Esports betting can be done with many online bookmakers from India, with these esports betting sites offering markets on all the major esports games, like Dota 2 and League of Legends. Betting in India is big business and with the entirety of the esports industry estimated to be worth upwards of $900 million yearly, and growing, we can only guess at how much is being wagered on professional video gaming with offshore betting sites.
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Esports betting in 2020
Esports betting in India 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 July, 2020.
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!
Overview of esports in India
Esports and video games are increasingly becoming an important part of India. Internet connectivity continues to improve and infrastructure issues are no longer as prevalent, allowing premium Internet cafes and passionate local professional gaming event organizers the chance to further the local esports scene significantly. While it’s been a longer road for the country, India’s esports obsession only continues to nestle its way into the mainstream conscience.
If you live in India and want to bet on your favourite local and international esports tournaments, you will be glad to know you can do so on your computer, mobile smartphone or tablet, so long as you have an online connection. There are many betting sites and online sportsbooks that accept bets from Indian customers who want to wager on the latest matches and tournaments for CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch and many more popular and niche esports.
Esports betting sites accepting players from India
Online betting in India is a grey area and there are no locally licensed online bookmakers, which means you have to wager with betting sites based overseas. Many of these esports betting sites are based in places like Curacao, Malta and the United Kingdom, however they do specifically cater to the Indian market. This is because there is no real enforced ban on online sports betting in India and no laws stopping offshore companies operating, essentially tax free.
While EsportBet.com hopes future India has regulated esports betting sites, we are not holding our breath, with no real movement in political circles to change the laws surrounding online gambling. This is only a brief synopsis of the state of the local betting laws in India, and you should read up more if you are concerned about betting online, because technically you can be fined for it, although the fine is tiny and is never enforced.
The top esports betting sites will have extensive coverage of the five major games, which we have show you above, but include League of Legends, Dota 2, Fortnite, Call of Duty and PUBG. Unlike other more mainstream betting pursuits, it’s unlikely esports betting sites will have extensive futures betting, although some of the bigger companies like Bet365 have cottoned on to punters’ wishes for a bigger selection of early markets.
The highlight of the best esports betting sites is definitely the match-day betting, with this when bookmakers have the best chance of outsmarting us. On game day you will find head to head betting, often game betting (i.e. what will the game score be at the end of the match), line betting or handicaps and even prop bets on things like what colour shirt a top player will wear, or who will score the first points at a tournament. Really the sky is the limit for esports betting sites that are willing to commit to the ever-growing demand.
Top 10 India betting sites
EsportBet.com advises our Indian readers interested in betting on esports for real money (or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin) to visit and sign up at the following sportsbook sites. We have confirmed they accept Indian customers and have tested their available esports betting options to compile which have the earliest markets, lowest mark-up on odds, and best value bonuses and promotions. In addition, all host Indian-friendly payment options which you can use to deposit money for betting and withdraw winnings safely over the Internet.
Top 10 esports bookies
1. Betway: Licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (for the United Kingdom only), Betway is the best esports betting site for Indians because it supports Indian Rupees (INR) as a betting currency, has a world-class reputation as a safe and secure online betting destination, and because it is heavily involved with the esports industry as a sponsor of top LoL team Ninjas in Pyjamas. Betway often has the earliest markets and lowest odds for major and minor esports tournaments held for CS:GO, Dota 2, LoL, OWL, Vainglory, World of Tanks and several niche competitive games. The one thing Betway currently lacks is full Indian language support, which we hope to see added in the near future. Read our full review of Betway’s esports betting options to learn more.
2. Arcanebet: Focused entirely on esports betting, Arcanebet is a newer sportsbook which has rapidly gathered popularity with the international community for the widest range of esports betting markets across both the most popular and obscure tournaments, something which not all traditional sportsbooks bother to offer. Indian players are welcomed at Arcanebet, though you will have to convert your betting currency from Indian Rupees to another option at the site upon depositing. You can claim an exclusive match deposit bonus at Arcanebet if you sign up via our links using the promo code, ‘esportbet’ at the cashier. Read our full review of Arcanebet’s esports betting options to learn more.
3. Pinnacle: Pinnacle is one of the world’s best esports betting sites, hosting a fully dedicated esports section/sportsbook unlike many other betting sites which tend to put esports by the wayside. Pinnacle are popular for consistently having the earliest markets and some of the lowest mark up on the odds out there, with a clean and intuitive betting interface (across both desktop and mobile versions) that makes placing a wager on your favourite tournament or match-up fast and simple. Pinnacle supports several popular esports betting deposit options for Indians, including Neteller and Skrill, though they do not currently support Indian Rupees, so you must convert currencies prior to betting at the site. Read our full review of Pinnacle’s esports betting options to learn more.
Which esports can I bet on from India?
As we mentioned previously, all of our top-reviewed and recommended esports betting sites offer markets on almost all major tournaments globally, and often offer options to bet on smaller, regional qualifiers and minors for the more popular esports games. We have provided a list of links to more detailed esports betting guides for each game you will find betting options for at online sportsbooks catering to India.
Is it legal to bet on esports in India?
Yes, you can bet on esports (and other sports and racing markets) over the Internet if you live in India. Many of the top-reviewed international esports betting sites accept Indian customers, allow them to bet on their platforms and are fully licensed and regulated in foreign jurisdictions.
Online sports betting in India is presently unregulated by the government as there is no specific legislation which prohibits or restricts the act of wagering on a sport over the Internet, despite numerous calls over the years to create a country-wide, regulated industry. The Information Technology Act of 2000 comes the closest to applying to sports betting, but it predates esports by several years, so it offers no specific regulation for esports wagering, just general regulation of cyber activities with the intent to block certain websites. There has not been one single case of an Indian citizen being punished or fined for betting or gambling online.
There are two minor exceptions only relevant to residents living in the state of Maharashtra and Sikkim: Maharashtra has completely banned online gambling, which includes sports betting, while Sikkim enacted the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act in 2008. However, these local state laws do not apply or effect Indian residents living in other states across the country who wish to bet on esports over their computer or smartphone.
Many forms of online sports betting, including betting on esports, is incredibly popular in India. We hope that the country does introduce legislation sometime soon to create a regulated and less ambiguous online sports betting industry, which includes and recognises esports betting. However, for now, just know that it is perfectly fine for you to bet on esports over the Internet in India, and that many foreign betting sites that are licensed internationally are reputable and safe for Indian customers.
Esports betting sites payment methods for Indians
Even though India has no specific legislation banning online sports betting and esports betting specifically, many in the country have reported difficulty with depositing money into their betting accounts with traditional payment methods such as bank transfers, MasterCard and Visa. Occasionally, card companies and banks block sports betting-related transactions, so the most popular option for Indians are e-wallets and pre-paid services.
These two types of deposit and withdrawal options allow Indians to deposit rupees into a digital account, which then can be used to convert their rupees and then deposit the converted amount into their betting account, effectively acting as a middle layer between personal accounts and betting accounts. Many Indians prefer these services, such as Skrill and Neteller, for their anonymity, privacy and security – and thankfully, many betting sites, including the ones we recommend for India, support these methods.