When FIFA debuted in 1993, it was a simple offline football simulator, and has improved every year since. With each new iteration, FIFA games boast new features or game modes, more comprehensive stats, and better graphics.
Perhaps the most significant change to the game was the addition of online play for PC in 2001, which followed shortly after for console players. While the game remains popular with offline players, it's the online modes which have elevated the rise of FIFA YouTube and Twitch streamers, FIFA wager websites and professional eSports becoming prominent.
FIFA Ultimate Team – originally introduced in 2009 – is the game's most popular mode today, with more than 20 million users. The platform allows players to build their own squad using current and former players acquired via card packs or rewards. In 2017, FIFA introduced the world to FUT Champions. This game mode allows players to pit their Ultimate Team against other online players, trying to rise through the ranks and ultimately win real money by playing in competitions.
Although FIFA eSports has been around in some form since the first FIWC (FIFA Interactive World Cup) in 2004, FUT Champions is now regarded by both EA and players as a springboard into the world of eSports. If you're looking into how to bet on FIFA, FUT Champions is a great place to start.
FIFA eWorld Cup 2019
Although the biggest event for FIFA betting is undoubtedly the FIFA eWorld Cup, there are plenty more games to wager on. In fact, many months see a minimum of 3 to 5 FIFA tournaments, and that's without counting the smaller FUT events.
Placing bets on eSports FIFA is very similar to betting on real life football games, and this is reflected on various online sportsbooks. Another great thing is that, since FIFA esports has existed for over a decade, you can use past results and statistics to make smarter bets. Once you've found a suitable FIFA wager site, you can place all of the following bets:
The best FIFA betting sites will offer a range of different bonuses and promotions for players who are learning how to bet on FIFA. Below, we explain the types of bonus you can expect to find at sportsbooks when betting on FIFA:
As the name suggests, this is a bonus that's available to new players when they sign up with a site. It typically takes the form of a match bonus and gives players the opportunity to place more bets than they might have been expecting.
e.g. 100% match on first deposit grants $200 bonus cash when depositing $200, 50% match on second deposit grants $50 when depositing an additional $100
As we've seen above, the "match" in match bonus refers to the level that the bonus matches your deposit. This figure can be higher than 100% with a 200% match bonus granting $100 of bonus cash on a $50 deposit. Bonus cash is always subject to wagering requirements, usually of 20-50x its value, so you can't claim and withdraw it immediately.
Some sites will give you a small sum of bonus cash, often in the range of $10-20, just for trying out their site. Once again, this bonus is subject to wagering requirements. You'll sometimes find that there are odds limitations in place too, meaning that you can't wager on something you consider to be a 'sure thing'.
In some cases, betting sites will make placing particular wagers (e.g. Player A to win by 2 goals or more) more appealing by improving the odds offered on that outcome. Be sure to read the small print, as part of your returns may be paid out in the form of free bets.
It's difficult to quantify loyalty bonuses because they take all sorts of different shapes and sizes depending on the FIFA betting site you're playing with. Some might distribute invites to attend events in person, for example, while others might reward you with free bets or enhanced odds for particular events.
If you've never visited a FIFA wager site or taken part in eSports betting before, there are a few things you should know before you get started. Below, you'll find our top 5 tips for gamblers who are new to eSports sites:
Make a note of things like the platform (PS4, Xbox One or PC) that competing players usually use, where they placed in recent tournaments and how they've fared against other competitors. All of this information is readily available on the web and is hugely helpful.
Focusing your attention on a certain region, clan, or player early on will help you to place more educated bets. If you're on this page you've likely already settled on FIFA betting, which is a good first step. Next up, start looking at which events are coming up next.
It doesn't make sense to place wagers on every single game that's being played. If you wait until the data highlights a clear favourite, for example, you'll be more likely to bet successfully than if placing wagers at random when competitors are very evenly matched.
Major tournaments like the FIFA eWorld Cup will always be a big draw for eSports betting. However, there are tons of smaller events out there that offer huge potential for underdog victories. A bit of lucky FIFA betting is just one way to score bigger payouts.
If you knew that your favourite real-life football team were missing several key players, you probably wouldn't bet on them. In the same way, you might think twice about betting on FIFA eSports players who have just left their clan or are coming back after a long absence. Anything that might be a distraction has the potential to affect their performance.
Just like in real football, the FIFA eSports season is comprised of different events and qualifiers which take place over many months. In the case of EA's flagship football sim, the best-known tournament is the FIFA eWorld Cup.
Let's take a look at some of the key events and leagues that you can bet on:
The FUT Champions Cup can be thought of as a qualifier for the FIFA Global Series. The higher position occupied by a player in FIFA Global Series Rankings, the more likely it is that they'll be progressing to other tournaments and events throughout the season.
In recent years, we've seen traditional football leagues and teams diversifying to get a foothold in the eSports scene. As a result, there are now multiple virtual football leagues out there that have a lot in common with their equivalents outside of gaming, including:
A couple of years ago UEFA created the eChampions League, in which top European teams compete. What's really interesting about these teams and leagues is that they represent a move away from the solo gameplay associated with FIFA and FUT towards a style that involves multiple players competing on behalf of a single franchise.
As with real football, an understanding of how odds work is crucial to FIFA betting success. If you have any experience with the former, this will feel pretty familiar, except you only need to worry about a single eSports player instead of the small army of footballers on a team.
Odds vary across eSports sites because they're calculated slightly differently by bookies, so it's worth shopping around to make sure you get the best odds possible. Just like traditional football, odds are usually displayed in a fractional format in the UK.
For example, the odds of player A winning over Player B are 4/1. This means that a successful bet of $1 you'll win $4, plus you'll get your original $1 stake back.
If the odds of player C beating player D are 1/5, you'll need to bet $5 in order to get a payout of $1 (plus your original $5 stake).
Our odds calculator can help you understand this, as it can be tricky initially, but working out your potential winnings is as simple as multiplying the odds by your stake, e.g. for a bet with odds of 4/1, 4 x $5 = $20. For one with odds of 1/5, 1/5 x $5 = $1.
Winner of the 2019 FIFA eWorld Cup, and widely regarded as one of the most prolific FIFA eSports players. Estimated to have earnt more than $250,000 from FIFA 19 tournaments.
May not have, at the time of writing, won a FIFA eWorld Cup but boasts huge winnings (in excess of $250,000) playing in FIFA eSports tournaments.
Took home the 2017 FIFA eWorld Cup trophy and, as a result, was crowned the best UK eSports player that same year. Regarded by some as the best FIFA player in the world.
Won the FIFA eWorld Cup in 2018, as well as being a finalist in 2019, and has racked up close to half a million pounds in FIFA 19 tournament winnings.
Hasn't made as much cash playing in FIFA tournaments as some of the other players on this list but won the 2016 FIFA eWorld Cup, so deserves a mention for that alone.