How to Bet on Esports Online
The popularity of esports betting is following the increased participation in the sports themselves. By the end of 2020, turnover in esports betting had exceeded $14 billion – double that of the previous year. Global events, featuring titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends, attract millions of fans around the world and esports gambling is adding to the experience.
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League of Legends
The one game which has defined esports and holds the gold standard year after year is League of Legends (LoL). Its global popularity and reach has not been missed in the most fringe provinces of Asia, nor the biggest hubs on the west coast of North America.
LoL is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). It’s a 5v5 game with an objective of destroying the opponent’s main structure, the Nexus, to win the game. It starts with a draft phase before the game actually begins. During this time each team is required to select five champions which hopefully mesh well together to counter the opponent’s champions.
The four largest leagues in terms of viewership, funding, and talent are the LCK (League of Legends Champions Korea), LPL (League of Legends Pro League - China), LEC (League of Legends European Championship), and LCS (League of Legends Championship Series - North America). Heading into the 2020 World Championships it was South Korea and China which held favoritism on the outright League of Legends betting markets. Over the past couple years G2 Esports, of the LEC, has made some respectable playoff showings and been in the upper-half of finalists. However, you would need to look to 2011 for the last Worlds finals which featured a European representative.
Each league calendar is divided into two splits, Spring and Summer, before the road to the World Championships and the final culmination of the best of the best.
The most popular betting markets in both traditional sports and esports - picking who will win a competition, event, or season. This is great option for bettors because taking heavy favorites on the outrights market can allow fans to get involved in the action without steep price tags.
You can find outright markets for every tier one CSGO event, all the Dota majors, as well as World Championships for COD, Rocket League, and League of Legends. Keep in mind, however, that esports betting sites margins are a bit steeper on outrights so it is more important to shop around for the best price on the market.
Beyond your standard match betting, esports offers additional novelty markets to get involved with. In fact, some sportsbooks will offer dozens of different options for esports fans in all the areas they might wish, predominantly in CSGO, Dota2, and LoL.
In the MOBAs you can bet on first blood, first tower/turret, first roshan/dragon/baron, and first inhibitor/barracks. There are also options to bet the over/under on the number of turrets or buildings destroyed. While betting over or under a total number of kills combined between both teams is standard, some esports betting sites will also provide totals on game duration, which may be easier to predict depending on your experience with the title.
In CSGO, the additional variety of markets includes player props for kills per map, whether a map goes to overtime, number of defuses per map, and total number of kills per map between both teams.
Moneyline refers to the winner of a particular event. If you want to bet on a team to win the map you would bet on their map moneyline. Likewise, if you want to bet on a team to win a series you would bet on their series moneyline.
With the growing popularity of esports betting, it’s no surprise to see a variety of in-play betting options now available on all major esports. Live betting, as it’s also known, allows you to place a bet even after a game has begun. This means you have even more information available to you, including momentum and in-game tactics, something not always obvious when betting pre-game.
The best thing you can do if looking to sign up with a sportsbook for the purpose of betting on esports is to ensure that they have the markets for the games that you want to bet on. It’s also worth factoring in the types of markets, including the novelty options which make watching and wagering on esports more fun.
Yes - in just about every nation where sports betting is legal, esports betting is legal as well. Before signing up with a bookmaker you should always check local restrictions to find out if esports betting is legal in your country.
To win an esports bet, as with all bets, it’s important to do your research to find value on a particular side of a match, total, or prop. After deciding what you want to bet on you must decide how much you want to bet. After the match concludes, if you were correct, the bookmaker will credit your account with your winnings.
Games being offered almost every day of the year are League of Legends, Dota2, CSGO, COD, Valorant, Fortnite, StarCraft, and Overwatch. As esports betting sites improve their data collection and ability to set odds, they will offer more markets on more titles.
The most standard types of esports bets are very similar to traditional sports betting markets; moneylines, handicaps, and totals. However, esports betting sites have evolved significantly over the past decade to provide more novelty markets to showcase the diversity of esports, as well as many in-play options.
Most respectable esports betting sites will have a strong in-play betting suite to allow esports fans opportunities to engage with a match even when underway. This will include your standard map and series moneylines, but also many different options heading into map two and three after you can see the form of the teams.