Chances are, if you’re reading this eSports article, you’re in one of two camps. Either you’re well versed in betting and have bet on other sports. Or, you’re an eSports fan that wants to learn more about eSports betting and make the most of your knowledge.
In this article, we’re going to cover the key details that people in both groups need to know.
What are eSports?
eSports, which is short for electronic sports, is competitive and organised video gaming. Yes, we all know, video gaming at home can be competitive. Many a PS4 controller have gone to computer heaven after flying through the room and hitting a wall when a goalkeeper on FIFA decides to do something crazy.
But this is competitive on a whole new level, with organised leagues, competitions, and very big prizes.
While lots of different types of games are included under the eSports umbrella, the most popular genres are first person shooters (FPS), sports, fighting, real-time strategy (RTS) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).
Some of those eSports may sound a bit alien to you if you’re new to the concept. So we’ll give you a run down of each, and the games you’re likely to find in each category.
First Person Shooters
Typically, eSports are dominated by PC games and gamers. This is mostly due to the increased processing power of a PC. However, the FPS category is a mix between both PC and console games.
A first person shooter is a game in which players do battle across a map. Think back to the legendary game Doom; Doom was a first person shooter. It’s just you, your weapon, and every enemy that stands in your way.
The goal in eSports FPS games is usually to kill as many people as possible, or achieve some kind of in-game objective.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is by far the most popular eSports game in this category, and is exclusive to PC. This is the game where you will find the most eSports betting opportunities.
However, if you’re a fan of console games, fear not, you can still bet on Call of Duty and HALO. There are tournaments held featuring both of these games.
This should be pretty self-explanatory, but it stands to reason that actual sports games are extremely popular in eSports.
FIFA is the most popular of all eSports games, and is predominantly played on consoles, although it is available on PC too. There are a number of different tournaments which are dedicated to FIFA. So if you want to bet on FIFA, there are lots of options.
Also popular, are other EA franchises such as Madden NFL and NBA.
Throughout the evolution of gaming, fighting games have been one of the most popular choices for gamers. Generally, these involve two players controlling an individual character and participating in hand to hand combat, trying to diminish the opponents health.
Players who play fighting games, actually don’t tend to like the term eSport to be applied to their niche. This is because fighting is generally played on a console and originated on old school arcade machines. So they prefer their discipline to be termed as ‘competitive gaming’.
There are numerous tournaments in the fighting genre featuring well-known games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. However, betting opportunities in the fighting eSports niche are limited at this current time.
Real-time strategy has been one of the most popular genres for PC gamers for decades. As a result, it is also one of the most popular eSports categories.
The goal of a RTS game is to build an army and gain dominance over your opponent. As indicated by the name, there is a high level of strategy involved, as players perform their actions at the same time.
Popular games in the RTS eSports category include StarCraft II. There are many major tournaments in this genre, and lots of excellent eSports betting opportunities.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
MOBA is actually a sub-genre of the real-time strategy niche, and is arguably more popular.
Unlike an RTS where you control one side of the battle, in a MOBA you control an individual character in a team, as you seek to destroy the opposition
One of the most popular MOBA games at the moment is League of legends, and there are many betting opportunities due to the number of elite tournaments held.
How to bet on eSports
If you want to bet on gaming, you need to be aware that it’s not quite the same as placing a bet on a traditional sport such as Football.
To get stated, first you must decide on the type of game you enjoy the most. Are you a fan of FPS? Or perhaps you enjoy playing particular games and really understand the mechanics of titles such as CS:GO or Overwatch.
It is vital that you choose a genre or game that you enjoy, as it is imperative that you watch a lot of it in order to maximise the chance of your bet winning.
Once you’ve picked a game, it comes in really handy if you have played the game and know how it works. This will give you a deeper insight into the betting markets when players of different styles face each other. For example, if you understand the FIFA gameplay, and you’re familiar with the contestants in a match, you may have a good feeling for how their styles will impact on the result of the match.
If you really can’t get into any of the games on offer, then don’t worry. eSport is growing rapidly, with betting opportunities increasing. We are at the stage now where even Premier League Football clubs are signing their own eSport teams. So keep an eye out, and before long, maybe your favourite game will be covered by the bookies too.
Types of eSports markets
Once you’ve decided on a genre or game, and you’ve become more familiar with the best eSports players, you need to familiarise yourself with the markets on offer.
This is a market you’ll be familiar with in sports betting. In eSports, it is exactly the same, and means you’re picking which side you think will win the contest.
Again, the handicap market in eSports is very similar to sports betting. When one side is a favourite, the bookmaker applies a points advantage or disadvantage to either side to even the contest.
To win your bet, your selection must win the contest once the handicap has been applied.
A totals market in eSports, is again very similar to that in sports betting. The bookmaker will set an over/under line for the number of times a specific event will happen. What that event is will vary from game to game. In some games such as Call of Duty, it may be number of kills, or in FIFA it may resemble a traditional over/under goals market.
In an eSports outright market, you are placing a bet on who you think will win the tournament. This is a great way of giving yourself an interest in the tournament as a whole, and you can find some very good prices.
We hope that this article proves itself to be a good starting point for your foray into betting on eSports. However, there is a lot to learn, so we’ve put together a few of our favourite eSports betting resources below:
eSports insider gives readers an insight into the latest industry news. What is particularly handy, is the calendar which is regularly updated with the biggest eSports events.
Such is the popularity of eSports, that major sports news website ESPN now cover it. They produce excellent articles surrounding all of the biggest events, and will help you keep up to date.
Yahoo eSports Youtube channel
Youtube is a goldmine for eSports coverage, but one of our favourites is the Yahoo channel. They have professionally produced videos covering a range of games. If you are interested in a particular game, there are a number of channels which focus on just one game.
You may think we are being cheeky monkeys including ourselves, but let us tell you why we are a valuable resource as you start your eSports betting adventure.
We advise our members on a process called matched betting, which greatly increases the chances of making money from bookmaker bonuses.
Rather than place bets on things like eSports and relying on chance, we teach members how to hedge their bets and significantly increase their chances of making a profit. If you’d like to learn more about matched betting, you can do so here.