General Guide to Gambling on esports
Today, esports betting is the fastest growing vertical in online gambling, with an estimated value of over $12 billion dollars worldwide. Compared to the $5.5 billion market value back in 2016, this marks a 134 percent increase in just four years.
The main contributor to this incredible upsurge was the almost exponential growth of professional esports tournaments and their associated prize pools.
Almost all the big names in gaming such as Valve, Blizzard or Activision have invested massively in developing professional leagues and in organizing massive events that attract tens of thousands of fans.
And with millions of dollars at stake and more and more professional esports organization joining-in, it wasn’t long until esports matches became a standard presence on all online sportsbooks.
Guide to Betting on esports teams
Esports gambling or betting, as its traditional counterpart, represents placing a wager on the outcome of a specific match between either two teams (CSGO, LoL, Dota 2) or players (Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Fortnite).
And just like in football, basketball or tennis, the world of esports has its own super teams and superstars. In recent years, following the example of sports clubs such as Real Madrid, esports teams adopted a similar organization, with multiple teams, competing in different tournaments.
Team Liquid’s organization for example, contains distinct Dota 2, CS:GO and Starcraft 2 roosters. In total, the different esports teams competing under Team Liquid’s brand won over 20M USD. And this is not where the similarities with traditional sports clubs end.
Team Liquid’s fans can buy branded merchandise such as hoodies or shirts and even branded gaming hardware. Same goes for other organizations such as Fnatic or FaZe Clan.
And that’s not where the similarities stop. Just like the bing names in sports, esports’ top teams have a plethora of big brands sponsoring them.
Car manufactures, soft and energy drinks producers and of course all the electronic companies are all pouring millions of dollars in teams and events. A few examples: Audi, the german car manufacturer is the sponsor of Origen’ League of Legends team while BMW is a sponsor of Cloud9.
This year, Coca-Cola became the official non-alcoholic beverage of Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League (OWL) while Red Bull backed the LEC Series. Unibet, the gambling giant, is an official sponsor of Astralis. And the list can go on.
All these resources and trust being poured into the scene helped raise the prestige of the main esports organizations and consequently, pushed gambling on esports to the mainstream. Today, an online bettor can place a wager on Fnatic with the same confidence of one betting on Manchester Uniter.
So, if gambling on esports is something new to you, here’s a short list of the top esports organizations that you shouldn’t ignore, especially when there’s some great odds involved.
Guide to betting on esports tournaments
CSGO, League of Legends and Dota 2 are in a way, the holy trinity of professional esports. By sheer volume of tournaments, prize pool money and numbers of participating teams, these 3 games have no real competition out there.
Most recently, Fortnite start gaining traction among esports fans, even more so after they announced the total prize pool for the 2019 Fortnite World Cup: 100 million USD.
But we’re not tal;king just about prize-pool money here. In online gambling, knowing one’s history is a key-factor: You need to know the teams, the shape their in or how they performed in the past 3 matches. And, as every proficient bettor knows, it’s not just the team that’s important but also where and when they play.
Thus, when gambling on esports, it’s always good to consider the particularities of each event, not only the players involved. Such as regular football teams have targets at the start of the season, so do esports teams. Some might aim for specific titles while using other events just as training opportunities.
It doesn’t hurt to also keep track of each team’s history at that specific tournament. Unlike basketball, in esports, each tournament can have it’s own format with different rules.
The game remains the same but the tournament format can be different. Is your favourite team performing better in a round-robin type of tournament or when there are groups involved? Do they play better in a Best of 3 or Best of 5? Is it a seed tournament or a final event?
It might seem like a lot of info to digest but if you’re serious about gambling on esports, keeping track of the specifics of each tournament will definitely pay off.
To start, here’s a list of the top esports tournaments of the year for CSGO, Dota 2 and League of Legends. These are top-tier event that most (if not all) of the teams are always committed to win.
- Dota 2’s The International
- League of Legends World Championship
- IEM Katowice
- The ESL One Tournaments
- The StarLadder events
- Epicenter Tournaments
- The Mid-Season Invitational
If you’ve managed to reach this point you can this your very short introduction to gambling on esports. By no means this means you are now a pro-gambler, but we do hope you get an idea why we think esports wagering is here to stay and which are the teams and events most likely to be here 5 years from now.
Check all the other articles in our University to gain even more insight on the scene.