In recent years, eSports has developed into a multi-million dollar industry and is also becoming increasingly popular in Germany. However, the possibility of betting on the various eSports events is rather unknown. More and more bookmakers are adding the well-known eSport titles such as League of Legends (LoL), DOTA 2 or Counter Strike (CS: GO) to their betting program. In the meantime, all top bookmakers have eSport bets on offer, this is quasi a unique selling point and a seal of quality for the best betting providers. Below we explain all the details about eSport betting. Here is a list of the currently best eSports betting providers!
What is esports?
eSport stands for “electronic sport” and has already established itself in many countries as a “real” sport. This means the competitive playing of computer or video games in multiplayer mode. Especially in Asia, the players earn millions and are celebrated by the fans as heroes. In Germany there are now more and more professional players. ESport has its origins in Korea, where the popularity is comparable to that of football in Germany.
Depending on the eSport title, the players compete individually or in teams. Due to the increasing popularity there are now numerous leagues and tournaments all over the world. The most important events are mostly broadcast live on the Internet and followed by millions of fans around the world.
What are eSports bets?
In the meantime, more and more bookmakers have recognized the steadily growing interest in eSports and added corresponding bets to their program. As with other sports, depending on the provider, there are various ways to bet on eSport money. The most common are bets on the match winner, which are also referred to as “moneyline bets”. Here you simply bet on the winner of a match.
Long-term bets are also offered at eSport. For example, bets on the outcome of a tournament or league are possible. There are also various special bets depending on the betting provider. A popular special bet is, for example, “How many games will Team A win”. Depending on the title, a number of other betting options are offered. With the classic “League of Legends”, for example, a special bet “First Blood” would be possible. Some online bookmakers also offer combination and system bets.
What makes esports betting so interesting?
Betting on eSports is still new territory for bookmakers. Anyone who knows this area well has a good chance of outsmarting it. The bookies still lack the relevant experience. Players can therefore take advantage of high entry rates and poor odds updates.
The positive aspects of eSports betting include the very attractive odds for favorites. It is not uncommon for real favorites tips to be in a range of 1.25 or higher. At the same time, surprises are much less common in eSports than in other sports such as football. Since there is no tie, the chances of winning are significantly higher.
These facts speak for eSport betting:
- Good odds on esports betting on favorites
- Outsiders rarely win in eSports
- Odds are only slowly adjusted at the eSport bookmakers
- Good range of surebets
What can you bet on?
The most popular games include “League of Legends” and “Counter-Strike – Global Offensive”. The organizers each distribute several million euros in prize money for the two games. An example of this is the eSports World Championship (ESWC), which is considered the World Championship in eSports. Titles are awarded for each game.
With around 700,000 registered members, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) is the linchpin of eSports in Germany. It is a professional game and league system with more than 1,800 leagues and 80 games from all known genres. Both beginners and professionals will find the right league here.
The ESL Pro Series is the premier class in eSports. Only the best players who fight for the German Championship qualify for this. The ESL is organized by Turtle Entertainment GmbH in cooperation with the partner Intel. The concept can be compared to the Bundesliga.
In 2002 the first foreign division was opened in Greece. Turtle Entertainment GmbH now operates nationwide and organizes the ESL Pro Series in a large number of European countries. Since 2006 there has been a league called “Extreme Masters”, which is similar to the Champions League in football. You can also bet on the “ESL European Nations Championship”, a European championship for national teams. The “ESL WC3L Series”, in which the best teams compete against each other in the strategy game Warcraft 3, is one of the most popular events in eSport betting.
What games are on offer?
Not all computer games are suitable for eSports. In recent years, special eSport titles have been repeatedly developed, which have not always been able to establish themselves. There are currently six games that have a large fan base and are suitable for eSport betting.
👾 League of Legends (LoL)
👾 Counter Strike (CS: GO)
👾 DOTA 2
👾 Starcraft 2
League of Legends is currently the eSport game with the largest community on the net. The Champion Ship Series (LCS) has its own professional league in Europe, the USA and Asia. Starcraft 2 is in second place on the popularity scale, closely followed by Counter-Strike. The online bookmakers have the largest range of bets for these titles.
Are esports bets legal?
Basically, eSport bets do not differ from other sports bets. The major bookmakers are regularly checked by the responsible regulatory authorities for compliance with the minimum standards. As proof, betting providers receive a license which allows them to offer sports betting on the Internet. Before deciding on an eSport bookmaker, you should always take a look at the imprint. Reputable bookies offer their customers comprehensive customer service by phone, live chat or email and a wide range of secure payment options. Betting fans can therefore be sure that eSports betting is 100 percent legal.
Can I use the sports betting bonus for eSports?
Until recently there were still some providers who did not allow betting on eSports with the sports betting bonus, the young eSport was probably too new and uncertain for the bookmakers here. In the meantime, there is hardly any more, all eSport bookmakers from our list allow betting on eSport with the bonus, which is perfect for getting started with betting and testing different eSport betting providers.
Of course, the general bonus conditions of the provider also apply here, e.g. Minimum odds or individual or combination bets, so look as always in our test report and read the conditions on the bookmaker’s side to avoid misunderstandings.
Bets on DOTA 2 are also becoming more and more interesting. The well-known title breaks the records for the highest prize money ever paid in ESport year after year – “The International 2017”, the last iteration of annual world leadership in DOTA 2, had a total prize pool of almost $ 25 million.
This is made possible by so-called “crowdfunding”, which means that players and spectators have the opportunity to acquire a kind of “companion book”, the so-called “compendium”, at every major tournament, and thereby gain access to many exclusive in-game content, such as the possibility to change the appearance of one of your game characters, or even trading cards from your favorite pro players, which can then be used to play fantasy leagues, as is sometimes known from traditional sports.
Part of the sales proceeds from this game content then flow into the total prize pool.
How safe is betting on DOTA 2?
Of course, no bet (apart from surebets) is ever really safe.
A good indication of how safe betting on a particular eSport title is is the amount of opportunities that the better team has to show their dominance.
In DOTA 2 there are also a few random or lucky elements, but especially at a high level, games are mostly decided through better playing (“skill”) and above all through solid tactics. In addition to the strategy in the game, the so-called “draft”, ie the selection of characters for the team, is particularly important.
Furthermore, most matches are played in the so-called “best-of-3” format, which means that two wins are necessary to win the series. This makes it less likely that “underdogs” will win series wins against better teams through a surprising strategy or “luck”.
The exception to this are the so-called “best-of-1s”, in which only one game is played per series. In this format, insider tips can be found more often, and betting against the favorites becomes far more interesting.
How often do you play?
Unlike many other eSports titles, there is no real league system in DOTA 2, in which games take place weekly or even daily.
Instead, several smaller and larger tournaments take place throughout the year, the so-called “Minors” and “Majors”; Minors have total prize pools of around $ 300,000, with majors earning at least $ 1,000,000.
For the 2017/2018 season, for example, 11 minors and 11 majors are planned, followed by “The International”, the largest and most important DOTA 2 tournament, whose winner can be described as the best DOTA 2 team in the world until next year ; so there are about 2 tournaments per month.
Apart from any qualifying rounds, most tournaments run over 3 to 5 days, with dozens of games per day taking place in the first rounds.
What can you bet on?
When betting on DOTA 2, the simplest variant is of course betting on winning the series.
If (as is usually the case) series with up to 3 games are played, bets on the number of games won or bets on the outcome are also possible, as well as handicap bets in which one of the teams with a game disadvantage in the series goes.
Draw bets are very rarely possible; the game mechanics do not allow a tie, and in very few tournaments there are “best of 2” series that can end in a tie with one win per team.
In addition to betting on the outcome of the game, depending on the betting provider, bets can also be placed on which team will get the first kill (“First Blood”) in a game, or whether the total number of kills at the end of the game will be odd or even.
Since bets of this type are largely a matter of luck, we generally advise against it.
DOTA 2 live bets
Furthermore, some betting providers also offer live betting for DOTA 2, on which interested parties can bet on things such as “Who will make the next kill?” Or “Which tower will be destroyed next?”
Experienced players who can predict the course of a game can occasionally make very lucrative bets.
Which betting providers offer bets on DOTA 2?
Since DOTA 2 is one of the most famous eSport titles, all providers from our eSport betting provider list offer bets on DOTA 2. So just look for the most suitable eSport bookmaker, of course there are some differences in the eSport betting bonus or the betting odds on eSport events.
League of Legends (LoL)
League of Legends, LoL for short, is a game principle that is known in the player community as “MOBA”, short for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”, which also includes DOTA. The aim of the game is to use a group of champions to destroy the opposing team’s nexus. All of the basic features known from DOTA are also available at LoL, champions who level up and have the ultimate special ability, the defense towers that line the path to the enemy base, the minions, the symmetrical structure of the map, the 5vs5 etc.
Every year since 2011 there is the World Championship in League of Legends, organized by the game developer Riot Games, the League of Legends World Championship. The winning team can win 1 million euros in prize money and the coveted Summoner’s Cup. According to official information, 60 million people watched the final in 2017.
There is even an attempt to include League of Legends and other eSports titles at the 2024 Los Angeles Olympics, the chairman of the 2024 Olympic Committee has said.
Since LoL is one of the most popular esports titles, all bookmakers listed above also offer bets on LoL, most major tournaments are offered here. Important leagues at League of Legends are above all the LCS (League of Legends Championship Series), which is divided into two regional leagues, the EU LCS (Europe) and the NA LCS (North America). The games will then either take place in Berlin or Los Angeles, there is also a relegation system and of course the playoffs, in which the best 6 teams from both continents compete against each other to qualify for the League of Legends World Championship.
LoL eSport betting
Of course there are bets on the winner of an encounter, there is usually no tie, so it is a so-called 2-way bet. There are also special bets on e.g. the number of kills per team, e.g. “Which team gets 10 kills first”, or “Which team kills the first dragon”, “Which team destroys the first tower” etc.
There are also over / under eSports bets and handicaps, such as “Total Kills Over / Under” or a kill handicap, as is customary for these types of bets, this handicap is determined based on the estimated favorite status of one of the teams.
In principle there are the same betting options for live betting, but knowledge can give you a greater advantage over bookmakers if you succeed in predicting the next kill or even the winner of the match in front of the betting providers.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)
CS: GO, short for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is the fourth part of the Counter-Strike series, the first part appeared as a mod for the game Half Life developed by Valve as early as 1999 and is probably the best-known online team shooter. The latest version of the shooter, CS: GO, was released in 2012 and is currently the most played turn-based team shooter in the world, which is also highly recognized in the professional world of eSports.
Counter-Strike has always had two teams competing against each other, the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. Depending on the team and scenario / map, the goal of the game is either to plant a bomb and defend it until it explodes and the round is won, or to defend hostages (terrorists). On the counter-terrorist side, the aim is to prevent the bomb from being laid, to defuse it before the explosion, or to free the hostages from the hands of the terrorists. Alternatively, a round is also won as soon as all players of the opposing team are eliminated.
In contrast to shooters such as In the Call of Duty series, Counter-Strike, as already mentioned, is a turn-based shooter, which means that you will only be respawned at the beginning of the next round once you have been killed. For every kill or targeted action like defusing the bomb, there is money that can then be used to buy equipment and weapons at the beginning of the next round.
Counter-Strike has always had a large fan base, already in the late 90s there was an active eSport community that met at LAN parties and professional leagues like the ESL, over time the scene got bigger and bigger also organized more professionally.
Meanwhile, the so-called majors, the big official tournaments sponsored and organized by Valve, have prize money of up to 1 million dollars. The tournaments are broadcast on television and followed live by a large fan base.
CS: GO eSport betting
As with most eSport titles, there is no tie in almost all tournament and match types at CS: GO, so the standard bet type is the 2-way win bet. In addition, there are of course long-term bets, such as on the winner of a particular tournament. Match or round handicaps as well as over / under bets on the number of maps played can also be played by good esports bookmakers.
StarCraft 2 is the successor to the strategy game hit StarCraft developed by Blizzard Games, in which three races, the Terrans, Zerg and Protoss, fight against each other in a futuristic scenario. It is a “classic” real-time strategy game in which buildings and units are built and then sent to battle against each other on different maps.
Each player starts with a main building and a set number of worker units, which differ greatly depending on the race. For example, the Protoss probes can build buildings without being occupied for the duration of the erection, as is the case with the Terran WBFs. The zerg even have to “sacrifice” a drone because they transform into buildings. This is only an example to show how fundamentally different the three races are to be played.
The gameplay of StarCraft 2 is correspondingly tactical and varied, depending on the race and map, there are several ways to win, and you always have to react to the opponent, since some units of course have particularly strong counterparts in the other races and almost others are ineffective. A simple example is melee units, which logically cannot fight or defend against flight units.
StarCraft 2 is by far the most popular real-time strategy game that is also played professionally, the biggest league here is the WCS, World Championship Series. Although it has become a little less in recent years, StarCraft 2 is still one of the most popular and most played esports titles in the world.
StarCraft 2 eSports betting
With StarCraft 2 there is no draw due to the structure of the game, so the first betting option is of course the standard 2-way winning bet. As with other eSport games, there are also winning bets on individual cards played, bets on the correct result (2: 0, 2: 1, 1: 2 or 0: 2 in Best of 3) and the popular handicap bets (in Best of 3 then logically a 1.5 handicap) and over / under bets on the number of maps played. There are also some options in the area of live betting, where the odds are of course adjusted promptly.
Overwatch is a first person shooter set in a futuristic world with steampunk elements. The title was released in 2016, developed by Blizzard Studios, which became famous for the StarCraft and WarCraft series, and the game quickly developed into the most played game title by Blizzard Studios.
Overwatch is played in teams of 6 against 6, each player chooses one of the available heroes (also called avatars), which are divided into three main classes, damage, tank and supporter. The heroes all have very different abilities and weapons and therefore play completely differently. The strategically correct composition of the team is therefore crucial to the game. Depending on the situation, it is often necessary to change here in order to send a balanced troop into battle at any time during the match.
The game won several Game of the Year Awards and similar awards and had over 40 million players in just 2 years. A professional esports scene and esports leagues around Overwatch developed very quickly, just a few months after the launch of Overwatch there were the first professional tournaments under the banner of the ESL. In November 2016, Blizzard hosted the first Overwatch World Cup. Shortly thereafter, Blizzard founded the Overwatch League, in which professional players in the eSport teams have been fighting for a prize pool of $ 3.5 million and a prize of one million for the winning team since the beginning of 2018.
There are four different game modes currently on 25 maps (as of July 2018), new heroes and cards are added regularly and of course the balancing is constantly being refined, as is usual and necessary for a true eSport title.
Overwatch eSport betting
In addition to the usual 2-way winning bets in eSport betting, Overwatch also offers winning bets on every map played, as well as over / under bets on the number of maps played, and handicaps depending on the game or tournament mode. As a rule, tournaments in the preliminary round are played as Best of One, i.e. only one card or round is played. usually a best of 3 in the semifinals and a best of 5 in the final.