Last updated on: September 22nd, 2022

Esports Betting Guide – Everything You Need For Betting On Esports

Esports betting is legal across the US, with tons of different ways to wager at online sportsbooks around the globe. There are very few esports odds available at state-run sportsbooks, but online sportsbooks located outside the US allow for legal esports betting. Betting on esports encompasses online sporting events in the video game arena, such as Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Fortnite, Call of Duty, League of Legends and DOTA 2. There are also games that mimic sports, such as NBA 2K and Madden. Some sportsbook startups have focused solely on esports, such as UNIKRN, but the majority of esports odds are found offshore.

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What Are Esports?

To put it in the absolute simplest terms, esports essentially refers to video game tournaments, leagues, and competitions. Esports competitions can range between tournaments holding 10 people or thousands of competitors in a sports arena. Most of the time, they take a tournament or league format and run with it. League of Legends, for example, has leagues with franchised teams, much like the NBA. Just like there are multiple sports options for the discerning sports bettor, there are multiple video games that people compete in. If you do not like watching games that feature first-person shooters, then there are fighting game tournaments, racing game tournaments, MOBAs and much more. There are entire leagues dedicated to a certain game, much like the NBA or NFL is dedicated to basketball and football. Make no mistake – esports competitors are professional athletes, with salaries ranging well into the millions. Take everything you know about sports, throw in video games, and that is essentially what esports is.

The Legality Of Esports Betting

Much like traditional sports, esports has a very high-level competition going on at almost all points of the year. Due to this constant action, people are now betting on esports much like they do with traditional sports. However, there are more restrictions on esports betting than there are for regular sports betting. Due to the fact that esports competitors can be under the age of 18 and other reasons, many states with legal sports betting have a very specific provision that prevents wagering on esports. Each esport event must be individually approved for betting mkaing it a challenge from jump street. There is no federal law that bans esports betting so long as you are using inan online sportsbook like Bovada, you can legally wager on esports with ease.

Esports Leagues

Esports competitions are generally organized into leagues (similar to the NBA and NFL) and tournaments (similar to March Madness). There are varying levels of competition, and some of the biggest esports events take place over the course of both formats. For example, League of Legends takes place in multiple leagues across the country, from NA to EU to China and Korea. Some of these leagues are franchised, some have promotion and relegation. Then, the best teams from those leagues compete in one big tournament, the League of Legends World Championships, colloquially known as Worlds. That’s all just for one esport! There are varying structures in CS:GO, DotA2, Overwatch and more. Below, you can find a list of the major esports leagues in the world.

League Of Legends World Championship 2022

League Of LegendsLeague of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Riot Games. For newcomers, it might be a difficult game to watch due to the complex nature of the on-screen action. Essentially, the point of the game is to capture the enemy base by pushing through various checkpoints. Teams defend and attack these checkpoints throughout the game, and the team who pushes all the way is the winner. The League of Legends World Championship, established in 2011, is the largest tournament for this league and in 2018, the winning team won $2.4 million. Outside of tournaments, there are LoL leagues that run throughout the year. These leagues are determined by geographical region, with the most popular leagues being the North American LoL Championship Series, the LoL European Championship, the Chinese LoL Pro league, and LoL Champions Korea. As the sport continues to grow, expect betting odds for League of Legends to continue popping up all over sportsbooks worldwide.

 

Learn More About Betting On League Of Legends

Overwatch

OverwatchOverwatch is a relatively new game when it comes to the esports industry. Released in 2016, Overwatch is a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment and the game is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter. Overwatch focuses on one team pushing to capture and push objectives while the other team defends certain points of the map. If the defending team can defend a point within a time limit, they win. If not, the attacking team wins. Overwatch tournaments easily topple over $1 million for the winning team, and the prize pool increases every year. The league is relatively new, but it is extremely competitive during the active season. Not everyone can make it to the Overwatch World Cup. We definitely recommend Overwatch not only for watching but for betting as well.

Learn all about how to bet on Overwatch Leagues.

Fortnite

FortniteDespite being one of the newest games on the esports scene, Fortnite became a global phenomenon. Popularized by YouTube and Twitch streamers, Fortnite is described as a battle royale game, referring to the 2000 Japanese film of the same name, in which students are dropped onto an island and told to battle to the death until one remains. Fortnite uses a similar format, although in some cases players can be divided into teams of two or four. The Fortnite World Cup had a prize pool of over $30 million, which was split between the winners of various tournaments. It took some time for the game to fully gain traction, but in 2021, it firmly established itself as one of the biggest players in esports.

Learn more about Fortnite Egaming.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

counter-strikeCounter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is a multiplayer first-person shooter game and it was developed by Valve Corporation which released the game back in 2012. Even though it is an older game, it is still one of the most competitive esports leagues in the world. The ESL Pro League is divided into three different regions: the Americas, Europe, and APAC (Asia and Pacific area). CS:GO has many major tournaments that happen throughout the year, so there are plenty of opportunities to watch this established league.

Get all the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive details.

Dota 2

Dota 2Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) much like League of Legends. They might be the same game genre, but Dota 2 was developed and published by Valve Corporation. Dota 2 has been around since 2013 and has established itself as the esports league with the largest prize pool available. Ever since Dota 2 was released, over $216 million has been handed out in cash prizes. The player base is loyal and more people are getting into Dota 2 to earn a piece of the prize pool. With so much money flying around in the Dota 2 league, many people are wagering on Dota 2 competitions as well.

Learn More About Betting On Dota 2

Call Of Duty

Call Of Duty LogoCall of Duty has one of the largest esports events out with the Call of Duty League (CDL) majors. The Call of Duty esports scene has been strong for decades, with COD being one of the grandfathers of esports. Call of Duty tournaments run team matches in a bracket-style. Teams will battle it out for weeks, then the league will base the final standings on teams’ record. There is a winners and losers bracket. Those who win in the winners bracket will advance, while the losers will fall to the losers bracket. If you win in the losers bracket, you continue. If you lose, you are knocked out of the tournament entirely. The grand prize is from a pool of $500,000.

Learn more about Call of Duty League betting

Valorant

Valorant is part of the hero-shooter genre of games pioneered by Overwatch. It is developed by Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends, and is one of the most popular online shooters on the planet. Riot runs the Valorant Champions Tour, an esports arm of their competitive gaming company. The VCT runs several events over the course of a ‘season’, after which there is a top-level event called VCT Champions, which features the best of the best going head-to-head.

Esports Futures Odds

Many Esports leagues and organizations have altered their scheduling to protect players, fans, and all other associated parties from the coronavirus. Many major tournaments were canceled or postponed, but the esports world is seeing many of the bigger leagues return to action. Since most esports can be played under socially distant circumstances, many competitions were able to return to action. There is plenty of esports betting opportunity to be had, and with so many other sports suspended, Esports futures odds have gained a high degree of popularity with bettors throughout the pandemic.

Typical MOBA (League of Legends, DOTA2) Bet Types

  • Moneyline
  • Spread
  • First kill
  • First tower
  • Total kills O/U
  • First to X kills
  • First to X gold

Typical FPS Bet Types (Fortnite, CoD, Overwatch)

  • Moneyline
  • Total kills
  • First to X kills
  • First map
  • First to X time survived
  • Most headshots
  • Spreads
  • Set bets

Typical Sports Game Bet Types (Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA)

  • First Goal
  • Spread
  • Moneyline
  • Points O/U

Betting On E-Sports In Nevada

With the COVID-19 pandemic closing all retail sportsbooks in Nevada and shutting down most major global sports leagues, online e-sports betting become extremely popular during this time. While Nevada’s retail sportsbooks were closed for a short period, online sportsbooks remained open. On March 25, 2020, the Nevada Gaming Control Board voted to allow the state’s sportsbooks to accept wagers in Counter-Strikes ESL Pro League. This was a big moment for Esports betting in the US, as it has continued to grow in popularity in 2022.

Esports Mobile Betting

True betting experts know how important it is to be able to bet from your mobile device, and that is no different when it comes to esports . Luckily, all of the international online sportsbooks we feature here are fully optimized for mobile sports betting, regardless of where you might be. There is no need to download an app, as these books allow you to bet with just the use of your device’s internet browser. Simply log on to the sportsbook website from your mobile browser and you will instantly be connected to the mobile client of the platform. This mobile version of the site has all the same features and capabilities as the desktop version, just in a smaller package.

Live Betting on Esports

In recent years, live betting has become one of the most popular and profitable forms of sports wagering. Just like esports, the advancement of technology in the betting industry has seen a tremendous boom in the capabilities of live betting. With live betting, you can bet on any esports match as it is happening, with odds that shift and adapt to the real-time action as it unfolds. With live betting, it is never too late to bet on an esports match or event, and there is always an opportunity to hedge your bets. Be sure to make your decisions fast when live betting, as the best value bet may be gone before you know it.

Popular Esports Tournaments

Like any good sport, there are esports tournaments established to show off who is the best of the very best. We have briefly mentioned some of the tournaments you can expect in the list above, but let us go into a bit more detail about them. Down below are some of the biggest tournaments in esports with the largest prize pools available. If you are lucky to watch one of these tournaments live, you will see really competitive gameplay happen.

The International

Dota 2’s biggest tournament is without a doubt The International. Some might argue that it is the biggest esports tournament in the entire world. The reason for that is that in 2019, the prize pool has passed over $30 million. With so much money going into the prize pool for The International, the competition is going to be rough for all teams that are trying to get in the tournament. That makes it exciting to watch and exciting to bet on.

Fortnite World Cup

Established in 2019, the Fortnite World Cup made it very clear that this is one of the most competitive and most rewarding esports tournaments in the world. With the first tournament having a prize pool of over $30 million, even competitors who ended up in 10th place walked away with thousands of dollars in their pockets.

The event is finally returning for the first in-person competition since 2019, with the FNCS invitational starting in November 2022, in Raleigh North Carolina. The second-ever Fortnite World Cup will have $1 million up for grabs, in what is expected to be a huge betting event for all Esports and Fortnite fanatics.
Betting On E-Sports In Nevada

Overwatch Grand Finals

Established in 2019, the Overwatch Grand Finals has become of the biggest eSports betting events and concludes the end of the regular season of the Overwatch League (OWL). The 2019 event saw the San Francisco Shock winning the event and taking home $1.5 million in winnings.

September of 2021 saw the fourth edition of the grand event and the tournament ended up being okayed online. There was a total purse of $2.2 million and the Shanghai Dragons swept the Atlanta Reign and walked away with $1.5 million.

League Of Legends World Championship

The League of Legends World Championship is the culmination of the very best teams coming together and proving who is the best at the game. There are 24 teams that qualify for this tournament and only one can walk away with the grand prize. The grand prize money has increased in recent years and the winning team can end up walking away with over $2.4 million in cash.

Teams from all over the world compete in this tournament, so it is absolutely to watch and bet on the League of Legends World Championship. Edward Gaming, the team representing Shanghai, won the 2021 event for their first ever LOL World Championship title. The 2022 event kicks off on September 29th, 2022, and has a purse of $2.23 million.

CS:GO Major Championship

The CS:GO Major Championship is not a single competition. There are many tournaments that fall under this name and all of them offer a prize pool of $1 million. Usually, there are at least two of these major tournaments that happen throughout the year. That gives you two opportunities to watch the absolute best of the best compete for cash prizes. Plus, these tournaments usually are great to wager on and we highly recommend you do so.