In the world of esports, fighting games often fly under the radar. Despite being some of the first competitive games in history, most of them don’t have the scale or the following to keep up with juggernauts like CSGO, Dota 2, and League of Legends. Yet, every rule has exceptions.
Enter Street Fighter, a fighting game franchise that laid the foundation of the whole esports phenomenon!
The first game of the series was released in 1987 by the Japanese studio Capcom. It was played on arcade machines driven by Motorola 6800 processors with a clock rate of a whopping 8Mhz—and it was revolutionary for its time. Sure, it didn’t have the greatest visuals—after all, it did run on a 384×224 pixel screen—but the fact that it had a 2-player mode that allowed gamers to compete against each other made it an instant classic in the arcades.
Fast-forward 30 years, and Street Fighter is one of the best-selling gaming franchises of all time. In fact, the latest installment in the series—Street Fighter V—is incredibly popular among PC and console gamers alike for its fast-paced action and cross-platform play. And while it saw a number of changes since 1987, the competitive spirit that lied at the core of the Street Fighter game remains largely the same.
With that, it’s not exactly surprising that Street Fighter betting is often featured at various esportsbooks. There’s something intrinsically captivating about the nature of a 1v1 game that lets both parties engage in a raw contest of mechanics game sense. And this is precisely why we decided to prepare an in-depth guide to Street Fighter V betting sites, odds, and markets in 2020!
Where to gamble on Street Fighter esports
How Street Fighter is played
Before we dive deep into betting on Street Fighter matches, it’s a good idea to learn how the game is played. The main concept of this franchise is simple: two fighters battle through a number of rounds on a 2D arena, and whoever is the last one standing takes the W.
However, there are many ways to get to that goal.
The first thing to note is character selection. The latest game in the series features a wide cast of Street Fighter characters, including iconic fighters like Ryu, Chun-Li, and M. Bison as well as new combatants like Ed, Kage, and Abigail. Each character has unique attack patterns, special abilities, and combo moves, so Street Fighter pros need to build up a ton of game knowledge to navigate different matchups.
Momentum plays a key role as well. Connecting blows and landing attacks fills up the EX gauge that grants access to powerful moves and offensive abilities. Yet, that doesn’t always mean that the player that starts winning will only keep winning harder. In fact, Capcom specifically implemented the V-Gauge that builds up whenever a character receives damage and unlocks potent combos and counterattacks, so even a player that’s been pushed into a corner can mount a comeback.
Another important part of the Street Fighter game is stun locking. Receiving a large number of consecutive hits will stun a character for a short period of time, making him unable to move or parry attacks. And the best Street Fighter players can use the slightest gap in enemy defenses to suppress their opponents with a never-ending flurry of blows and combo moves.
Street Fighter tournaments and prize pools
The fighting game scene has always been filled with tournaments of all kinds—and Street Fighter is no different. In fact, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of events if you don’t know what you’re looking for. And while you can count on Street Fighter V betting sites to highlight the most prominent competitions, you should still prepare for the largest events in advance.
The first tournament you should keep track of is the Capcom Cup. This is an annual Street Fighter event sponsored directly by the game’s publisher. With that, you can expect high production standards and six-figure prize pool. Combine that with the fact that the playing field includes the top-26 players from the Global Ranking Point Leaderboard as well as the four Regional Finals winners from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America, and it’s hard to find a better environment for Street Fighter betting.
The same could be said about the Evolution Championship Series. Commonly abbreviated as the EVO, these tournaments have achieved legendary status in the fighting game community. Granted, the prize pool isn’t as big and the broadcast isn’t as polished as those of Capcom Cup’s. However, that doesn’t make the EVO any less exciting. And while the event venues tend to alternate between Japan and North American, you can count on players pulling out all stops to win the Evolution Championship Series regardless of where it takes place.
The Final Round follows a similar structure. Much like the Evolution Championship Series, it’s a premier tournament for several fighting games at once. The Street Fighter game franchise plays a key role here, so it’s common to see legendary pros engage in all-out brawls on the Final Round stage. And if that doesn’t make for a tournament worth gambling on, we don’t know what does!
Last but not least, keep an eye out for third-party competitions. The best thing about Street Fighter V betting is that there are exciting tournaments around every corner. The professional scene employs an open circuit model, so anyone can put an event together if they have the funding and the infrastructure. And considering pros need to perform at tournaments to accumulate Global Ranking Points, you can expect some of the best Street Fighter players to show up at previously unknown competitions.
Street Fighter wagering and betting sites
We’ve already alluded to this at the beginning of our guide, but the Street Fighter game isn’t the most mainstream esport out there. This means that many operators overlook it in favor of the likes of CSGO and Overwatch. Luckily for fighting game fans, not every bookmaker subscribes to this line of thinking.
For example, Pinnacle is renowned for providing some of the best Street Fighting betting odds in the esports gambling industry. Granted, this does come at the cost of welcome bonuses, 24/7 customer service, and in-play markets, so make sure to check out our Pinnacle review to learn what to expect from this platform.
ArcaneBet takes a different approach to esports betting. Sure, its odds are competitive, but the most compelling thing about this site is its 100% deposit bonus up to €100. This is an excellent welcome bonus for anyone looking to extract some extra value out of Street Fighter V betting markets, so consider giving this operator a try.
Finally, there’s Bet365. Founded all the way back in 2000, this betting site has a long-standing history of transparency and reputability. And whether it’s an intuitive interface, responsive customer service, or a fluid mobile app, Bet365 does a lot to create an excellent gambling experience for its customers.
Of course, picking a quality bookmaker isn’t the only thing you need to know about Street Fighter betting. Since fighting games aren’t exactly mainstream esports, the vast majority of operators only offer match winner and tournament winner wagers for them. And even though these markets might seem simple on paper, there’s a surprising amount of depth to them. For instance, predicting the outcome of a head-to-head clash between two top-tier players requires you to have in-depth knowledge of their strengths, weaknesses, and playstyles. And if you want to make a successful tournament winner bet, you’ll have to extrapolate that to the entire playing field. Which brings us to the final section of our guide…
Get an edge betting on Street Fighter
There’s a lot of nuance to Street Fighter betting. With that in mind, you should always do everything in your power to maximize your chances for success. Something as simple as keeping up with the fighting game tournaments and match histories on Liquipedia will give you a significant edge in terms of knowing which players are at the top of the competitive food chain and how they match up against each other.
Game knowledge is also a vital part of the gambling process. Sure, you can tune in to Twitch and YouTube broadcasts, but you won’t be able to follow the action if you don’t understand the ins and outs of different Street Fighter characters. And this understanding will make it much easier to make more informed decisions in the long run.
Finally, don’t be shy to search for expert opinions. The fighting scene is filled with players and personalities that are willing to share their takes on Twitch, Twitter, and Reddit. Granted, you shouldn’t base your entire gambling strategy around them, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to read up on them.
At first glance, Street Fighter betting can seem daunting. However, there are many things you can do to set yourself on the fast track to success. And if you put your head down and keep honing your gambling game, the results will certainly follow.