What is esports?
Before we talk about how to bet on esports, we first need to clarify what we mean by esports. Esports are a kind of competitive gaming where teams and individual players compete against each other on specific games. Whilst video gaming was once seen as a solitary affair, the arrival of broadband technologies meant that gamers could enjoy playing against each other regardless of their physical location.
In less than a decade we have seen many huge esports tournaments appearing all over the world. Prestigious competitions like DreamHack, The International and the Intel Extreme Masters frequently draw together the word’s best gamers to compete on games like Dota 2 and League of Legends in front of thousands of avid spectators.
What’s best is that you don’t even have to attend one of these tournaments to see the action. By using popular live streaming sites like Twitch.tv, you can follow the action of your favourite esports teams and players. And just like traditional sports such as football and tennis, you can even bet on the outcome of these exciting esports events.
Is esports betting like traditional sports betting?
If you’ve ever taken the time to try some sports betting on activities like football, tennis or basketball, then you should have no problem in making the transition to betting on esports. Whilst making bets on the efforts of video gamers might initially seem fairly unusual, it’s actually fairly similar to trying some traditional sports betting.
Just like you might bet on the winner of a football match, then you can bet on which team can win a game of anything from a battle arena title like Smite to a first-person shooter like Call of Duty. And thankfully as esports has become more professionalised, then you can get to know top esports teams like Fnatic, Virtus.pro and SK Telecom T1 to gain an extra level of confidence in your bets.
Betting on esports means that you have to wager on odds that the bookmaker sets. This is just like sports betting where the odds correspond to the likelihood of a particular event happening. So whilst there are superficial differences between esports and traditional sports, when it comes to betting, both of these activities are remarkably similar.
What games can you try esports betting on?
Whilst some video games aren’t particular well suited for being spectator sports, there are many titles that are a great fit for the esports world. Here are a selection of some of the many gaming genres that you can take a bet on.
Battle arena games
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 Heroes of the Storm 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.
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 bet on.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find that many people like to take bets on teams and players in some great sports simulators. 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. Whilst it’s unlikely that games like FIFA 18 will overtake their real-life counterpart, by using our experts esports betting guide, you can still make some decent money by wagering on this awesome sports simulator.
Other games to try esports betting on
Every year there seems to be yet another game that’s set to be the next esports sensation. From the vehicular-football chaos of Rocket League 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.
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 that you will come across.
Match winner 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 bets allow you to make a wager on which team or player will win a particular esports tournament. You can often 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 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 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.
Top 3 Bookmakers showcasing the best odds
|Betting Sites||League of Legends Bets||Counter Strike Bets||Dota 2 Bets||Overwatch & Other games||Rating||Go to bookmaker|
|93 - 95%||95 - 95%||94 - 96%||94 - 96%|
|96 - 97%||97 - 97%||95 - 97%||95 - 97%|
|91 - 96%||96 - 96%||93 - 98%||93 - 98%|
Picking a betting site for your esports bets
Once you’ve decided which esport you want to bet on, then you will need to find a suitable betting site. There’s a growing range of bookies that now facilitate esports betting from traditional bookmakers like William Hill and Betfair, to dedicated esports betting sites like ArcaneBet and esportsbetting.com. All have their own advantages and disadvantages so here are some things to consider before signing up to their services.
What kinds of esports bets does a bookmaker offer?
There’s a huge amount of variance in terms of which esports tournaments are covered by different bookmakers. Some bookies will only focus on the biggest competitions for popular titles like CSGO and LoL, whereas some dedicated betting esports sites will have a constant range of pre-match and 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. And don’t forget to so some odds comparison tests to make sure that you are getting the biggest potential payouts for your esports bets.
Is the betting site safe and secure?
We will have all heard stories about betting sites that operate without a license. This is illegal and it gives you no protection. So always check to make sure that your chosen betting site has licensing from an institution like the Malta Gaming Authority. Governing bodies like the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority only grant licenses to those operators who are able to show that they are giving their customers a safe and fair gambling environment. 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 and e-wallets.
What customer service options are there?
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 betting 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.
How to bet on esports for the first time
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 betting 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 betting 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.
Making use of an esports betting bonus
Whilst this sounds complicated, 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 esports betting profits. There are many esports betting promotions out there that range from matched deposit deals, to matched bet offers.
But before you sign up to 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.
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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 tips that could assist in delivering some decent betting profits.
Research esports teams on Reddit
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 rumours and gossip about an upcoming esports tournament. Whilst the information 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
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 to the changing odds and feel the excitement of landing a winning bet in the last minute.
Wait until the best tournaments come around
Big tournaments 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 betting sites aim to provide greater betting options. So although wagering on smaller competitions is always good practice, you stand to get better odds from the bookies when the larger tournaments take place.