Even if it’s been years since you picked up a gamepad it’s likely that you’ve heard of the rising popularity of competitive online gaming – eSports.
Of course, where there is a new sport there is a new opportunity for betting and many online gambling sites are already offering these markets.
ESports is a term used to describe organised video gaming competitions between individual players or teams. This means punters (most likely cybersport fans) can bet on eSports by wagering on who they think will win that particular computer game.
You can also enjoy eSports betting by placing a wager on a league or table competition from around the world.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – how do you know how good the player is? Well, eSports is so big (and getting much bigger) that gamers have statistics and reputations in the eSports world.
The most popular games to place an eSports bet on are the competitive PC-based games – such as League of Legends, Quake, StarCraft2, Counter-Strike, World of Tanks, and Dota 2.
Getting to know eSports Betting
The world of betting on eSports has grown so fast (thanks to the rapid growth of technology) that many of the big sports betting sites, such as Betfair and 888, are now getting in on the action and offering eSports betting. It all started on the lesser known betting sites, now the likes of Betway, Bet365 and Pinnacle Sports are offering their players the option to wager on virtual eSports.
In fact, there are heaps of eSports betting sites online, if your go-to sportsbook doesn’t already offer eSports gambling, they soon will!
If you know absolutely nothing about eSports bets or computer gaming in general, then taking the plunge into this growing sports market maybe be a little unnerving. Avid gamers are the key players, but there are many casual fans looking to wager on this competitive sport. It might be hard to believe that you’re wagering money on someone, somewhere, who has played so many hours of one particular computer game that they have turned professional and actually make money from playing games.
If you have no knowledge of the game, the player or anything about the world of eSports betting, then it’s time to do a little research.
eSports Betting Markets
There are many betting markets to wager on eSports, but there are events and games that are much more popular than the rest.
Betting on the biggest names in Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, League of Legends and Dota 2 are the most common bets.
These hugely popular games feature the biggest eSports tournaments, and there are plenty of betting options within the games and tournaments. But as the world of e-game betting is still on the rise, new markets, tournaments and games will become available in due time.
Betting options may seem limited at the moment with bets usually placed on the moneyline on games, with the chance to bet with a spread on some eSports games. Other markets such as ‘first blood’ (first player to be killed off) and ‘total game time’ (how long a player will survive) will surely come into play soon if they are not already offered on certain betting sites.
eSports Fixed Odds and Spread Betting
If you want to start expanding your betting fun into the action-packed world of electronic gaming, then it’s important to know the basic bets.
The fixed odds market is the most popular choice of bet in eSports, the bookmaker offers the odds and you place your wager to those odds.
Spread betting is another common wager option. This is where you can give a team or player a handicap before you wager on them, so that the odds get closer to a 50/50 ‘coin-flip’ chance. This is most often utilised in eSports games where there is a clear favourite playing an underdog. You can find some very appealing odds on the underdogs, and obviously there is a reason for that. However, the split ‘coin-flip’ odds are a popular choice and can make a lot of money.
Let’s break it down a little more. In the League of Legends game, there is often played a set where there is a BO3. By placing your bet on a team with -1.5, means your bet will only win if the player/team wins both their games. If they win 2-1, your bet is a loss. This is where players can enjoy higher odds, as winning two in a row is less likely to happen than winning just one.
Before you bet on eSports
If you’re a new eSports bettor, then it’s a good to know a few things before you enter the world of gaming betting.
Betting on e-sports is about figuring out probabilities (just like all over sports bets). There are a lot of unknown players looking to make a name for themselves in the eSports world and odds are often one-sided in these games.
If an established eSports player is taking on an unknown player, there is still a chance that the unknown might topple his opponent, but most bettors will believe that the established player will win because of the short odds.
It’s common for bookmakers to shade the odds against the favorites, as the majority of the players are likely to place their bets on them blindly.
This is online gaming and it’s a world where mistakes are made, skill levels can improve overnight and pressure is high.
Make sure you work out both of the team/players chances of winning the game and compare these probabilities with the odds. The best way to become a successful eSports bettor is to start betting, find a tournament and do a little more research into what it’s about and place a few harmless wagers. It’s a lot of fun!
Check out the eSports betting markets at some of the leading online sportsbooks. All of our top 5 UK online sports betting sites are licensed in the UK, offer competitive odds and have generous bonus promotions to help you get started. Check out the full list here.