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What is eSports Betting?
Electronic sports, eSports, is a form of competitive video gaming that has seen a surge in popularity in past years. These games can be played on PC or console, with the only real stipulation being that they must be multiplayer-focused titles and that players have the opportunity to be able to create matches to play against one another either online or through a LAN connection (offline).
Other aspects required to make a title work competitively include player accessibility (is the game available to a wide range of players), a spectator mode that allows viewers to follow the action, a match-making system that allows players to compete against other players of similar skill level and, lastly, competitive design which looks at things like map layouts, game balance, and the overall competitiveness of the game.
Popular eSports titles that tick all of these boxes, and have a thriving betting scene due to their success, include:
- Call of Duty
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Dota 2 (Defence of the Ancients)
- League of Legends
- StarCraft 2
While these games aren’t the only eSports titles that you can bet on they do represent some of the most popular titles, and some of the best-developed eSports in their genre.
When it comes to placing wagers on these titles, you will find that it is not so different from regular sports betting.
Getting Started with eSports Betting
The first step in successful eSports betting is choosing the game, or games, you want to bet on. When doing so you will need to make sure that the game you have chosen is one that you have a basic understanding of as well as one that you enjoy watching, as you will need to watch a fair number of matches in order to make educated bets. Once you have chosen the game you want to bet on, you will need some basic understanding of what bets can be placed.
Types of Bets you can Place
The types of bets you can place when it comes to eSports betting include:
- Money Line – the most basic bet, in terms of eSports betting it is just a bet on which side will win
- Handicap – similar to in traditional sports betting, teams are given a positive handicap (given to the lower-ranked side) or a negative handicap (the higher ranked side). In order for a bet on a positive handicapped team to win, that team must win the match, draw or lose by less than the handicap figure. A bet placed on a team with a negative handicap will win only if that team wins by more than the handicap figure.
- Totals – a bet placed on a number of specific events that happen within a match (e.g. goals scored in FIFA or Player Kills in games such as Call of Duty)
- Specials – a bet on a specific event that will transpire within a match e.g. In a League of Legends match, Player A will get 20 kills
- Outright – a bet placed not on a single match but rather on the outcome of an event e.g. that Team A will win the Dota 2 International
- Parlay/Accumulator or Combo bets – several individual bets made on different events that, if you should win, will allow the odds of all the bets to be multiplied together for a larger pay-out
- In-Play – also referred to as live-bets, in-play wagers refer to bets that are placed after a match has started
Once you understand the different bet types, it is important to realize that different bets offer different odds. So, what are odds?
Betting Odds Explained
Odds refer to the probability (or chance) of a certain event occurring. Betting odds relate to something you can place a bet on. For example, in an eSports match between two teams, there are two possible results: either Team A wins or Team B wins. Both teams have a chance to win the match but the probability of one team beating the other will be higher thanks to a number of factors, such as history between the two teams, difference in individual skill etc.
The job of a bookmaker is to calculate the likelihood of these events and express them as odds (normally expressed as a fraction).
Fractional Odds & Calculating Potential Winnings
Fractional odds are the most common format to express odds when it comes to betting on traditional sports as well as eSports. They are odds calculated by bookies and refer to the likelihood of a certain event happening e.g. the odds of Team A winning a match may be 4/1 (i.e. if they play 4 matches they are likely to win 1 of those matches).
In general, favorable odds are those with a higher number on the right (e.g. 4/1), meaning that you will be paid out more for winning these bets. Unfavorable odds are those that have a higher number on the left (e.g. 1/9) as these will pay out less on a win.
When it comes to working out the actual value of these bets, fractional odds make it easy for bettors to calculate their potential earnings. Let’s take a look at some examples.
- Odds of 4/1 - for every $1 bet you will be paid out $4 for a win
- Odds of 1/9 – for every $9 bet you will be paid out $1
To work out your potential payouts you simply need to multiply the number by your stake e.g. on a 4/1 bet, if you place a bet of $5 you will be paid out 4 x $5 = $20.
Top Tips for eSports Betting
When it comes to placing eSports bets there are a few important things to keep in mind that could help you win big.When it comes to placing eSports bets there are a few important things to keep in mind that could help you win big.
- Know the game you are betting on
- Specialize and bet selectively – specializing in either a single game or even a genre will assist in allowing you to make educated betting decisions
- Learn how to distinguish high and low value bets - understanding a team or player’s weaknesses and strengths are important in being able to distinguish between good and bad bets
- Bet objectively – while it may be nice to bet on your home-side or your favorite team, when it comes to smart betting, follow your head not your heart.
- Follow the teams and players in your chosen eSports
- Understand player form – not every player will be able to play at the same level all the time.
- Don’t only follow major tournaments– standalone tournaments, as well as minor tournaments that feed into majors, often offer the best opportunities to make some easy money.
Casino Games & eSports Betting Aren’t So Different
eSports betting may seem complicated and scary but, if you look just below the surface, you will realize that it’s not that different from the casino games you already probably enjoy on your PC and mobile device.
Just like casino gaming, when you choose one of our recommended eSports betting sites, you are guaranteed:
- The best bonuses and promotions just for signing up
- Access to loyalty programs and other rewards
- The ability to play on the go with mobile compatibility for a range of devices
The Biggest eSports Events of the Year
Thanks to the growing popularity of eSports, 2017 was one of the most prolific years when it came to eSports tournaments. Let’s take a look through some of the major events, and their winners, for a taste of what we can expect this coming year.
- NGE Overwatch Winter Premiere – Held in January in San Antonia, this year saw the Immortals walk away with the $40,000 First Place Prize
- WESG 2016 – The World Electronic Sports Games played host to competitors in a number of titles. Winners included: TY (StarCraft 2), Team EnVyUs (CS: GO), TNC Pro Team (Dota 2), and Staz (Hearthstone)
- IEM Katowice – The Intel Extreme Masters hosts some of eSports greatest teams, coming together in a number of games. Winners for 2017 include: Astralis (CS: GO), and TY (StarCraft 2)
- Kiev Major(Dota) – The Second Major of the 2016-2017 season saw OG walk away with the $1,000,000 First Place Prize
- DreamHack Austin – One of the biggest game and eSports conventions in the World, DreamHack’s first event of the year saw a number of teams walk away victorious. Winners include: Gambit eSports (CS: GO), Hungrybox (Smash), and Neeb (StarCraft 2)
- ESL One Cologne – One of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s biggest events of the year, 2017 saw SK Gaming walk away with the $100,000 First Place prize
- League of Legends Worlds 2017 – The culmination of a year’s work for teams across the world, Worlds 2017 saw Samsung Galaxy walk away with the $1,723,731 First Place prize
- The International 2017 – The third and biggest Dota 2 Major of the Year saw Team Liquid walk away with the $10,862,683 First Place Prize
- WCS Global Finals 2017 – The biggest event in the StarCraft 2 calendar, the Global Finals saw Rogue secure the $280,000 First Place prize
The Best Websites for Betting
When it comes to finding reputable eSports betting sites that offer you the best bonuses and rewards just for playing, we’ve done the hard work for you. Don’t risk spending your hard-earned cash at a dodgy eSports betting site. Rather, choose from our list of recommended sites which are guaranteed to offer you:
- Bonuses & Promotions – build your bankroll quickly and easily with our selection of sites that offer great welcome bonuses, handsome rewards programs, and more
- Banking Options – choose from a range of banking options to suit your own personal needs with banking methods that are secure and reliable
- Variety of Games – from MOBA’s like League of Legends and Dota 2 to FPS titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and more, choose from the widest variety of eSports betting options
- Secure Gambling Gambling – play with peace of mind as we choose only licensed and regulated eSports betting sites to recommend
- Compatibility – letting our players place bets regardless of their device type is our priority
- Support – 24/7 customer support for all your gaming enquiries
Start Placing eSports Bets Today
eSports betting may be a newcomer to the sports betting scene but it is also one of the most lucrative. We’ve taken a look at the range of eSports betting options open to our players, broken down what bets can be placed and even how to judge how much your bets are worth.
Now take a browse through our selection of recommended eSports betting sites for a taste of what the best sites can offer you. With our selection of sites catering to any and all your needs, you can start building your bankroll with the future of sports gambling today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which games can I place an eSports bet on?
Thanks to the growing popularity of eSports betting the number of games you can place bets on continues to grow by the day. Popular eSports to bet on include: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, Call of Duty, FIFA, and StarCraft 2.
How does placing an eSports bet work?
Betting on eSports isn’t so different from traditional sports betting. Simply choose the site that best suits your need from our list of recommended eSports betting sites, register, choose the game you wish to bet on and start playing today.
What kinds of bets can I place?
As with traditional sports betting, there are a number of different bets that can be placed. From outrights to accumulators, specials, in-play and more, the choice of what bet to place is yours.
Will online gambling sites offer bonuses for eSports bettors?
Yes! The best eSports betting sites offer lucrative welcome bonuses as well as loyalty rewards and other bonuses just for playing.
Which gambling sites offer the best eSports betting?
We’ve taken the time to vet only the best gambling sites that offer eSports betting to our players. Head over to our lists of recommended sites today for a taste of what top-class gambling sites can offer eSports bettors.
Which banking methods are the best for eSports gambling?
Although there are a number of good payment options available to players, when it comes to the best banking methods for eSports gambling, e-wallet services such as Skrill and PayPal offer the most secure way to play online as your banking details remain secure with these service providers.