Has online gaming’s transition into a global sport passed you by?
As a traditional sports betting fan, video games might not spring to mind. But for the curious mind, now is the time to jump on board and embrace the spectacle of these events.
Esports events have moved from hotel conferences to packed out stadiums, with millions more watching via live streams hosted by YouTube and Twitch. So, it’s clear to see esports is far more than a mere flash in the pan.
Not least because of headline topping events like the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals — a record-breaking event which saw a 16-year-old take home the $3 million grand prize in front of two million live viewers.
With the monetary backing of major sponsors and a sea of booming crowds, these tournaments are here to stay for the entertainment value alone. Yet, it’s the tactical mastery of each game, alongside fierce team rivalries that draw comparisons to mainstream sports like football and basketball.
Esports hit the same core beats as a physical sport: drama, passion, skill, and elation. That’s why it’s able to reach beyond a core gaming audience and appeal to sports fans and betting communities too.
But how does a newcomer get involved? There are hundreds of events and games to sink your teeth into, but if betting is your aim then we have you covered.
Read on as we explore some of the most exciting esports tournaments and teach you how to wager on them using online casino sites.
The best esports tournaments to consider betting on
For newcomers to esports betting, the sheer amount of coverage can feel a little overwhelming. And sometimes it’s useful to be given a sense of direction so you can focus attention in the right areas.
Here are our two main picks for you to keep an eye out for throughout the calendar year.
The Overwatch League
Blizzard games tend to dominate the esports calendar — and Overwatch is no exception to the rule.
The Overwatch League is an international tour consisting of 20 teams, made up of the very best Overwatch players in the world.
With a $5 million prize pool up for grabs, competition is high. So, it should feature prominently on your betting list.
The 280 match season kicks off every February and ends with post-season playoffs in the following fall. And you can catch all the action at YouTube gaming on the official Overwatch League channel.
League of Legends World Championships
With 67 million monthly players, few games can match League of Legends active player base — and the bespoke League of Legends World Championship boasts more fan engagement than that of even Fortnite.
Hosted by Riot Games, this annual tournament is the culmination of a long season, in which teams compete for the Summoner’s Cup and a multi-million dollar prize pool.
When can I catch the tournament? The tournament is usually held over a few weeks in October/September. And you can join in on the action live at the Riot Games Twitch Channel.
Choosing a casino — how to pick the best esports betting site
As a newcomer to esports betting, you should keep things familiar because there’s plenty of new strategies to be aware of and get used to as things stand.
We recommend you choose from a list of well established and recognizable brands. For example, consider these casino sites as a good starting point:
- Mansion Bet
These sites (among a range of others) offer a greater sense of security and confidence, especially when exploring a new format you don’t have much experience in.
With that said, one question remains: how do you differentiate between these sites and find an online casino that caters best for esports?
Although it’s a growing medium, many betting companies are only beginning to adapt to the esports industry.
Here are some factors we think you should consider before committing to a particular site:
Who’s offering the best bonuses and promotions?
Welcome bonuses and loyalty rewards are one of the best ways online casinos seek to differentiate themselves from the competition. This is because these schemes can benefit the customer just as much as the casino.
Here are some examples of what to look out for:
- Free bets
- Cash sign up bonuses
- Money-back bonuses
It’s difficult to pin down specific offers because they change all the time. Although traditional sports betting sites like Bet 365 tend to have the best casino bonuses, these change on a regular basis. To find the most valuable deal in the here and now, you can try these casinos to discover who’s offering the best bonuses and promotions at the time when you want to make your bet
With a good set of bonuses under your belt, you’re essentially playing with house money when things start, which is particularly helpful as you look to test the esports waters.
Which site has the best betting options
Narrow down casino sites by focusing on those that offer an extensive range of esports betting options.
Competitive gaming is built from a series of nuances, which vary from game to game. Here is a list of common betting options to look out for:
- Match-winner: predicting who will win a particular match
- Competition winner: overall winner of the tournament
- Specialist bets: specific options tailored to the game title
- First map: guessing the map teams play on (think Call of Duty)
- First kill and first blood: naming the player/team that strikes first
- Live betting: making wagers after the game/tournament has begun
Why do you need so many different options? To put it simply, you don’t want your betting to feel restricted, especially in a medium that offers so much potential and customization.
Regardless of what games you wager on and where you choose to bet, esports is a rapidly growing and ever-evolving industry.
The betting culture in videogames has only just begun, so keep tabs on industry updates and enjoy being involved in such a new format.