eSports | The Top 3 Games You Can Bet On

By Jason Lee
Published on June 19, 2017
Top 3 eSports Games

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.

CS: GO

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

League of Legends

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.

  • To Win Outright
  • To Reach The Final
  • Betting Without Sk Telecom T1
  • Team Vs. Field
  • Match Winner 2-way
  • Team To Draw First Blood – Map 1
  • Team To Score The Most Kills
  • First Team To Get 10 Kills – Map 1
  • Team To Destroy The First Tower
  • Team To Destroy The First Inhibitor
  • Team To Slay The First Baron
  • Team To Slay The First Dragon
  • Total Towers Destroyed Over/under
  • Total Dragons Slain Over/under
  • Total Barons Slain Over/under

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.

  • League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS)
  • League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS)
  • League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK)
  • League of Legends Pro League (LPL)
  • League of Legends Masters Series (LMS)
  • Garena Premier League (GPL)
  • Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends (CBLoL)
  • Latin America Cup North
  • Latin America Cup South
  • League of Legends Japan League (LJL)
  • Turkey Champions League (TCL)
  • League of Legends Continental League (LCL)
  • Oceanic Pro League (OPL)

Dota 2

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.

2017

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

2016

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

Betting on eSports

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.

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