Your complete eSports betting guide

In our individual eSport game guides we looked at some of the important aspects of betting on each of the individual games.

This included things like:

  • Tournament and match formats – are the matches best of 1, best of 3, best of 5 or even best of 7
  • Getting the facts – the need to research the games before betting with some guidance on where to get these stats from

If you haven’t checked out our eSport games reviews out you really should do now. They’ll give a great insight into the individual games and some of the specific things to look out for in each e-sport game.

However there are a lot of things that are more general to all esports and we’ll look at these in this section. This will help you to make much more informed decisions when betting on e-sports and should improve your chances of success.

Things to Avoid In E-Sports Betting

Betting on eSports in many ways is a lot like betting on traditional sports.

There are teams that are very popular who receive lots of bets, teams that are big favourites in a match or tournament, smaller sides just trying to cause an upset and build their reputation.

These favourites and lesser sides though are often a little bit more unpredictable in eSports than they are in traditional sports though.

This can be because eSports in general is evolving so quickly we’re seeing new games explode into the market and new teams appear out of nowhere with real success.

It’s also because the bookmakers are less experienced in this area and don’t know it as well as they do more traditional sports like Football.

This can be great as you can outsmart the bookmakers a little easier in e-sports if you really know what you’re doing. However it can make it a little tougher to pick a winner if you’re not careful.

There are some things to avoid when making bets on esports though that will help you avoid the downsides to esports betting and make the most of the considerable upsides.

Avoiding Favourites in Best of One Matches

Heavy favourites are generally an area to avoid, especially in BO1 matches.

In BO1 matches there is a high level of unpredictability. It means that theses heavy favourite bets can go wrong very easily, and even when they go right your returns are very low.

There is also a chance that the team are heavy favourites because they are playing an unknown side who may actually be very good.

This is far more common in e-sports betting than in traditional sport as it is still an evolving and growing industry.

This brings us to our next point.

The Danger of Unknown & Lesser Teams

You’ll generally want to stay clear of unknown & lesser teams.

If you don’t know the team then you are just plain guessing, and you might as well pick a name out of a hat. Always wait for a team to become more established in eSports before you start betting on them.

If there isn’t a history of form and success to analyse then you’re not going to be able to bet wisely.

Also, if the team is significantly weaker than the opposition then, 9 times out of 10, you’re just flushing your money down the toilet if you bet on them.

Big upsets are not a regular occurrence in e-sports. Smaller ones do happen obviously and you can predict these with analysis, but don’t be tempted by a big score on long odds when a team is obviously going to lose.

Watch out for Roster Changes

This is a big factor in the team based e-sports such as League of Legends, DotA 2 & CS:GO. These games are incredibly reliant on strong teamwork between players.

Roster changes in a team is quite common in eSports. Teams constantly want to improve and so they will always look to remove a weaker player and replace them with a stronger one.

These roster changes will also often happen when a player from one team switches to another, sort of like a footballer signing for a rival (except without the million pound fees).

Obviously this type of roster change will further weaken the side beyond the struggling team work as they may have lost their best player to a rival.

When a player does join a team it will take a while for them to fit into the team’s style of play, to correctly understand the team’s tactics and generally communicate effectively with their team mates.

It’s therefore general wise to avoid betting on a side who have recently made a roster change. Give it a few matches to see how the new player integrates into the side, and how it affects their form.

Types of Bets

Currently, your choice of bet in eSports are more restricted than most traditional sports. However options are growing massively.

Most betting options in these tournaments lets you bet on the “Outright Winner” i.e. the winner of the tournament, or the “Match Winner” i.e. who wins the match. There are two options for betting on the match winner. Moneyline or handicap.

Tournament & Match Winner eSports Betting

Betting on the tournament winner is a good way to gamble on eSports. If you do your research you can gain a strong insight into who will win a tournament and the odds are obviously much longer than for an individual match between two teams.

If you wait to watch the first few matches in the tournament you can gain an even stronger insight into who is going to be performing well and reaching late into the tournament. Obviously if you wait a few rounds like this though your odds will shorten though.

The major downside to betting on a tournament winner is obviously that this gives much slower returns as you have to wait until the end of the tournament. However most eSports tournaments are quite short in length, lasting just a few days to a week.

Moneyline betting is a type of match winner bet where you bet straight on who wins a match. So in a BO3 match you would win your bet if the team you bet on wins either 2-0 or 2-1. Similarly in a BO5 match you would win as long as your team wins whether it is 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2.

Handicap betting is a variation of match winner betting that will lengthen the odds of a favourite to increase your returns.

If you are betting on a team in a BO3 match with a handicap of -1.5 then that team will need to win 2-0 for you to win the bet. In a BO5 match a handicap of -2.5 would mean the team needs to win 3-0 for you to win your bet.

These handicap bets are incredibly risky, as in most e-sports it is entirely plausible that a weaker team will win one round in a match. This means it’s best to avoid these handicap bets unless there is such a huge gulf in class between the two sides playing.

A final alternative to match winner bets that have been added lately to eSports is betting on the exact score. For example in a best of 5 match you might bet that it will end 3-1 to a certain team. This type of bet is really tough to get right in e-sports betting and usually best to avoid.

E-Sports Specialist Bets

More recently we’ve seen a variety of really interesting eSports specific betting options which can make watching a matchup an even more exciting spectacle and can lead to quicker returns on your bets.

An example of this are first-blood bets and first to 10 kills bets. These are kind of like betting on the first or last scorer in a football match. First-blood is referring to the team that gets the first kill and first to 10 kills is pretty self-explanatory.

We also have map winner bets. As we know from our game guides, most e-sports matchups are played over a number of rounds. Best of 3, 5 and 7 are common.

If you were to bet on a team winning Map 1, then you are betting on that team to win the first round for example. So you’re saying you fancy a team to make a first start in the match. You can bet on who wins Map 2, 3, etc. too.

You can also bet on the total number of maps a team wins or for a team to win at least one map.

All of these e-sports bets really add to the excitement of a match, and are fantastic options for you if that is your goal. The downside to these bets is for the gambler who takes making profit very seriously, as these are a bit harder to call than usual.

However, if for example you see a team consistently gets off to slow starts and loses the first round, then a first blood bet or map 1 winner bet could be a great way to get some fast returns.

What Next?

Now that you know about some of the biggest things to look out for when betting on e-sports, and you have checked out our individual game guides (if you haven’t, do so now), you are ready to make your first e-sports bet.

But how do you make an e-sport bet you might ask? Well the next part of our beginners guide will show you exactly that. Check it out right now for a full step-by-step breakdown in how to place a bet with an online esports betting site.

Alternatively, if you think you know how to place a bet as you’ve done so before in other sports, then go to our bookmaker guides right now to find out which bookmaker is right for you. You’ll find everything you’ll need to know about the very best e-sport bookmakers, including where to get the best bonuses.

Best eSports Games

World Of Tanks

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League of Legends

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