How to Bet on eSports in 2023
eSports is on the verge of becoming one of the most popular forms of gambling, primarily due to its extended year-on-year growth since its arrival in the late 2000s. The industry is estimated to be worth over $1 billion and growing in 2023, so learning to bet on it now will help you as it continues to grow.
Note: This content is for adults over the age of 18 only. Always gamble responsibly, and for help or more information, visit BeGambleAware.org.
Biggest eSports Events
Like all other sports, there are some big events throughout the eSports calendar, and these often attract more interest in betting on matches. A big thing that gamblers must be aware of before betting on eSports markets is the different types of games played in competitions. These are some of the most prominent that you can expect to bet on with the leading sportsbooks.
DOTA 2 Betting
One of the most popular games gamblers can expect to bet on is DOTA 2. It has been a top competition game since it was released in 2013 and increased in popularity with the growth of eSports as an industry. The game’s main objective is for one team to defend their ancient ruins while also trying to destroy the opposing team’s ruins.
Gamblers can bet on the winning team at eSports tournaments and on the team that will win the sizable prize pot at the end of the competition. Handicap betting is also available, but we will go into more depth about that later on when we talk about the betting markets for gamblers.
CS:GO, or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is another popular game played at the annual eSports competitions. Developed by Valve, this first-person shooter game will see teams compete for prize pots of up to £1 million. The most prominent way to place a wager on this type of game is by placing money on the team/player you believe will win. If you’re correct, then you will be rewarded with the winnings.
League of Legends Betting
There aren’t many bigger games in the world of eSports than League of Legends or LOL for short. Riot Games develop this game and attracts millions of players and viewers daily. The game aims to destroy the opposing sides’ nexus. The popularity of this game can be highlighted by the enormous prize pot in play at the 2017 World Championship, as 24 teams competed for the pot, which was just over $4.5 million.
Once again, the most prominent types of bets to place hinge on the winners of certain fixtures or the outright winners. However, there are markets unique to this game in the form of betting on the team that will get the first baron/dragon and the first tower. The latter is a popular option, as punters must correctly wager on the team winning the match’s first tower.
There aren’t many games that can appeal to hardcore and novice gamers as much as this Blizzard Entertainment title. Teams will try and kill all the opposing team members. However, unlike other games, there is also an objective to complete to take the win. That means teamwork is more important with this game than any other eSports title.
Betting on the team that will emerge victorious is the most popular way to place a wager. However, there are also unique markets that bettors must understand before wagering money. Most exclusive eSports betting markets for Overwatch are prop bets and can be found on most bookies apps.
The obsession with Fortnite took over the world when it rose to prominence in 2017, and there are still a reported 250 million players playing the game worldwide. It would come as little surprise that the world of eSports tapped into the popularity of this game, with the biggest competition being the Fortnite World Cup. The battle royal style game was initially released as a single-player but transformed quickly into a game where players can face each other.
One of the modes will see 100 players come up against each other in a PVP mode. As with all kinds of betting, research is crucial before placing a wager on Fortnite battle royals. Understanding the teams is the best way to get value when placing wagers on the winners of the fixtures when betting on eSports.
Best eSports Betting Sites
Before betting on eSports, punters must first find the best site for their betting needs. That means examining all the different sportsbooks and determining which is the best. The quickest way to find the best sportsbook for betting on eSports is by searching the competitions they cover. We found that the best sites for eSports betting are Bet365, Pinnacle, Betfred, William Hill and 888Sport.
These leading sportsbooks go above and beyond when it comes to eSports markets, and cover all the major events. Those events include CS:GO, LOL, DOTA2, Fortnite, Overwatch, StarCraft and Call of Duty. As well as that, they have a variety of different markets to ensure that punters can always find an avenue for profit.
How To Bet On eSports For Beginners
Betting on eSports has become hugely popular over the past couple of years, with many of the most significant events having millions of viewers worldwide. There is not one game that stands out above the crowd, as there are different genres which could appeal to a wider audience. As well as first-person shooter games, there are also sports games and racing titles. There is something for everyone.
But, before placing a wager on the eSports betting markets, punters must first consider the markets that they could be about to find, and what must be achieved to have a winning bet.
Understanding Odds For eSports Betting
The first thing bettors must understand when betting on eSports is the odds and the various ways they can be formatted. The most popular in the United Kingdom is fractional, mainly due to how easy they are to understand. Bettors could instead opt for the American format or the decimal. However, we will focus on the fractional display since, for beginners, that is the easiest way to understand eSports betting. See the example below, or see Betting Odds Explained for a more in-depth guide on betting odds.
Pompa Team Black- 3/1
As you would see from the example above, both teams have different prices to win a CS:GO fixture. According to the prices, the favourite will be Skade, which has lower odds. Pompa Team Black would be considered massive outsiders for a victory in this fixture as their price is huge compared to the favourites.
Regarding winnings, should you place a wager of £10 on Skade, and they are victorious, then you will have £12 awarded as winnings. It wouldn’t be the most lucrative win because they are such heavy favourites. However, should you bet £10 on Pompa Team Black to win, and they do, then you will be rewarded £40 back in winning. £10 of both winnings is the stake returned, while the additional money is what you’re paid out with the odds. This means, you will take home £2 in profit from a wager on Skade, and £30 in profit should you be betting on Skade.
Types Of eSports Betting Markets
It is important to remember that all competitions differ depending on the game being played, meaning some tournaments have extended markets unique to that game. However, eSports betting is consistent regarding the most popular markets, and you can learn all about those here.
ESports betting is like other sports you can find on the sportsbook in many ways, shown by the most popular market is the Match Odds. Match Odds work the same as they would if you were wagering on football or basketball, and the bettor must correctly wager their money on the team that will win the fixture.
For instance, in a fixture between Strange Tactics and Pact, a punter may put down a stake of £10 on Pact to win at odds of 1/25. Should Pact win the match, then the bettor will be rewarded with £10.40 in returns. However, the stake will be lost if the opposing team wins.
Competitions have a substantial financial gain for the team involved. Bettors could also take advantage of that by wagering their money on the team they believe will win a competition. The outright market is popular across all sports, especially regarding betting on eSports.
To achieve returns when betting on this market, the bettor must correctly lay their wager down on the team that will win the competition. If they pick the winning team, the bettor will win the returns from the odds they bet on. However, if the selected team doesn’t win the competition, then the stake is lost.
Group of Winner
If you’re unsure about picking one team outright to win the competition, you can place a wager on a bunch of teams using the Group of Winner market. You will see shorter odds on the bet but could be worth the sacrifice in the long run. Instead of selecting one winning team, the bettor must select the group from which the competition winner will come.
One of the best ways to maximise value in bets that include heavy favourites is by wagering on the correct score in the fixture. Correct score will have bigger odds than the Match Odds market, as it is harder to predict the exact score to achieve the returns.
For example, in a best-of-three match between Gen G ESports and MIBR, a punter could wager on Gen G Esports winning 2-1. For the bettor to receive the returns, the game must end with that exact scoreline. Should MIBR win, or Gen G Esports win 2-0, the stake will be lost.
Another way to place a bet on an eSports match is by taking advantage of the handicap market when there is a heavy favourite. Here, the sportsbook will initially enable bettors to bet on the favoured side from a disadvantage. For example, in a CS:GO match, a favoured team will start with a -1.5 map handicap.
The fancied side must win by two clear maps for this bet to win and the punter to receive the returns. There are handicap markets for all eSports betting games, which includes handicap betting for DOTA2, LOL and Starcraft 2.
Map 1 Winner
It doesn’t have to be about the final result of betting on eSports, as punters can also lay wagers on the team that will win the first map. There is also a market for the team that will win the second map. All the bettor will need to do to achieve returns here is wager their money on the team winning that first round. They will be rewarded with the returns if they correctly predict the side. However, if they are incorrect, then the stake is lost.
There is also a 3-way option in this market for CS:GO, so a draw is also an option. That market is more profitable due to the added third option, which is also a crucial piece of knowledge for bettors betting on that game.
The maps are the critical component in most games that are available for eSports betting, and this over or under-market is extremely popular among punters. The sportsbook will set a total, and the bettor must then correctly lay their stake on whether there will be more or fewer maps in the game.
For example, in a Starcraft 2 fixture between Stork and Light, the sportsbook may set a total of 4.5. The bettor will then put their stake on over or under. If they wager their money on over, then there must be at least five maps competed for in the game, while if they bet on under, there must be four or fewer. The bet is settled when the fixture has ended.
Game Specific eSports Betting Markets
As we mentioned, all games are different, and many betting markets are unique to individual games. Some of the most popular markets are below, and here you will also see what games will offer these markets.
First Blood (CS:GO/LOL): Gamblers will be wagering money on the team that will register the first kill.
Knife Round (CS:GO): Betting on the team that will register the first kill in the pistol round.
First Baron/Dragon (LOL): Betting on the team to kill the first dragon or baron.
First Tower (LOL): Staking money on the team that will kill the first tower.
Map 1 Overtime? (CS:GO): Wagering on whether the first map will enter overtime. Punters will wager money on yes or no.
How To Win Money Betting On eSports
Gamblers always want immediate returns on their wagers, but there is never one way to ensure a win. Instead, there are tips and strategies for the chance of a win when wagering on eSports betting. These tips vary from preparation before betting to ensuring that you win the highest possible amount on your returns. Some of the essential factors that punters should look into when betting on eSports are:
- Understand all the different markets available.
- Compare odds offered by the leading sportsbooks.
- Research teams, players and competition records.
- Understand the different games and requirements for each.
The research stage of betting on eSports is the most essential, as that is where the punters can find their avenue for profit. By researching, the bettor will have a better knowledge of both teams involved and will be able to see if any patterns emerge. That could include finding out one side always starts slow in games, which would make them prone to lose the first map. That kind of information would be essential for the gambler, as they could use that knowledge to correctly predict the market they will wager their money on.
Another useful piece of advice for newcomers would be to start small with bets. Starting small will ensure that you’re most sensible with your money, but then you can steadily increase the amount you’re playing with as your understanding of the markets increases.
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FAQ’s About eSports
What is eSports Betting?
Betting on eSports is simply the ability to wager real money on competitions throughout the year. These events occur daily, with bettors wagering on teams that will win matches and wagering on the over/under markets.
How big is eSports betting?
The popularity of betting on eSports is only increasing. This year already, it has been projected that there have been 6.5 million bets placed on these competitions. The most popular game for betting on eSports is League of Legends.
What are eSports betting markets?
Various types of betting markets are available to gamblers looking to wager on eSports. Esports Betting Markets range from the winners of matches and competitions to betting on the team winning the first map. You can see a full breakdown of all the different kinds of betting markets available for eSports betting earlier in this article.
Can you watch eSports events online?
Viewing eSports events is hugely popular worldwide, with 532 million viewers turning in last year. Ways to watch esports events are on apps or websites with Twitch and Youtube Live Gaming being the main contenders. Some leading sportsbooks also offer live streams to watch the action on your phone.
Is eSports betting legal in the United Kingdom?
Betting on the eSports action is 100% legal in the United Kingdom, highlighted by the fact that all of the best-regulated sportsbooks allow bettors to stake money on it.
What are the most popular eSports games?
The most popular game for betting on eSports is League of Legends. However, it is not the only game to place wagers on. The leading sportsbooks in the UK also have markets for CS:GO, DOTA2, Fortnite and Overwatch.