Keeping up with all the esports betting trends might be overwhelming without a proper guide. Thankfully, that's why we're here: let's look at all the ins and outs of esports titles, best bookies, and optimal practices when placing bets.
Since its inception, online gaming has been steadily becoming more and more popular. With competitive video gaming spearheading its popularity, many countries worldwide started recognizing video game competitions as official sports. Competitive gaming titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, and Fortnite enjoy ongoing events with hundreds of esports athletes and millions of dollars in prize money.
Our team dedicated a lot of time browsing for the best esports betting sites. We paid utmost attention to such factors as legitimacy, user security, betting market and title coverage, and others. Only the best resources made it to the final list. Check it down below:
- 15 esports titles
- Lot of esports betting markets
- Most famous esports sportsbook
- 20+ esports titles to choose from
- Lots of gambling markets and live bets
- Brand with an excellent reputation
- 9 esports games
- Trusted worldwide brand
- Best odds and markets
- One of the oldest and most reliable brands
- Separate section for esports gambling
- Lots of betting markets for popular games
- Apple Pay and Google Pay available
- Competitive odds
- Lots of traditional sports
- Top esports titles
- Licensed and secure website
- Lots of betting markets
- 12+ esports games
- Attractive website design
- Lots of betting markets
With over two decades of history, esports betting has cemented itself as an invaluable part of gaming culture. As such, esports gambling is recognized as a full-fledged legal kind of sports betting in many countries. With state recognition of esports as sports, next came the recognition of esports wagering as a legal and safe practice. Many countries around the globe have well-regulated and booming esports bookmaking circles, for instance:
- United Kingdom;
- New Zealand;
The regulations regarding esports betting differ from region to region. While different regional policies offer different approaches to online wagering, they all focus on certain factors such as:
- Ensuring age limit of bettors;
- Ensuring fair play: absence of match-fixing and conflicts of interest;
- Ensuring responsible gambling policies.
Even in some countries where online gambling is illegal, it is possible to legally place bets on overseas bookies. However, in most countries where gambling is regulated by law, there are no issues with esports bets.
Esports Betting Per Region
Esports betting experience may vary depending on the region. While some countries have fully legalized esports bet scenes, others might place heavy limitations that drastically change the approach an esports betting site would have. Let's take a look at some of the most prominent examples.
Esports betting in the United States
Despite the United States being full of avid gamers, the majority of the states' legislations prohibit esports gambling. You should keep an eye out on your state's laws when trying to place bets on esports matches. If you're a Nevada and New Jersey resident, you may freely engage in esports wagering.
New Jersey E-betting
In 2018, New Jersey legalized esports betting as a whole, setting a powerful legal precedent that potentially opens the door for other states to follow suit soon. New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement examined the League of Legends World Championship 2019 and found the competition's integrity satisfactory, opening the doors for casinos to take wagers on the event.
However, there are also options for regulated esports betting in USA for those who live in: Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington DC, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Delaware.
Esports Betting In Canada
Canada enjoys a regulated esports industry betting sphere. Each province has its own regulating body; however, at large, engaging in esports betting in Canada is entirely legal.
For the longest time, Canada had no domestic esports betting platforms. However, things changed in 2022, when the Canadian province of Ontario was the first to host an esports bookmaking market.
Esports Betting In The UK
The United Kingdom enjoys a highly robust and free bookmaker market. As betting is licensed and easily accessible, many of the world's most popular esports betting platforms are situated in the UK. A bookie can easily operate in Britain upon receiving a license from the British Gambling Commission. As it was founded in 2005, the scene has nearly two decades of history, reflecting its high development.
If you're a resident of the UK, you're lucky - esports betting sites in the UK could not be more accessible. The worldwide famous betting platforms like Betway or Bet365 have offices in the UK.
Esports Betting In Australia
In Australia, the esports betting industry is treated the same way as traditional sports betting. In short, it means that it's entirely legalized and completely culturally accepted.
Of course, one should stick to licensed esports bet platforms. Thankfully, all the major esports betting sites on our list have been verified and licensed by Australian authorities, namely Northern Territory Racing Commission and Liquor & Gaming NSW. Wagering on esports matches on these esports betting sites in Australia is entirely legal.
Online gamblers can place bets on esports via online sportsbooks or dedicated esports betting websites. The general rule of thumb here is:
|Online Sportsbooks||Dedicated Esports Bookies|
|Those new to betting, in general, might prefer a sportsbook. Choosing a popular and reliable bookie platform might prove better to kick off your betting journey.||For those who are already familiar with the esports games and are in the know with the industry and esports betting markets, then specialized sites are the better choice.|
|In keeping up with the market trends and demands, many reliable and popular online sportsbooks decided to include esports betting into their platform. These sites are reputable and have been on the betting market for quite a long time. Its users can be sure that these are licensed websites with high-security standards.||Apart from sports betting sites that offer a massive choice of betting options, among which there is an esports niche, you can also find betting websites that specialize only in esports. On these websites, one can usually find a lot of information about different gaming leagues and tournaments, place a broader range of bets, and have access to live streams of significant events in the esports world.|
It is extremely important to check whether the bookmaker is licensed. Only with a licensed betting company, it is safe to place bets on your favorite teams and tournaments, and safely withdraw the winnings from the website.
Esports bets differ in various ways. It's possible to bet with real money or, for example, use skins to place bets. Let's check these and other types of bets below.
Real Money Betting
This is the most standard type of bet. Similarly to placing bets on traditional sports, this type of betting opens the possibility of real money esports betting. The winnings depend on betting odds, which, in turn, depend on factors like the relative strength of the teams and, of course, the bookie's numbers.
Fantasy betting is a special type of wagering. Instead of betting on real esports, the bettors wager on fantasy leagues. Fantasy leagues allow users to create their own rosters out of a pool of real esports players - then, the bettors bet on their performance, which is derived from the pros' performance numbers.
Betting On Streamers
Betting on Twitch streamers is a relatively new phenomenon that is growing in popularity. It involves the stream audiences betting in-play on Twitch with the possibility of winning real money. The most popular options include the match outcome of Twitch streamers. This type of bet is very volatile and is not recommended as there is no way to verify the integrity of amateur fan matches. It can result in rampant match-fixing.
Item & Skin Betting
Skin betting is an esports bet when players use skins as a virtual currency to place bets. Item betting is another name for skin betting. Players bet skins on the outcome of professional head-to-head matches on dedicated skin betting sites. For instance, Team Fortress 2 skin gambling was notorious for its high popularity.
Esports Pool Betting
Esports pool betting implies the possibility of determining the prize pool size and its distribution among the prize categories. The bets are put together, and the returns correlate to the number of bettors and how much they put in.
Social Betting & Challenge Betting
Social betting, also called esports betting tips, is the practice of casting publicly visible votes on the team you think will win. While it's perfect for those who engage in betting for fun, it can also come in handy for those who play to win real money. Esports betting tips can help decide which esports teams are going to come on top.
It's possible to place esports bets on different outcomes of rounds, matches, or overall tournaments. Different esports titles also allow the possibility to bet on various in-game factors that do not necessarily affect the match outcome. Read more about esports betting markets below.
|Match Winner||The most standard of esports betting markets. Ubiquitous on any esports betting site, this bet offers the users a chance to forecast the match's outcome.|
|Handicap||This betting market is similar to "Match Winner." However, it solves the issue of possible skill disparity between the two esports teams. The underdog receives an additional point towards victory. For instance, in a best-of-3 series, it will be enough for the underdog to win just a single round for the bookie to declare them the winners of the Handicap bet.|
|Round/Map Winner||For a map winner, the bettors need to predict which team wins the first map of a match. And for a round winner, try to guess who will win a single round.|
|Correct Points/Score||For this type of bet, the bettors must guess how many points the team will acquire during a match and win. The "points" may refer to anything - from eliminations to claimed objectives, etc., depending on the title.|
|Over/Under||In this esports bet type, the players need to predict whether an overall score will be over or under the arbitrary numbers offered by the bookie.|
|Series/Event Winner||While betting on a single match is the most popular type of bet, the bookies also offer the players a chance to bet on esports tournaments as a whole. This bet can sometimes take weeks or even months to resolve (depending on the series' length). It requires utmost game and team knowledge to get right.|
|First Blood||In most esports games, scoring the first elimination of the game nets the team a massive advantage. In this type of bet, the players attempt to guess which team will claim this bonus.|
|Totals||For this type of bet, the bettors need to predict the total score of a match.|
Esports Live Betting
Thanks to the digital nature of the esports betting industry, it enjoys certain advantages over traditional sports betting markets. Live betting is one of these pros that are impossible when betting on the likes of football or basketball. While conventional betting markets all shut down the moment the match begins, live esports betting allows for placing bets in the middle of the action.
Mobile Esports Betting
Reliable esports bookies always offer the chance for their gamblers to bet on esports on the go via mobile esports betting apps. A well-made and efficient app is one of the hallmarks of a good bookmaker.
When choosing the best esports betting site, it's worth considering the e-sport bonus they offer. Many reputable bookmakers provide all kinds of rewards: from welcome bonuses for beginner bettors and loyalty benefits for veterans to seasonal bonuses for popular esports events. Let's take a look at some of the most prominent examples.
|No Deposit||Some bookmakers offer a chance to place a bet without depositing funds first to the site's newcomers. This kind of bet is the most valuable for beginners.|
|First Deposit||Some bookies multiply deposit money with the first deposit bonus. Usually requires to top up the account with a certain amount of funds to work.|
|Live Esports Betting Bonuses||To encourage betting on live events, betting sites often offer generous bonuses during the streams of esports events.|
|VIP Program||Esports gambling websites appreciate their loyal gamblers and offer various perks and promotions to attract players' interest.|
|Other Promotions||There are a lot of other types of bonuses offered by bookies. A refer-a-friend bonus is granted when you recommend the website to one of your friends, who then signs up. Or, you can get a matched deposit bonus. If you put $100 into your account, you will get a $100 matched bonus that you can use for betting.|
Bonus Terms And Conditions
Bonuses can come with limits on withdrawals of the winnings you get when you place a bet with bonus money. Don't forget to check the terms and conditions as well as wagering requirements before using the bonuses.
The esports industry has evolved massively over the last two decades. While previously bound by limitations when it came to payment operators, nowadays, bettors can choose from dozens of safe and reliable platforms and online wallets. Let's take a look at some of the leaders.
The default choice of many bettors. While simple and quick, it should only be used on highly trusted sites since you have to expose your credit card data and your ID to verify your identity when Mastercard or Visa esports betting. Thankfully, all the sites on our list have been double-checked for safety!
Crypto coins - in particular, their leader Bitcoin - have become commonplace. The esports betting sites accommodated for the increased demand. The option of esports betting with crypto made its way to the most reputable esports betting sites. Additionally, there are bookies made specifically for crypto-coin betting. Using these sites allows the users to experience unparalleled anonymity and security while placing bets.
E-wallets or digital wallets are a very convenient and safe method that is widely popular among esports bettors. PayPal is at the storefront of all the e-wallets. PayPal provides an exceedingly secure method of internet transactions - your bank details and personal info is safe no matter what when esports betting with PayPal.
Established in 2001, Skrill has been one of the cornerstones of transactions on many online gambling sites. Since it operates in 120 different countries and handles transactions in 40 different currencies, esports betting with Skrill remains popular among veteran bettors.
With over two decades of history, Neteller has been the leading transaction operator for dedicated bettors and gamblers since its inception. In fact, esports betting with Neteller used to be so popular that 83% of all esports betting-related transactions were done using Neteller at some point in the past.
What Are Odds And Probabilities
Betting odds display the probability of an esports outcome. Using odds, you can calculate the sum of money you will get if your prediction appears to be correct. Bookies use different types of esports odds like fractional, decimal, and American odds. Find more information about the best esports odds here.
When just getting into the hobby of esports betting, getting lost in all the conflicting information and getting too ahead of yourself is easy. It's essential to follow these simple steps if you're a beginner. Even veteran bettors might find this little reminder useful.
Choose a licensed and reliable bookmaker.
Do your homework
Find out more about the chosen esports games you'd like to place bets on.
Start with pre-matched bets
Pre-game bets do not need a lot of effort as in-play bets.
Choose the biggest esports events and favorite teams
You can find a lot of information about them on the web.
Make smaller bets from the beginning
It will help you get more experience and grow more confident with time.
Make a strict budget for esports betting
Even the most accurate bettors are bound to make mistakes from time to time due to the volatile nature of esports tournaments, so never bet more than you can afford to lose!
Security Esports Betting
Use only a trusted and regulated esports betting site that will protect any sensitive information and funds. First of all, check if the website is licensed in our above list of regulated bookmakers. Digital security is also highly important because it will protect data from hackers. Check if the website uses SSL encryption with 128 bits as a minimum.
Placing bets on esports is a wonderful hobby. However, it is essential to control your gaming habits. Be a responsible gambler and never exceed the set budget. Most licensed betting sites offer an option to temporarily block the account upon the user's request to help prevent gambling addictions.
Certain esports titles rival traditional sports in their popularity and prestige. These titles have become a staple in competitions, receiving official recognition from organizations and even states. Let's take a look at some of the most impactful of these popular video games - with a short overview of their betting sites.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
One of the oldest esports disciplines in the world, Counter-Strike still retains millions of fans worldwide thanks to its highly skill-based and exciting action gameplay. As the game holds more than a dozen of S-tier events every year, it's a perfect watch - and an ideal option for esports betting. CS:GO betting remains the traditional choice of both amateur bettors and veterans, thanks to its ease of access and sheer popularity of its esports tournaments.
Famous for its history spanning nearly two decades and gameplay requiring quick wit, Dota 2 stands as one of the three pillars of esports betting. With its main event, The International, boasting more than 40 million USD prize money pools annually, Dota 2 is the main attraction for anyone wishing to go pro. This kind of interest ensures undying popularity of Dota 2 esports and, in turn, Dota 2 betting.
League Of Legends
League of Legends is the most popular PC video game in the world, with nearly 150 million active players and millions of esports fans. S-tier regional leagues are running year-round with its unique approach to esports competitions. This makes LoL betting a perfect option. No need to track your calendar if the events never stop!'
"An unparalleled growth" is the best way, to sum up the video game phenomena that is Fortnite. By adapting the massively popular Battle Royale genre into a fun and light experience, the game also didn't forget about its massive competitive fan base and fans of Fortnite betting. The gravity of Fortnite's esports events is second only to Dota 2's The International, as the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals had a jaw-dropping prize pool of over $30 000 000!
King Of Glory
Massively popular in the East, King of Glory is a MOBA that takes condenses all the best aspects of the genre into one package. Although the game is relatively unknown among Western audiences, it has a massive fanbase in the East. The King of Glory esports betting scene matches it. For instance, Honor of Kings World Champion Cup 2021 featured a total prize pool of nearly 8 Million USD distributed among 12 competitor teams.
Call Of Duty
One of the most known FPS franchises in the world, Call of Duty has popularized competitive gaming for millions. Call of Duty's esports crown jewel, the Call of Duty League Championship, boasted over $2 000 000 in the prize pool, distributed among eight teams. The Call of Duty esports betting scene is still going strong in 2022.
Next to the most popular games we have mentioned above, there's a myriad of other developing esports titles. Each of these has robust betting scenes, too! The games on the list have a real chance of becoming "the next big thing." Presented here in no particular order.
A rapidly growing competitive FPS, Valorant issues a challenge to CS:GO despite its young age. Developed by Riot Games - which is most known for the most popular video game in the world, League of Legends - Valorant is explicitly made with the competitive esports scene in mind. It's no wonder that Valorant betting became extremely popular in such a short time span.
A Battle Royale that is massively popular in the East, Free Fire has clocked 150 Million unique monthly players in 2021. Free Fire's esports betting scene is nothing to scoff at, either - Free Fire World Series 2022 Sentosa boasted a total prize pool of $2 000 000.
Rainbow Six: Siege
Released by Ubisoft, it's another entry to the beloved Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series. Focusing on teamplay in this tactical team-based shooter opens myriad options with its numerous destructible maps and dozens of operators, each with unique gadgets, stats, and weapons. The title's esports scene is robust: Rainbow Six Invitational 2022 featured 20 teams battling it out for a total prize pool of $3 000 000. This environment makes Rainbow Six betting a popular choice.
One of the most popular Battle Royales on the market, Apex Legends, was developed by EA. As the game's primary focus is on fast-paced, movement-based combat, it quickly won the hearts of many gamers worldwide. Its esports scene doesn't leave both the professional players and fans of Apex Legends betting unsatisfied. For instance, Apex Legends Global Series: 2022 Championship featured 40 participant-teams fighting for a total prize pool of $3 000 000.
The original Battle Royale that kicked off the trend, PUBG, still remains massively popular in certain regions. To put things into perspective, PUBG Global Championship 2021 featured 32 teams fighting for a total prize pool of over $4 400 000. PUBG betting remains an excellent choice.
Originally developed as a party game, Rocket League, with its funky genre of vehicular soccer, managed to form a robust esports scene. Its success was so high that Rocket League CS 2021-22 - World Championship featured 24 teams fighting it out for a slice of the $2 000 000 prize pool. Find out more about Rocket League betting here.
Arena Of Valor
A MOBA that is very popular among the Eastern and South American esports teams. As for the game's major tournaments, Arena of Valor World Cup 2021 featured 16 teams fighting it out over a whole month for a prize pool of $500 000. Find out more about Arena of Valor betting here.
Those are reserved for the most avid of fans. Games of this category often have sizable fan bases but occupy a niche genre, which makes them less popular than the more broadly appealing video games. Still, they may be a solid choice.
A unique take on First Person Shooters (FPS) and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) combined, Overwatch was released in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment. The title's esports scene was getting stale, but a recent 2022 sequel, Overwatch 2, is sure to shake up the professional scene. And, of course, Overwatch betting, too!
One of the most well-known titles in the Fighting Game genre, Street Fighter has a deeply loyal fanbase that has followed the game since its inception in 1987. This officially makes Street Fighter one of the oldest esports - which gave the Street Fighter betting scene quite a bit of time to develop.
Hearthstone used to be a global phenomenon that inspired countless copycats and successors, but nowadays, it has become more of a comfy, niche title after the initial hype died down. Still, some bookies offer users the ability to bet on Hearthstone events.
Legends Of Runeterra
A new-age digital card collecting game, Legends Of Runeterra is developed by Riot Games, a massively successful company behind League of Legends and Valorant. The game appeals to both casual and competitive scenes. Bookies offer the ability to bet on Legends of Runeterra events.
Putting StarCraft II into the niche category feels wrong - as it was the title that made esports a thing in the first place - but it's the state of the game today. Many bookies still allow for Starcraft II betting, as the game retains a steady fanbase and many esports events.
Perhaps the most creative MOBA game in the esports industry, Smite combined a third-person action view with strategy. Sadly, the game's popularity is dwindling, and its esports scene is, too. Still, some bookies allow the option of Smite betting.
Heroes Of The Storm
A revolutionary MOBA developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, Heroes of the Storm still retains a loyal player base. Even though the game's officially at the end of its lifecycle, some bookies retain the option of Heroes of the Storm betting.
Virtual Sports Betting
Another subcategory of esports exists because of sports sims. The most prominent examples of popular sports video games are FIFA, NBA 2K, and other sports simulators. These titles built a sizable esports scene, and with it came the ability to bet on virtual sports matches. Find more about how to bet on FIFA or NBA2K here.
Simulated Sports Betting
Simulated sports betting expands on the idea of virtual sports: the twist here is that neither of the teams playing is actually human-controlled. AI controls both parties, and bettors must forecast the winner when there's no human error possible.