What are eSports?
You may be new to betting on e-sports but to put it simply, e-sports work just like any other sport. The only major difference is that e-sports takes place entirely in the digital world. In short, eSports is a competition in online multiplayer games on the computer between different players who either play alone or as part of a team. You can compete in all computer games that are suitable for esports competition, from FIFA and Madden to Fortnite, League of Legends and Hearthstone. In other words, esports include a wide range of different gaming experiences.
Although esports have been popular for a fairly long time, it is only in recent years that esport betting has started to gain serious momentum. Today, e-sports betting is basically as popular as all other types of betting around the world. Every week, major esports tournaments are played in all corners of the world and these events attract millions of spectators via Twitch, Youtube Gaming and online sportsbetting sites every day.
The term eSports is an abbreviation for Electronic Sports. Esports is not a completely new phenomenon, but is a new category in the betting world. It was not until the early 2000s that e-sports really took off thanks to the increasingly powerful computers, game consoles and wireless networks. Today, many consider eSports to be equivalent to other sports such as football, hockey, basketball, boxing and motorsports. It is likely that eSports will surpass traditional sports in popularity for online sportsbetting in the future.
Why are eSports so popular? There are many reasons. First of all, esports are very accessible – there are always matches happening around the clock, you just need to pick a live stream to watch. Secondly, you can do things in computer games that cannot be done in real life. Thirdly, anyone can become an esport professional, you do not have to be rich or athletic to become good at an esport. But above all, esports is incredibly fast-paced and exciting for both players and spectators!
The esports world is what drives game development forward and today most new computer games are developed to be compatible with esports competitions. Esports tournaments bring in copious amounts of money and the prize money can amount to millions of dollars. So for those with nimble fingers, becoming a pro gamer can really pay off in the long run!
Given that esports have been around for a relatively short time compared to most other sports, there has been a fierce debate going on about whether esports is a real sport or not. Some believe that esports are not a sport because it isn’t a physical sport, the competitors just sit in front of a computer. They do not see PC gaming as anything more than a pastime for children and teenagers. This view is more common among older people who may not play online games themselves or just associate computer gaming with Super Mario, Tetris and Pac-Man. Others equate pro gamers with any other kind of athlete and make no distinction between an esports player and a football player.
A young sport
The truth about whether esports is a real sport or not probably lies somewhere in between, as with most things in life. Unlike sports such as football, basketball and hockey, esports is new and not everyone has yet become familiar with the phenomenon. It is mainly the younger generation that has grown up with modern online games that play and watch esports. Esports have a lot to prove to older people, but eventually e-sports will become familiar to everyone as time goes by.
Saying that esports is not a sport because you sit still is an argument that does not really hold up. Many sports are fairly sedentary, take for example certain types of motorsports and shooting that are considered real sports. Esports is a real sport because it requires high skill levels and quick reflexes. Esports have fair and uniform rules fit for competitions. The basic similarities with traditional sports are clear even if esports is not physically demanding.
Although the similarities are many, there are also some differences. You do not have to face your opponents in real life, for example. You can sit at home and play the games as long as you have a stable internet connection. Another difference between esports and other sports is that the player’s age is of little to no importance. A skilled teenager or even a child can measure up to an adult and win in esports. However, the similarities are greater than the differences, so if we have to choose, then esports is a real sport in our opinion!
What is Twitch?
If you enjoy playing video games, you have probably heard of the online streaming service Twitch. Twitch is the world’s largest esports live streaming service. Although Twitch allows for lots of different types of content on the platform, it is live streaming of video games that has made Twitch world famous. All the most renowned pro gamers are on Twitch thanks to the gigantic audience that the platform attracts. Twitch has exclusive agreements with the world’s largest esports tournaments and broadcasts their competitions for a massive live audience online. At Twitch you will find everything from DreamHack and Epicenter to ESL Pro and ESL One and much more.
Competitions in esports happen frequently and in many different forms. On Twitch you will always find matches in, for example, CS: GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), Hearthstone, Rocket League, StarCraft, WarCraft, League of Legends (LoL), DOTA 2 (Defense of the Ancients), Overwatch, Rainbox Six Siege, Call of Duty Warzone, FIFA, NBA2K, UFC 4 and more. But there is also room for less conventional types of esport variants. For example, so-called speed running has become popular, where players try to complete courses or entire games in the shortest possible time. Speedrun betting is a category of esports betting that is likely to grow in the future.
The great thing about Twitch is that you can watch e-sports tournaments for free on their platform and you can chat with other viewers and sometimes even the pro gamer directly. It is a social experience that makes the games even more enjoyable. Many people watch Twitch to get better at the games themselves and learn new techniques. When you are familiar with a game, you understand how skilled the professional esports players really are. Every keystroke is calculated, they leave no room for mistakes.
Betting sites with eSports let you bet on esports live odds and usually embed a live stream from Twitch so you can follow the events in realtime. You will find the best betting sites with esports in our list further up on this page.
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The most popular games in eSports
Just like in the world of traditional sports, there is not a single game that defines the entire esports world. All esports have their own characteristics and are completely different from each other in terms of genre, gaming experience and pacing. Just like you cannot compare snooker to MMA, you cannot truly compare a turn-based strategy game to a First Person Shooter. They are exciting in their own unique ways! However, there are a number of games that stand out as the most popular esport games in each category:
- League of Legends | Riot Games
- DotA 2 | Valve Corporation
- CS:GO | Valve Corporation
- Fortnite | Epic Games
- Overwatch | Blizzard Entertainment
- PUBG | PUBG Corporation
- Hearthstone | Blizzard Entertainment
- Rocket League | Psyonix
- Rainbow Six Siege | Ubisoft Montreal
- StarCraft 2 | Blizzard Entertainment
- FIFA esport | EA Sports
As you can see, some game developers like Valve Corporation and Blizzard Entertainment have made themselves especially known for esports tournaments. Of course, there are lots of other games to compete in in addition to those listed, but if we were to name them all, the list would be very long! Let’s take a closer look at a selection of the biggest esports games that we have mentioned:
CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
CS: GO is an abbreviation for Counter Strike Global Offensive and is perhaps the world’s most popular game for esports right now. Counter Strike is developed by Valve, which is also behind the successful gaming platform Steam. CSGO is a First Person Shooter (FPS) where fast reflexes make the difference between winning and losing. In esports, the professional gamers compete both alone in a so-called Deathmatch or together as part of a team, in game modes such as the Team Deathmatch. The game is about the special forces trying to stop the terrorists from planting bombs at various points around the map.
Some of the world’s most famous CS:GO teams hail from Sweden, such as Ninjas in Pyjamas. Another well-known Swedish e-sports team within CS: GO is the Silver Snipers, one of the oldest professional esports teams (in terms of combined age) who compete in the senior class. When it comes to esports live odds CS: GO is probably the single most popular game, closely followed by Rainbow Six Siege and a few others. You can bet on CSGO at all betting sites that have esports odds due to its popularity. You can even trade CSGO skins through CSGO skin betting on certain sites. CSGO skin betting means that you can unlock new appearances of characters, weapons and items.
Fortnite is a third-person action game of the Battle Royale type, which means that all players get one “life” each and the last player to survive wins the match. The round begins with all players parachuting out of an airplane and then gathering resources such as weapons and ammunition around the map. Meanwhile, the playing field shrinks for every passing minute until all but one player is eliminated.
In esports live betting Fortnite is incredibly popular and players of all ages flock to Twitch to see the world’s best Fortnite players battle it out for the prize money. There are several well-known games in esports using the Battle Royale concept, such as Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG), Apex Legends and Call of Duty Warzone. Although Fortnite was not the first game to apply this concept, it is undoubtedly the game that made Battle Royale as popular as it is today. It is a different type of esports betting because so many players are in the match and you only have one chance to win. The levels of excitement are very high from start to finish!
League of Legends
League of Legends is a team based lane defense game that requires planning, multi-tasking, nimble fingers and discipline. There are many similar games that are popular for esports betting but nothing can compare to League of Legends betting except for maybe the classic games DotA 2 and Starcraft. League of Legends is played in basically all big tournaments such as DreamHack and there are huge sums of money at stake for the competitors.
League of Legends is not as easy to learn as for example FIFAesport or CS: GO for someone who does not usually play video games, but once you understand how to play LoL, you will be amazed by how skilled the LoL pro gamers are. League of Legends is one of the esports games with most viewers and is one of the most common games to bet on esports in.
You will find League of Legends odds at basically all betting sites with esports betting such as Pixel Bet, Betfair or Mr Green. Make sure you understand how the game works before you start betting on League of Legends so you can maximize your chances of winning!
How to bet on esports
Betting on esports is easy, especially if you already know how to bet on traditional sports such as football, hockey, boxing, motorsports or the like. In e-sports betting there are live odds on individual matches, large and small tournaments as well as conventional leagues and there are no major differences compared to how you bet on sports usually. The only difference is that fewer betting sites offer esports than traditional sports. However, the number of betting sites with esports increases every year as esports grows in popularity.
Look at the statistics
The advantage of esports is that everything is 100% measurable at every moment thanks to the fact that esports are conducted through computers. The computer logs all kinds of interesting statistics so there is no risk of a human error. In esports, the computer is the referee, so the rules cannot be bent. If you are a statistics nerd or like to bet on unconventional odds, betting on esports is perfect for you. There are countless esports odds categories in each match so you can tailor your experience to your liking.
Choose a betting site with esports
Before you start betting on esports you should familiarize yourself with a game and some of the professional teams that compete in it. With a little knowledge, you significantly increase your chances of winning. Then choose which betting site with esports you want to play at. Either choose an old trusted betting site such as Betway Esports and Mr Green or try a new betting site with esports theme, for example Pixel.bet stands out from the crowd in this regard.
Get an esports betting bonus
Preferably, you should choose a betting site with a welcome bonus so that you get an extra boost when you place your first bet. Some casinos and sportsbooks have both a casino welcome bonus and a sports welcome bonus and you can choose which one you want to claim. In our list you will find all betting sites with esports and there you will see which ones have an esports betting bonus right now.
Choose an esports tournament and odds type
When you have chosen a betting site with esports you choose which game or tournament you want to bet on. The bigger the tournaments, the more famous e-sports teams you will find there. The more well known the team, the easier it is to find relevant statistics about them so you can bet with greater certainty. Last but not least, choose the type of esport odds you want to bet on. Do you want to bet on who will win the match or who wins the tournament? Do you want to bet on which player gets the best K/D ratio or the most assists? Or maybe you want to bet on how many goals a team will score in FIFA or Rocket League? The possibilities are endless!
Esports betting tips
Do you like to play online video games? Then you will love esports betting as it takes online gaming to whole new levels! Esports betting opens the door to a world of nerve-wracking excitement, socializing with like-minded people and the chance to win big with a little luck and knowledge. The key to increasing your chances of winning at esports betting is that you think one step ahead. We have collected our best esports betting tips to improve your performance!
Bet on esports that you play yourself
Perhaps the best way to increase your chances of winning at esports odds is to understand the esport you are betting on. Even if e-sports odds are set by knowledgeable experts who are doing it for a living, you cannot always blindly trust the numbers. As in all types of online betting, it is not always the esports teams with the best odds that win. When you start betting on e-sports, it is wise to start out with a game that you are familiar with. The more you know about a game, the greater the chances that you are betting on the winning team. This way you always understand what is going on in the match. Knowledge is the key to success, not least in esports betting!
Bet on esports that you enjoy watching
A good tip is to bet on an esport that you think is fun to watch. It does not necessarily have to be a game that you play yourself, as long as you are entertained by watching the matches. If you think esports is fun to watch, you will learn more quickly how the game works and thus start placing better esports bets in the future. Half the fun of esports live betting is to follow the live streams on Twitch, although you are also looking to win big.
Compare statistics between teams in esports
To maximize your chances of winning at esports odds, you do best in understanding the teams’ statistics. For example, if you want to bet on CS: GO odds it is important to find out how each team has performed in the past. If a team has lost several games in a row, it does not always mean that they are bad, they may have just happened to face the best teams in CS: GO lately. So, if they face a team from the bottom tier of the series, they might dominate the match instead. Depending on the type of CSGO odds you are betting on, the better team may perform worse than their opponents, even if they have better statistics overall. Read the statistics before you start betting on esports as it will pay off in the long run!
Get to know the best teams in esports
Each team in esports has its own personality where each member has their own strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, esport betting has a completely different dynamic than some traditional sports that can greatly affect the results. Many betting sites with esports are better at setting odds for sports such as football, hockey, basketball and tennis but are not very experienced in setting e-sports betting odds. If a replacement jumps into a team, it can affect the team dynamics. If someone on the team has a bad day, it can drag down the whole team’s performance. Get to know the best teams in esports well and you can sometimes predict esports odds better than the betting companies themselves!
World’s largest eSports tournaments
Just like there are thousands of different leagues, tournaments and promotions in traditional sports of all kinds, there are also countless different esports competitions as well. There is always something exciting to watch and bet on in the world of esports betting. It all depends on which game genre you are most interested in, because different tournaments and leagues focus on different types of games. Some of the biggest include MLG (Major League Gaming, ESL, Epicenter Major and DreamHack .
MLG (Major League Gaming)
Major League Gaming is one of the oldest esports tournaments and was founded in New York in 2002. Although MLG is no longer the largest and most important organization in esports, it laid the foundation for today’s major esports leagues and tournaments. MLG has organized competitions in Warcraft, Starcraft, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch to name but a few. Today, the company is owned by Activision Blizzard, the publisher of World of Warcraft.
ESL (Electronic Sport League)
ESL, Electric Sport League, consists of the divisions ESL Pro and ESL One which are based in Europe and the USA. ESL is the largest league for CS: GO and is considered to be perhaps the most prestigious competition in professional esports today. You can find ESL live streams via Twitch at many large betting sites with esports odds. ESL collaborates with other major tournaments, including the Swedish tournament DreamHack which takes place in a wide range of countries around the world.
DreamHack started as a small tournament among a group of friends in Sweden and over the years it has grown to become the world’s largest esports tournament. Unlike certain other leagues and tournaments, DreamHack is a so-called LAN tournament (Local Area Network). This means that all participants gather in one place, for example a large arena, and compete against each other for the prize money with a live audience watching from the stands. Many similar tournaments take place via the Internet and do not even require the esports players to be in the same country. Every year, DreamHack is organized in Jönköping, Sweden, but also in the USA and South America.
Epicenter Major is best known for its competitions in DotA 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2) which is a very popular lane defense game, like LoL, StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm. Compared to the previously mentioned tournaments, Epicenter Major is one of the newer ones, and so far it looks very promising. Like DreamHack, Epicenter started as a small tournament between friends and has quickly become one of the most popular live streamed tournaments you can find on Twitch and among esport odds at betting sites.
Which countries are best at esports?
Some of the best countries in esports are Sweden, South Korea, the United States, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, China, Australia and the Netherlands. However, there are of course prominent e-sports teams in many other countries as well.