eSport seems to have made the transition from obscure geek pursuit to mainstream sporting entertainment in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, it is as much a topic of conversation in the sports media as football, tennis or motor racing. Just like any other sport, there are some who like to participate, others who prefer to spectate and still more who love nothing more than to place a wager or two.
Why the sudden popularity?
There is no single answer to this. Broader events over the past year that led to most conventional sports leagues and tournaments being suspended meant that online eSport tournaments became one of the few sporting options available, so that certainly attracted new viewers.
At the same time, sports betting in general is becoming more commonplace. The legislative reforms sweeping the United States are the most obvious illustration of this, but there are other instances across the globe. For example, there are dozens of new Indian betting sites appearing online, many of which offer eSports odds in addition to the more traditional sports like cricket and football.
Which eSports attract the punters?
CS:GO is generally accepted to be the most popular eSport at the moment, so unsurprisingly, CS:GO betting also gets plenty of attention. However, League of Legends attracts more wagers from the eSport betting community than any other game. This could be a reflection of the fact that the game has been around so long and is a favourite among the slightly older fans who will be the ones placing bets.
There are significant wagers placed on other top eSport titles like Dota 2 and Fortnite, too. But one of the surprising titles that has truly captured the attention of the betting public is FIFA. This is probably due to the large number of crossover fans who also follow real football are already accustomed to placing a bet as part of the overall spectator experience.
How to get started?
Betting on eSport is conceptually similar to betting on any traditional sport. The exact nature of the betting options that are open to you depends on the game and the betting site. However, one thing that they all have in common is the moneyline bet. This is the easiest type of wager, where you simply place your money on one team or the other to win. Each bookmaker will post odds, and just as with a football match, these odds might vary slightly from one bookie to the next.
Beyond the moneyline, there are other wagers available that are unique to each game. For example, in League of Legends you can bet on who will make a particular kill first, while in CS:GO, you can back one team or the other to win the pistol round in a given match.
It’s important to keep in mind that eSport betting is still in its infancy. That makes it all the more important to choose your betting platform carefully. Select a site that clearly specialises in eSport to make sure you get the best possible range of betting options.