How to Bet on Esports: Online Guide

How to Bet on Esports

Esports betting has gained immense popularity in recent years, with a growing fan base, professional leagues, and major tournaments that offer substantial prize money. Esports betting involves wagering on the outcome of these competitive gaming events. Similar to traditional sports betting, you can place bets on various aspects of an esports match, such as the winning team, the total number of rounds or maps played, or specific in-game events. For beginners wondering “can you bet on esports”, it’s essential to understand the basics of the game you want to bet on esports games, the teams and players involved, and the odds provided by the betting platform.

Esports games and esports tournaments

Esports games and tournaments have indeed become a significant attraction for esports betting enthusiasts. Some of the most popular games that draw attention from bettors include titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Rocket League. Each of these games has a well-established competitive scene, with professional teams and players competing in major tournaments worldwide.

Betting on esports on these games typically includes options like match-winner, map winner, and prop bets related to in-game events. Keeping track of the tournament calendar, understanding team dynamics, and researching player performances are key to making informed wagers in the world of how to bet on esports.

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Online Arena Betting (MOBA)

Betting on games of the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre, such as League of Legends and Dota 2, offers a wide array of wagering options for esports enthusiasts. MOBAs are team-based strategy games, and their competitive nature makes for exciting betting opportunities. Here’s a description of common bets in MOBA esports:

  • Match Winner: This is the most straightforward bet where you predict which team will win the entire match. Odds are provided for each team, reflecting their perceived strength;
  • Map Winner: In a best-of-series match, you can bet on the team that will win a specific map or game within the series;
  • Handicap Betting: Handicap bets are used to level the playing field when there’s a perceived skill gap between teams. You can bet on a team with a handicap, meaning they need to win by a certain margin to be considered the winner;
  • First Blood: You can bet on which team will score the first kill in the game. This bet is based on early game aggression and strategy;
  • First to X Kills: Predict which team will reach a certain number of kills first, typically 5, 10, or 15 kills. This bet focuses on early-game dominance;
  • Total Kills Over/Under: Wager on whether the total number of kills in a game will be over or under a specified number set by the sportsbook. This bet adds excitement to high-scoring matches;
  • Map Duration Over/Under: Bet on whether a specific map will last over or under a set duration, such as 30 minutes. This can be influenced by the game’s pace and strategies employed;
  • Player Proposition Bets: Some sportsbooks offer prop bets related to individual player performances, like the total number of kills, assists, or deaths by a specific player;
  • Tournament Winner: Bet on which team will emerge as the champion of a particular MOBA tournament. This bet covers a more extended period and often features competitive odds;
  • Special Bets: Occasionally, sportsbooks may offer unique bets related to in-game events, like the first tower destroyed or the team with the most gold at a certain time.

Before placing bets on MOBA games, it’s essential to research the teams, their recent performance, and the strategies they employ. Understanding the metagame, patch updates, and player substitutions can also be valuable for making informed wagers. As with all esports betting, responsible gambling practices are crucial to ensure an enjoyable and sustainable betting experience.

Betting on First Person Shooters (FPS)

Betting on First-Person Shooters (FPS) esports, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Call of Duty, and Overwatch, comes with its own set of unique features and betting options. FPS games are known for their fast-paced action and precision, which can lead to exciting wagering opportunities. Here’s a description of common bets in FPS esports:

  • Match Winner: Just like in other esports, you can bet on esports team that will win the entire match. Odds are provided for each team, reflecting their perceived strength in the particular match.
  • Round Winner: In CS:GO, for instance, you can bet on which team will win a particular round. This could be the pistol round, the first gun round, or other specific rounds within a match.
  • Handicap Betting: Handicap bets are used to balance out a perceived skill gap between teams. You can bet on a team with a handicap, meaning they need to win by a certain number of rounds for your bet to be successful.
  • Total Rounds Over/Under: Wager on whether the total number of rounds played in a match will be over or under a specific number set by the sportsbook. This bet depends on the teams’ playing style and can add excitement to tight matches.
  • First Blood: Bet on which team or player will score the first kill in a game. This bet relies on quick reflexes and aggressive strategies.
  • Kill Totals: Predict the total number of kills by a specific player or the combined kills in a match. These bets focus on individual and team performance.
  • Special Bets: Occasionally, sportsbooks offer unique bets tied to in-game events, like the first sniper kill, the team with the most headshots, or the player with the highest ADR (average damage per round).
Example of Bet on First Person Shooters
Example of Bet on First Person Shooters

Researching teams, their recent performances, and understanding the maps played are crucial for FPS esports betting. The game’s weapon and map balance, player roles, and recent patch updates can all influence the outcome. As with all esports betting, responsible gambling practices should be a priority to ensure an enjoyable and sustainable betting experience.

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Sports simulators

Betting on sports simulators, also known as virtual sports or esports, has gained popularity as these virtual games mimic real-world sports. These games include virtual versions of football, basketball, soccer, and various other sports. Here’s an overview of betting options for sports simulators:

  • Match Winner: Just like in real sports, you can bet on the winner of a virtual sports match. For instance, in virtual football, you wager on which team will win the simulated game.
  • Over/Under Bets: These bets involve predicting whether the total number of goals, points, or other statistics in a virtual match will be over or under a specific number set by the bookmaker.
  • Correct Score: You can bet on the exact final score of a virtual sports match, much like predicting the score in a real game.
  • Player Performance: Some virtual sports simulators allow you to bet on individual player performance, such as the number of goals, assists, or rebounds they will achieve.
  • Tournament/Season Winner: For virtual sports leagues and tournaments, you can place bets on which team or player will win the entire competition.
  • In-Play Betting: Live betting is also available for virtual sports, allowing you to place bets while the simulation is in progress. You can wager on various in-game events and outcomes.
  • Virtual Leagues: Some virtual sports betting platforms offer ongoing virtual leagues where you can bet on teams’ overall performance throughout a season.
  • Special Bets: Bookmakers may offer unique and entertaining bets in virtual sports, such as the time of the first goal, the method of scoring, or even events like red cards and penalties.

Virtual sports simulators offer a 24/7 betting experience, with simulations taking place at all hours. However, it’s important to approach virtual sports betting with the same responsible gambling principles as traditional sports betting. Research the teams and players in the virtual sports leagues, understand the rules of the simulations, and set limits to enjoy this unique betting experience.

How to bet on esports

Betting on esports can be an exciting and potentially profitable endeavor if done with knowledge and strategy. 

Step 1: Select a Bookmaker for Betting Esports

Research to find a bookmaker with a solid reputation in betting esports. You want a platform that not only offers comprehensive esports markets but also ensures competitive odds. A user-friendly interface and good customer feedback are signs of a reliable operator.

Step 2: Register and Verify for Esports Betting

After choosing your bookmaker, proceed to register an account. Provide your details as required and complete the necessary verification steps. This typically involves confirming your identity, a crucial step for secure betting esports activities.

Step 3: Fund Your Account

Deposit money into your betting account using one of the available methods. Whether it’s a credit card, an e-wallet, or a direct bank transfer, select the option that you find most convenient. Keep an eye out for any bonuses that might give your betting esports a boost.

Step 4: Understand Esports Markets

Before placing any bets, familiarize yourself with the esports titles and the types of bets you can place. From outright winners to specific game events, understanding these will help you make informed decisions in betting esports.

Step 5: Place Your Esports Bet

Navigate to the esports category on your bookmaker’s site, choose your game, and decide on your bet. Enter the amount you wish to wager, review your bet slip to ensure all details are correct, and confirm your bet. Now, you are fully engaged in betting esports.

Esports betting tips

When engaging in esports betting, it’s essential to consider the following tips to enhance your chances of success:

  • Research and Knowledge: Thoroughly research the esports games, teams, and players you plan to bet on esports. Understanding the dynamics of the game and the strengths and weaknesses of the teams is crucial.
  • Bankroll Management: Set a budget for your betting activities and stick to it. Don’t wager more than you can afford to lose.
  • Shop for the Best Odds: Different betting platforms offer varying odds for the same event. To maximize your potential winnings, compare odds across multiple bookmakers and choose the most favorable ones.
  • Understand the Betting Markets: Familiarize yourself with the various betting markets available for esports, such as match winner, map winner, and special bets. Choose markets that align with your knowledge and strategy.
  • Follow the Scene: Stay updated with the esports scene by following news, match results, and player performances. This will help you make informed betting decisions.
  • Watch Matches: Watching live streams or recorded matches can provide valuable insights into team strategies, player form, and other factors that might influence your bets.
  • Player and Team Form: Consider recent performance and trends, including winning streaks, roster changes, and player injuries or substitutions.
  • Game Meta and Patch Updates: Esports games often receive balance changes and updates. Understanding the current game meta and how it might affect team strategies is crucial.
  • Bet Responsibly: Avoid emotional or impulsive betting. Stick to your strategy and don’t chase losses. Set both winning and losing limits for each betting session.
  • Consider Live Betting: In-play or live betting can offer opportunities to react to changing game conditions and odds during a match. However, be quick and make informed decisions.
  • Diversify Bets: Avoid putting all your money on a single bet. Diversify your bets across different matches and markets to spread risk.
  • Avoid Insider Information: Betting based on inside information or rumors can lead to unfair advantages and, in some cases, legal consequences. Bet only using publicly available information.

By following these esports betting tips and being a well-informed bettor, you can enjoy the excitement of betting on esports while increasing your chances of making profitable decisions.

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Esports Tournaments

Esports tournaments have rapidly evolved into colossal spectacles, drawing massive audiences and offering substantial prizes. These competitive gaming events feature elite players and teams from around the world, competing in popular video games. Esports tournaments not only showcase extraordinary skill and strategy but also play a pivotal role in shaping the gaming industry and betting world. 

  • Single vs. Multi-Stage Tournaments: Esports tournaments can be single-stage, where all matches happen in a linear format, or multi-stage, with group stages leading to playoffs. Multi-stage tournaments often feature more matches and betting opportunities.
  • Group Stages: Many tournaments begin with group stages, where teams compete in round-robin formats. This provides more chances for bettors to place wagers.
  • Playoff Bracket: The top-performing teams from the group stages advance to the playoffs, which is often a single-elimination bracket. The finals determine the champion.
  • Formats: Tournaments can be played in various formats, including best-of-three, best-of-five, and more. These formats influence the betting strategies, especially in terms of underdog opportunities.

Esport betting: FAQ

Is Esports Betting Legal?

The legality of esports betting varies depending on the country or region. Many countries have specific regulations in place that govern online gambling and sports betting, which typically include esports. It’s essential to consult the laws in your area to determine if you can legally engage in esports betting. In jurisdictions where it is legal, operators must obtain licenses to offer these betting services, ensuring they comply with local gambling laws and regulations.

How Are Esports Betting Odds Calculated?

Esports betting odds represent the likelihood of a particular event occurring within a game or match. Bookmakers calculate these odds based on a complex mix of factors, including historical data, statistics, team performance, and expert analysis of the esports scene. Additionally, odds reflect the betting patterns of the public, with bookmakers adjusting them to ensure a balance of bets on all possible outcomes to manage their risk.

Is Esports Betting Safe?

Safety in esports betting depends largely on the bookmaker you choose. A safe betting experience is typically provided by bookmakers that are licensed and regulated by recognized gaming authorities. These operators must adhere to strict standards of player protection, data encryption, and fair play. To enhance safety, it’s advisable for bettors to use secure payment methods and to engage in responsible betting practices.

Can You Make Money on Esports Betting?

While it is possible to make money on esports betting, it should not be considered a guaranteed source of income. Successful bettors often have a deep understanding of the games, the teams, and strategies involved in esports. They also manage their bankrolls effectively and approach betting as a form of entertainment with an element of risk. As with all forms of gambling, there is always a potential for loss, and profits are never assured.

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About the Author

Born in London in 1986, Samuel Gray is a distinguished betting expert with a Master’s in Sports Analysis from the University of Leeds, obtained in 2011. From 2012 to 2019, he worked closely with multiple athletic federations, specializing in performance metrics across various common sports. Gray has authored 15 academic papers, predominantly on the optimization of training regimes and injury prevention. Transitioning from research in 2020, Gray began a journalism career. He now pens analytical pieces about the nuances of common sports and contributes regularly to several sports-focused platforms, shedding light on contemporary tactics and athlete assessments.

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