What Can You Bet on in Esports?
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade, you have no doubt noticed the meteoric rise of professional esports.
Although it was once considered a relatively niche pastime, limited to fairly low-profile events, esports has exploded in popularity. And far from being a low-profile part of the internet age, esports tournaments now routinely sell out packed stadiums in which professional teams compete for prizes worth millions of dollars.
With an estimated 532 million esports viewers spread across the globe, it is little surprise that the heads of industry in the sports betting sector have been paying close attention to this trend.
And as a result of their continuing commitment to offering the best online betting offers, esports betting is now beginning to gain traction and popularity in the sector.
But what exactly is esports betting, how does it work and what events can you place wagers on?
What Are Esports?
Before we start exploring how betting on esports works, we should first set out what esports actually are.
A simple definition of what esports are is that they are video games played in a competitive, organized environment.
This includes everything from team-oriented multiplayer online games, first-person shooters and battle royale-type games to fully virtual versions of real-world sports such as soccer or basketball.
The birth and growth of esports has occurred in tandem with the rise of the video game industry and the internet. And interestingly, while sporting associations across the world have been grappling with declining viewership and attendance figures, esports are undergoing a massive boom period.
Supporting this growth is an esports ecosystem that has exploded in recent years. In 2022 alone, there were an estimated 532 million esports viewers worldwide.
These individuals tune in to watch highly skilled professional esports athletes compete against each other in high-level competitions and tournaments – with millions of dollars in prize money on the line.
The esports professional ecosystem has developed to such an extent that esports teams are worth as much as many professional teams in traditional sports.
As of 2020, team TSM owned by Andy Dinh is worth an estimated $540m and generates annual revenues upward of $56m.
What Is Esports Betting?
With an estimated 532 million viewers worldwide it was only a matter of time before the sports betting industry caught on to this rising trend. The introduction of esports betting has helped the online sports betting industry to experience significant growth in recent years.
Although esports still represents a relatively small segment of the market when compared to other established professional sports like soccer or boxing, it has nevertheless established itself alongside them.
According to recent reporting, the global sports betting market was valued at $74.2bn dollars in 2021, and is expected to hit a valuation of $129.3bn by 2028. It is very likely that esports betting will be helping to drive this growth.
But what actually is esports betting?
As the name suggests, esports betting is essentially traditional online sports betting, but punters place wagers on virtual games instead of real-life events.
However, the fact that the games being wagered on are virtual rather than real life does not make it any less interesting.
In fact, given how chaotic and unpredictable professional esports matches and tournaments can be, esports betting is arguably even more exciting.
Another great thing about esports and esports betting is that there are so many different game types on offer – each of which caters to a different audience.
This includes games such as League of Legends (LoL), Defense of the Ancients (DotA), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Fortnite.
How Does Esports Betting Work?
Much like traditional online sports betting, punters looking to put down a wager on an esports event make similar selections to those they would make on a football game.
Punters will select their team, player or tournament depending on the game they are following. The bet types will obviously vary between different game types and tournaments, each of which will have their own winning conditions stipulated.
Esports is incredibly competitive and filled with action-packed tournaments, which makes it the perfect live sport to bet on.
When you want to place a wager on a match, game or tournament, you will have to browse through the various esports betting markets that are offered by whatever sports betting platform you have chosen to use.
You can then compare the different odds that are being offered on various events and outcomes.
Depending on the platform you use, you might also be able to watch the event live in the same window. Many platforms also offer you all of the latest news and match updates to help keep you up to speed with everything going on in the esports world. This is a useful facility for informing what wagers you want to place.
Esports Common Bet Types
Once you are happy with the odds you have been offered, it will then be time to lock in your wager. But what exactly are the different bet types available to you?
Online bookmakers will typically provide you with a wide range of different bet types, however the most common on offer include:
- Match winner: This betting option is a prediction of the team or player you think will win the match.
- Map winner: This is a common bet type across all esports currently offered. It requires you to predict who you think will win a specific map, whether it be a team or an individual player.
- Total maps played: This is a slight tweak to the match winner bet types. Instead of choosing an outright winner for a match, you wager on the number of maps you think will be played in a game. It is usually calculated on an over/under basis.
- First blood or first kill: This is one of the most popular bet types in the sports betting world. Like the name suggests, it is a wager on which team or player you think will draw first blood in a match. If this event occurs, you will win.
- Total kills: This betting option selects what you think the total number of kills in a match will be. It usually takes an over/under format, and if the final tally matches your prediction, you will walk away a winner.
- Overall or outright winner: This is a wager on who you think the winner of a specific tournament will be. You can choose an individual player or a team as a whole.
Although these are the most popular bet types placed by online esports fans, this is by no means an exhaustive list. As esports betting continues to grow in popularity, we can expect to see more and more different bet types offered by sports betting platforms.
However, you should also keep in mind that not every bet type will be offered by all online esports betting platforms – in fact, you might find there is a large degree of variation between them.
With all of this information in mind, the only thing left for you to do is to get out there and start placing some wagers!