The time has probably come when you are starting to ask yourself: “What’s this eSports that I see amongst the bet menus on every betting site I visit all about ?”. Good question. The eSports you see listed on online sportsbooks are competitive sports matches featuring two teams playing computer games.
‘Computer games’ may sound like the stuff dedicated to Sunday afternoons with the curtains closed, but millions of people are actually playing an eSports game of one type or another. Thousands of people also go to eSports arenas to watch eSports competitions played live and hundreds of millions have watched an eSports game streamed live online.
Little wonder then that eSports betting is becoming big business. Weight of numbers alone means fans and viewers will do as they do with football, and place a bet to make their viewing experience all the more rewarding.
But eSports betting is a dream for online sportsbooks as eSports betting markets use every principle that is used in Tennis. That’s because eSports games are normally played as a best of three format and occasionally, like Tennis ‘majors’, the best-of-five.
Now eSports scores are not totted-up as Games and Sets though, instead the term ‘Maps’ is used for games like Counter Strike Global Offensive, better known as CS:GO, and League of Legends, better known as LOL. Incidentally it is these two games which are the most popular with eSports bettors and they account for seven bets out of every ten eSports bets which are placed.
And those eSports betting markets include ‘Outright Competition Winner’, ‘Match Winner’, ‘Correct Map Betting’, ‘Handicaps’, ‘Over/Under Total Maps Score’, ‘Winner of the First Map’, the ‘First Team to Score’ (or ‘Draw First Blood’) and many more.
As an added bonus online sportsbooks broadcast loads of eSports matches live and take in-running eSports bets on the action as it unfolds.
The similarities with Tennis do not end there. The money in both sports is colossal at the highest echelon. In July 2017 Roger Federer collected a £2.2 million cheque for winning Wimbledon. Just a month later the five-man ‘Team Liquid’ shared their $10.8 million winner’s prize awarded at the ‘DOTA 2 International Tournament’.
DOTA 2 is another popular Esport, it attracts about 20% of all eSports bets, and the ‘International Tournament’ had a total prize-pool of £24.6 million!
With these enormous sums up for grabs there can be no integrity concerns when it comes to betting on eSports. Alas the history books are awash with dubious lower level tennis matches whereby the results are questionable and some online sportsbooks and betting exchanges have taken to voiding all bets placed on them.