If you needed any further evidence that eSports were quickly becoming an accepted member of the sporting community then it arrived last week when the Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced that they will start drugs testing competitors, specifically looking for those using performance enhancing drugs.
It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this has on teams performances especially at the major tournaments held each year, but for now it is just further confirmation that eSports is one of the most rapidly growing new areas within sporting competition and sports betting.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at six of the best bookmakers who offer eSports betting and what different types of competitions are open for betting this week.
Remember, with all eSports markets tending to have odds put up just a couple of days before a match is due to take place, it is always a good idea to check back on each market across the week to see the latest odds for the games you want to bet on with each of the sports books listed below.
If you are looking for a site that is dedicated to eSports where you can enjoy a flutter, then Unikrn is the site to take a closer look at. This week the main focus for Unikrn (and indeed all the sites listed in this article) is the big DOTA2 competition, The International.
At Unikrn you can bet on which of the teams will be the outright winner of this hugely competitive event as well as placing bets on the outcome of matches across a wide range of different titles including League Of Legends GPL Summer Series.
While the focus this week is on LOL and DOTA2, Unikrn also offers bets on a range of other games including Counter Strike: Go and Starcraft 2 as well as other games that are not so readily available on other sites like Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone.
The big focus in eSports this week is the DOTA2 The International event and it is not surprising to see that this is heavily focused on across all sports books this week and 10 Bet is no different.
You can bet on a number of markets including Money Line and Spread betting options on all DOTA2 The International match ups this week and you can also get similar options on other match ups this week on League of Legends Championship Series, League of Legends Garena Premier League and Starcraft 2 Proleague games.
There’s an excellent choice of bets available at 10 Bet including handicap betting (on some markets) which does make this an appealing choice for punters keen on different types of eSports betting.
Ladbrokes have really embraced eSports betting perhaps better than almost all other UK-based bookmakers and eSports punters will be delighted at the range of bets, not to mention the simple and easy navigation tools available to help you find bets available across the next few days.
This week, Ladbrokes have a range of bets available for three different League of Legends competitions, the NA Challenge Series, the EU Challenger Series and the Garena Premier League.
Of course, Ladbrokes are also running books on the massive match ups in the DOTA2 series The International across the course of the week and in addition they are also offering odds on forthcoming match ups in the StarCraft 2 Proleague.
One thing of note is that Ladbrokes are one of the few sports books offering the chance to bet on another eSports game, World of Tanks, specifically in the Wargaming.net League and there is a selection of match ups from this rare eSports market available on Ladbrokes throughout the week.
Pinnacle have established a solid reputation as being one of the best eSports sites for betting available today and once again this week the company are offering a decent amount of markets to bet on.
As with all other bookmakers, a key focus is the DOTA2 The International tournament and there will be plenty of bets available throughout the week for key match ups in this massive eSports event.
The company is also offering a number of markets, Handicap and Money Line, on the forthcoming League of Legends Championship Series clashes coming on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August. You can also bet on League of Legends Garena Premier League fixtures (Money Line bets only) throughout the week.
Finally, there is also a selection of markets available for StarCraft 2 matches in the SK Telecom Proleague throughout the week including Handicap betting for a selection of matches, with Money Line bets available on all matches.
Bet365 Sports has a busy week of events ahead of them this week when it comes to eSports as they focus on many of the events that we have already mentioned previously.
For the DOTA2 The International tournament, you can bet on two different markets. You can select which of the two competing teams will win their match up throughout the week, or if you fancy a long-term bet, you can back which of the competing teams will win the tournament outright, although you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone not backing the 10/11 favourites Team Secret.
In addition to DOTA2 gaming, Bet365 Sports are also offering the chance to bet on SK Telecom Proleague games (match winner only) on StarCraft 2, as well as the chance to bet on some massive League of Legends Championship Series match ups coming at the weekend. There are two big contests lined up for both Saturday (H2k v Giants Gaming and Team Impulse v Team Digitas) and Sunday (Unicorns of Love v ROCCAT and Gravity v Team SoloMid)
DOTA2 The International is the main eSports betting available at William Hill this week, with betting on the winner of each of the key match ups available throughout the week.
William Hill does carry odds on a number of other eSports markets too, but their coverage does seem to be a little sporadic at times and it is always a very good idea to check back to their list of markets available regularly to ensure you can bet on the market you want.
Image credit: Jakob Wells, used under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic