Sports betters across the world saw a massive change to their industry just a few years ago with the introduction and incredible rise to the notoriety of e-sports.
E-sports are similar to normal sports in that they’re both competitive games that require a large degree of skill in said sport. The biggest difference is that e-sports are online and occur in the virtual world while traditional sports are physical activities.
This means that there are new factors to take into account and an entire industry for sports gamblers to dive into and learn.
E-sports can range from first-person shooters (FPS) to multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs). They’re all played differently and will look nothing alike.
But, there are thousands of competitive games that you could classify as an e-sport. The most popular of them all are the ones that you’re able to bet on.
So, what are the biggest e-sport games and how do you bet on them? Don’t worry, I’ve answered that question for you.
Let’s begin with an overview of the biggest e-sport games out there right now.
The Biggest E-Sports Games
Big names in e-sports span many companies and game types.
Right now, the e-sports betting world is dominated by only a few contenders. They include Riot Games’ League of Legends, Blizzard’s Hearthstone, and Valve Corporation’s Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
These four games encompass the majority of the e-sports bets that take place every day.
If you’re not familiar with these games already, now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a world that millions of gamers have been developing for decades.
League of Legends
League of Legends is the most popular video game in the world and celebrated its 10th anniversary as a game in 2019.
The game is a MOBA and pits five players versus five players against each other to destroy the opponents base, specifically an object called the ‘nexus’ in the center of each base.
The map they play on consists of three lanes, or roads, that players can travel on. Each of these lanes has objectives the players must destroy to reach the base.
These five players choose their characters, each with unique abilities and roles they play within the game.
After a few games, the concept of League of Legends is easy to understand. It may even be easy for you to think that you’d be good at this game.
Rest assured, League of Legends isn’t easy. Players may spend years accumulating their knowledge to only end up in the top 20 percent of players.
The depth of skill in League of Legends is incredibly large but it’s what makes it a great e-sport for betting purposes.
If you develop a proper understanding of players, mechanics, and the game, you’ll find yourself easily making a value bet after value bet.
The professional scene has just begun their 10th season, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. This makes League of Legends a great e-sport to familiarize yourself with because it’ll likely be in existence for years to come.
If you’re paid any attention at all to video games in the last two decades, you know the game World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft was developed and released by Blizzard in 2005. It’s, by far, their most successful game and is still in existence today.
However, World of Warcraft isn’t Blizzard’s only success. It wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the last.
Because of World of Warcraft’s incredible popularity, and the rise of competitive trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering, Blizzard developed their own card game: Hearthstone.
Hearthstone is a turn-based card game that is based on the characters you’ll find in World of Warcraft.
The game’s popularity took off with the branding attached to it by Blizzard and has become one of the most popular e-sports to bet on.
Betting on Hearthstone will come down to knowing players rather than knowing the meta of card decks, making it a little friendly to those who are new to e-sports betting.
In tournaments, and professional play, players bring in multiple card decks and use each one to fight their opponent with over a series of rounds.
This introduces many different types of bets and an interesting game to witness unfold.
Dota 2 is another MOBA that has deep roots in the gaming community and is traditionally credited with bringing the MOBA-style of gaming to popularity.
Dota 2, similar to League of Legends, is also a 5v5 game where players fight to destroy their opponents base. There are unique characters, abilities, and roles that each player must utilize to their advantage to defeat their opponents.
If you thought League of Legends was difficult to grasp, you might want to hold off on Dota 2 for a while. While it shares many similarities with League of Legends, Dota 2 is generally considered to be the more complex of the two games.
This means that upsets are much more likely to occur and a deeper understanding of the game is required to make profitable bets consistently.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive
You probably thought Call of Duty would make this list. However, you are sorely mistaken.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) is an incredibly popular FPS that has withstood the test of time and consistently outdoes Call of Duty in a professional environment.
Overall, CS: GO is more of a team-oriented game while Call of Duty frequently focuses on an individual racking up kills and points for their team.
This emphasis on teamwork is why the game has become more popular than Call of Duty regarding e-sports. It’s more entertaining to watch and creates an environment where you can root for a team, player, or whatever brand you like best.
The game also offers more than one game mode that is played professionally, which keeps players on their toes and offers a wider variety of betting options for you.
CS: GO competitions may require players to fight in a deathmatch style, or focus on taking certain objectives. Plus, each of these game modes’ rules may be tweaked so that the game you’re watching is constantly changing.
All of this leads up to CS: GO being one of the most popular e-sports to bet on with a much livelier betting and pro scene than any other FPS.
Where to Make E-Sports Bets
You’ll have to take your e-sports betting to where it all began – the internet.
Traditional online betting websites, such as Bovado and Betway, will generally hose e-sports betting.
However, there are several e-sports betting websites that are dedicated to only e-sports. This includes EGB and Esportsbets.
Each of these websites will have their own rules, regulations, and bonuses so are sure to research each one to find what’s best for you. A quick Google search will also turn up a plethora of websites that will take your bets.
Types of Betting
E-sports betting brings an entirely new world of types of betting.
Of course, you’ll have the traditional winner, loser, or even sometimes draw. The over/under is still there and your smorgasbord of stereotypical sports bets that you’ll see on traditionally featured.
But, you’ll find you have many additional bets you can make as well.
Let’s go over some of the most prevalent types of bets that you won’t find in traditional sports betting
Most video games will allow players to pick which type of ‘skin’ they’d like to use on their characters.
These skins are entirely aesthetic and affect the way their character looks while they’re in-game. You’ll often find that one character has several different skins available to choose from.
Since sports betting and e-sports have collided, betting on which skin a player will use in a certain match has become incredibly popular.
These bets are fun to make and you can get a good insight into which skin a player might use by becoming familiar with their preferences or personality.
The most exciting of the e-sport bet for most is the first blood.
The term first blood refers to the player who gets the first kill in a match. The term is used across e-sports and means the same thing whether you’re betting on a MOBA, FPS, or a different type of video game.
This can be an interesting bet because a team may have a different playstyle than the other. For example, a team that is favored to win may draft their characters to be stronger later during the game rather than early on.
While this team may be favored to win the game, it also means the opposing team is more likely to draw first blood because they’ll be stronger in the earlier parts of a game.
As you’ll find out, most e-sport matches are conducted through a series of games. An overall winner may be selected from the best of 3, best of 5, or even best of 7 in some cases.
The term for betting on the first game of a series is generally referred to as winning the first map in the world of e-sports betting.
This is an interesting first bet as strategies will change throughout the series of games the teams play. A team may be better at adapting to their opponent and more likely to lose the first game but win overall. In the same vein, a team may be more prone to taking quick advantages and then running behind in strategy later.
Live Betting Options
Live betting options can be an incredibly fun and interactive way to get your sports betting fix while a game is going on.
All of the games listed have betting options for live betting. This may be who gets the next kill, which team will gain what objective or a variety of minuscule and irrelevant decisions.
These bets are typically looked at as a fun way to be involved in betting, but there can be serious money to be made if you know the odds better than everyone else.
Sometimes you may find that bookies will offer odds or even bets, referring to the number of games, or rounds that an overall series may take.
If you’re confident that your team will win in three games in a five-game series, betting on an odd number of games will be your go-to.
Because there will always be an odd number of games played in a series, it’s more than likely that the total number of games in a series is going to be odd. Because of this, this isn’t always a smart bet or is it even offered by a bookmaker.
However, if you see the opportunity, they can be a nice value bet to cash in on.
Most e-sports play within their leagues and most bets take place within individual games. However, all of these e-sports will, at some point in the season, hold a tournament for players.
These tournaments may be affiliated with the developer of the game and be a more formal tournament, while other tournaments may lie on the fringe and be sponsored by an outside source.
Either way, you’ll find bets that to place on the overall winner of the tournament.
If you feel like your team can make it through the series of games they’ll play, this can be an interesting bet to take on.
Combi-bets, also known as accumulator bets, is a way for you to bet on the outcome of multiple e-sports events at once.
You’ll be able to wager on various amounts of e-sports competitions and you’ll need to get all of your choices correct to get a payout. This sounds incredibly difficult, and it is. However, if you manage to correctly choose the winners of your combi-bets, you’ll find yourself swimming in the big payouts.
This can be an incredibly effective way of e-sports betting if you’re deeply ingrained in the intricacies of e-sports.
Handicap bets are going to be your friend when you’re betting on e-sports.
Typically, in any given e-sport, you’re going to find that two to three teams dominate the entire game and leave most of their competitors in the dust.
This makes it incredibly difficult to bet against them whenever they’re playing. While you could choose the safe option and always bet on them, there’s another way as well.
Handicap bets give the favorite team a disadvantage and provide you with better odds if that team ends up winning despite their handicap.
These types of bets are a bit more advanced and may take a bit of learning to be able to use them consistently and successfully, but they’re great to keep your money in the game even when the game seems to be dominated by one team.
Overall, e-sports betting is a great addition to the gambling world and will provide you with a seemingly endless amount of betting options for you to dive into.
Be warned, many of these games are going to require you to become extremely familiar with them before you’ll be able to comfortably make good bets.
However, it’s an emerging field in the world of gambling and can be extremely lucrative to those who put in the time and effort to understand the game of their choosing.
If you’re new to esports betting, it’s a safe bet to pick one game and familiarize yourself with it before moving on to another – you’re going to need the extra time.