Playing video games professionally has become one of the fastest growing and most exciting forms of the entertainment industry in recent years, becoming worth more than the music and film communities put together and reaching an estimated value of over $1 billion over the course of 2019 to 2020.
In a year where everyone and everything has seen their lives and businesses stunted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions, Esports has flexed itself as a pursuit that can be enjoyed anywhere around the world, all you need is a console or computer to get going.
With the likes of Counterstrike: Global Offensive and League of Legends still filling out their competitive calendars with events and tournaments available to follow on online streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv, betting on Esports has continued to be one of the most popular ways of taking your love for gaming to the next level.
For newcomers to the scene, here are some of the most popular questions around Esports betting answered.
What is Esports Betting?
In short, not too dissimilar to the real world sports wagering that everyone in society already knows about.
Esports betting is simply the pastime of placing wagers on a match or event from any one of the hundreds of video games that have a competitive scene. From Street Fighter to Fortnite, if there’s an event or competitive series lined up, there’s every chance it will be available to wager on.
And much like real world sports variants, there are a whole host of markets for Esports fanatics to place their bets around. Season outrights, tournament winners and match winners are naturally the most common types of bet to place, however the Esports industry also allows for more exotic types of wagers such as betting on certain maps, the amount of kills in a game, who will be the top performing player, how many rounds of a game will be played and countless others depending on the game.
This allows users to really tailor their wagering experience to their own style and preferences, as well as increasing their chances of winning bigger than real world variants by increasing the amount of choice and letting them flex their knowledge further.
What Are the Most Popular Games to Bet On?
With over 250 million active players, there’s no denying the scope and appeal League of Legends (LoL) has as a leading Esport title. Competitions such as the annual Worlds tournament are always amongst the most popular events to bet on, which help to make the LoL odds at the leading Esports bookmakers some of the most competitive any fan could hope to find.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the world’s most popular FPS Esport, and boasts probably the most stacked competitive calendar of any game in the industry, providing the best opportunities for any would-be fans out there. Events such as the ESL Pro League, CS_Summit, BLAST Showdown and IEM World Championships show the sheer amount of variety in events for users to keep up with, making it the most lively of communities to join in the fun with.
Where Can I Begin Betting?
More and more traditional bookmakers are beginning to understand the huge amount of potential Esports carries as an industry, and most of their online sites will now have Esports tabs or pages available for users to explore. Some will allow users to combine their Esports bets with their real world sports ones, allowing them to build lucrative crossover parlays, however these markets are often a little bit more limited in terms of competitive odds and exotic options as these sites are certanly not specialists in the Esports industry.
Sites such as Unikrn.com, on the other hand, are built with Esports front and centre. These sites tend to feature far more variety in their available markets, more competitive odds for users to tailor their experience with, and blogs and tips pages for users to begin to understand the difference between building out a traditional wager and those value bets that really help widen the winnings even further.
These sites are also more likely to have livestreams and helpful videos of the matches and events for users to stay right up to date with the action, as well as innovative features from the industry such as Unikrn’s UMode, which allows players to place wagers on themselves and make money playing video games.