Esports is blossoming into a major betting medium, with it regarded as one of the biggest growth areas in the gambling industry. Esports betting sites are springing up all the time, to cater to a variety of regulated betting markets, as they look to get in on the action surrounding professional video gaming. Our goal is to present a precise guide to betting on esports such as Dota 2, League of Legends and Call of Duty, including betting strategy, predictions and the latest news from the esports world. Our top esports betting sites for 2019 are:
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Esports betting in 2019
Esports betting is largely done on the top-flight leagues and tournaments surrounding professional video gaming. For instance you might find betting on the final stages of a League of Legends tournament, but you won’t find any markets on the online qualifying. This is because esports handicapping is still a relatively young game, and the depth of the player pools means new esports stars are emerging all the time. Our esports betting section will highlight the top five esports in December, 2019.
Dota 2 betting
League of Legends betting
Major eSports events in 2020
The esports calendar is growing all the time, with new leagues and tournaments springing up. Some of the most anticipated esports events for 2020 are:
Fortnite World Cup
Dates: July/August (TBC)
Prize Money: $30 million USD
The Fortnite World Cup burst onto the esports scene in 2019 with a bang, with over 2 million people tuning in for the final stages of the tournament, which were played in a sold out Arthur Ashe Stadium, in New York. Some of the changes expected in 2020 include higher prize money, a different qualification structure to ensure the best players are playing and potentially with trios or squads, instead of solo and duo as it was in 2019.
League of Legends World Championship
Game: League of Legends
Dates: November, 2020 (TBC)
Prize Money: TBC
The League of Legends World Championship is the no.1 event on the LoL calendar. Played between October and November each year, the 2020 Championship finals will be played in Shanghai, where home team FunPlus Phoenix will attempt to defend their crown from 2019. The LoL World Cup is also one of the biggest betting events in esports, with betting sites all over the world offering markets on it.
Game: Dota 2
Prize Money: $25 million +
Held every year, the International is the no.1 most coveted prize for Dota 2 players, and features all the best players from around the world. The International also draws a huge viewership on streaming sites like Twitch, with this meaning betting on the International is also common. The 2020 edition of The International will return to Europe for the first time since 2011, when it is played in Stockholm, Sweden. The 2019 finals of the International were played in Shanghai.
Call of Duty League
Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Start date: 24 January, 2020
End date: 27 July, 2020
Prize Money: $6 million
The Call of Duty League bears an uncanny resemblance to how Blizzard’s star game, Overwatch, launched its league. While the Call of Duty World League has been ditched, this new COD esports competition is set to take the world by storm. Like the Overwatch League, COD League will have teams in 12 US cities, with some franchises already existing, while others are entering into COD competition for the first time. We can’t wait for this one!
Esports betting sites in 2020
The team here at Esportbet.com want to make it as easy and simple as possible for newcomers and experienced bettors who want to bet on eSports but don’t want to risk real money until they’re thoroughly familiar with the fundamentals and the betting markets currently available at online sportsbooks. We do this by breaking down the most important aspects of safe and successful online betting. We take a look at several factors, including reputation, esports bonus offers and promotions, banking options, live esports betting and of course, the esport bet types available. These are the factors we use when reviewing and testing the various top-rated esports betting sites servicing fans around the world, to ensure they get a fair rating and readers get an accurate assessment of what esports bookmakers have to offer.
The reputation of the esports betting operator is the first thing we verify with each and every sportsbook we recommend to readers on this site. Whether they’re globally renowned brands or specialised bookmakers, we test all of their services, including the bonuses and promotions they offer – as fellow bettors and fans of esports. We take into account the jurisdictions which issued their sports betting licenses, the watchdogs which audit them as fair and responsible, and the user reviews of existing members who back them up as trustworthy betting sites with the best value, and who pay out accordingly and on-time.
The esports bonus bets and promotions on offer is another important aspect when choosing an online esports sportsbook. Does the esports betting operator give ample welcome bonuses for new player sign-ups? Do they match your real money deposits with bonus cash, so you can maximise your wagering? Do they grant free bets? What about cashback promos and VIP rewards programs for loyal members? These sorts of bonuses are regular fixtures in the regular casino and sports betting world, so it’s only fair to want to recommend the best for esports bettors. Our esports betting reviews will always highlight each bookmaker’s sign up bonus and ongoing promotions.
which are internationally trusted are important to consider. We want our bets to be as hassle-free as possible, and the first order of business is to transfer our betting money (and glorious winnings) with a secure payment service. Credit and debit cards with MasterCard and Visa are highly recommended to use and are universally offered across all major esports sportsbooks we recommend due to their proven in-built security systems.
Other online banking services such as Neteller and Skrill are great to use, and it’s a big plus if we see them offered by an eSports betting site. Good old fashioned wire transfers directly sent from your Internet banking account or checking account are widely accepted, and your financial institution’s encryption technology and own security tend to make it an easy decision to use. We consider it a major bonus if alternative payment methods such as bitcoin are supported at eSports betting sites; it currently isn’t widely available at the major sportsbooks, but smaller outfits currently allow BTC deposits and it’s only a matter of time before it catches on.
What is available for esports bettors is the final consideration. Match betting is the standard form of wagering on eSports available at most sites, and involves placing a bet on the outcome of an event – the winning player or team. Most major international sportsbooks offer a limited range of markets, but sites like Bet365, BetEasy, Pinnacle and William Hill are slowly leading the charge for more exciting betting options on the most popular games, particularly CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2.
In-play live betting is offered at some sportsbooks like Pinnacle, and allow players to place bets on more specialised outcomes while the match is ongoing. Bet365 and BetEasy also offer futures markets and other options, such as betting on the individual map winners, correct total map score, region of the winners, first to markets, and handicaps – in addition to head-to-head and outright markets. Learn all the esports betting and gaming terminology here.
Obviously one of the most important thing when betting on any sport is what prices you can secure. Esports betting is no different, with many esports sportsbooks offering markets on the same events. While most esports odds will be pretty similar, if you are vigilant in checking odds before placing your bets, you will sometimes find a bookie that has priced a market differently to their competitor. If you find these outliers in esports odds it can make a huge different to either walking away a winner, or limping home with your tail between your legs. Our esports betting reviews will always give you an indication on how each site’s odds stack up against their competitors.
Games is the most obvious factor to consider when choosing your preferred online betting site. Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends and Starcraft are guaranteed to have betting markets due to their massive popularity, but it’s always good to have variety. Many of the betting sites we recommend are beginning to offer new markets from rising stars in the eSports scene in addition to the most popular esports in the world. Check out our guides to all the most popular esports.
Esports betting guides
Key facts about esports
The global esports market isn’t something to scoff at. A NewZoo market report on eSport audiences and market revenue says the industry generated USD $325 million in 2015 and over $892.8 million in 2016. The most recent report on the eSports industry, published in December 2017 from marketing research firm Superdata, expects industry growth exceeding $1.6 billion this year and over $1.8 billion in 2019.
Around the world, esports markets are worth $328 million in Asia, $275 million in North America and $269 million in Europe. Esports fans spent over $230 million on tickets, and other avenues such as merchandise and prize pool contributions. While growth projections are slowing compared to 2014 and 2015, most importantly viewership is increasing. Just two years ago the global esports audience was 226 million people. Last year, it was 292 million. In 2017, it’s projected to be 345 million people watching from around the world. 40% of all esports viewers don’t even play the games they watch!
The billion-dollar growth will ultimately help the sport overcome the current challenges it faces with traditional media outlets who still perceive professional video gaming in a certain lens, and it will aid the industry greatly in finding its true audience among enthusiastic stream watchers, professional gamers, casual gamers and regular sporting bettors.
The majority of esports industry’s current viewership base are male Millennials (around 85%) and almost half of them (46%) are aged 18 to 25 years old. There’s also a significant portion of viewers who are casual gamers who love to play and watch professionals play titles such as Hearthstone, League of Legends and Rocket League – three games which are arguably more accessible to the average gamer and viewer than the likes of Dota 2.
Commonly asked questions about esports
The team at eSportBet.com is often asked questions about esports betting, with these some of the common things that crop up about professional video gaming.
Who is the richest eSports player? It’s crazy to think, but esports players are among the richest athletes on the planet, earning millions of Euros each year. Kuro Takhasomi, who is a Dota 2 star with Team Liquid, has earned over $5 million USD in career prize money, with this figure not including the lucrative sponsorship dollars.
How do you watch esports online? Twitch is the biggest streamer of live esports events in the world, although other streaming services like Youtube have also staged exclusive esport events. The accessibility of esports live streams is probably the best out of any professional sports, with these usually free. Streamers are celebrities in their own right in the esports world, with it not uncommon for the best to have millions of followers.
Can you bet on esports with bitcoin? It’s surprising how often this question comes up, we guess it’s something to do with the age demographic of esports fans. The short answer, yes you can bet on esports with bitcoin.
When did esports or competitive video gaming begin? There are records of competitive video game competitions taking place in the `1970s at Stanford University. Since this time, and the advent of the internet, esports has evolved into something much bigger, worth billions of dollars globally. The full history of esports makes interesting reading.
Is eSports betting legal in the USA? The USA is undergoing a sports betting transformation as we speak. So far the only US state that has accepted a legal esports bet is New Jersey. Still, thousands of Americans bet with illegal esports betting sites every day.
Can anyone bet on esports? Like all forms of gambling, the laws that you must abide by are the ones in the country you are in. For instance if you are in Australia or the United Kingdom, sports betting is perfectly legal, including betting on esports, as long as you are 18 years or older. Be sure to check the laws surrounding sports betting before signing up at any esports bookmakers.
Why aren’t games like Red Dead Redemption considered eSports? For a game to be considered an esports there needs to be a competitive scene. Red Dead Redemption 2 management has so far, has resisted the temptation to launch an esports league around their online offering, which is still going through a Beta phase. First Person Shooters and Survival games are more suitable to become esports games, even though games like RDR2 have elements of both. Who know what the future of esports holds.