Covid-19 has been a blessing in disguise to the eSports betting industry. The lack of sports to bet on during the Coronavirus lockdowns left a gap in sports betting, which eSports filled perfectly.
If you want to dive into this new sports gambling field, this guide will come in handy. Find out what eSports betting is, how it works, the games you can bet on, the betting odds and markets, eSports betting sites, and more.
What is eSports Betting?
As the name suggests, this is a form of sports gambling where bettors wager on competitive electronic sports. Today, eSports is big business and attracts pro gamers, pro teams, and big money sponsorships, making it just as competitive as other sports.
eSports Betting Markets
One of the basics of eSports betting is understanding the different betting markets. Just like regular sports gambling, eSports betting markets vary depending on the game and also the bookmaker.
One of the most popular wagering options for all eSports is the match or tournament winner. But in addition, you will find several other betting options depending on the style of play.
For example, in FIFA and NBA2K betting, the markets are just the same as those in traditional soccer and basketball betting. In FIFA eSports, you can bet on the match-winner, the number of goals, over/under, goalscorer, and so on. On the other hand, NBA2K eSports has wagering options, such as match-winner, total points, winning difference, half time and full time winner, race to, odd/even, and more.
In FPS and MOBA eSports, such as Call of Duty, Valorant, CS: GO, and League of Legends, things are different, because they have a different style of play. You will find betting options, such as map winner, the number of kills, first kill, maps handicap, correct map score, total maps, over/under 2.5 maps, and winner with handicap, among other outcomes.
The wagering options also vary from one bookmaker to another. While some bookies have a few betting markets, the household names offer a wider range of betting options.
eSports Odds Explained
Besides the markets, it’s important to understand eSports odds and how they work. For starters, odds are the ratio of the amount you win to the amount you stake. It’s important to understand odds, as they are a reflection of the probability of an event occurring. There are three main types of odds; British, American, and European odds. So, what’s the difference?
Also known as fractional odds, or UK odds, British odds are represented in fractions and calculate the amount of money a bettor wins compared to the stake. The digit on the left side is the amount you win, and that on the right is the amount you need to stake.
To calculate profit on British odds, multiply the bet by the top number (numerator), then divide the result by the number on the bottom (denominator). The total profit on a $100 bet at 5/2 British odds is 100 x 5 divided by 2, which equals $250.
Also known as decimal odds, European odds are displayed in decimals and represent the amount a player wins for every $1 wagered.
If the betting market’s odds are 1.7, the total winnings will be 1.7 times the stake. That means, if you stake $100 on 1.7 European odds, your total winnings would be 100 x 1.7, which equals $170, so the profit will be $70.
These odds are also known as Moneyline or US odds. American odds come in two variations; underdog and favorite. Underdog US odds have a + sign and represent the amount a player wins as profit for every $100 wagered. On the other hand, favorite US odds have a – sign and represent the amount a player needs to stake to win $100 as profit.
That means, if an eSports betting market has +250 US odds, the player wins $250 as profit if they stake $100. On the other hand, if the US odds are -$250, a player needs to stake $250 to win $100 as profit.
Regardless of the odds format, the payouts remain the same. Some bookmakers will have all these three odds formats and allow players to choose their preferred format, while others stick to specific odds formats. The good thing is that there are many online odds converters to help bettors convert different odds from one format to another.
How to Find the Best eSports Betting Sites
While in the past, there were very few eSports betting sites, today, there are hundreds of sportsbooks that offer eSports betting markets. In this segment, find out how to spot a worthy eSports bookmaker.
Availability of eSports Betting Options
Check whether the site has enough eSports betting markets all year round. Many eSports bookmakers cover only the top eSports tournaments and competitions, so they may not have wagering options all year round. But there are a few bookies who are dedicated to eSports betting and have wide betting options available at all times. Also, make sure that the bookmaker is offering the highest odds.
eSports Free Bets Offers
If you are a newbie in eSports gambling, free bets will come in handy as they allow you to acquaint yourself with this new type of sports betting without using your own money. While free bets were hard to come by in the past, many operators have turned to this promotion to attract new players.
Bookmakers with free bets grant new players a specific amount of money to wager on their favorite eSports. Some bookies allow players to keep all the winnings they get from free bets, but most of them require bettors to return the initial stake. That means, if you have a free bet worth $5 and you stake on a market with odds of 4.0, you will retain $15, and not $20, as would have been the case if you had played with your own money.
Besides free bets, there are other promotions, such as deposit bonuses and loyalty programs, among others.
Another important consideration when looking for the best eSports betting site is the banking options. While most bookmakers allow players to play with fiat money, some allow both fiat money and cryptocurrencies. Whether you want to gamble with fiat money or crypto, make sure your preferred currency is supported. Also, check whether the deposit and withdrawal methods are flexible.
The above factors are key when finding the best eSports sportsbook. Also, check whether the website is user-friendly and, above all, make sure the bookmaker is licensed and regulated by a renowned gambling regulatory authority.
eSports Tournaments, Competitions, and Teams to Bet On
The eSports industry has grown exponentially in the last few years. There were very few eSports events to bet on in the past, but today, there are plenty of eSports tournaments and competitions to bet on. Some of the best events to bet on include Call of Duty League Championship, League of Legends World Championships, Overwatch League, Dota 2 The Internationals, and Fortnite World Cup, just to mention a few.
As a smart bettor, you should also know which are the best eSports teams to bet on. Check out the best performing teams for each eSport. Household names include Team Liquid, FaZe Clan, Cloud9, Team Vitality, G2 eSports, Team Secret, Fnatic, Team SoloMid, and NRG eSports, just to name a few.
There you have it, folks, a beginner’s guide to eSports betting. If you are looking for another gambling option besides regular sports betting and virtual games, eSports betting is the real deal. But before placing that bet, make sure to check what the pundits are saying. And don’t forget to scout for free eSports bets and other bonuses!