions on our esports betting bonus page.
Customer Service Options
What customer service options are there for getting help with an esports bet?
If you are new to esports betting, then there is a good chance that you might require some assistance in setting up your account and making your first bet. This is why it can be good to check that your betting site has adequate customer service support. Many gambling sites have customer services that can be reached via live chat, telephone or email, and it’s always good to get an extra level of reassurance.
Good customer service is especially important if you plan to do exotic markets esports betting and your bets take a while to settle. Having customer support that will respond and assist you in a timely manner is essential.
Top tips from our experts’ esports betting guide
If you need some help in making your esports bets count, then here’s a selection of esports betting tips that could assist in delivering some decent profits whilst you gamble responsibly. Use our esports betting advice:
- Research esports teams on Reddit – Pick up free esports betting tips
There is a huge amount of esports teams and players out there and it can be difficult to keep up with all of the latest developments. This is why it can sometimes be a good idea to use a resource like Reddit to find out the latest rumors and gossip about an upcoming esports tournament. Whilst the esports betting tips that you’ll receive can’t always be completely failsafe, it’s still a good way to find out the latest statistics and opinions about the main competitors.
- Try live esports betting today – For an in-play bet, esports is hard to beat
Although there’s nothing wrong with betting on an esports match before it begins, many punters are realising that live betting is the way forward. By watching the events unfolding on-screen via a streaming site like Twitch, you can alter your betting strategies in accordance with the changing odds of the in-play betting markets and feel the excitement of landing a winning bet at the last minute. Don’t forget that if you try esports betting at GG.Bet you can even enjoy a built-in live Twitch stream to supercharge your live bets.
- Wait until the best tournaments come around – Simple esports betting advice
Big esports events like DreamHack and The International always attract the greatest amount of attention from the bookies. And more competition means that you are in line for taking advantage of better odds as gambling sites aim to provide greater betting options. So although wagering on smaller esports events is always a good practice, you stand to get better odds from the bookies when the larger tournaments take place. Plus you’ll also find that there are more decent esports betting tips and a greater quantity of betting markets for the big gaming competitions too.
The Future of Esports
Esports as a pastime, esports viewing, and the eSports betting industry just keeps on growing exponentially. Playing esports is one of the biggest leisure activities in the world with a fan base that went from over 170 million frequent esports viewers and 222 million occasional viewers in 218 to figures of 220 million frequent viewers and over 270 million occasional viewers in 2020. Similarly, the esports betting market grows year on year. The $1 billion valuation of the esports betting industry of 2019, is estimated to exceed $2 billion by 2022.
However, the Covid-19 crisis of 2020 and 2021 radically accelerated the numbers of people globally getting into esports and esports betting, with the UK Gambling Commission reporting that the esports industry marked an incredible year-on-year growth of 2992%.
And that’s something that’s only going to grow and grow as we look forwards. We’ll see all forms of esports increasing in popularity. Of course, this will see a corresponding increase in betting on esports. We can confidently say that, eventually, esports could rival the popularity of more traditional sports, with more and more players choosing to bet on esports as well as other sports. And as the events grow bigger, eclipsing the crowds for traditional sports, the esports betting market is just going to explode!