Esports Betting 101: A Beginner’s Guide (2021)

This esports betting guide will look at the best esports betting sites, how to bet on esports and the best in-play betting sites that offer live betting for this market. 

Best Betting Sites For Esports Betting

  • Bet Builder offered
  • Competitive odds
  • Excellent CS:GO betting options
  • Extensive esports betting opportunities
  • Excellent in-play betting options
  • Esports specific boosts offered
  • Good League of Legends betting options
  • Esports live schedule helps keep bettors in the loop
  • Over 30 sports offered on site
  • Massive esports section
  • Games include CS:GO, Dota 2, LoL and more
  • Great cricket betting options
  • In-play betting includes live streaming function
  • Competitive odds
  • Good team-based esports betting markets

Top 5 Best Betting Sites for Esports Betting

  1. bet365
  2. Betway
  3. 10bet
  4. 1BET
  5. Unibet

Esports Betting – An Overview

Esports betting is one of the newer areas of sports betting, allowing punters to place bets on matches and tournaments based around video games. The latter are now no longer restricted to being a simple hobby or pastime for avid gamers; they have now become a professional ‘sport' in their own right, successfully entering the market of sports betting in India and across the world.

Fans can now watch and support their favourite teams compete in professional esports events held for some of the most popular games around, such as Call of Duty, FIFA, CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Overwatch. Punters can also find a number of esports betting markets available at many bookmakers, such as the standard Match Winner, Handicaps, Total Points and more. As there are always matches taking place, you'll even be able to bet around the clock. 

With the esports betting scene growing rapidly, massive tournaments and competitions have been set up, bringing together the best players in the sector to face off against each other in the hopes of winning fantastic prizes. While esports betting has many similarities to more standard sports betting, there are some differences too, which we will discuss later on in this article.

How to Bet on Esports

Although esports betting has not been around for long, it has quickly become one of the big sportsbook markets. While the games and leagues themselves may be alien or completely unfamiliar to some, the method of betting is very similar to football or tennis. This also means that, like with most sports betting, you should carefully formulate a strategy before wagering any money.

Below, we have listed a few useful esports betting tips worth keeping in mind.

1. Know Your Markets

Much like betting on cricket, where you will need to know the subtle differences in Test, ODI and T20 betting, the way you bet will depend on what game the esports market in question is based on. 

For example, esports markets for Overwatch – a first person shooter (FPS) game – will usually include Match Winner, Map Handicap, Total Maps and Map Winner. This is a direct contrast to betting on FIFA, where you'll be offered markets like Full time, Total Goals, Next Goal, 3-Way Handicap and more. In fact, the betting markets available for FIFA are very similar to standard football markets.

2. Research the Players and Teams

Just like in real-life sports betting, it is crucial that you study the form and past performances of player and teams. Like this, you'll know which players and teams are likely to give you the most bang for your buck. Specific teams and franchises have even been set up to bring together goliaths of certain games under one umbrella. While one team may excel during Overwatch matches, they may struggle when it comes to CoD.

Therefore, it is imperative that you do your research and find out how teams and players fare at different tournaments and competitive events.

3. Maps Are Key

This point is more relevant for competitive FPS games. Here, teams will drop into different maps and have to battle each another for supremacy. While these maps will often rotate once a team has won, in a game like CoD, teams will often play out a number of rounds on one map only.

These maps will have different points of interest and pressure points to exploit. For example, if there is a map that is particularly big and provides a mountainous area with trees, a player that is good at range or with a sniper will excel. Indeed, in a small map with lots of tight corners, players that has excellent reflexes and can turn quickly will be invaluable.

4. Study Different Player Styles

Many professional players have turned to streaming to supplement their income, and to help build their following. Platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming give these professionals the ability to showcase their talent, and allows you to see exactly how somebody plays under pressure.

Platforms like Twitch will host events like Twitch Rivals, where players and teams go up against one another. Popularised by CoD: Warzone, the player or team who gets the most kills is declared as the winner. These events are the best way to replicate a tournament, and show which players excel when the heat is on.

5. Live Stream Matches and Events

While many games are shown live on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming, you can also utilise the standard live streaming functions that bookmakers often provide. For a game like FIFA, live streaming can help you see who is dominating, which team is struggling and whether the game is about to turn on its head, making it easier to place in-play bets effectively.

6. Look at the ‘Meta’

Game developers will often roll out updates and new weapons that can alter the face of a video game completely. For example, CoD: Warzone saw the DMR weapon dominate due to its accuracy and high damage potential. However, after it was ‘nerfed' (had its potency reduced), players were left scrambling for the next best thing. If the meta changes close to the start date of a competition, it may greatly reduce the danger a certain player poses.

Similarly, for a game like FIFA, the developers may update the game in such a way that sees a player – or players – lose something that made them popular, such excessive pace, strength or being very agile. If the developers decide to introduce such a change, this may cause teams to rethink their entire roster.

The Most Popular Esports Betting Games

Below, we have listed the biggest esports games to bet on, along with a quick explanation of what's involved if you decide to watch and bet on them.

CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)

CS:GO Esports Screenshot

The biggest game in esports betting, CS:GO has been around for what seems like forever. The FPS is centred upon two teams, the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists, who battle each other in a series of objective-based game modes. The most common game mode sees the Terrorists trying to plant the bomb, while the Counter-Terrorists do all they can to try and stop them. The mechanics of the game make this a fairly fast-paced FPS that has seen some of the best players in shooters clash.

Best esports betting site for CS:GO: Betway

Dota 2 

This multiplayer online battle arena is played out between two teams of five players, with both sides looking to defend their own base on the map. Each player controls a hero with unique and powerful abilities and can collect experience points and items for their heroes to defeat the opposition. The winning team is the side that destroys the other team’s Ancient, which is a structure from inside the base.

Best esports betting site for Dota 2: Betway

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

Seen by many as the father of the modern battle royale, PUBG provides 100 players with the opportunity to drop into a map, loot for weapons and gear and try to be the last player or team standing. With huge maps and brilliant dynamics, PUBG has quickly became a huge favourite with gamers. Despite a few clunky mechanics and facing some stiff competition from bigger names, PUBG has proved doubters wrong, maintaining its immense popularity. 

Best esports betting site for PUBG: Betway 

CoD (Call of Duty)

The Call of Duty series always draws huge attention from fans whenever a new game is released, with the series considered to be one of the most popular in video gaming. The current iteration of the game is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and this has been brought into the professional gaming circle. Game modes such as Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and Domination make for a lot of variety in CDL (Call of Duty League) betting.

Currently, the battle-royale mode known as Warzone sees 150 players or more dropping into a huge map, searching for weapons and loot, and battling to be the final player or team standing. 

Best esports betting site for CoD: bet365

League of Legends

League of Legends (LoL) is one of the most popular video games in circulation today. Players control a champion who boasts some unique abilities that they must use to defeat enemies. Items can also be bought to increase strength using gold earned over time or by defeating enemies. Levels and items do not transfer from one game to another, meaning this game rewards you on based on skills rather than longevity. 
 
Best esports betting site for League of Legends: Unibet
 

FIFA

Three things in life are certain: death, taxes and a new edition of FIFA every year. The biggest sports game in the world, FIFA boasts a simulated roster of the greatest football stars in history and of current times,  (much like the hugely popular Dream11 fantasy platform), allowing players to choose their favourites and control their every move as they look to outscore the opposition.

As previously mentioned, most betting markets in FIFA are similar to real football, meaning that if you have a good knowledge of the sport in real life, there is not much of a learning curve involved.

Best esports betting site for FIFA: bet365

Garena Free Fire

Also known as Free Fire Battlegrounds, Garena Free Fire is a battle royale for Android and iOS, making it a mobile-exclusive game. Centred around a standard battle-royale format, 50 players are dropped (via a parachute) onto an island to search for weapons. 

Best esports betting site for Garena Free Fire: Betway

Other Popular Esports

  • Hearthstone
  • Rocket League
  • Valorant
  • StarCraft II
  • Rainbow Six Siege 

Popular Betting Markets for Esports

Esports betting provides a viable and entertaining alternative to betting on regular, mainstream sports. Below, we have listed three of the most popular betting markets and how to use them. Be aware of the fact that different games will have alternate betting markets, with games like FIFA and CoD sharing few similarities.

MarketExplanationBest Betting Site
Match WinnerPredict the winner of the match. Unibet
Total GoalsSpecifically for FIFA betting, wager on how many goals will be scored in the game. Often this market will offer over/under while it may also offer specific totals too. bet365
Correct ScoreBet on the exact score in a game of FIFA, such as 2-1 to a certain team. This can also be used in FPS betting, where you will bet on which team will win the series and by what score line. Betway
Map 1/2/3Wager on which side will win map one, two or three. This market is often split into ‘Map 1’, ‘Map 2’, ‘Map 3’ etc. bet365
Asian HandicapJust like in real football, this market will allow you to apply a handicap to a certain team. Where positive or negative, applying a handicap can increase the value in backing the favourite if you give them a negative handicap, while it can also increase the chances of the underdog winning if you give them a positive handicap. bet365
Goal LineSimilar to total goals, this market enables you to bet on over/unders of goal scoring. Betway
Map WinnerWager on which team will win a specific map in an FPS series. Betway
Outright WinnerBet on who will be the outright winner of a tournament or event. Unibet
Group WinnerWager on the winner of a certain group. Often available in tournament betting, if the team you back is able to top their group then you will win. 888sport
Total RoundsBet on whether a certain match will go over or under a certain number of rounds. Dafabet

Live Esports Betting

Live Esports Betting ScreenshotOdds Correct as of 9:38, G.M.T.

Live betting is a big part of how modern betting works, and is available on esports betting sites too. The ability to bet on a live event greatly enhances the overall excitement of watching a match unfold. Odds will drift and shorten throughout, so it pays to be able to make decisions quickly and definitively. 

In-play betting isn't without its risks. The speed that any game can change means that it can cause bettors to make rash decisions. We would always recommend taking as much time as you can to think about your bets, and not to let emotions cloud your judgement. 

Esports Betting FAQs

Which are the best esports betting sites?

Any of the bookmakers we have listed above are each considered to be a worthy esports betting site in their own right. However, we would single out bet365 and Betway as the top two. Apart from also being amongst the best cricket betting sites, both also offer bet builders, live streaming, a range of markets for all sports and accept a great variety of betting payment methods too. Few will argue with the fact that these two bookmakers go above and beyond when it comes to esports betting, and are a great place for you to try out your esports betting tips.

What markets can I bet on in Esports betting?

Esports betting bears a lot of similarities to betting on traditional sports. In FIFA, for example, you can wager on Match Winner, Total Goals, Handicaps and more. You'll also be able to find Match Winner on games such as Call of Duty and CS:GO, as well as Map Winner and Team A/B to win at least one map – and many others. Whatever you decide to bet on, it's always important to do your research first. 

Is esports betting legal?

This question is difficult to answer with a broad ‘yes' or ‘no. What you should be aware of is, as a bettor, you are subject to a number of regulations and laws. If sports betting is not legal where you live, then it is likely that esports betting will also be considered illegal.

What are the most popular games to bet on?

The most popular games to bet on include CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), Dota 2, Fortnite, CoD, FIFA, LoL , PUBG, Garena Free Fire, Overwatch and Hearthstone. 

Is live betting available on esports?

Yes, it is. Part of what makes live esports betting so great is how quickly a match can turn on its head. In a game like CoD, a one versus six may seem like a completely unbalanced scenario, but things can quickly change with a few clever player tactics, causing the odds to flip completely. The ability to bet on these events as they happen gives you the chance to make big winnings – if you bet wisely, that is. 

Can I live stream esports matches?

Many bookmakers offer their own live streaming function on their site. This will usually be available to you if you have a positive account balance, have made a bet in the last 24 hours or have an active wager on the game you want to watch.

You can also watch esports matches on streaming services such as Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming

CricketBettingAdvice Final Say

When it comes to esports betting, research is vital. In the same way we would recommend you read our guide on how to bet on cricket before betting on the sport, you should also soak up as much knowledge as you can on how to bet on esports. This includes finding out as much as you can about the video game in question, as well as picking up a few useful esports betting tips and paying attention to any upcoming updates from the game providers.

Understanding the different types of markets available and picking the right bookmaker is also key. Once you have found the right bookie and familiarised yourself enough with the core aspects of esports betting, it can also help to watch the pros go at it by streaming a live game or two.

As always, have fun, and bet responsibly!

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