Betting on eSports: Best Sites, Odds and Markets

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Betting on eSports in 2024 has become a no-hassle process. Top betting sites these days feature markets on competitive video games, too. Often, people are concerned about how to bet on eSports, so let’s cover the essentials of online wagering. We will discuss eSports games, bookmakers, sportsbooks, odds, and different bet types in this guide. Our beginner’s guide to eSports betting targets newcomers, providing clear instructions on how to place bets on eSports.

Understanding eSports

eSports includes a range of gaming genres like first-person shooters, multiplayer battle arena, Battle Royale and real-time strategy games. This ecosystem is closely connected with sports betting, operating on similar principles. Choose the team or player you believe will win, just as traditional sports wagers. This creates an interesting environment where significant knowledge of the game can help in making a profit.

Sports betting vs. eSports betting

eSports betting shares many core concepts with traditional sports betting. But there are also some differences. Let’s begin with the similarities.

Predicting outcomes forms the core of betting in both traditional sports and eSports. Bookmakers set the odds to help with these predictions. An in-depth knowledge of the odds is key when you place e-gaming bets.

Every platform offers different betting options that not only cover overall winners but also specific in-game events. You can bet on the first team to reach a particular goal. Alternatively, you can bet on which player will get the highest score in a match.

Both traditional sports betting and eSports betting involve predicting event outcomes. But there are some key differences that we are going to discuss here.

Grasping data requires deep knowledge of the game or sport involved in betting. Bettors closely examine various data types. Since eSports is newer, it usually has less historical data than traditional sports. Hence, recent performances and real-time analysis is essential for eSports betting.

Young adults are drawn to eSports betting, which sees more volatility due to the constantly changing game rules. Player transfers and shifting strategies further influence this volatility. A top player’s move to a new team can shift the odds overnight. While announcing a game update or patch can make once weak teams competitive, affecting the odds immediately.

eSports emphasizes mental sharpness over physical condition. Matches are held more often than in traditional sports. The digital nature of eSports creates a dynamic betting environment.

How to get started with eSports betting?

Getting started in eSports betting involves several steps:

Get to know eSports genres like First Person Shooter (FPS), MOBA, Battle Royale and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games. Understanding these basics sets the stage for someone diving into eSports betting.

In First Person Shooter (FPS) games, you place bets by viewing it from the point of view of the protagonist. Think about player skill, team coordination, and map awareness.

In Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, two teams clash to destroy enemy bases. Strategy and hero knowledge are the two components that drive success. The diverse range of heroes and evolving Meta make matches unpredictable in eSports betting.

In Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games, you handle resources and position units to defeat your opponents. To be successful, you need strategic thinking, multitasking, and quick adaptation. Manage your base and allocate resources to defeat opponents efficiently.

Battle Royale involves many players competing in a last-man-standing match. Games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile dominate this genre in eSports.

Understanding betting odds is crucial in eSports betting, similar to traditional sports betting. Odds of the game show the possible return on your bet. By interpreting these figures, you can improve your betting strategy.

Find an Online Sportsbook

Betting on eSports online is the simplest method. All you have to do is search for top offshore sportsbooks. These platforms feature the most popular sports, with options for major events. Choose a reliable sportsbook to prepare for big tournaments in eSports betting.

Learn the Available Betting Options

Check out the range of betting options for eSports ahead of time. Know that options vary by game; examine ongoing or recent tournaments. All sportsbooks list odds for match winners. Many top betting sites include numerous prop bets.

Prop bets can be useful if you know the teams and play styles. For example, the first team to kill Roshan in Dota 2 or pistol round kills in CS 2. Spread betting, totals, and other types need your attention too. Explore live sections for eSports and place free bets to master the bet slip.

Make sure to prepare everything before the tournament, especially if you are planning to go for live betting.

Set a Budget

Create a budget to bet responsibly and avoid financial trouble. Don’t use money you can’t afford to lose. Begin with a small amount to practice and understand the dynamics. Allocate your budget for a specific period or tournament.

Calculate your bet sizes using the odds and risk involved. Set aside a significant amount of money for the finals, as they offer more betting options and excitement.

Claim Bonuses

Extra funds prove to be of great use when you are learning eSports betting. Online sportsbook bonuses can boost your bankroll. This enables you to take bigger risks and place more bets during tournaments. Claiming bonuses in a betting site is easy.

Create an account and make an initial deposit. Use the promo code if required. Keep an eye out for reload bonuses and other promotions to gain extra rewards.

Types of Bets in eSports

In our favorite eSports games, the basic match winner bet is the most common betting market. Each game, however, offers unique special bets due to its gameplay style. For example, in CS:GO, you can bet on the team winning the first Pistol Round. League of Legends’ real-time strategy lets you bet on which team kills the Baron or Dragon first. These bets focus on specific outcomes rather than the overall match result.

Basic Types of eSports Bets

While many sportsbooks expand their options, several types of exotic bets exist for eSports, detailed below.

These are the main betting markets in most eSports available for betting through the betting sites.

Draw: Bet on whether the match will finish in a draw.

Group of Winner: Place your bet on the group having the tournament’s overall champion.

Group Winner: Wager on which group wins will win a specific tournament organized in groups.

Handicap Bet: The sportsbook gives an underdog team an advantage by setting a margin. Bet on whether the team with this handy edge wins. Example: Bet on Team A with a 3-round advantage against Team B. If the final score is 8-10, Team A triumphs with the revised score of 11-10.

Outright Winner: Bet in advance on the overall winner of the tournament.

Over/Under: Wager on whether a statistic like combined score or total kills will exceed the sportsbook’s prediction or fall short.

Region Winner: Place your bet on the specific region of the winning team, if the tournament is split by regions.

Total Rounds: Bet on whether the match will have more or fewer rounds than the set number.

Basic Match Win Betting in eSports

Now, let’s dive into a basic match winner bet example. So, you decide to bet on FaZe versus Team Astralis in CS, with Team Astralis to win. Before placing your bet, consider three key factors:

Format: Understand the odds format used by the sportsbook you have chosen. It could be decimal, fractional, or American.

Odds: Look at the payout amount and the necessary stake. This determines the sportsbook’s payout percentage when you win.

Bankroll: Decide how much money you intend to bet. Manage your bankroll wisely.

Here, we will break down this example:

Let’s assume the bookmaker uses decimal odds. Suppose in the bookmaker site, the odds stand at 1.60 for FaZe and 2.50 for Team Astralis. You put down a $50 bet on Astralis. Now, let’s break down how the sportsbook figures your potential return:

Potential Return = Stake Amount x Odds

Stake Amount = $50

Odds = 2.50

Therefore, Potential Return = $50 x 2.50 = $125.

If Astralis wins, you reclaim your $50. Plus, you pocket an extra $75 in profit. That totals $125 in your hand.

To determine your total profit, subtract one from the odds. The new formula is stake × (odds – 1) = actual profit. Therefore, 50 × (2.50 – 1) equals 75 USD.

Bookmakers’ odds reveal their implied probability of a team winning. Lower odds indicate a higher chance of winning, they believe. Conversely, higher odds suggest a lower probability.

In this scenario, wagering on Astralis at 2.50 USD yields more than betting on FaZe at 1.60 USD. Using the formula: 50 × 1.60 results in an 80 USD expected return. To find actual profit, subtract one from the odds and multiply by your stake. So, if your bet wins, the profit is 30 USD.

Betting on FaZe might offer better value since they have a 62.5% chance of winning. You might make less profit but the sportsbook takes it a safer bet.

Just like other sports, several factors influence your real money bets. Your knowledge of the teams, their skill levels, quirks, and individual strengths all play a crucial role. Don’t let = favoritism sway your decision to get the best outcome. While many eSports guides suggest always betting on the value bet, take time to research the team’s first. Understand their dynamics and performance. This method helps in making more informed wagers.

For instance, you might bet on Team Astralis because Team FaZe’s recent performance has been poor. Or you might have noticed Team FaZe losing a key player due to internal conflicts. Thus, you’re speculating that a major upset could work in your favor.

Before delving into detailed factors with guides and player profiles, we will break down the bet types. Online sportsbooks provide various bets for your favorite eSports titles.

Betting Live on eSports

Live betting is also known as in-play betting. It is a gorm of gambling where you place your wagers while the match is still in progress. The odds keep changing to keep up with how the game is progressing. Thus, the best ideal live betting strategy requires you to place faster bets so that you take advantage of the situation. Most eSports betting sites offer live streaming window too, through Twitch. Thus, you can watch the match on the same platform. However, you should keep in mind that live betting has fewer options. Also, some markets tend to close earlier than others.

Game Specific Types Of eSports Bets

Read our dedicated guide for each eSports game for a list of the game-specific betting markets/types of bets unique to that video game, listed below.

League of Legends

First Baron or Dragon: This bet focuses on which team will secure the first kill on either the Baron Nashor (powerful neutral objective) or a Dragon (early game objective)

First Inhibitor/Tower: This lets you wager on which team will destroy the first Inhibitor (powerful structure) or Tower (weaker defensive structures)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

Knife Round: This is a specific bet on the Pistol Round (first round) where players use only basic knife attacks. You wager on which team will get the first kill.

Knife Round/Pistol Round: This clarifies that the bet applies to the first kill regardless of whether a dedicated Knife Round exists (some game modes remove this).

Map 1 Overtime: This lets you bet on whether the first map will go into Overtime (extra rounds played if the score is tied).

Top eSports Betting Games Include

  • CS:GO
  • LoL
  • Dota 2
  • Call Of Duty
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG

CS:GO Betting (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

What Is CS:GO?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a game where team strategy dominates. In each match, you have two teams of five players. They face off, aiming to complete objectives to secure victory. One team is the Terrorists (Ts), while the other is the Counter-Terrorists (CTs). Winning 16 rounds first secures the match. Matches in the ESL Pro League are best of three series.

Competitive Events showcase the game in many tournaments, like ESL Pro League, IEM, BLAST Premier, and DreamHack. The Counter-Strike Major Championships stand out as the biggest events. Think of them like major tournaments in golf or tennis. Sweden hosted the first Major in 2013. Prize pools grow larger with event size. Some of eSports’ top players compete in Counter-Strike. ZywoO from France’s Team Vitality is an example of a very popular player. This server enjoys immense popularity worldwide.

Where to Bet On CS:GO?

Bet365 ranks among the top platforms for finding odds on CS:GO. It works to add more eSports to betting websites worldwide. Meanwhile, many sites rely on William Hill’s lines, signaling their importance. Their app offers high usability and ease. Being trusted and transparent, the betting site stands out. However, their eSports selections might be limited.

You can target different betting markets in CS:GO. The most popular markets are pretty basic. Essentially, the standard bet is picking which team will win a particular series. Most CS:GO matches use a best-of-three format, with the option to select a specific game winner. This approach resembles betting in basketball or hockey.

But that’s not all; other markets exist. Some bettors prefer to wager on the total number of rounds. You might also bet on the final score of a series, or the number of maps won by a team. And yes, you can even place a bet on the overall match winner.

League of Legends Betting (LoL)

What Is LoL?

League of Legends, or LoL, stands as one of the longest-running eSports games. You engage in a team-based strategy game where two teams of five champions clash. There are over 140 champions to choose from, aiming for epic plays and tower takedowns. It ranks as one of the most popular eSports across the world.

Since 2009, League of Legends has thrived, drawing teams worldwide to compete for supremacy. The most renowned league is the LCS, featuring 10 teams from popular eSports organizations. You’ll recognize names like Evil Geniuses, Cloud9, and Team Liquid. Interestingly, these organizations also have a significant presence in CS:GO.

One of LoL’s top players, Faker, plays for T1 and part-owns the organization, a common practice in the game.

Where to Bet On LoL?

As eSports popularity rises, more sportsbooks include betting odds on games like League of Legends. You’ve probably seen LoL betting lines if you use online sportsbooks. Odds for LoL are available on William Hill and Bet365. But William Hill is not a very consistent platform.

Betting on LoL offers several options, much like CS:GO. Due to its popularity, finding places to place bets on LoL might not be much of a hassle.

Most major shooter games in eSports have similar betting options. You can place spread bets on popular games like League of Legends and CS:GO. Money line bets are common in this league. However, spread bets is more popular than the other. For instance, you bet on which team covers the spread in a matchup.

You see the favored team listed at -1.5 games, and the underdog at +1.5. Placing a bet on the favorite at -1.5 means that team must win 2-0. These spread bets can pay off well, especially if the match-up is even. For instance, look at Team A (-800) versus Team B (+400).

Other top bets include Totals Bets, predicting if a match goes over or under 2.5 rounds. Prop bets, like Map Bet, cover specific occurrences in a match. For example, you might bet on which team will score the first kill.

Dota 2 Betting

What Is Dota 2?

DOTA 2 is another team-based game where two teams of five players compete against each other. You enter the battlefield as one of over a hundred Dota Heroes. This game is the deepest multiplayer action RTS, always offering new strategies and tactics. It resembles LoL, with the winner being the first to destroy the opposing team’s ancient. DOTA 2 launched in 2013 and holds the highest eSports tournament prize pool globally. The International is its biggest annual tournament of DOTA 2 as it draws massive attention. You’ll find this game to be one of the most-watched on Twitch. Its global popularity is undeniable. Other top tournaments for DOTA 2 include ESL One, WESG, and various annual majors.

Where to Bet On Dota 2

Like many top eSports, finding consistent odds for Dota 2 events can be tricky. You have numerous matches throughout the year, making it hard to find reliable odds daily. It’s an ever-evolving situation, but Bet365 offers a straightforward starting point for eSports odds.

Champions League is perhaps the most popular league for betting on Dota 2.

The simplest Dota 2 bet? Go all in on the outright winning team. You can bet using the money line or by predicting the team that will cover. This method is common across popular eSports. It is just like placing wagers on football or hockey games.

Dota 2 adds unique twists to betting. You can wager on different types of kills within a match. Examples include Roshan Kills, Courier Kills, or which team will draw first blood.

How to Sign Up and Bet on eSports Online?

Eager to jump into eSports betting? Just knowing how to bet on a particular eSports isn’t enough. First, you’ll need to set up your account. Here’s how to proceed with creating an account.

Step 1 – Go to the Site and Enter Account Details

Visit the site and click the “Join” button. Complete the registration form by entering your information. Once all fields are filled, hit “Create Account” button at the bottom.

Step 2 – Deposit and Claim Bonus

Sign in using your email and password. Head to the cashier section to pick a suitable banking method. After choosing your banking method, enter the deposit amount, and apply the sports welcome bonus code, if required.

Step 3 – Browse the eSports

Go to the eSports tab. Explore the games available on the betting site. Games appear on the left, and matches are shown in the center.

Step 4 – Place Your eSports Bets

Add selections to your bet slip by clicking on the odds. Input your stake and confirm the bet. Winnings will be credited to your account balance once you secure a win.

The Future of eSports

eSports as a pastime grows at an astonishing rate. This has also led to the popularity of eSports surge in popularity. Engaging in eSports ranks among the top global leisure activities. In 2018, over 170 million were frequent viewers, and 222 million watched occasionally. By 2020, these figures soared; 220 million watched frequently, and over 270 million watched occasionally. The eSports betting market grows every year. Valued at 1 billion USD in 2019 and it’s already exceed $2 billion in 2024. The Covid-19 crisis in 2020 and 2021 sped up global interest in eSports and betting. According to the UK Gambling Commission, eSports industry growth hit an eye-popping 25% year-on-year.

That trend will only continue to escalate in the future. Thus, it can be expected that all forms of eSports will surge in popularity in the future. Naturally, online betting on eSports will see a similar rise.

It can confidently be said eSports might eventually rival traditional sports in popularity. More players will choose to bet on eSports alongside other sports. With a growth in events, that often overshadow traditional sports fans, the betting market of eSports will only skyrocket.