Professional video gaming has really come into its own over the past decade. CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2 and VALORANT are among the leading titles, with competitions now taking place around the world. Standout events include DreamHack and The International. It should therefore come as no surprise that eSports betting is now also big business.
With many sites offering in-play markets and live streaming, the number of bookies accepting bets in this area has increased rapidly. So, if you are wondering how to bet on eSports, our guide will outline everything that there is to know, including the biggest games and tournaments.
How Does eSports Betting Work
Short for Electronic Sports, eSports involves competing in video games, either as an individual or part of a team. The professional scene grew significantly in the early 2010’s, with game developers having developed titles specifically with competition in mind. While some were confused by the concept, others took to eSports betting quickly. You can bet on teams and players to win or lose, with the number of markets increasing all of the time. However, it is the community which separates eSports from other sports. For example, many eSports betting sites feature dedicated forums and chat rooms, where bettors discuss potential picks. So, how to bet on eSports? The answer is to check our guides below.
What Type of Games Can I Find
The truth is that there really is something for everyone. Understanding formats is important in answering the question - how does esports betting work? Different gameplay, storylines and features are found, with the most popular game types below:
⏩ Multiplayer Online Battle Arena: Known as MOBA for short, this type of game sees two teams of players competing against each other. In most cases, each player will take control of a unique character. MOBA titles generally offer real-time strategy, role-playing and action. Starcraft II, Dota II and League of Legends are among the most popular MOBA games presently.
⏩ First-Person Shooter: Here, players are armed with a weapon from a first-person perspective. Most titles here are dominated by action, with the fact that experience games through the eyes of the character in question is hugely entertaining. Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch and Call of Duty are among the leading FPS titles today.
⏩ Sports Simulators: Whether it be football, motor racing, basketball or others, sports simulator video games have long been popular. FIFA, NBA2K and Formula One are among the games to have made the transition to eSports. Here, players take control of their favourite athletes on the pitch, track or court.
⏩ Other Games: Real-Time Strategy (RTS) and fighting games also help to make up the eSports scene. Titles here include Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Warcraft III. So, if you have not found something already, games in these categories could well be for you.
eSports Betting Guide: What Else Should I Know
Now that you know the types of games available, we will discuss the forms of betting found online. Each is slightly different, catering for the needs of all players. Betting on eSports today involves the following:
Real Money Betting
This method will be at the heart of our eSports betting guide. Many of the markets are available with well-known and new sports betting sites. Here, players are using their own money to place them. For example, you may wish to bet £/€/$5 on Team Liquid to beat TSM in a Dota 2 match.
Cash winnings are up for grabs, with betting on eSports in this way having to take place with a licensed and regulated operator. Of course, players must keep in mind that they risk losing their hard-earned cash. So, only bet what you can afford to lose.
In-game skins can be collected while playing video games for yourself. Many use such skins to bet on professional matches. Having been made popular by CS:GO, it is now available in most games. Skins are hugely desirable, despite only affecting the aesthetics of characters.
Taking place between family, friends and online contacts, social eSports betting is a good alternative and a modern form to real money and skin gambling. Taking place on a mutually agreed platform, players wager on the outcome of matches. Potential winnings or rewards will depend on the terms and conditions put in place by participants.
A variant of social betting is Challenge betting. This option normally takes place between two individuals, with one challenging the other to a game in their chosen video game. One of the best sites to engage in challenge betting is Cyberbet since they have a big esports community. For more info, check our updated Cyber Bet Review.
Many will already be familiar with the concept of fantasy sports. However, fantasy eSports betting involves selecting a squad or roster of players, who will earn points based on their performances. Points are awarded for in-game kills, map wins and tournament wins, among other achievements. So, if your group of players scores well, you could well win money or skins.
Which are the Best eSports Bets Online
The number of markets will depend on the game in question. However, there are many that spread across the whole industry. As part of our bookmaker guides, let’s now take a closer look at the best bets available online today:
✅ Match Winner
The simplest method of betting on eSports is to wager on the winner of an individual match. Here, only the overall result will determine whether your bet wins or loses. For example, betting on Atralis to beat Natus Vincere in CS:GO. This is one of the best eSports bets across all games. There is generally a favourite and an outsider, based on their recent results and head-to-head record.
✅ Maps Betting
Many matches are broken down into maps. As such, players can wager on the winner of specific maps. Examples include “Map 1 Winner”, “+1.5” “Total Maps” and “To Win at Least 1 Map”. Such markets generally come with higher odds, due to the greater element of risk involved.
✅ Outright eSports Betting
Fancy betting on the antepost winner of an upcoming event or the region in which the winning team will come from? Outright betting on eSports is increasingly popular. While some markets require greater patience, the rewards are also often more attractive. Examples include OG to win The International or the winner of the League of Legends World Championship being from Asia.
✅ Rounds Betting
Betting on the total number of rounds is another popular option for punters. For example, over 67.5 rounds in the match between G2 Esports and FURIA. Round handicap markets are also offered by many bookies. Here, teams are given either a deficit or surplus, based on their likelihood of winning.
✅ Correct Score
Depending on the game in question, it may well be worth taking advantage of correct score markets. This form of eSports betting is risky. However, the potential rewards continue to attract players. This market will generally be available when a best-of-3 style match is taking place. Here, available bets will be 2-0 or 2-1 to either team.
✅ Combo Bets
In order to increase the odds, combination bets are often placed. Here, more than one possible outcome is backed. For example, Team A to win and over 24.5 rounds. Of course, both predictions must be accurate for your bet to be successful.
✅ Special Bets
Also known as props, special bets allow punters to stake on more obscure match or event incidents. Players are betting on whether a specific incident will occur or not.
How Can I Pick the Winner
Like any form of gambling, there are no guarantees that you will win when undertaking eSports betting. However, an important part of this guide is to outline the best way to regularly back winners. So, when weighing up which teams and players to bet on, ensure that you have considered the following factors:
Look at Past Results: Consider the recent form of the teams and players involved. In particular, check if they have played against their upcoming opponent previously. Such statistics can be important when deciding who to back.
Evaluate the Maps: Some teams will perform better on certain maps than others. Each map is different, so be sure to weigh up the lay of the land too. This is another important point to consider before placing bets.
Have the Teams Travelled: In some cases, players will have to travel long distances in order to compete in eSports events. As such, they may be tired or be impacted by jet lag. This can significantly impact performance, with many local teams often performing better than many anticipated.
Inspect the Event's Format: Look at the format of both the event and individual matches too. For example, some matches are played in a best-of-3 format, while others are best-of-5. Meanwhile, some tournaments are knock-out, while others begin with a round-robin stage.
Check Players' Practice Times: A newly created team or one that has had little time to practice together may well take time to find their best form. So, expecting them to win tournaments immediately is a little unrealistic. Give them time to bed in before betting on new teams.
Talk to the Betting Community: Consider the opinions of the eSports community, especially those who have a track record of picking winners. Look at forums and chat rooms, as well as social media platforms. Take time in working out who is worth listening to.
Which are the Biggest Tournaments in the World
There are some tournaments which stand out during the calendar. Some can even be compared to the Football World Cup or tennis from Wimbledon. Such events attract great interest from bettors, as well as general eSports fans.
Some will even come with specific promotions, such as price boosts, welcome bonuses and insurance. How to bet on eSports? Below are some of the biggest tournaments in the world:
The International: With a prize pool of over $30 million, The International is the richest event in the world. The Dota 2 event features teams from around the world, with Team Spirit having been the most recent winner.
League of Legends World Championships: Hosted by Riot Games, the LoL World Championships brings together 22 of the best teams. Founded in 2011, the event features round-robin and single-elimination stages. T1 holds the record for the most wins, with 3.
Mid-Season Invitational: This annual League of Legends tournament is hosted by Riot Games. Launched in 2015, the event features Spring Split champions from different regions. T1 and Royal Never Give Up have 2x wins to their name.
VALORANT Champions: An event surrounding the popular first-person shooter title, VALORANT Champions, involves 16 teams and is worth $1 million. Acend were crowned champions in 2021.
Is eSports Betting Worth It?
Our eSports betting guide has explained just why this form of gambling has become so popular. Those with a good knowledge of the industry are in a position to profit from their expertise. Of course, there are no guarantees.
However, those who bet on games that they fully understand, do their research and bet responsibly could well benefit from eSports betting. The number of markets, promotions and features at eSports betting sites is increasing quickly. So, select from our list of recommended bookies below, before backing eSports matches and tournaments.
A large number of eSports betting sites are now available. These include both traditional bookmakers and specialist eSports operators. Players are free to register with as many bookies as they wish. Consider available markets and features before deciding who to place eSports bets with.
The simple answer is yes. However, it is important to place bets on sites that are licensed and regulated in your jurisdiction. Bets that are placed on unlicensed eSports betting sites are not done so securely.
Yes! Live eSports betting is available with most bookies. As such, players can place bets even after matches have started. Odds are updated regularly, based on what is taking place on screen.
eSports betting has gone from strength to strength. The number of bookies accepting eSports bets has increased rapidly over recent years. As a result, there has never been a better time to start betting on eSports.
Betting on eSports takes place for the most part on games such as CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends and FIFA. However, VALORANT, Overwatch, Starcraft II, Rainbow Six Siege and Call of Duty, among others, can also be bet on.
Handicaps are given to eSports teams and players, whether it be a surplus or deficit. As such, punters can place handicap bets. For example, betting on Team A at -1.5. This means that they must win by 2 clear maps in order for your bet to win.
Bettors should not simply assume that they will instantly make money from gambling on eSports matches. However, those that put in the required effort will potentially reap the rewards. So, be sure to fully research picks before confirming any bet.
The International, League of Legends World Championship and Fortnite World Cup Finals are among the highest paying eSports events. As such, they also receive attention from betting players. However, tournaments are held weekly throughout the year, meaning that there are plenty of other options.