How to Bet on Esports Betting Guide
What Is Esports?
Before we can start talking about esports betting, we must first explain what esports is. In a dictionary, esports is described as “competitive tournaments of video games, especially among professional gamers,” which more or less sums it up.
Esports is an industry of numerous video games in which professional esports athletes compete, but that description doesn’t do it justice, as not anyone can become an esports athlete. Like in sports, if you want to be a professional esports player, you have to be one of the best in the world, so there is definitely more to esports than just “kids playing video games,” as some may perceive it.
Video games competitions are a new-generation thing, but if the development of the industry over the last decades has taught us anything, esports is not only a big deal, but it’s here to stay.
Should You Bet On Esports?
The real question you should be asking yourself is, why not? Admittedly, esports might be a completely new thing for some, so it will take some time to learn how to bet on sports, but it can offer you a new and exciting way of approaching online betting.
The best part is that esports betting is similar to sports, mainly because the same principles you have learned when betting on sports remain intact with esports. So while sports and esports betting don’t look similar on the outside, the reality is the two are identical in fundamental aspects.
Most esports titles are – compared to sports –played at a much higher pace, which also explains why esports have become so popular. Each second, something can happen that can turn the game upside down, and while that introduces more volatility, it also adds another layer of excitement. But besides the excitement, why should you consider betting on esports?
Why Should You Try Betting On Esports?
First and foremost, esports is a growing marketplace, and despite the incredible numbers, esports and esports betting is still in its infancy, especially if you compare it to NBA, football, NFL or any other sport. But, most importantly, there’s no sign of the growth stopping, so you can still get into it fairly early.
Then there’s also the fact that esports, unlike most other sports, can be played all year round, meaning you don’t have to wait months for the season to start before you can start betting on your favorite title. Moreover, esports includes several different esports titles, so you can be sure that there’s something for everyone.
Talking about accessibility, you can watch esports games live for free on any streaming websites such as Twitch or Youtube, which is in stark contrast to sports that often require you to pay a subscription to have access to the broadcast.
Similarities between Esports and Traditional Sports Betting
And as mentioned above in our esports betting guide, esports is the same (but different) to sports in a way that it offers something new, but it doesn’t require you to re-learn what you already know about betting. The best examples are esports titles such as the Rocket League of FIFA, which should be very easy to understand for anyone who has bet on soccer before, since one is a soccer video game with cars, while the other is simply a video soccer simulation game.
And lastly, with esports, there’s always something new. When was the last time a new sport was introduced, and it instantly became a hit? We can’t answer that, but we can tell you that Riot Games released a new first-person shooter, Valorant, in June 2020, and within a few months, there were already $100,000 in tournaments played across 11 regions of the world.
Esports Betting History
There is no clear date to when esports began, but it’s generally accepted that it all started in the 1970s, when Asteroids and Invaders games were released. It marked the beginning of the arcade age of the esports industry, and even during those times, the fans started creating competitions, where the best players of the respective game competed in various events.
This continued into the 1980s when computers and consoles became more accessible, which led to the first local arena network parties. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that multiplayer games became a huge hit thanks to the accessibility of the internet.
The Emergence of Esports Betting with the Rise of Competitive Gaming
With the internet becoming more and more accessible, we transitioned to an era of multiplayer games. Before long, those who competed online needed a bigger challenge, which led to the formation of the first esports teams, and tournaments. And if there is competition, you can be sure that the betting industry will get involved.
We don’t have any record of when the first esports bet was placed, but we can pinpoint that esports betting became a thing sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s when esports competitions became a huge hit – particularly in Asia.
Since then, the esports, and consequently the esports industry grew larger and larger, and we’re now at a point where every reputable bookie offers esports betting markets. In fact, nowadays, it’s tougher to find a bookmaker that doesn’t cover at least one esports title than one that does, which tells a lot about how much the esports industry as a whole has grown over the last few decades.
How To Approach Online Esports Betting
If you have basic knowledge of how betting works, getting into esports betting is just as simple as learning how to bet on a new sport. As noted, esports and sports are very similar in fundamental aspects, and that translates to betting.
The same basic bet types – moneyline, handicaps, and totals – are available in esports and work the same way as in sports. Admittedly, handicaps and totals might not be related to points and goals (like in basketball or soccer), but the idea is the same. On that note, you should be aware that not all esports games are the same, and some are entirely different.
League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are two of the biggest and most popular esports titles, but they’re not alike.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a tactical first-person shooter (FPS) title, whereas League of Legends is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, so comparing the two is like comparing hockey to tennis. But have the differences ever stopped a hockey bettor from betting on tennis?
However, for starters, you should pick an esports title you like and focus on learning everything there is to know about it before you move to the next. Like you would advise any new sports bettor to pick one sport, the same rule applies to esports.
Esports Betting Types
Moneyline is the most straightforward bet you can make on any esports title. With it, you’re simply predicting which team or a player will win the next match, and it doesn’t matter by how much or how long it takes him – the only thing that matters is the final result.
Handicap betting is offered by the bookmakers to level the playing field between two unevenly matched teams or players by either taking away points from the favorites or giving points to the underdogs. But in esports, handicap betting isn’t necessarily related to the statistic that dictates how the game will end.
For example, in League of Legends, you can bet on +/- kill handicaps, even though the team with the most kills doesn’t necessarily win the game. A good comparison of this would be betting on corners in a soccer match.
But usually, handicaps (and spreads) focus on the key statistic in a game, such as the number of rounds in a CS:GO match or the number of goals in the Rocket League.
The totals (over/under) in esports work the exact same way as in sports. With this bet, you’re trying to figure out the number of points, rounds, goals, or kills that will happen in any given game. Again, the statistic you’re trying to predict doesn’t necessarily dictate which team/player will win, but it usually does.
Totals also don’t have to be for the whole game but can focus on a set period – such as the first half of CS:GO match or the first game of a League of Legends Bo3 series.
With future bets, you can predict an outcome that will happen in the future, most commonly which team or player will win a certain tournament. Moreover, the futures also include betting on tournament MVP, which team won’t make the playoffs, and many other variations of future events.
Proposition bets (or props) are exotic bets you can find while betting on esports. They’re more “for fun” wagers you can take to add another layer of excitement to your betting experience; however, you might also find some intriguing betting opportunities with them.
Unlike most other bets, Props are side bets regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event during the game, which doesn’t necessarily affect the final outcome. There are many variations of prop bets you will find while betting on esports, and if you look close enough, you might even find some that will earn you some extra cash.
Tips & Tricks For Betting On Esports
And to round up our esports betting guide, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you get started betting on esports.
Find A Good Bookmaker
Every successful betting journey begins with finding a reputable, safe, licensed, and overall solid bookmaker. Even though most online bookmakers will offer esports betting, some will do it better than others.
If you plan to bet on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you can rest assured that you will be able to find odds on it everywhere. But if you want to bet on Hearthstone or Rocket League, know that not all bookmakers will have markets available.
Play The Game Yourself
Before you start betting on esports, you should know a thing or two about the esports title you want to wager on, and the easiest way to understand the game is to play it yourself. Most esports titles are free-to-play, so there is really no excuse for you not to try it.
And you should since it will help you better understand the game modes, maps, and all the little things you might not notice while watching the games.
Familiarize Yourself With Players And The Teams
Once you know how the game is played and have a basic understanding of it, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the players and the teams. You wouldn’t want to blindly bet on Brooklyn Nets because you know how basketball is played, just like you wouldn’t bet on G2 Esports to win the next CS:GO match if you aren’t familiar with the team.
Start With One Esport
If you have never bet on esports before, make sure you go thoroughly over our esports betting guide, and focus on only one esports title. Learning about every esports is very tough, mainly because there are so many games, and with so much to learn, it can quickly become a grueling task. So start with one and slowly start adding more esports titles to your arsenal as you find fit.
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Esports Betting Guide FAQs
Short for electronic sports, esports is organized competitive video gaming between professional esports athletes and teams.
Yes. Not only is esports betting legal, but it’s also popular across the world, with numerous online bookmakers covering various esports leagues and competitions. But know that you should bet only on regulated, licensed, and legal sportsbooks.
Esports betting is readily available on all prominent online sportsbooks, making it very easy to get into esports betting. If you want to bet on CS:GO, LoL, or Dota 2, finding odds will be extremely simple but know that some lesser popular esports titles such as Age of Empires, Hearthstone, or Rocket League are not as well covered by online bookmakers.
Three of the most popular esports titles are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2. Behind the three are Rainbow Six, Valorant, Rocket League, and Kings of Glory.
League of Legends World Championship is the most popular esports tournament in the world, with its viewership often surpassing many prominent sporting events such as the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Dota 2 The International is the richest esports tournament, with a +$40 million prize pool.