Video games were once considered a pastime for teenagers, but that has changed dramatically in the past couple of years and we now have eSports. This is the professionalization of video gaming. There are plenty of tournaments the three biggest are the League of Legends World Championships, the International Dota2 Championships, and the Call of Duty Championship. If you are a fan of sports betting you’ll find plenty to entertain you here. It can be hard to know where to start so we have compiled our BettingTop10 eSports betting guide to help you get started.
Esports Betting Odds Explained
Before we look at the different types of games and categories, let’s first look at the odds and betting options you can expect to find. Like all gambling, it is important to understand the odds. There are two different types of odds and these are decimal and fractional. In eSports, the most common form is decimal. If for example you bet on Team A to win and they have won 6 out of 10 matches against team B, Team A will have a probable winning outcome of 0.6 while Team B will have 0.4. This is listed as Team A 1/0.6 = 1.66. Team B will be listed as 1/0.4 = 2.50. The team with the smaller figure is the favourite to win. If this were displayed in fractional odds, Team A would be listed as 6/10. When reading fractional odds, the number on the left should be higher than the number on the right when looking for the favorite to win.
Skin Betting vs. Sportsbook Betting
Skin betting is also referred to as item betting and is very popular with eSports fans. Many of the modern video games have virtual currencies and other items that can be transferred between players. Players can gamble these items or skins and there are lots of trade websites where players can buy, sell, and swap items. Every item and skin has a monetary value and players can add their items to sites where there is a large pool of bettors. Players can win or lose hundreds in a matter of minutes. Sportsbook betting on esports is done for real money and works in the same way as placing bets on football or rugby. You bet your money at the agreed odds and you win if your team wins. There are all kinds of bets available for the egaming market and a reputable sportsbook like those we mention on our site will allow you to enjoy all that this market has to offer.
eSports Betting Categories
There are lots of different game categories to choose from and below you will find the information on each of these as well as the games played, the tournament for these games, where they are held, and the game provider information.
Fighting games have always been popular even before online gaming. This category involves two players in close combat, attempting to defeat each other by getting their opponent’s health to zero. Some of the fighting games included in eSports include titles like Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Super Smash Brothers. Street Fighter and Super Smash Brothers are the two most popular games when it comes to tournaments. The first tournament for Super Smash Brothers was held in New York in 2005 with a prize pool of $13,750. The Smash Summit in Spring 2017 has a prize pool of $51,448 and was held in Los Angeles. There are 1,511 professional players.
First Person Shooter (FPS)
First person shooter games (FPS) are a popular choice that mix PC and console gaming. These games usually involve players taking part in a firefight across a map. The purpose of the game might be to get as many kills as possible, plant or defuse a bomb, or achieve some form of objective. The games can also be single player or team based. In competitive competitions they are always team-based. The most popular choice of game when it comes to major eSports tournaments and eSports betting is Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Other games include Halo, Quake, Battlefield Series, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. There are over 8,492 professional CS:GO players and 2721 tournaments have been held. The game was developed by Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment. The World Electronic Sports Games Tournament 2016 for CS:GO has a prize fund of $1,500,000 up for grabs.
Real-time strategy (RTS) games have always been very competitive and they involve players building an army, constructing buildings, developing units, etc, in order to gain dominance over a map and defeat the other player’s armies. Players must gather the limited resources available on the map. The real-time aspect is that each player does everything at the same time. These games aren’t as popular in e-sports, but StarCraft II is the exception with many major tournaments available. StarCraft II has 1,687 professional players and was released by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2010. The StarCraft II World Championships Series is Blizzard’s own league for this game and finalists compete for a $250,000 cash prize pool. Other games including Warcraft.
Sports games are based on traditional sports such as football, basketball, etc. The most common competitive sports video game is FIFA. This football game is extremely popular and there are a number of eSports tournaments. FIFA has also been the official game of the World Cyber Games. FIFA 17 has 106 professional players and the FUT Championship 2017 has a $400,000 prize pool. There is also the FIFA Interactive World Cup. Other sports games include Madden NFL, NBA 2K, Rocket League, Real Subspace Hockey League, and FIFA Online 3.
iRacing features multiple race disciplines including NASCAR, sports cars, open wheel, and dirt racing. iRacing has their own broadcasting channel and there are three professional level World Championship Series in three different racing disciplines which include NASCAR, Grand Prix, and team GT3 sports car racing. Project Cars is another game and you can find this at the ESL GO4. Trackmania racing series supports competitions that are centred in France at the Electronic Sports World Cup, as well as the ESL, and the FuturTech Gaming League.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
These games involve a player controlling a single character in a team that must destroy the opposition teams main building. As well as player controlled characters, there are non-player controlled units spawned too that travel along set paths to help support the main characters. There is plenty of action, real-time strategy, and fast paced action in these strategic games. Popular titles include League of Legends, Dota 2, Smite, Heroes of the Storm, and Clash Royale. Dota 2 by Valve Corporation is the most popular eSports game to be played professional. It has been featured at major tournaments including DreamHack, World Cyber Games, and ESWC. There are 2117 players and prize pools can reach over $1 million through crowd-funding. The International is the annual Dota 2 tournament. League of Legends has 4,994 professional players. The game was published by Riot Games and there is the League of Legends Championship Series.
Popular eSports Betting Games
Call of Duty: Call of Duty is a first person shooter game. There are twelve instalments in the Call of Duty Series the most recent is Call of Duty Infinite Warfare which replaces Black Ops III. This game was featured in the CWL Championships 2017 with a prize fund of $1,525,000.
League of Legends: League of Legends (LoL) is an action real-time strategy game developed by Riot Games. It was first released in October 2008. Players form into 2 even teams of champions either 3v3 or 5v5 and they start at opposing sides of a map in the Spawning pool near the Nexus. The match is won when either team’s nexus is destroyed. Along the way players gain levels from killing and defeating neutral monsters. Completing objectives rewards player with gold which can be used to purchase items. The best players compete in Riot Game’s League of Legends Championship Series.
Dota 2: Dota 2 features teams of five that battle each other across a fantastical battlefield separated by three main lanes. Players must battle defensive towers and computer controlled minions to collect experience and money to level-up and buy items. The aim is to destroy the opponent’s base. Each game takes on average 25 to 45 minutes to play.
StarCraft: The StarCraft series is a game that required skill to play. StarCraft II is the latest edition released in 2010. It is a military sciene fiction real-time strategy game by Blizzard Entertainment. The game is set in the 26th century and revolves around three species.
Pubg: This is a shooter game and there are six different game modes in Pubg and it features exploding cars, boat battles, gun fights, fist fights, and more. The objective of the game is to survive no matter what mode you are playing in.
eSports Betting Options
There are several wagering options available for eSports betting including match winner, map winner, first blood, first to 50 kills and more. Most of the betting options in the tournaments allow you to bet on the outright winner and there are some handicap bets available too. The specialist bets are where the real fun starts and this can include first blood, 10 kills, map winner bets, total number of maps a team will win, or the team to take map 2, 3, etc. The options you have will depend on the sports book you are playing at.
The professional eSports scene is constantly changing with more and more new leagues and tournaments being developed. There are several well-established competitions and we have them listed below.
- The International Dota 2 Championships: Founded in 2011 by the Valve Corporation. There are 18 qualifying teams that take part in this event consisting of 90 players. The tournament is held in the United States and the prize pool for 2017 was $24,687,919. This tournament topped 5 million viewers at its peak.
- The League of Legends World Championship: Founded in 2011 by Riot Game. There are 16 teams consisting of 86 players and the location each year varies. The prize pool for 2016 was $6,700,000. A total of 14.7 million viewers watched the event and it had over 23 broadcasts in 18 languages.
- ELeague: This is the league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It was launched in 2016 and features the best teams from around the world. There are two seasons each year. Season 1 had 24 teams, separated into six groups of four. Season 2 had 120 teams with 16 teams in the main league. Over a million viewers watch the grand finals on Twitch. The prize fund was $1,000,000.
Other eSports betting tournaments include:
- Capcom Pro Tour
- Call of Duty Championship
- Evolution Championship Series
- Major League Gaming
- Intel Extreme Masters
- Battle.net World Championship Series
- Halo World Championships
- World Electronic Sports Games
Where Can I Watch eSports?
There are several places to watch the live streams of all the competitive games. These include:
- Twitch.tv – The largest video streaming service for eSports
- YouTube – Some live streams are available
According to Newzoo, there are 148 million eSports fans around the world. In 2016, the industry produced an estimated €400 million in revenue which was an increase of 51.6% from2015. It is expected that the global eSports audience will increase to 385 million in 2017 securing its place in the mainstream sports world. We know the big-name games are here to stay and that millions of people are attending the events and watching them on Twitch, YouTube, or other streaming services. The International Federation of eSports has already applied for recognition through the International Olympic Committee so we could see eSports being included as an Olympic sport soon. Now that you know all about egaming and eSports betting the next thing is to check our list of top sportsbooks that will suit your needs.