The state of the esports betting industry depends very much on the part of the world where you live. In the United States, for example, it was mostly impossible to bet on esports, or indeed any sport, from 1992 until very recently.
However, in May, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled that law. That act effectively allows each American state the opportunity to decide whether and how it wants to offer sports and esports betting. As you can imagine, this has left the sports and esports betting industries in the United States in a state of flux as state legislators and decision-makers decide what this new ruling means to them.
It also leaves bettors in the somewhat unusual situation of perhaps being unable to bet online at home but able to travel five minutes to cross a state line, where they can then legally bet.
Outside of the US
However, the situation is far more clear cut in other parts of the world. South Korea has a thriving esports betting scene running alongside its burgeoning esports industry.
Across Europe, there are plenty of opportunities to bet on a wide range of different esports events. In the United Kingdom, where esports involvement and participation may not be as great as in other parts of the world, there is still a rapidly developing esports betting scene developing alongside the fledgling esports industry.
The sheer amount if investment and interest in esports at the moment means it is an attractive proposition to punters that want to bet on something new and exciting.
So the larger question we’re asking today is what types of bets are you likely to find on esports tournaments and matches with reputable online sports betting services?
Who offers esports betting online?
But let’s start with the simple matter of finding these sites. The good news for punters seeking somewhere to bet on esports online is that almost all the top sports betting sites offer some form of esports betting service.
This includes sites that have been specifically designed to operate online (such as Betway, 10Bet, Bet365, LeoVegas Sports) as well as the websites of high street bookmakers that have developed an online presence too (such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, and BetFred).
In addition to these sites, there are also a number of esports betting-specific sites becoming increasingly popular — Unikrn, OneHash, Pinnacle, and ggbet.
Furthermore, punters are not only able to bet using the standard cash bets via credit card or e-payment services (such as PayPal or Neteller), but some sites also offer punters the chance to place bets using cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.
There are of course many options other than those listed here. But as with any form of online financial transaction, if you stick with the most reputable and popular sites, then you can at least be sure you are getting fair odds and that your details are safe and secure.
What types of esports bets will I find?
In truth, the full answer to this question is that it does depend on the esports betting provider that you use.
Specialist esports betting providers tend to offer more markets on esports, although the majority of extra markets are more specialized bets. That means they relate to certain incidents or achievements that can occur in a particular esports. As such, these are probably only of particular appeal to more experienced esports punters, particularly those with a deeper level of understanding of the game.
If you’re not super-informed fan, there are still plenty of esports betting markets available with the top sports betting services. In broad terms, the most typical esports bets you would find with most popular sites include the following.
Outright Tournament Betting
When a major esports tournament is taking place (and there is usually one or more every week), many sites will offer the option to place a bet on the event’s outright winner. This is an equivalent of placing a bet on which team will win the Premier League or the NBA title.
Just as you can place a bet on a football or rugby team to win a match, one of the most popular esports bets is backing a team or individual to win their game. In esports betting, usually one team has to be the winner, but draws do happen.
With companies that offer a greater depth of bets, you can also place bets on certain in-game events occurring. For example, in betting on League of Legends matches, you can find betting on which team will be the first to destroy the first tower in the game, or which will be the first to slay a dragon. Think of it as betting on who will score the first goal in a football match.
What is certainly true is that the esports betting industry has improved beyond all recognition over the past three years. Back then, bookmakers only offered very few esports bets on very few tournaments.
Now there is far greater choice, and it pays to shop around and find the best provider for you.