The Rise of Esports
Esports is on the rise. For many sportsbooks ‘eSports’ action is outstripping mainstream sports such as Ice Hockey / NHL. Pinnacle sportsbook recently hit five million bets taken on eSports markets and project that there is still a long way to go; at the current rate they would hit ten million placed bets by the end of January 2018.
Pinnacle has been offering eSports since 2010 but it was only last year that things picked up and they hit the three million bet mark. It’s an unprecedented growth surge, that has not been encountered in any other betting market to date.
Plenty of other bookmakers like William Hill, Paddy Power and Bet365 are also offering eSports. It certainly looks like eSports betting is here to stay.
What Exactly is eSports?
eSports or ‘electronic sports’ is a type of competitive gaming, where teams of gamers compete against one another for prizes and trophies. You can now bet on these teams or individuals and as a market it is experiencing huge growth.
All types of market are available, just like in a traditional sports market. So for example in tournament betting like World Cup soccer, Super Bowl, or Wimbledon tennis, where you would bet on a team or competitor to win a competition, in eSports you would bet on a ‘gaming team’ to win multiple video game ‘matches’ over the course of the tournament to win it outright.
ESports covers a wide range of games. League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Striker Global Offensive are probably the three most popular games as regards total audiences. Then there are the ‘genres’ of which the most common are Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, First-Person Shooter and Fighting and Real-Time Strategy.
Big tournaments such as The International (Dota 2) and the LOL World Championships take place in proper arenas and attract online audiences in the millions with prize pools reaching tens of millions of dollars (USD).
Which ‘Game’ to Bet on?
If you want to bet on eSports, then you should decide on your game of choice. What games do you like? Which genres? Do you play any of the games? Do you feel more comfortable with First Person Shooter betting or Multiplayer?
Remember that if you are going to take eSports betting seriously then picking a game that you enjoy watching is fairly important because you will be watching it alot!
eSports markets essentially work in the same way as any sports / market.
Moneyline or match betting is where you simply pick the team that you think will win, just like in any mainstream sport.
Pointspread or Handicap betting in eSports is similar to traditional sports betting. All the sportsbook does is try to balance the action and in effect the chances of each team, by giving the underdog team an advantage (‘plus’ figure on the handicap) and the favourite team a disadvantage (‘minus’ figure on the handicap).
For a bet on a team with a positive handicap to ‘win’, the team must win the match, draw or lose within handicap number. A bet on a team with a negative handicap will only ‘win’ if that team wins by more than the handicap figure.
Totals betting in eSports is when a bet is placed on the number of ‘particular events’ in a game being over or under a certain figure. These events will be specified by the sportsbook. Commonly the ‘events’ are ’rounds’ or ‘kills’.
‘Outright’Betting in eSports
‘Outright’ or ‘Futures’ betting in eSports is when you bet on the outcome or winner of an event. So winning a whole eSports tournament for example. Similar to betting on a team to win Super Bowl for example.
Remember, betting is about patience and picking the right bet. There are plenty of eSports tournaments and markets and the great advantage that you have over the sportsbook is that you don’t have to have a bet. You can pick your moment.