What is Esports Betting?

Esports is a term used to describe competitive video gaming played at a professional level. To bet on an Esport is to wager on the outcome of a certain game. You could bet on who the most valuable player will be, or the final score. Just like traditional sports betting, Esports gamblers use real money in order to place a bet.

Games may be played individually or in teams with tournaments. These are often streamed worldwide and offer players gigantic cash prizes. Esports isn’t a new concept, but the betting industry has recently seen a huge surge in its popularity.

How does Esports Betting Work?

Betting on Esports is no different to betting on a physical sport. To place a bet, simply select a sportsbook, find the Esports category, and make your wager. Most major sportsbooks will offer markets for popular Esports games such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, Call of Duty or Overwatch. The types of markets on offer are fairly similar to traditional sports and have been known to include popular wagers like series winner and match winner.

Can You Bet For Free On Esports?

You can get free esports bets by claiming bonuses from your bookmaker. A sportsbook may offer free esports bets as a welcome bonus, a deposit bonus or a matched bonus. You can then use these free bets to win real money. You can find out more in our guide to free bets.

What is the Most Viewed Esport?

Thanks to streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube, Esports has become a huge spectator sport. Below we’ve listed the most viewed Esports for 2019 based on the number of hours that they were streamed for. All data mentioned has been pulled from escharts.com’s yearly report, you can check out the full findings here.

GameHours Watched
League of Legends
478.7 million
CS:GO
284.3 million
DOTA 2
282.2 million
Overwatch
81.3 million
Arena of Valor
72.2 million

How Much Money is in Esports?

There’s big money to be made in Esports. In the past few years, there have been some life-changing, million-dollar payouts for tournament winners. The prize pools have gotten larger and larger year-on-year, and it’s expected that they’ll continue to grow at the same speed. For a glimpse at how much money is in Esports, take a look at the table below for the top 10 largest prize pools so far.

TournamentPrize PoolGame
The International 2019
$34.3 million
DOTA 2
The International 2018
$25.5 million
DOTA 2
The International 2017
$24.6 million
DOTA 2
The International 2016
$20.7 million
DOTA 2
The International 2015
$18.4 million
DOTA 2
Fortnite World Cup 2019 (Solo)
$15.2 million
Fortnite
Fortnite World Cup 2019 (Duo)
$15.1 million
Fortnite
The International 2014
$10.9 million
DOTA 2
LoL 2018 World Championship
$6.4 million
League of Legends
LoL 2016 World Championship
$5 million
League of Legends

Esports Betting Tips

Before you start with Esports gambling, it’s always good to have a solid betting strategy prepared. To help put you in a better position, we’ve put together four of our essential Esports betting tips below. Read on and get your strategy sorted:

  • Gamer on RGB keyboard

    Play the Game for Yourself

    No matter your experience level with online gaming, it’s always beneficial to play the game for yourself. Games can often have complex rules to get to grips with, and the fastest way to learn the ins and outs is to experience them first-hand. Luckily most Esports games are available to download for free, so it should be fairly easy to jump into the action.

  • Esports team winning

    Know the Team & Players

    It sounds simple, but the key to success is knowing who you’re betting on and why. Try to research the recent form of players as well as any past statistics you can find on the team. The more you know about the teams, the more information you have when it comes to placing an Esports bet.

  • Esports team playing in tournament

    Watch Live Matches

    Just like any traditional sport, watching live matches is the best way to understand the game. Some bookmakers will offer live streaming directly on their sites, but if not, services like Twitch or YouTube will be your best bet. Following your favorite game will also help you to analyze gameplay strategies and be familiar with common match outcomes.

  • Jar of coins

    Stick Within Your Budget

    When it comes to video game gambling, or any type of betting, it’s good to set a budget and then stick to you. Betting more than you can afford to lose is always a huge risk that could hurt your bank balance. Ultimately, the key to long-term success is to be calculated in your betting and to never let your passion cloud your judgment.

How We Rate the Best Esports Betting Sites

When it comes to Esports gambling, we want every bettor to feel confident in the sportsbook they’ve chosen. That’s why each site that we recommended undergoes a comprehensive review process. Before a site makes our shortlist, it will need to live up to all of our key criteria:

1

Reputation & Security

Esports may have gained enormous popularity over the last few years, but it’s still important to find a reputable betting site. We perform a full background check on each sportsbook to make sure that you’re investing in a legitimate and trustworthy operator. This includes checking the site’s licensing and certification, as well as how well they protect a user’s personal information.

Site search
2

Esports Availability

Esports tournaments can sell out stadiums around the globe, but not all sportsbooks have caught up with the trend. Some sites will list the major tournaments under their ‘specials’ category or have temporary landing pages. We only recommended sportsbooks that have a dedicated and permanent Esports section that’s kept up to date with regular competitions.

Esports web page
3

Ranges of Games & Tournaments

A variety of games is key to any great Esports betting site. We want to see all the big names like Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Call of Duty, and more, as well as the odds on the rising stars of the Esports scene. Beyond that we also check to see if all the major tournaments and qualifying events are listed too.

Esports range of games
4

Banking & Payouts

When it comes to Esports gambling, having a variety of deposit and withdrawal options is essential. We’ll be looking out for traditional payment methods such as VISA and Mastercard, as well as more niche methods like e-wallets and cryptocurrencies. Finally, we’ll look into payout speeds to assess how quickly a bettor receives their winnings.

Banking
5

Bonuses & Promotions

The cherry on top of a great sportsbook is the range of promotions it offers. A generous welcome package will help new bettors to make the most of their bankroll through deposit bonuses, cashback offers, and free bets. Beyond that, we like to see regular promotions that suit all styles of betting.

Bonus
6

App & Mobile

Esports betting apps are a huge convenience. We look for sportsbooks with dedicated apps or that have a mobile site compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices. On top of that, we look for extra features such as live streaming on mobile, push notifications with odds updates, plus the overall speed of the mobile site.

Esports on mobile

Our Verdict

If an Esports betting site scores highly in all of the criteria above, then it will make it to our shortlist. Our team of reviewers make sure they check and update our rankings on a regular basis so that you can make the best betting decision possible.

rating

Best Esports Betting Sites in 2021

RankSportsbookBonus OfferIn-Play BettingPayout SpeedBet Online
1 Fantasy Draft$4Yes2 days Bet Now
2 Boom Fantasy - yes2 days Bet Now
3 ESPN Fantasy - yes2-3 days Bet Now
4 Yahoo Fantasy - yes2-3 days Bet Now
5 Fantasy Premier League - yes2-3 days Bet Now

Esports Betting FAQs

What does Esports stand for?
What Esports can I bet on?
How can I watch Esports?
Is Esports betting legal?
What are the best LoL betting sites?
Where can I bet on CS:GO?

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