There are numerous sports played around the globe, that we have grown to love and enjoy. Most of them saw their beginnings in ancient times and slowly developed into sports we know today. However, there is one kind of sport, which came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. We are of course talking about esports, which are a byproduct of the digital age we live in. At first, people were laughing at the idea of computer games becoming a sport, let alone a professional one, but as time passed, esports not only proved the skeptics wrong but also established that they are here to stay.
Labeling video games as a sport is still a controversial topic for some; however, it would be hard to argue esports are just playing video games. For a “normal” person to become a professional esports competitor, it takes a lot of time, planning, training and skill, which surprisingly enough is the same process as with any other athlete of the “traditional sports.” Still, even now, years after the debate about classifying esports as a real sport started, there is still no clear answer. A real sport or not, we can’t look past the fact esports are labeled as the fastest growing market in the world.
Being that esports started accumulating outrageous amounts of revenue and popularity, it did not take long for sportsbooks to sense a huge opportunity to start offering sports bets on esports. From CS: GO, League of Legends, Dota 2 and even less popular such as Hearthstone and World of Tanks, we can bet on whichever esport we desire.
But having an option to bet on whichever esport we like is only half the battle. We also need to find the right sportsbook for us. With numerous sportsbooks offering their services, we need to take a closer look at each one and figure out which is the right one for us. From looking at their services, accessibility and even promotions there are a lot of factors we need to take into account before deciding, which can be a tedious job. That is why we have gathered a few tips and guidelines that will help anyone who wants to bet on esports to find the best sportsbook for them.
Features of a Good Esports Betting Site
Just like when we go to our local market to buy apples, and we see numerous stands selling them, we usually don’t just go to the first one we see, but rather figure out which one is the best for us. The same principle applies when choosing a sportsbook. There are more and more sportsbooks offering us betting services, and with huge competition, there is also a lot of room to explore the benefits each sportsbook has to offer. But, then there is a question; which criteria should we be looking at?
Which esports are offered?
Of course, we must start with the question if the sportsbook offers us the possibility to bet on the esport we want to bet on. That should not be an issue if we are trying to bet on one of the most popular esports such as CS: GO, League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch, but when it comes to less-popular esports, we could run into a problem of our favorite sportsbook not offering any odds on it. Nonetheless, with enough digging, we can easily find several sportsbooks that will provide odds on our favorite esport.
Now that we have found sportsbooks that offer bets on our favorite esport, we need to compare the odds offered on selections. While the odds provided by sportsbooks rarely differentiate due to the incredibly competitive market, we can still find small differences between them. When we talk about small differences, those are usually only a few %, but we need to keep in mind, betting is a long term commitment, and even 2% can be the deciding factor if we will be profitable or not in the long run.
Types of Bets
Outright, Over/Under and Handicap Betting as the basic types of bets are offered in all of the sportsbooks we will come across, however, when it comes to prop bets/specials, there is a massive difference between sportsbooks. While the prop bets won’t be the deciding factor for a serious bettor, it just might add that special something to an individual who would like to “spice up” his/hers betting experience by using special bets.
Live or In-Play betting
While we talk about bet types, we must also mention the live or in-play bets, which offer a completely different betting experience. Live betting can offer some great value to an experienced bettor, who can use his/her knowledge about the game and players to predict outcomes by looking at the live stream of the match.
Reputation and security
You wouldn’t trust your money to a shady person, so why should you trust it to a shady sportsbook?
This should probably be at the top of our list of priorities to check when picking the right sportsbook. With a huge market, there are sportsbooks who are far from legitimate and fair to their users. The sad part is that some of them are one of the most popular sportsbooks in the world, and while they still attract the leisure bettors, they were “blacklisted” by the community of serious or “professional” bettors. Questionable licenses, lousy reputation of limiting winning customers, long pay-out time, terrible customer support and other similar occurrences should be an immediate red flag.
Deposit and Withdrawal methods
First of all, the sportsbook should use an internationally trusted deposit and withdrawal methods. This is not only to save ourselves from being “scammed,” but also to reduce any hassle when we want to deposit more money or take out our winnings. Having an option to deposit and withdraw money with credit and debit cards (MasterCard, Visa) is highly recommended due to their proven security. Additionally, other services that are great are Neteller and Skrill, both internationally accepted with a proven record. And lastly, the direct wire transfer to our banking account, which provides us with a high level of security and tends to be the most convenient way of transferring money for some people.
At the end of the day, it all comes to personal preference.
Promotions and Bonuses
Just like when we are choosing a sportsbook for any other sport, we tend to fish for promotions and bonuses offered for new accounts and/or occasional promotions for everyone. Bonuses offered in most cases demand you to “turnover” thee awarded money several times before it becomes available for withdrawal, but that should not be an issue in the long run. While picking a sportsbook with the highest bonus or best promotions would ultimately mean we get “free money” it by no means should be one of the key factors when choosing our sportsbook.
Not among the most important factors, but still something that can make our betting experience smoother. In this day and age, everyone has a smartphone with them at all times, which basically gives us an option to access the internet wherever we go. Having an option to bet on the go, at any time, without the hassle of having to run to our computer does without a doubt improve our betting experience. Most if not all sportsbooks are well aware of that, which is why they all offer mobile betting. Finding a sportsbook with mobile betting available should not be an issue, which is why the only question here is whether we like the layout and the appearance of the mobile website provided by the selected sportsbook or not.
Basic Esports Betting Strategy
We have found the right sportsbook, deposited our money and now we are ready to start betting. But before we jump in and start betting like a headless chicken, we need to learn the ropes, to protect ourselves from losing all of our money.
Esports betting, while seeming like an easy task falls into a category of activities that are easy to learn and hard to master, and only by mastering it at least on the basic level, we can expect to turn betting into a profitable experience. Teaching a rookie everything he/she needs to know about betting in a single article would be near impossible. However, we can look at the basics, which will help anyone start off their esports betting journey on the right foot.
Do your research
Arguably the most important thing we need to do before we bet on our selections. Without proper research, we basically turn our betting into gambling, which is not something we want to do. Doing extensive research on the match we want to bet on, players that will compete and other relevant news and data will be the deciding factor if we will enjoy a profitable experience or rely on luck to hold us above water.
Research, while being a time-consuming activity will be something we need to get used to, if we are serious about betting and making a profit. Some people decide to pay betting services to do the research for them, while others rely on their own knowledge and research. Whichever way we go, doing our own research or receiving it from a 3rd party is crucial in betting.
Pay close attention to “meta”
The “meta” or “metagame” is a phrase which is well known in the esports community, and not so much among the “traditional sports” community. Nonetheless, it’s an extremely important factor that affects any esport game. While there is no official meaning behind it, it is widely considered to describe what tactics, which approach, weapon, “champion” etc. is powerful in the current state of the game. To describe it in an example; imagine that in 2018/19 season Nike shoes would make NBA players jump higher — thus they (the Nike shoes) would be “in meta.”
Knowing the meta and which player or team performs well in it should be one of the key factors we need to focus our research on.
Utilize different types of bets
Only using one kind of bet may seem like not being a “big deal,” however, with that, we limit ourselves and our success. Some matches might offer great opportunity to bet on an outright winner, while others not so much. This usually happens when the teams are 50/50 to win, and picking either would be a coin toss. In such scenarios, we should use the wide range of different bets sportsbooks offer to us. From over/under markets to handicap betting, even special/prop bets, there is no reason why we shouldn’t use it if we find it suitable for our bet.
Using streaming platforms to follow the matches
Unlike with traditional sports, when finding a stream or TV channel to follow the matches we bet on can prove to be a real hassle, we have the luxury of having free access to live streams of all esports matches on a streaming platform Twitch.com. Not only can we watch games live from the comfort of our home or even on the go (via smartphone), we can also follow our favorite esport pro players, who tend to stream when they play the game at home, which can give us some valuable information that will help us with our research.
Get to at least basic knowledge about the game you follow
When it comes to betting on football, or any other sport for that matter, it’s expected to know at least the basics about how the sport is played. Nowadays it’s rare to find a person who does not know the main goal of a basketball match, especially a person that bets on basketball. With that in mind, the same principle applies to esports. There is no need to sink hours of our free time into a computer game just to know the basics. Luckily there are countless videos, streams, and podcasts which talk about esport games, and solely by watching and listening to them. We can get the basic knowledge about how the games are played, which will ultimately help us in our betting journey.
The Best Esports Betting Sites
By now we should have all the needed knowledge about how to pick the right sportsbook and how to approach our betting. Just like we started off this article, we first need to find the right betting website for us, and not only the right one for us but objectively a good betting website. It was mentioned before, and I will do it again; deciding on which betting website to choose will be one of the most important decisions in our betting journey, which is why thorough research is needed.
When we look through recommended betting websites on the web, we will surely stumble upon a website which will praise a single sportsbook as if it’s the best one for you, however, those websites are usually in one way or another associated with the mentioned sportsbook, which ultimately results in a biased opinion.
Luckily, we are here to help you with our honest, unbiased review of betting websites. After going through numerous different websites, we have gathered a list of betting sites, which we believe are reliable, customer friendly, and have all the needed services and functions that anyone would want in a betting site. Some have a large number of different bets that they offer, others offer great bonuses to their customers, while the third has an exceptional mobile interface, which will help you with betting on the go. Whichever you end up picking, we can assure you, our recommendations are not biased, but instead betting sites that even we, as bettors use on a daily basis.
Despite being a newly added sport in the sports betting family, esports is rapidly growing and becoming one of the most popular “sports.” One of the critical factors that make esports so popular is the constant action, which cannot be found in any other sport known to man. That of course also gives us, the bettors a great opportunity to use the odds movement to our advantage and beat sportsbooks at their own game. While still being a sport that is gaining popularity, esports is estimated to become one of the biggest in the betting industry.
Doing proper research to beat the sportsbooks is extremely hard in esports, as it’s more or less a new sport, which due to its young age does not offer a wide network of information, but that is a double-edged sword. On one side, doing thorough research will be time-consuming and hard, but on the other side, those who will excel in that can expect to be highly awarded.