Some people bet on sports in order to win but most bettors simply want to get in on the action. Betting on sports dates back to ancient times – Greeks bet on the ancient Olympic games, Egyptians wagered on chariot races and in Rome, bettors congregated in the Coliseum to bet on caged fighters.
Today, online casinos rule the online gaming market. But online sports betting is growing and bigger than ever. The United States Supreme Court gave states the go-ahead to legalize sports betting in 2018 and over the last two years, more than a dozen states have done exactly that, with more states preparing for such legislation.
eSports was gaining in popularity even before the pandemic struck but once it did hit in March 2020, almost all sporting events were halted. That left esports as almost the only type of competition available for game-starved sports fans. eSports could be played virtually and live-streamed online which offered millions of new enthusiasts a sport that would allow them to cheer on a favored player or team.
New esports aficionados also discovered that they could participate in esports competitions through betting as a way of supporting teams and players and earning some money. Whereas once, it was estimated that the global esports betting market would be worth close to $30 billion this yer, today most observers believe that by the end of 2020, its worth will be much higher.
eSports involves competitive video gaming. Gamers play electronic games against each other in a competition. Until this year, many of the competitions, including some of the best known tournaments, took place in large arenas and auditoriums. Today, the majority of esports gaming is taking place online and is being live-streamed so that fans can watch the competition in real time or see replays after the game has finished.
It’s believed that, in one form or another, over one billion people take part in video gaming worldwide. That’s close to one-eighth of the world’s population. Most of these games are informal and casual. Sometime casual players enter online tournaments or compete in organized contests, but they’re basically playing for the fun of it. When speaking about tournaments and betting, the term “esports” refers to the professional scene.
How Does eSports Betting Work?
If you’re going to bet on esports, take it one step at a time. First, you should learn about the teams and the players that compete in the esports contest. You can’t bet on a player or on a team if you don’t know anything about them. You can read up about these players, watch their competitions on their live streaming channels (YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming and Twitch are the three most popular venues for watching gaming contests) and read the comments in posts by the players and about the players. Probably the best source of information about the players and teams will come from comments made by other viewers.
Now, it’s time to check out the different types of betting options:
- Social Betting -- Social betting refers to when friends place informal bets on the outcome a game that they’re playing among themselves. Sometimes these wagers are for real money but they’re often for skins. The prizes are agreed upon between the parties who decide who will get what before they start playing.
- Real Money Betting -- real money betting is the most similar to traditional sports betting. In the same way that a sports better would bet on a football game, a gold tournament or a boxing match, the bettor places the wager on a team or a player at agreed-upon odds. If the bet wins, the bettor receives his payout. In esports, there are many different types of bet options including winners of individual matches, the ultimate winner of the tournament, etc. There are also prop bets such as bets on which team gets the first kill, the amount of time it takes to play each round, team which team will kill the first dragon, etc.
- Fantasy Betting – As with fantasy sports, esports fantasy bettors build rosters using esports players and then bet on their prediction of the results.
- Skin Betting – also termed “item betting,” skin betting involves virtual currencies and other items that transfer between players. These highly-sought-after prizes are known as “skins” and players buy, sell and trade items currencies. These take place on auction and trade websites. There are also sites that run jackpot games in which players place their skins into a pot and a winner is chosen at random who then wins the whole pot.
- Challenge Betting – in challenge betting, also called “head-to-head betting,” players compete against each other for skins or for real money. These wagers are generally organized among the gamers themselves and they settle up once their game finishes. Some competitors use websites that specialize in organizing the wagers in a more formal atmosphere. To enter the contest the players and/or teams pay an entry fee and the prizes are paid out from the proceeds of those fees.
eSports betting is still quite new so there’s lots of room for innovation and experimentation. Having said that, there are some seasoned esports betting tips that bettors have found useful. They include:
- Research – success in any type of sports betting is dependent on research and that’s as true in esports as it is in football, baseball or any other type of traditional sporting event. You need to understand the betting market, the odds, the strengths and weaknesses of each team and each player, etc. It’s a good idea to start on games with which you are most familiar and then branch out as you learn more about the competition. \You should learn about the various team members, their roles on the team and how they match up against their opponents to get the best results from your bets.
- Sports betting analysts suggest that you test out multiple sportsbooks as you try to determine where to place your bet. This is, again, similar advice to that given to traditional sports bettors but it’s even more important in esports because the various sportsbooks offer different prices and you want to get the best bang for your buck. In traditional sports, the sites move in unison on critical numbers and significant line moves. That’s not the case with esports where betting limits are lower and there’s a wider variety of pricing.