What is Esports Betting?
Betting on esports is no longer a fad, but a popular activity enjoyed by millions of punters from all over the world. As one of the newest additions to online and land-based sports betting, esports have emerged as the fastest-rising sector. While it still trails traditional sports betting, it attracts the vast majority of new players, especially from the younger demographics. That’s the reason why many experienced bookmakers were quick to add esports to their portfolio and invest lavish amounts in its growth.
The number of people signing up for an account at esports betting sites is constantly growing, as new betting options are being added. Since this is still a relatively new niche, many newcomers need help with finding the best esports betting strategy. We will take a closer look at what betting on video games is all about and provide you with useful esports betting tips to simplify your mission.
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How does Esports Betting Work?
When it comes to esports betting UK punters can consider themselves lucky, as most bookmakers accept punters from this country. Videogames gambling is just as popular across the continent and in other parts of the world. Contrary to popular belief, not all of those who bet on video games are actually avid players; there are many punters who have never played themselves but are still successful when betting on esports
There are many similarities between esports and classic sports betting, with punters betting on markets that have many things in common. Just like in traditional sports, video games can be played by a single professional gamer or an entire team. Punters bet on the outright winners, the number of points scored by the protagonist and can also tinker with various handicaps.
For esports betting, UK bookmakers publish the odds many days and sometimes weeks in advance of major tournaments. This enables punters to wager on the player or team to win a tournament, as well as the phase of elimination. In-game events are also covered lavishly and this is where electronic sports get exciting because the objectives differ greatly from game to game. There are different markets for first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arena games and real-time strategy games to name but a few.
Esports Live Betting and Streaming
Live betting is the most popular activity among casual punters and something that veterans have also embraced wholeheartedly. This applies to both traditional sports and video games, so it is only natural for esports betting UK operators to adjust to this reality. The vast majority of bookmakers that have added esports to their portfolio have also included this form of gambling in the live betting section. The betting mechanics are largely the same, with the odds being updated in real-time to reflect the live changes.
Betting on esports live is far more exciting and effective when punters get to see what’s happening in real-time. Compared to traditional sports, videogames are faster paced and things can take sudden and radical changes within seconds. This provides esports betting sites with a serious challenge, as they need to update the odds quickly, without preventing punters from betting. The biggest competitions are played offline but the matches are broadcasted in real-time by streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.
There are so many esports betting UK bookmakers offering live betting on video games that punters are entitled to expect the very best. It is almost unacceptable for esports betting sites not to incorporate a live streaming service on their pages. Having said this, they are usually supplied by the aforesaid streaming platforms, so most punters prefer to go straight to YouTube and Twitch. The preference for one bookie or the other depends largely on the quality of the odds and the number of special betting markets offered.
Esports Games and Tournaments
Dozens of video games are developed every year and there are hundreds of popular games out there, played by millions of enthusiastic gamers. However, not all of them are suitable for esports, as only the most competitive multiplayer games fall into this category. There are less than a dozen featured by esports betting UK sites and most of the markets revolve around three popular genres.
Multiplayer online battle arena games, commonly referred to as MOBAs are by far the most popular genre. League of Legends and Dota 2 sit proudly at the top of the list, with the largest communities, the biggest tournaments, and the best paying events. A significant percentage of those who are betting on esports focuses mainly on these two games. Throughout the year, there are regional championships and leagues, all culminating with the Worlds for LoL, respectively The International for Dota 2.
First-person shooters are closely behind, with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty being shining examples. Punters bet on the winning team, as well as the total number of kills and various in-game objectives that differ from one game to the other. The search for esports betting tips is just as intense for first-person shooters as it is for MOBAs, since they are both highly competitive.
Real-time strategy games, such as StarCraft were the ones to kickstart the esports revolution, but the genre is currently struggling. The most important tournaments are held in South Korea, where many of the best pro-gamers reside. These are the tournaments that esports betting sites focus on throughout the year, but the World Championship sponsored by Blizzard also enjoys ample coverage.
Special Bets Available for Esports Betting
Each of the aforesaid genres has different mechanics, which in turn influence the esports betting options. The number of betting markets also differs greatly, with real-time strategy games trailing both first-person shooters and MOBAs. The latter offers the best variety, as these matches involve 10 players and there are multiple in-game objectives to complete. Some of them influence the outcome of the match directly, while others have a smaller impact but are nonetheless available for betting.
League of Legends punters can bet on the winning team, the total number of kills and assists, as well as the winning margin. The special markets are far more exciting, as one can bet on the team to destroy the first tower and inhibitor, slay the first Dragon or Baron. Pretty much the same betting options are available to Dota 2 punters, although these objectives and neutral monsters have different names.
First-person shooters are more straightforward, so not surprisingly, the esports betting tips focus on the number of kills and various handicaps. Punters can bet on the total number of maps needed to achieve victory, the total number of kills recorded and the margin of victory. Real-time strategy games are even more restrictive and even the best esports betting UK sites have a limited offer. In StarCraft 2 and the remastered Brood War, punters usually bet on the winner and the total number of maps played.
Esports vs. Virtual Sports Betting
It took a while for conservative punters to embrace betting on esports, but these non-traditional sporting events were not the first addition to major sportsbook sites. Virtual horse racing came first, alongside many other virtual sports, such as football, tennis and many more. These were also aimed at providing punters with an alternative to classic sports and betting markets and they gained a lot of traction. While there are slight similarities between the two genres, it is the differences that are truly worth mentioning.
Virtual sports involve, just like the name suggests, imaginary teams and athletes, whereas esports are played by real ones. When betting on virtual football, tennis or ice hockey matches, punters know that the outcome is determined exclusively by algorithms. At respectable bookmakers, they are certified as fair by independent auditors, so players are in good hands. While safety is not a concern, players have no real control over the outcome, as if they were playing virtual reality casino games.
The Esports betting market on the other hand closely resembles traditional sports betting, only the nature of the game in the betting markets differ. Depending on the videogame of choice, a match can last a few minutes or more than an hour, whereas virtual sports matches are always settled in a few minutes. Research is not necessary in this case and this makes virtual sports attractive to recreational punters. Placing bets on video games is far more challenging and research is mandatory, so esports betting tips come in handy.
Is Betting on Esports Safe and Legit?
Esports betting doesn’t differ all that much from the real thing and the same fairness and security concerns exist. Match-fixing is one of the major threats to video game tournaments, just as it is in traditional sports. This is something outside the control of punters, but there are other things that they can do to stay on the safe side. Choosing a respectable bookmaker, with a long and flawless track record is the first step towards mitigating the risks of being scammed.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are being awarded in esports tournaments every year, so these events are naturally under a lot of scrutinies. By betting on events of extraordinary magnitude, players reduce the risk of being cheated, although there are no guarantees. In regard to the betting platforms, the right thing to do is to choose a regulated bookmaker with a solid reputation and positive reviews. A little research goes a long way and by sticking to licensed operators, one is unlikely to run into trouble when betting on esports.
Is Esports Betting Better than the Real Thing?
Videogame enthusiasts will wholeheartedly agree that esports betting is not only more exciting but also more lucrative than betting on traditional sports. This makes perfect sense since they are intimately familiar with the games, their core mechanics and now the best players. It’s always better to bet on something that you enjoy playing or at least watching, given the importance of research. A lot of time must be spent watching the teams, comparing stats and going over esports betting tips can be exhausting.
Live esports betting is a big thing at most of the leading bookies and once again players are expected to spend time, as well as money. Betting in real-time without watching the streams is downright suicidal, so it helps a lot to enjoy every moment spent watching matches. Players can also use their own experience to determine if there is value in the odds offered by bookies for live markets. The bottom line is that esports betting can be fun for everyone, but it is the best choice for punters with a keen eye for video games.
Are Virtual Sports and Esports The Same Thing?
Hand in hand with the development of Virtual Sports on sites like Betway and 10Bet, there has also been a huge amount of work done in improving the esports betting services on these sites, notably Betway.
Often, when discussing these technical items, terms like ‘virtual’ or ‘e’ can prefix any number of items and often they can mean the same thing. So, there are a number of people who now believe that Virtual Sports betting and esports betting are essentially the same things.
This is, of course, not the case as the two different forms of betting are completely different from each other as we shall explore in this article.
What are Virtual Sports?
As we already know, Virtual Sports are a number of computer simulations that will replicate the events that happen in a number of different sports, with a high random factor built into these events to replicate the nature of a real sport.
The simulations will run a ‘virtual’ sporting event based on one of a limited number of sports (including Soccer, tennis, Motor Sports, Speedway, Greyhound Racing, and Horse Racing) and for each event, the software will generate a number of betting markets and a number of options within each market for the punter to bet on.
The punter can then bet on these markets as they would for a real sporting event and then after the betting period is finished, the Virtual Sports event takes place with the action being displayed on the screen for the player to watch.
At the end of these highlights, the players’ bets are then checked and any winnings owed paid out to them. A new Virtual Sport event will then start with the whole process from start to finish for a typical Virtual Sports event taking no longer than between 3 and 5 minutes.
What are Esports Games?
Esports are similar to Virtual Sports in only that they are based on computer software.
However, in the case of esports, these are computer games that people play against each other on their consoles or computers.
At the highest level of esports (which is what you can bet on when you log into the esports betting section of a site like Betway) either teams or individuals will compete against other teams or individuals from across the world in a number of esports tournaments. These events are growing massively in popularity across the world and now attract high levels of sponsorship. Many have prize pools running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the winners, with a few even having a prize pool in the millions of dollars.
On these events, you are betting on the outcome of a match between two teams or individuals playing the specified esport. These esports have been specifically designed to allow players to play against each other competitively and incoude games such as League of Legends, StarCraft II, Counter Strike: Global Offence and Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2).
What are the big advantages of betting on Virtual Sports as opposed to Esports?
There are a number of advantages to betting on Virtual Sports compared to esports betting:
- Your bets are generally decided within a very short space of time with virtual sports betting (usually 3-5 minutes per esports event) which means you do not need to wait for results. With esports betting, when you back a team or individual, you have to wait for their match to be played before the result is known. This can mean a wait of several hours or even a few days.
- There are a number of Virtual Sports betting options available on the site which means you can place lots of different bets on lots of different markets and get the results of these bets in a very short space of time. While there are lots of esports markets you can bet on nowadays, especially on sites like Betway, you will have to wait for all your matches to finish before your results are known and this can take a much longer period of time.
- Virtual Sports betting is designed much more with the lower stakes gambler in mind who wants to place a lot of smaller bets on a range of markets across a range of sports. Virtual Sports is a perfect choice for example, for a slot gamer seeking to cut their eye teeth in the sports betting industry. Esports betting is much more aimed at sports betting enthusiasts rather than those seeking immediate results.
- Esports events can have lots of matches where there is one heavy odds-on favorite taking on a much less fancied opponent which does mean that a lot of esports matches, especially in the Match Result market, tend to be heavily odds on favorites and very long odds outsiders. This isn’t great for punters that tend to bet smaller amounts. In Virtual Sports, because of the handicapping system in place, the odds between the competitors tend to be smaller, so there tend to be better value odds available.
However, in the interests of fairness, I should point out that with esports betting, you can actually now bet In-Play on some of the very big esports events and that there are live streaming services available, such as Twitch TV, which allows punters to follow the action as it happens. So, this does afford some betting opportunities that Virtual Sports betting does not have.
Are both Esports and Virtual Sports fair forms of betting?
Yes, Virtual Sports betting software is tested before it allowed to be played in online casinos to ensure that it offers punters a fair chance of winning. If the software is found to be unfairly weighted in favor of the casino or is set up in a way to make a player lose, then the software is not granted a license to be used in casinos. This way you can be assured that all your Virtual Sports betting is as fair as betting on real-life sports.
With Esports, it too is a fair sport in that it has two teams or individuals competing against each other to win. Of course, as in any sports event, teams can ‘throw’ matches, but in esports there are contingencies in place against doing this and with so much money available in top-level esports now, competitors stand to lose so much if they do this, so you can always be assured that a top-level esports betting event is as free of fraudulent behavior as any other top sports betting market you would care to name.