Esports betting is part of the sports betting market and is mostly video game competitions and what amounts to professional gaming.
While playing video games with your buddies and even adding in a friendly wager has been commonplace for decades – esports has taken video gaming to heights that many thought were not possible.
The popularity of esports has carried over into online betting sites. esports betting has grown faster than the sport itself.
Continue reading our esports betting guide and don’t miss placing your wagers on this exciting sport.
Esports Betting Guide
Best eSports Betting Sites 2023
One Of The Fastest Growing Betting Markets
Esports betting is one of the fastest growing betting markets worldwide. There’s a long list of games that have professional esports competitions and are available for real money betting.
Today, some of the most popular games in esports continue to be League of Legends (LoL), Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Betting on eSports Games & Tournaments
The growth of esports has been nothing short of incredible in the past few years.
Though its history can be traced back to the early oughties with the world’s first professional gaming leagues starting up in 2000, the real jump in global audiences and worldwide interest came in the middle of the previous decade.
This came with a rise in prize pool and betting opportunities to follow shortly after.
Nowadays, the biggest bookies offer esports betting on a reliable basis as stadiums are filled with fans to cheer on their favorite players and personalities.
Betting on esports is no longer restricted to just a handful of wagers on the end result for a few specific games. You can find dozens of different esports titles across betting platforms.
League of Legends eSports Betting
League of Legends is arguably the most popular esport in the world right now.
These games are five-versus-five team affairs where each player controls a powerful hero selected from a massive pool of potential options.
They are then let loose on a battle map featuring tons of AI-controlled little minions (known as “creeps”) and a bunch of different buildings for both sides. Destroy your opponents’ main structure and you win!
It sounds easy but it very rarely is in practice, with countless combinations and many little details turning the tide back and forth over the course of a battle.
investments on lol
League of Legends betting has become so popular that the coveted franchise slots are often targeted by various venture capitalist groups.
Even certain traditional sports teams look to make a splash in the world of competitive video games.
Franchises like the Golden State Warriors or the New York Yankees (and many more) are sponsoring one of the pro-league of Legends teams.
This comes with some of the top LoL teams like G2 and SKT and Fnatic emerging from a fierce battle of international competition to become one of the best around.
League of Legends Tournaments Betting
Riot Games’ system ensures round-the-clock League of Legends action for fans and bettors alike around the globe.
Each League of Legends season is divided into three “splits” of seasonal competitions in each region, which essentially serve as the qualifiers for the League of Legends World Championship at the tail end of the year.
Of the 24 teams that eventually make the cut, 13 are the winners of the specific regional competitions, one is a runner-up of Vietnam.
They are joined by five winners of the Regional Finals and the runner-up of LEC, plus four Championship Points seeds based on their performances across the different splits.
COVID-19 Effect on System
This standard system was slightly modified for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that also saw Worlds return to Shanghai for the first time in three years.
LoL’s huge prize pool
The LoL World Championship prize pool is always expected to be in the range of $2.3 and $2.5 million based on the past few years.
With most major and minor live and online events alike available for real money esports wagers, an interested punter will have a plethora of opportunities to try their hand at League of Legends betting.
DOTA 2 eSports Betting
Dota 2 is often considered to be the more cerebral of the two big MOBAs, a designation which, of course, comes at the expense of understandability from the perspective of newcomers.
It’s no wonder the biggest Dota 2 tournaments sometimes feature separate newbie-friendly streaming channels.
These channels help them figure out the ins and outs of the myriad complexities you tend to find in the never-ending war between the Radiant and the Dire, the two teams in Dota 2.
The original Dota predates Riot’s title – originally a Warcraft mod, with a full-fledged sequel developed under the auspices of Valve – and it now proudly occupies its perch as one of the biggest esport titles in the world.
You can check out more information about Dota 2 esports betting here!
Dota 2 Tournaments Betting
No list of top Dota 2 tournaments would be complete without The International, the juggernaut of the esports world with incredible eight-digit prize pools (in dollars!).
The International offers life-changing sums to those teams and players who make it through the gauntlet of the yearly circuit, qualify to the showpiece event, and make it past the rest of the best on the big stage.
TI has offered over $30+ million to its participants each year (biggest in history), and the pool continues to increase, being the best Dota 2 players in the world the ones who get the award.
Participants are determined by the regional online leagues and the Major Championships.
Betting On Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is currently the third most popular game when it comes to esports betting and popularity worldwide.
Unlike DOTA 2 and League of Legends, CS:GO is a first-person shooter, rather than a multiplayer online battle arena.
CS:GO esports betting won’t match the numbers of the top two esports, but just like most games involved in the industry, it has grown considerably in recent years.
Skin Gambling – Another Type of Bet
CS:GO betting is available at just about every online sportsbook that offers esports. However, there is another form of gambling that surrounds Counter-Strike, known as “skin gambling.”
Skin gambling is the use of virtual goods, which in CS: GO’s case, are primarily cosmetic elements, as a form of virtual currency to gamble on matches.
The Steam marketplace is third-party compatible, which allows players to buy, sell, or trade different skins in the game.
Valve, the developer of Steam and CS:GO condemns the gambling practices and has stated that the activity violates Steam’s Terms of Service.
Despite Valve’s statements and condemnation of skin betting and legal pressure in some countries – skin betting is still widely practiced among CS:GO players.
Some skin gambling websites have moved to cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. “Skincoin” was launched in June 2017, and is backed by established cryptocurrency, Ethereum.
CS:GO Tournaments Betting
Unlike many other esports, the CS:GO tournament scene features many independent operators who are running events without the developers’ direct oversight.
Most follow similar formats to DOTA 2 and LoL that involve several regions, points, and qualifications to major tournaments.
pro leagues with pro teams
Alongside the Valve-sponsored Majors and their qualifiers (which are the pinnacle of the calendar), leagues like ESL’s Pro League and Flashpoint serve as source of excitement for fans and bettors around the world.
Look for anything organized by ESL, BLAST, or the Flashpoint people and you can expect to find the biggest teams in attendance.
Most Prestigious events
The Majors serve as the equivalent of TI in the CS:GO ecosystem, significantly smaller on purpose than their Dota counterpart.
Held twice a year under normal circumstances, these tournaments serve as the most prestigious events in a CS:GO player’s career.
Other eSports Games You Can Place Your Wager On
The constant growth of the esports industry means that now you can reliably bet on many other competitive video game disciplines as well beyond just the aforementioned “big three”.
The list of esports available for real money betting keeps on growing year after year.
Games such as FIFA, Overwatch, Rocket League, Valorant, Call of Duty, and others have gained wide popularity among players and bettors.
Even if certain titles don’t have an extensive betting market as some of the bigger ones, you can be sure that you will be able to find even the niche titles for betting at various online sportsbooks.
Real Money eSports Betting Sites We Trust
There are a ton of online sportsbooks and esports betting sites that offer real money wagers on esports events, however, not all of them are legit, so make sure you use the ones we’re recommending below.
|Rank||eSports Betting Sites||Deposit Bonus||Get Started|
|1||BetUS||Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $2,500||Bet Now|
|2||Betonline||Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $1,000||Bet Now|
|3||Bovada||Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $250||Bet Now|
Check Out Our Full List Of The Best eSports Betting Sites
Popular eSports Bets You Can Place Online
Those who have bet on other sports for quite a while will be right at home with esports.
Once you understand the rules of each game, betting on esports will be as easy as wagering on NFL point spreads.
Most esports offer sides and total betting and a host of other options, including a wide variety of team and player propositions, along with live betting or in-play wagering.
Betting Sides and Outrights
Wagering on a team in esports is no different than betting another sports team on the moneyline. In most popular esports, such as DOTA 2 and League of Legends, draws are not possible.
Depending on the tournament format, draws may not be possible in the event you’re looking at, though the specifics will vary based on the game and sometimes even the specific stage of the competition.
The outright market is the most popular bet in esports. This refers to the odds for each team to win the match outright, with no point spread.
Point Spreads and Handicaps
Depending on the game and the tournament, esports matches may also have a point spread betting and/or handicap market available.
If you’re familiar with runlines or pucklines, when betting baseball and hockey, respectively – these should make perfect sense.
The favorite in esports is usually favored by -1.5 games and the underdog is getting +1.5 games. This can be a cheaper way to bet on the favorite (as the odds will be lower), but remember they must win by two games.
You may have to lay some vig on the underdog at +1.5 games and not get the plus money, but it’s an excellent bet to make if you think the match will be close.
eSports Future Bets
Future bets on esports are similar to outrights, except they are placed in advance of the tournament start date.
That could be months, weeks, or days before the tournament starts or during the tournament’s early stages.
Bettors are wagering on the team they think will win the tournament or competition.
Betting on Maps
Many esports games are map-based, with some changing maps and others using the same map throughout the matchup, like DOTA 2 and LoL.
The market is map betting, but it’s essentially round betting.
If you feel one team has an advantage over their position on a round or map, then this is a market worth considering and may be one of the best esports bets that others are not thinking about.
eSports Live Betting
In most cases, if an esports betting site has pre-match betting markets on eSports – they will also have live betting or in-play markets.
For the most part, these betting options won’t be much different than the pre-match offerings. Mostly just adjusted sides and map or round betting.
Although, some sites may offer props before or during different games. If you’re interested in lots of live markets when esports betting, check out the sportsbook beforehand to see what markets they offer.
eSports Prop Bets
Now, this is where things start to get fun. There’s a big number of propositions available for each esports match and that gives you as a bettor a whole number of options when placing your wagers.
The best esports betting sites offer dozens of props on some of the top games. We’ve seen DOTA 2, and LoL matches with up to 40 proposition wagers per match.
In League of Legends, these range from “First Blood” wagers, which you can bet on which team deals the first kill.
The total amount of time each map takes to play. The total kills on the map and whether that number is odd or even.
Fewer Props On Less Popular eSports Games
Shooters like CS:GO and less popular esports games will have fewer props available, but they still have a decent stable of props at most betting sites that offer esports betting.
Popular prop bets surrounding CS:GO are the total number of rounds, winners of rounds one and 16, and will the number of rounds played ends in an odd or even number.
eSports Betting Tips and Predictions
Diving into betting esports without much knowledge of the teams, leagues, and games is a recipe for disaster if you want to become a profitable esports bettor.
Just like other sports, there will be a lot of prognosticators handing out esports betting tips and predictions.
In many cases, these so-called “experts” may not even mention the betting odds when offering up their forecasts – which we know are the most accurate way to analyze a matchup.
Rely On Your ResearchUltimately, just like any other form of sports betting, it comes down to your research and understanding of betting markets. Trying to bet every eSport under the sun isn’t the best way to go about attacking esports.
Focusing on one game, at least at first, is usually the best route for most people. Many decide to bet on the game(s) they already know how to play but dive deeper into the strategy of high-level players and competition.
Understand Teams, Players, and PositionsOnce you’ve decided on the esports you want to focus on betting – you can dive into the rosters and teams.
Having a deep understanding of each member’s role on a team and how they match up against opponents will give you an advantage over others who are betting esports.
Information is power, the more you understand the rosters and teams – the better position you’re in to analyze data quickly and make bets before the market reacts.
This is harder to do in larger market sports, but beating the sportsbooks to the punch on a substitution or change in strategy that the larger market is unaware of or hasn’t factored in yet is a real possibility in esports.
Line Shopping is a MustThere are no winning sports bettors who uses just one sportsbook to bet. The same goes for those betting esports. In fact, it’s even more vital to apply a line shopping strategy in esports due to the different prices available at multiple books.
There are advantages to be had when betting broader markets, but for the most part, betting sites move in unison on significant line moves and critical numbers.This is not the case when betting esports.
Betting limits are much lower than large market sports, but there is a much wider variety of pricing.
With Bitcoin being available at most online sportsbooks, moving money around and find the right price is easier than ever.
Bettors will be able to see plenty of inefficiencies in esports betting when comparing sharper sportsbooks to more recreational betting sites.
Making Deposits at eSports Betting Websites
Cashier options at sportsbooks that have esports betting typically won’t be much different than traditional offerings at online betting sites.
Credit and debit cards, e-wallets, such as Neteller and PayPal, and cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and others will be available as deposit and payout choices.
Using Bitcoin to Bet on esports
Bitcoin is the best option for betting esports and for all other sports gambling online.
Payout times can be as fast as 15 minutes at some sportsbooks, and the ability to move funds around with little or no fees is extremely valuable.
Esports Betting and PayPal
PayPal is the world’s most popular payment processor and is usually available at online bookmakers that are licensed in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
There’s no safer option for sending and receiving online payments than PayPal. Best of all, bettors won’t have to foot the fees for depositing or cashing out, as most online bookmakers cover them.
Esports Betting Bonuses
Most online betting sites such as BetUS will offer a 125% Up To $3,125 first-deposit bonus, which can be used to bet on eSports.
Bonuses come with varying degrees of a rollover, which means the amount you must wager before you can withdraw your deposit and bonus amount.
Sportsbooks offer several bonuses. Some sites offer other promotions, such as reload bonuses and VIP programs, in addition to first-deposit bonuses.
Don’t Miss The Change To Bet on eSports Today!
eSports betting is relatively new compared to the long history of betting on sports, but the future looks bright. Wagering limits have been steadily increasing for eSports betting, and it is becoming more and more mainstream.
If you take the time to learn about betting markets and eSports – there is a lot of potential for profits. The future of eSports betting looks bright.
Learn More About eSports Betting – FAQ
What is the best esports betting site?
We recommend BetUS. It is by far the most reliable sportsbook where you can safely place your bets and take your earnings whenever you want.
There are other sportsbooks like Bovada and MyBookie, and they all have large betting limits for esports and more betting markets than other sites when it comes to betting on esports.
Is it possible to make a profit betting esports?
Certainly. Just like any other form of sports betting, it starts with understanding the games, teams, and players. From there, proper line shopping and bankroll strategy can set you up to be a profitable esports bettor.
Can you bet esports on your mobile device?
Yes, you can easily go into any online sportsbook and start placing your wagers. We highly recommend BetUS since their software is top-notch and perfectly optimized for mobile.
Do I need to be an expert to bet on esports?
As mentioned above, knowledge does help, but you don’t need to be an expert to place a wager.
Indeed, most people that bet on other sports aren’t experts. However, it won’t hurt to have added knowledge of the teams and players for the esports you’re betting.