eSports | The Top 3 Games You Can Bet On
Published on June 19, 2017
Did I just say you can bet on eSports? What if you’re not that great at eSports? The answers to these questions are “Yes” and “It doesn’t matter,” respectively. Believe it or not, being able to bet on eSports competitions is one of the fastest growing sects of sports betting in the world. The good news for those of you that might not be the best in the world is I’m not talking about having to bet on your own abilities.
Over the past few years, professional eSports players and teams have been on the rise. With more and more competitions for large amounts of cash being arranged, more and more players are taking up the games as careers. Online sportsbooks are now giving you the ability to bet on these professionals and their teams. Frankly, you can be the worst player at a game ever or never even have played it, and you can still make a ton of money betting on eSports.
It’s effectively the exact same as if you were betting on a sports team or a player to win a tournament. Look at the NCAA College Basketball Tournament for example. At the beginning of the tournament, you have the option of betting on any of the teams to win the tournament or beat other individual teams. It doesn’t matter how good you are at basketball; it only matters how good you are at picking winners and loser.
eSports betting is the EXACT same. While the players and teams aren’t engaged in an athletic competition, they are engaged in a skill based battle with an unknown outcome that makes it perfect for betting on. As the betting aspect is exploding, it is still very new. For this reason, the number of games you can bet on is limited, but there are a few major games that have taken the lead. Below I’ve outlined the three most popular eSports games that you can bet on. I’ll also include a link at the bottom to some websites that offer eSports betting as it’s still not available everywhere.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive which is known in the industry shorthand as CS: GO is one of the oldest and most classic games in the eSports arena. As the fourth game in the Counter Strike series, it launched in August of 2012 and found immediate popularity and success. The game is a first person shooter type game where there are two teams of players pitted against each other. One team is the terrorists, and the other is the counter-terrorists, both tasked with the goal of eliminating the other squad. While this comment may get me slapped in the community, it’s somewhat similar to Call of Duty for those that are brand new to the games.
Valve sponsors several major CS: GO tournaments that you can bet on which team will prevail. Not only can you bet on who will win the tournament, but you can bet individual prop bets as to certain things that happen during the matches. At the time I wrote this blog, the Swedish players are in full control of the CS: GO landscape cleaning up at most competitions.
As of now, the prize pools for the competitors of CS: GO have grown massively to $1,000,000! This still pales in comparison to the amount of money that is being bet on the tournaments but should give you an idea of the expected growth of the industry. To date, here are the major tournaments for CS: GO and the associated prize pools and locations.
|Jul 2017||PGL Major Kraków 2017||$1,000,000||16||Poland Kraków|
|Jan 2017||ELEAGUE Major 2017||$1,000,000||16||USA Atlanta|
|Jul 2016||ESL One: Cologne 2016||$1,000,000||16||Germany Cologne|
|Apr 2016||MLG Major Championship||$1,000,000||16||USA Columbus|
|Nov 2015||DreamHack Open||$250,000||16||Romania Cluj-Napoca|
|Aug 2015||ESL One: Cologne 2015||$250,000||16||Germany Cologne|
|Mar 2015||ESL One: Katowice 2015||$250,000||16||Poland Katowice|
|Nov 2014||DreamHack Winter 2014||$250,000||16||Sweden Jönköping|
|Aug 2014||ESL One: Cologne 2014||$250,000||16||Germany Cologne|
|Mar 2014||ESL Major Series One: Katowice 2014||$250,000||16||Poland Katowice|
|Nov 2013||DreamHack Winter 2013||$250,000||16||Sweden Jönköping|
Out of the three games on this list, this one probably takes the cake in terms of popularity. Known in industry shorthand as LoL, League of Legends is a multiplayer battle arena style game from Riot Games released in October of 2009. Gameplay involves each player as an unseen summoner who is in charge of controlling a champion with unique powers and abilities. Teams battle against other teams with the ultimate goal of defeating the other team’s Nexus which is a power center that lies in the heart of the other team’s base.
As with CS: GO and other eSports games, you can bet on a lot more than just the final outcome of a tournament. The most popular bets by far are on the winners of individual matches during the tournaments. There are also a ton of prop bets on individual happenings during the matches.
As an example, here was the list of bets available for a recent LoL tournament.
Details on the upcoming schedules of LoL tournaments and matches can be found here.
When betting on LoL tournaments, you may see some weird three letter combos in the sportsbook that may confuse you if you’re brand new to this. These codes will depict which tournament the bets are for. Here’s a list of the most common Tier 1 (highest level/professional) tournaments offered and the codes associated.
Defense of the Ancients 2 is a multiplayer/team style online battle arena game that was released in July of 2013. Gameplay consists of two teams of five players each controlling a section of the map vying to try and destroy a large structure in the middle of the opposing team’s home territory. The game has 113 different characters that players are able to choose from known as heroes.
Bets available for Dota 2 are similar to the other games in that you can bet on the outcome of a full tournament, individual matches, or on individual prop bet style happenings of each match. Dota 2 has four major championships conveniently referred to as the majors. Details on those tournaments can be found at this link.
Here are some of the major tournaments, associated prize pools, and locations of the major Dota 2 tournaments from 2016-2017. As you can see, the prize pools and global expansion are huge and continuing to grow.
|Jul 09||DreamLeague Season 7 NA Division||$50,000||Peru Lima|
|May 31||WCA2016 AM Qualifiers||$12,000||North America Online|
|May 21||DreamLeague Season 7 EU Division||$56,000||Europe Online|
|May 18||Mr. Cat Invitational Europe||$50,000||Europe Online|
|May 28||Russian e-Sports Cup 2017||$56,620||Russia Moscow|
|Apr 16||Dota2 Professional League Season 3||$72,595||China Online|
|Feb 17||Elimination Mode 3.0||$25,000||World Online|
|Nov 26||DreamLeague Season 6||$185,000||Sweden Jönköping|
|Nov 13||WCA2016 AM Qualifiers||$55,000||Brazil Online|
|Nov 13||WESG 2016 Asia Pacific Finals||500,000 CNY||South Korea Goyang|
|Nov 13||ROG MASTERS||$150,000||Malaysia Kuala Lumpur|
|Oct 23||WESG 2016 Americas Finals||¥ 500,000 CNY||Brazil São Paulo|
|Oct 19||FACEIT Invitational||$25,000||Europe Online|
|Dec 26||Dota2 ACE – Provisional Dota2 ACE||$60,975||China Online|
|Oct 16||Nanyang Dota 2 Championships||$44,579||China Offline|
|Nov 08||DreamLeague Season 6 League Play||$56,000||Europe Online|
|Oct 09||WESG 2016 Europe & CIS Finals||$74,926||Ukraine Kiev|
|Nov 12||WCA2016 CN Qualifiers S3||$59,683||China Online|
|Dec 31||Dota2 Professional League Season 2||$700,000||China Online|
|Oct 08||Shanghai Dota 2 Open #2||$77,911||China Online|
|Dec 13||Dota2 Professional League Season 2||$100,000||China Online|
|Sep 11||MPGL Southeast Asian Championship||$50,000||Malaysia Selangor|
|Aug 28||WESG 2016 Middle East & Africa Finals||$74,910||United Arab Emirates Dubai|
|Sep 01||WCA2016 EU Main Qualifier||$54,500||Europe Online|
|Jul 24||Pro Gamer League 2016 – Summer||$100,000||China Wuhan|
|Jul 31||VPGame Pro League Season 2||$45,198||China Changsha|
If you’re looking to get started betting on eSports, be sure to check out our esports betting section on this site. We have detailed articles and guide to betting on specific games as well as the best esports betting sites.