The Complete eSports Betting Guide
Welcome to the comprehensive report on the current state of eSports betting markets within the UK gambling industry. This guide will serve to inform you of the best bookmakers that are currently offering eSports betting markets, the way it has exploded in popularity and the strategies you can employ as a punter to get a competitive edge over the bookie! We will also be reviewing the most popular games that professional teams compete in and the regulation on this emerging betting market. Take a quick glance below and you will see we have put together a table offering the main plaudits of each and a quick summary of what you can expect when betting on eSports with these betting sites.
|Best eSports Betting Sites||Bonus Offers||Highlights||Rating||Secure Link||T&C’s|
|Betway||Up to £30 Deposit Match||Best Platform, 52, Live Streaming||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! *New UK and Ireland Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. First Deposit matched up to £/€30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only.|
|Mr Green||Get £10 Free Bet||Leading In-play Prices, 50, Cashout||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New players only. The qualifying bets to claim the Bet must have minimum odds of 3/1 (4.00) or higher before triggering free bets. 18+. BeGambleAware.org|
|William Hill||Up to £30 In Free Bets||The Home of High Rollers, 56, Acca Insurance||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New online customers only, min £10/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 X £10/€10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply.|
|Unibet||Up to £40 Money Back||No Charges on Withdrawals, 33, Weekly Promos||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.|
|10Bet||Up to £50 100% Deposit Bonus||Wide Range Markets, 33, Top Odds||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New Customers only; Min. deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Bonus amount is 50% of deposit up to £50; Offer can be claimed once per household; Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 8x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money; Wagers must be on min. odds of 4/5 on singles or acca bets with min. odds of 2/5 per selection to qualify; Max. stake contribution to wagering requirement is the value of your bonus; Certain bet types are excluded; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+|
When it comes to betting on popular eSports matches in the UK, there really is only a few mainstream betting sites that serve this need. All the same, the operators that do offer markets do have some unique features that will need consideration before you decide who to play with. So carry on reading to learn all about the exciting and disruptive world of eSports gambling.
How to Bet on eSports
Betting on eSports is very similar to the process of betting on any other market on the best gambling sites. The eSports markets can be found in the sports section at the bookmaker and you will have options for both in-play betting and pre-match markets. So, choose the betting company you would like to bet with after considering the various factors. Then head over to the betting markets on offer for eSports gaming. Here you will see the various games neatly categorised with the corresponding markets within each section. The name of the team competing will be flanked by the markets odds, and you may be able to bet on more obscure markets depending on the quality of the bookmaker you go for. Finally, as with all sports bets, consider the stake you would like to back your bet with – always bearing in mind the risk involved with these selections and the possibility you may lose. Only bet what you can afford to lose is the best philosophy to stick to, and never chase losses.
-  Pick Your BookmakerThe first step when betting on eSports is to choose a bookmaker that serves the market.
-  Select a Game and MarketNext, search the betting platform for the game and market you are interested in betting.
-  Set Stake and Strike BetLastly, set the stake – remember bet what you can afford to lose. Then place the bet.
As with standard sports markets, a high-quality bookmaker will always post prices days in advance so you will have a clear picture of the upcoming schedule, giving you ample time to research and plan potential bets. Preparation is key when it comes to betting on eSports and research is crucial to adopting a winning formula at a bookmaker.
Most Popular Betting Markets for Top eSports
If you’re like us, and you love responsible gambling and the excitement of computer games, then the interesting space where they meet is something we feel you will share our passion for. There are so many eSports emerging from the various computer games that are currently available on the market that it is sometimes hard to decide where the value truly lies. There are six core games that players and spectators tend to flock to more than the rest, so have a look at our table below to see which bookmakers provided betting markets on the most popular eSports.
|Popular Games at the Bookmakers|
|CS:GO||Dota 2||LoL||Heroes: OTS||Rocket League||King of Glory|
The above table gives a clear indication where the best games can be bet upon. As you can see Betway provide the largest range of eSports betting markets. However, the betting options at Mr Green and William Hill also provide an abundance of markets that can be played. We have given you a detailed overview of the six best games in this information table, but there are several other eSports that do appear in the sportsbooks of these bookmakers. So, if you were looking to bet on a less popular game, certainly have a look at these sites as they do offer alternative games regularly with short notice.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
The Counter Strike: Global Offensive professional scene has pioneered the world of eSports betting since its 2013 launch. The multiplayer first-person shooter video game was developed by Valve in 2012. The game pits two teams against one another, Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists, with the aim of eliminating one another and completing pre-defined objectives. Betting markets include the winning team, number of pistol kills, bomb to be planted – yes or no and the winning margin of a particular team over all the rounds.
The Defence of the Ancients 2 is one of the most popular and competitive games played within the world of eSports. Also developed by the game designing firm Valve, it has seen an exponential rise in popularity within the professional world of gaming. The game is a team battle, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. The winning team is the first to successfully destroy a large structure located in the opposing team’s base, called the “Ancient”.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena, first launched in 2009 and published by Riot Games. League of Legends has a prominent and active scene within the competitive eSports space, with the game developers hosting League Championship Series. Located in Los Angeles and Berlin it provides a platform for the best teams in the world to compete on a global stage. League of Legends attracts huge audiences and media attention due to its immense popularity within the world of eSports.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm revolves around an online 5-versus-5 showdown, played across 14 different maps, where the players have to complete a series of objectives and eliminate the enemy. The game developers claim they have created something completely unique from the standard “multiplayer online battle arena” or “action real-time strategy” model, and refer to their product as an online “hero brawler”. In the professional eSports space, this game has been widely received and you can bet on various markets at top bookmakers including Betway and Mr Green.
Rocket League became an eSport very quickly following its release in September 2015, following a prolonged surge in viewership on the Twitch.tv streaming service. The revenues generated from in-game purchasing have seen prize money for professional champions rise to almost half a million US dollars. The game is primarily played amonst Xbox One and Playstation 4 gamers in multiplayer modes, with players competing against one another in a football style contest, but with cars, played in an arena packed with exciting features.
King of Glory
This hugely popular multiplayer online battle arena, published by Tencent Games, has over 200 million active monthly players. The game heavily resembles League of Legends, another game also published by Tencent, but for the iOS and Android space of gaming. This game is completely mobile friendly and users log in with Facebook, or WeChat for the Chinese version. Betting on this game is possible. Although not the most popular out of the games we have discussed on this review, markets for this eSport can be accessed at the Betway sportsbook.
eSports Odds Levels
The various different markets on offer with each particular eSport make different propositions in terms of value for the punter. When we also cross-check these findings between all bookmakers the results are interesting and the table below gives a very clear overview of which games tend to be offering the better odds prices industry-wide.
- CS:GO92.45 - 95.61%
- DotA 293.96 - 95.85%
- LoL90.17 - 93.44%
- HotS91.26 - 94.39%
- RL92.81 - 94.52%
- KoG93.60 - 94.31%
- Payout (%)
The variation is relatively minimal and users will be able to find pay-out rates between 90% – 95% for the vast majority of eSports betting markets, no matter which bookmaker they intend to use for their bets. We were particularly impressed, again, by the quality and depth of market odds on display at Betway. This bookmaker consistently outperforms the competition, albeit not by much, but if you’re looking for the best eSport odds this is certainly the place to start your research.
eSports Betting Bonuses
Every punter loves to feel the warm welcome of a hefty bonus when they open a new account at abetting site. Now, we have published extensively on the topic of welcome bonuses, so read our betting bonuses review for the complete report on this. Out of the bookmakers serving eSports customers, we were very impressed with the current offers at William Hill as it gives the user an excellent chance to experience the thrill of eSports betting without risking huge lumps of their own finances – we’re sure you’ll be pleased to know that William Hill is a leading UK bookmaker and is the home of high-stakes gambling, check out our full William Hill bonuses review for more details.
- fantastic mainstream coverage
- wide variety of game markets
- all bet types covered
There are many fantastic bonuses available to UK punters nowadays. As the market is becoming increasingly more saturated with quality betting companies, they are really fighting for your loyalty. This means there is no better time to be a newcomer to online sports betting as you can take advantage of the many fantastic welcome bonuses and offers currently being promoted. Take a look at the top of the page for some fantastic new customer offers.
Where to Watch eSports Online
Much akin to traditional sports contests, bookmakers will live stream eSports matches on their platform. The requirement is to be an account holder with either a bet that is currently in-play, or to simply have funds deposited in your betting wallet. You will then have access to all available streams on the platform. The experience is undeniably more enjoyable with a bookmaker that serves the users with high-quality streams, it allows a centralised betting session where us punters can watch the action unfold, and bet, all on one centrally located system. Take a look at our table below for more of the technical specifications of eSports streaming.
|Live Streams||Over 3,500 per year||Over 45,000 per year|
|Optimal Resolution||720p 30fps||1080p 60fps|
|eSports||Select sports only||All sports shown|
|Mobile Compatibility||iOS ver. 6+||iOS ver. 4+ and Android ver. 3+|
|Requirements||Windows XP/Vista®/7/8.x, Mac OS X v10.6 or later, IE ver.6+/Firefox/Safari, 512kbps+, positive account balance||Windows 2000/XP/Vista, IE ver. 9+/Firefox/Safari. 500kbps+|
When it comes to high-quality streaming services there is no better independent service available than Twitch.tv. A free to use streaming platform that gives users access to thousands of private channels streaming live across a variety of different eSports. Twitch.tv is the home of eSports streaming and it would make perfect sense for the user to find the market they wish to bet on and stream using this website in a separate browser tab, as the bookmakers are not dedicated to this large-scale streaming in the way Twitch.tv operate.
eSports Gambling Strategy: the Do’s and Don’ts
For those of you venturing in the realms of eSports betting for the first time, we have put together the perfect guide of the best gambling strategy and checklist of tips to ensure you make the best possible start to this enjoyable form of betting. The same principles apply to betting on traditional team sports, because after all, successful eSports teams possess similar qualities to a champion football team. Obviously, do your research on the team you are considering betting on, checking the form of the team, the potential roster that will be deployed – and check some of the recent match highlights to see exactly how dominant or skilled particular players within the team are. Having a consummate understanding of the game being played will benefit you massively, so make sure to prepare thoroughly before making any large commitment financially.
Tips for Success
There are several steps you can take as a punter to ensure the best possible gaming experience for eSports betting. An increasingly common technique is to utilise cash out. The option is a relatively new addition, and isn’t always available at every bookmaker. Cashing out allows you to collect your winnings early before the match has finished. This is particularly effective if you have studied the team, roster and the map in question allowing you to make an educated guess as to who will win the opening round. You can also try betting on smaller contests as these lesser known teams are harder to scout, which sometimes eliminates the house advantage when it comes to odds making. Of course, limit your stakes when betting on eSports. Smaller bets – larger odds is a good philosophy to take into the sportsbook and will allow you to effectively limit your losses without staking large amounts.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
New players of eSports may fall into the trap of betting on a concept know as chain logic, better known as following the form. This is never a good idea when gambling on sports, and this is amplified more so when it comes to eSports betting. We would also urge you not to bet on convenience, simply choosing matches that are next up and picking a market is not good practice and is a bet that has not been defined by prior research. Failing to understand the concept of value at the sportsbook is tied in to poor research and preparation. Try to utilise as much data, models and historical results as possible to aid in your decision-making process, rather than making bets based purely on emotion, opinion and gut-feelings.
Regulation on eSports Betting
The question of eSports betting has been a fiercely debated issue in European courts for the past years, with the issue revolving around the use of the word “sport” in its title, with many arguing it is not a sport and should therefore fall under the umbrella of gaming gambling laws rather than the sports gambling legislation. It is a contentious issue, and one can understand exactly the reservations gambling regulators might have toward eSports and its seemingly huge vulnerability to be corrupted and the outcomes of matches easily fixed. The community effort in recent years has been unrepentant and unforgiving when match fixers are caught out, and several teams and individuals received lifelong bans from professional eSports contests due to this illegal activity. For the purposes of UK and European betting markets – eSports remains a perfectly and fully regulated betting market.
From Gaming to Gambling: the eSports Betting Story
For many years, passionate gamers talents were relatively undocumented, and a platform to showcase the ability of the world’s best players didn’t exist. As technology and connectivity have become increasingly optimised a new space in computer gaming has emerged, and is now starting to thrive. The popularity of the professional eSports scene is huge in certain parts of the world, particularly amongst millennials who are abandoning the older generations traditional passion for local football teams in favour of their local eSports teams. This booming and fast-growing industry has expectedly attracted attention form gambling companies that have seen the value in investing in this exciting market.
As you can see from the timeline above, eSports as a betting market has passed many notable milestones in its short lifetime. With the most disruptive changes happening in the last few years, and licensed gambling only being offered since 2015, this industry is very young and the future is unpredictable. One thing is for sure though; bookmakers are positioning themselves for the booming popularity eSports is expected to bring.
The Exponential Growth of eSport Betting Popularity
Speak to any dedicated fan of eSports and computer gaming today and they’ll tell you, “forget football, the future of sport is live video gaming.” For many reasons they are correct. The digital revolution has seemingly changed the conventional idea of sport, we now have shops dedicated to selling eSports gaming equipment from high-tech headphones to concentration supplements, and streaming services dedicated to hosting thousands of on-going eSports contests. Then of course, the gambling companies, now capitalising on the obvious demand for bets to be offered on the professional gaming circuits. The spectator numbers involved are simply staggering, take a look at our evaluation of the growth of eSport viewership in a table below.
The New Era of Betting: the Future of eSports
The next generation of gamblers are coming of age, and many of them are turning away from traditional sports in favour of their passion for computer gaming. It will surely be a logical step for the biggest UK bookmakers to jump on this emerging industry and optimise their process in order to stay ahead of the competition. We expect the next months and years to see the arrival of many bookmakers to the eSports betting industry, all with a unique and fresh approach that will set a global standard for eSports betting. Throughout the research of this review we have witnessed the rise of eSports betting first hand, with bookmakers from all continents now increasing their presence in this emerging industry, it is a fantastic time to be a newcomer to sports betting. Check out the bookmakers we have detailed throughout this page for a quality eSports betting experience. For more interesting articles of the state of UK gambling, why not check out our betting exchange review, or the fully comprehensive betting glossary words guide.
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Here we have presented all relevant information on the current state of eSports gambling for UK punters. For any specific inquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further clarification.
How can I get involved in eSports?
Find what you want to do and just start doing it. Read an article titled "Advice for landing your eSports dream job" by Jason Lake, the founder of Complexity Gaming.