Esports Games Betting Guide – Everything You Need to Know
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What Are Esports Games?
Esports Games is the collective term for competitive video gaming, where teams of people play games against each other at a professional level, regularly winning huge sums of prize money.
These esports games players are contracted to play for a variety of different organisations, and practice and compete in their respective game just as any other competitive athlete.
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What Games Qualify as Esports?
Any multiplayer game can become an esport game, although almost all of the biggest games right now simply set out, first and foremost, to be entertaining to play.
A competitive scene evolves over time, thanks to both game developer and community support. There are a number of games that are viewed as esports games.
As an online medium, esports has grown massively in popularity in recent years, not just with players but with viewers. Many follow the events in a major tournament via the Twitch live streaming service.
It didn’t take bookmakers long to realise that there was potential for betting markets on this new and evolving phenomenon.
Differences Between Esports & Regular Sports Betting?
The only difference between esports and traditional sports betting is that in esports you are betting on individuals competing in a computer game whereas, in traditional sports, it is a physical or mental contest between two teams or individuals.
In both, teams compete against each other in tournaments for a cash prize. Functionally, it’s the same as traditional sports. Top-level athletes are constantly trying for the top spots in their sport, or game, of choice.
There are teams that are very popular who receive lots of bets, teams that are big favourites in a match or tournament, and smaller sides just trying to cause an upset and build their reputation.
Why Bet on Esports Games?
Despite having favourite players and teams, esports games are a little bit more unpredictable in than in traditional sports. This is because we are seeing new games explode into the market and new teams appearing out of nowhere with real success.
Another reason to bet on esports games compared to standard sports, is because the bookmakers are less experienced in this area and don’t know it as well as they do more traditional sports, such as football. So, if you know what you’re doing, you can easily out smart bookmakers and play it to your favour.
Understanding Esports Games Before Betting
There are some things to consider when making bets on esports games, though, that will help you avoid the downsides to esports betting and make the most of the considerable upsides.
In terms of the mechanics of placing a bet on esports games compared to traditional sports, there is no difference.
Choosing an Esport Game to Bet On
In esports games, you’ll find four main types of genre, which most of the popular esports games can be categorised under as per below.
It’s worth reading about these types of gameplay first, so you can quickly identify which genre is most suited to you. We’d also like to say that, it’s worth noting the abbreviations, as often bookies use these when listing the games.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games (MOBA)
These esports games are usually strategy-based and played as part of a team. Each team is made up of several virtual characters and players are responsible for one character each.
The goal of MOBA games is usually to kill the opposing team or destroy their base.
Popular Esports MOBA Titles
First-Person Shooter Games (FPS)
One of the most popular esports games with one of the main goals being to kill your opponent or destroy their objective.
The player views the game from the perspective of their chosen character and they use various weapons when engaging in combat with their enemy.
When watching, you will often see a mini-map showing the level they are playing, along with a floating weapon meter, health meter and your armour/ammo count.
Popular Esports FPS titles
Player vs Player (PVP)
Also known as fighting/combat games (FCG), most games follow a similar format with the players each controlling a single character who fight against each other, with the goal being to inflict as much damage as possible.
If you’ve watched two friends battling against each other on a console game, that’s player vs. player. This type of game has been around forever.
Popular PvP Fighting Games
Popular PvP Sports Games
- Rocket League
Real-Time Strategy Games (RTS)
Real-time games are when there are no breaks in the game, all decisions are being made at that moment.
Usually played by individual players, they will start out with gear, weapons, and warriors and must strategise how to grow their own army whilst plotting how to take over their opponent’s base.
Popular Esports Games RTS Titles
- Starcraft II
What are the Most Popular Esports Games?
The world of esports games is primarily dominated by team-based games. While some single-player tournaments do exist, such as FIFA and Starcraft II, they’re not on the same scale as some of the other games out there.
Here’s a list of the most popular esports games based on prize money, competitors, and viewers in alphabetical order:
- CS:GO: 40+ teams, $1 million from championship but they have lots of big tournaments, 1.2 million viewers
- Warcraft: 1,269,436 million peak viewers, 46 active teams, championship prize $48,578,142
- DOTA 2: 15 million peak viewers, 59 active teams, championship prize money $35 million and rising
- Fortnite: $30 million prize money, 40 million competitors, 2 million viewers
- League of Legends: 24 teams, peak of 44 million viewers, $7 million
- Overwatch: 20 teams, $5 million, 300k viewers
- PUBG: $2 million, 20 teams, 800k viewers
Who are the Best Esports Games Teams?
It’s difficult to determine the best esports teams worldwide, because some will be part of a larger corporation that competes in a number of different games. For example, Team Liquid takes part in 24 games from Auto Chess to DOTA, earning a total of $2,250 and $22 million in each sport respectively.
In our list, we’ll simply rank them by total earnings across all games, as well as showing the number of competitions they’ve taken part in and their highest-earning game.
- Team Liquid: $33.8 million, 1622 tournaments, DOTA
- OG: $33.4 million, 70 tournaments, DOTA 2
- Evil Geniuses: $24 million, 798 tournaments, DOTA 2
- Fnatic: $14.3 million, 856 tournaments, CS:GO
- Newbee: $14 million, 180 tournaments, DOTA 2
- Virtus.pro: $13.7 million, 470 tournaments, DOTA 2
- Vici Gaming: $12.2 million, 268 tournaments, DOTA 2
It’s worth noting that our list doesn’t take into account the overall value of each esports team. Forbes recently released their second annual valuation of esports games teams.
It’s clear to see that these teams are much more than just competitors in gaming tournaments. With 10’s of millions of followers across every platform, they’ve amassed a cult-like following and are able to reap the rewards.
Most of the teams on the list have seen increases in excess of 50%, which is a startling representation of just how explosive the esports industry is right now.
The list should be taken with a grain of salt, as it’s difficult to verify their results, but it’s a reminder that esports is bigger than the players.
Global investors are watching and, with the huge rise in popularity of the sport, it’ll be interesting to see how it develops in the future.
Where Can I Bet on Esports Games?
Esports games betting is a favourite for successful punters because there are esports games every day, and all the research is easily available.
For example, if you want to find out about a team in CS:GO, HLTV and stayinpit.gg give you all the information you need to start betting a bit more wisely.
With games from every esport happening nearly every day, if you know your stuff, it can be quite lucrative. When choosing where to play, a lot of bookies will offer a welcome bonus.
We’ve listed our top-rated bookies throughout our pages and under each respective topic to make it easier for you.
What Bets Can I Place on Esports?
The dominant form of betting right now is match betting – betting on the outcome of a match or broader event. But some of the leading sportsbooks in the space – including Pinnacle, Betway, Unikern, 22bet sites – are experimenting with “live” betting or “in-play” betting, which are bets offered and made on events within the match itself.
We’ve provided a breakdown below, however, we go into more detail here, on what you should be thinking about when selecting a bookmaker.
The most common type of bet is betting on the outcome of the match, this is a simple outright bet where you’re betting on who will win the match.
This is referred to as a moneyline bet by bookmakers and can differ between matches based on varying factors such as the players skill set.
All matches are listed alongside betting odds, so that you are able to see how much a winning wager would pay out if you chose to bet on them.
Every game that is played on both a best-of-three or a best-of-five is called a Map. You can bet on which Team you think will win the map, in the example below, we have put £50 on Team Neon Sports to win Map 1, if they do then we win the bet.
Map betting is listed as its own unique event as it gives fans the opportunity to use their knowledge of teams to see if it pays off.
Outright bets are available on all of the major championships, this bet is placed on the outcome of an entire league or championship opposed to an individual match or map bet. Outright bets are often placed before the tournament but can also be placed throughout.
Handicap betting is also very popular and works just the same way as it would for regular sports, like football, the handicap simply represents the game score in a best-of series.
For example, Team CR4ZY are playing Team Thunder Predator, you’ve bet in Team CR4ZY with +1.5 handicap bet. Team Thunder Predator beats Team CR4ZY 2-1 when playing best of 3 matches.
This means 1.5+1 =2.5 which is great than the 2 of Team Thunder Predator, therefore you win the bet. If Team CR4ZY had failed to win a single match meaning the overall score was 0+1.5=1.5 which is less than 2, so you wouldn’t have won anything.
Can Esports Matches Get Rigged?
Of course, one of the key considerations for any punter when dealing with a relatively new industry to bet on is how to ensure that competitions between two players are not rigged.
You also don’t want collusion between the players to ensure that one wins and the other loses.
The reason why this is not an issue at the highest level of esports (where all the betting markets are focused) is that this is essentially now a professional industry. It has its own code of conduct, rules and regulations.
The professional players get paid for results. What this means is, just like a football match where one team is heavily favoured over the other, there is no incentive for the losing or underdog player not to try and win.
Taking pride in their chosen esports team, and the riches that comes from being the top esports gamers will ensure that, at the highest level, every match is fought to the maximum of each player’s ability.
Playing for the fans
With so many gaming experts watching events on-screen—plus a host of fans watching via live streaming services such as Twitch—if any player did ‘give up’ or collude to lose, this would be easily discovered.
The player would be sanctioned. (And likely all bets on the outcome declared void and your stakes returned.)
Essentially, esports betting is as safe in terms of matches being rigged as any other sport you could consider.
Indeed, given the issues some sports have faced of late, it may even be less of an issue in esports.
Where Can I Watch Esports Games?
One of the best things about Esports is that it is, for the most part, geographically ambiguous, allowing for fans to watch their favourite teams and players competing in tournaments from the other side of the world in real-time.
The live experience of actually being in the same stadium still can’t compare but, by allowing the world to tune in online, the doors are open to everyone.
In a recent study by NewZoo, it was reported that a massive 42% of all esports games players also watch esports streams, and 23% of the study showed participants watch esports titles without playing the game itself.
With these numbers in mind, it goes to show that esports can be enjoyed by both players and non-players alike, admiring the skill of the players and teams regardless of personal experience.
Here are the best places for fans to watch esports:
Youtube: As we mentioned with Overwatch, the YouTube channel for the Overwatch League features highlights, old matches, and live streams for its audience. League of Legends, the most popular esports games, also provides a great channel that boasts over 3 million followers and broadcasts scheduled live events
Twitch: Twitch is the most popular live-streaming platform out there. A favorite for Call of Duty and Fortnite gamers, Twitch is also a great place to watch League of Legends. The popularity of the platform means that fans can watch some of the top gamers in the world or even amateur players looking to make their first impression
Facebook Gaming: It might seem unusual that gaming can be found on Facebook, but the network even dedicates its own separate page to esports, due to the massive audience. A nice thing about Facebook Gaming is fans can get notifications when their favorite gamers start streaming
Mixer: Microsoft wanted to get in on live streaming and it delivered with Mixer. One of the fastest-growing live platforms out there, the Seattle-based site is available in 21 languages. While partnering with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the world’s most popular gamers, certainly helped Mixer, the platform itself is about so much more than one person
Betting Tips & Strategy Advice
Before you begin looking at odds, decide for yourself who you think will win the match. Look at other credible sources, the more you know, the higher your chances of making a successful bet. Here is some of our advice:
Look at Past Match Results Between the Teams
If possible, see if any players or teams had huge performances which caused them to win.
Maybe different rosters played? Has the roster improved/gotten worse since the changes?
Is the Lineup Consistent?
Look to see if the lineup is consistent. Does the team win with certain players but not others?
Also, check if there are any stand-ins for the match that might affect the chances of a team winning.
Have the Teams Traveled Far?
Check to see if the sides have recently travelled to/from a LAN event, as jet lag or long trips can affect a player’s performance.
Check the Player’s Gaming Accounts
See how many hours they are spending practising. Some say that a pro esports player should be seeing above 40 hours of playing time in a span of two weeks.
Anything below is pretty low for a pro and could lead to a dip in performance.
Look for Late Developments
Check the players’ social media accounts. Anger or sickness prior to a match is a good sign they’re not going to play on top form.
Past Match Performances
If you have time, watch the team’s recent matches, see how they play and look for weaknesses or strengths.
Make sure to note the team’s form to see if they are currently slumping, or perhaps on a hot streak of form.
How is The Community Betting?
Look at the bets the community tipsters are placing. Look at the highest-ranked tipsters and see which way they’re betting.
Use the match chat to see if there’s any other final information you might be missing although be mindful that when using other, unproven information, take it in with a pinch of salt.
Be Careful of Form
Seeing the form a team is currently experiencing is great and should give you a general idea for the match, however, do not fall into the trap that form = everything.
Sometimes, a team may be struggling, or doing really poorly, however, that does not mean that it will continue, that streak may break at any time.
Always remember, the final decision to bet is yours.
POPULAR ESPORTS GUIDES
Here you’ll find recommended esports guides, popular reviews and noteworthy information.
Call of Duty