With the global shutdown meaning most sports leagues and competitions are closed worldwide, you may be thinking there’s nothing to be on. In most cases, you’d be right. However, with the growth of Esports in recent years, many sportsbooks have started to offer odds on these events.
If you’re looking for something to bet on during this time, Esports could provide the perfect opportunity. If you’re new to Esports and know nothing about them, don’t worry. We’ve put together this guide to help you get started on Esports betting. Here you’ll find everything about the biggest Esport competitions, how to pick winners, where to place bets and what to expect.
What are Esports?
Esports is the name given to the world of competitive video gaming. While it may not be considered as a sport by many, its rapid rise and huge number of fans mean it’s quickly becoming a favorite for sports betting fans. Teams and individuals compete for huge prizes in some of the biggest Esports events in the world. In 2019, a massive $211 million was paid out to various competitors across multiple games.
Esports include competitions in popular video games like Dota2, Call of Duty, CounterStrike, FIFA, Madden, Fortnite, League of Legends, and many more. Esports are highly popular in countries like China and South Korea but are also growing in popularity across North American and Europe. Many Esports events are live-streamed online on platforms like Twitch and YouTube, giving fans greater access to the best live matches and tournaments. In 2017, the League of Legends World Cup drew in 80 million viewers from around the world, showing just how many people are interested in Esports.
Typically eSports events are filled with professional Esports teams that usually have specific teams for each game. An example of an Esports team is team Liquid. As one of the biggest Esports teams in the world, the organization has several teams that compete across multiple games. Since they first formed as a professional team, Team Liquid has won over $24 million in prize money.
While qualifying events typically place online, Esports finals typically take place in packed arenas in front of a live audience of fans. Millions of fans all around the world show up to ticketed live events to watch their favorite Esports teams compete for big prizes.
With the global shutdown meaning that live events can’t be held, many Esports events are still taking place, just in the online world. The advantage of Esports over other types of sporting competition is that they can be held online without needing to gather large groups of people. Fans can still tune in and watch the tournaments live through online streaming platforms.
Some of the biggest Esports events include:
- The Fortnite World Cup - Fortnite is one of the most played video games in the world, and the first-ever Fortnite World Cup attracted the largest ever Esports viewing numbers. With a $30 million prize pool, this offers serious rewards for players and plenty of betting opportunities.
- The International - The International is a huge Dota 2 tournament and the second biggest Esports event in the world. With a $34 million prize pool, Esports teams from all over compete for a chance to win.
- Rocket League Cup - Since the first Rocket League tournament in 2016, the competition has attracted more fans each passing year. Although the $1 million prize is less than some of the bigger tournaments, it still provides plenty of betting opportunities.
- League of Legends World Championship - League of Legends is a highly popular game online, and it’s no surprise that the World Championship is a huge tournament that attracts millions of viewers.
- FIFA eWorld Cup - The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and FIFA aims to make the eWorld Cup the biggest Esports event. Any player is free to enter the tournament. Millions of players from all over the world will be competing for the chance to win the top prize.
- Call of Duty World League - The Official Call of Duty World League will be a fully professional competition featuring twelve teams. Fans will be able to bet on the event, including match scores and the eventual winner.
- Overwatch League - The Overwatch League is the biggest Overwatch event which sees players qualify for the main league featuring twelve teams. The top teams will battle it out for a $5 million prize.
- Capcom Cup - For fans of fighting games, there’s the Capcom Cup. Here players will compete in Street Fighter V for the chance to be crowned the best in the world.
Where to Bet on Esports
As Esports grow in popularity, many new sites are starting to offer odds on Esports events. Depending on the site, you may only find a few markets on the biggest events, or you might find loads of different markets and betting options on loads of different tournaments and competitions.
If you want to find the best sportsbooks that offer Esports betting, take a look at our best sportsbook page. Here we publish up-to-date reviews on the best sportsbooks that offer Esports odds.
Make sure that whichever site you choose is licensed and has good reviews from users or from us. If you’re playing with real money, it’s important to make sure you’re betting with a reputable site that isn’t going to rip you off.
You should also make sure that the odds of the events you want to bet on are similar or better than the odds of other sites. You want to be getting the best deal whenever possible, and some sites give better odds than others.
How to Bet on Esports
Before you get started betting on Esports, you’ll first need to learn a little bit about the events and what to expect. Just as with sports betting, betting on Esports requires a little bit of research and strategy to make sure you’re finding the best value and making the most out of your bets.
Here are some tips for you to get the most out of your Esports bets:
- Look at past results - Most major Esports teams will have faced off against one another before. As with sports, looking at head to head results is often a better indicator than form because some teams may have a strategy that is better suited for beating a specific team.
- Check the maps - Many games use different maps that require different strategies and playing styles. For games like Overwatch and Rainbow 6: Siege, these can make a big difference. Look at both teams’ past performances on the current map for a better idea of how the match will go.
- Look at the event format - Different Esports events use different formats, including a single knockout match, best of two, best of three, and best of five. For single matches, there’s always a higher chance of an unexpected result, and the underdog has a lot more value. Best of games typically favor the favorite, especially best of five.
Are there team changes to be aware of? - Many teams consist of multiple players and have reserve teams too. Check the team news and see if there have been big changes recently that could disrupt the team’s usual strategy. If you want the most up-to-date info, follow Esports teams on social media.
Where can I watch live Esports?This depends on the exact competition, but most Esports events are live-streamed on Twitch or YouTube. Esports are very accessible, which is one of the big reasons for their growing popularity.
What is the best game to bet on?This really depends on your personal preference. Most people like to stick to one particular game. That way, you can build your knowledge of how the game works, who the best teams are, and all the important information you need to make good bets.
Where can I find the latest Esports statistics?Just as with regular sports, you can find Esports statistics, including player stats, team head-to-head records, and more all online. There are lots of big news sites which cover Esports, and most of them cover the latest news on matchups and statistics.
Can I use sportsbook bonuses on Esports betting?Yes, absolutely. Unless otherwise stated in the terms and conditions of the bonus, you can use a sportsbook bonus on any event featured on the site. You can find the latest PA sportsbook bonuses here on our best bonus page.