Esports has become massively popular, and today betting on a video game, be that Dota 2 The International or League of Legends World Championship, is a normal thing. Over the past years, esports betting sites such as Rivalry, Betway, Pinnacle, and Luckbox have established themselves as trustworthy operators. Betting on esports today is more accessible than any time in the past as the overall volume of wagers is growing all the time.
Esports fans are no longer just willing to stay on the sidelines. They are equally eager to get in on the action and put down a wager on the esports teams they love the best. Before you head off and place your first bet on esports, we recommend that you get a little more familiar with the basic concept.
Esports betting is not unlike sports betting, but if you are not familiar with either, we will help you quickly catch yourself up. Below is a detailed breakdown of all you need to know, from the games that are considered popular choices to how you can be a little more successful placing a wager on competitive gaming contests.
Best Esports Betting Sites: What Esports Betting Site to Pick
There are numerous esports sites you can pick from. We have made sure to list the five best esports betting sites that will provide you with a great online gambling experience, including match variety, different markets, a great welcome bonus, and many opportunities to bet on your favorite esports title. Just like in traditional sports betting, these websites focus on delivering an impeccable experience. Here are the leading esports bookies.
- Rivalry Esports
- Luckbox Esports
- Betway Esports
- Pinnacle Esports
- GG.Bet Esports
- Sportsbet.io Esports
- Bitcasino Esports
The brands we have listed here offer a comprehensive variety of esports betting markets, and they make sure that you will always have access to the top betting options and numerous titles, including CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Valorant, and others.
The esports gambling experience pivots on many important factors, including great coverage from around the world, fair and competitive odds, accessible bonuses, and fair fixtures. The esports sites we feature here bring you this and more.
Rivalry Esports is a leading esports betting site. Founded in 2018, Rivalry is an Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) member and has been fully focused on the competitive gaming betting experience since the very start. Today, players can find over 18 esports titles to bet on, including CS:GO, LoL, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Call of Duty, and many others. The odds are fair and competitive, and Rivalry brings you comprehensive coverage of all major and local esports events. You will be in no shortage of excellent esports teams and markets to enjoy, with your first deposit fetching you a neat bonus as you get started.
Read our full Rivalry Esports review.
Luckbox is another esports-first platform that was founded in 2018. Luckbox predicated its model on creating a competitive betting platform where people can come and place a bet on any esports that is currently running. The platform offers a mix of in-play, future, and pre-game betting on a variety of sports and events, including The International and League of Legends Worlds, as well as Valorant, Starcraft, Rocket League, and other esports events. The platform uses blockchain and a native token which sets it apart from most other betting sites and provides a fulfilling esports betting experience from top to end.
Read our full Luckbox Esports review.
Betway Esports is a pioneer in the esports betting space. The company has sponsored a number of esports organizations, including BIG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Made in Brazil, G2, and FURIA, and many others. Betway is a sponsor to events such as the Blast Premier Series, making it one of the most involved companies on all fronts of competitive video gaming. In terms of betting options, you will find Betway to bet spot on as well, as it covers a wide variety of games, including CS:GO, Dota 2, Starcraft, LoL, and more. The markets are optimized to offer you the best opportunities to bet on esports, and you can further benefit from a variety of odds boosters.
Read our full Betway Esports review.
Pinnacle is another pioneer of the betting in esports experience. The betting site was among the first to actually embrace esports and turn a profit on it. Yet, Pinnacle has fully focused on the consumer experience, and as a result, it's a known and trusted esports gambling platform where you will have no trouble navigating your favorite games and place a bet. There are numerous wager types to pick from here, including on games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, Counter-Strike, and many others.
Read our full Betway Esports review.
GG.Bet provides esports betting enthusiasts with plenty of viable options to choose from. The website will cover many options, including some more niche markets such as Heroes of the Storm, Smite, NBA 2K18, Halo, Hearthstone, Battlegrounds, Overwatch, and others. GG.Bet relies on a community-driven approach inspired by the social experience. So far as betting on esports goes, GG.Bet prices its odds fairly and offers a sufficient market variety to be a worthwhile choice for even the fussiest esports bettor.
Read our full GG.Bet Esports review.
Sportsbet.io brings you an outstanding selection of esports games and titles. Players will be able to enjoy themselves, choosing from numerous top-notch titles, including Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Valorant, Call of Duty and many others. The esports website offers you direct crypto deposits and withdrawals making it very easy to cash out your winnings without any additional traction. Sportsbet.io is one of the most innovative esports betting sites that would allow you to constantly improve your betting experience without expending unnecessary effort. Take a look at our full review.
Read our full Sportsbet.io Esports review.
Bitcasino.io is getting big on esports and a recent tie-up with Evil Geniuses is just the proof you need to know that this is true. Powered by the Betsy software, Bitcasino.io brings a lot to the table when it comes to esports. The website has a dedicated section just for competitive video gaming and you can benefit from zero-wagering-requirement bonuses, a great overall banking and an outstanding variety of competitive betting odds. Have a look at our full review for more info.
Read our full Bitcasino.io Esports review.
Popular Esports Games: The Almanac of Esports Betting Titles
There are close to 20 esports games you can bet on today. They include several main genres that will be interesting for you to explore. To make things easier for you to follow, we have categorized all esports betting games in a list by genre, as follows:
- First-Person Shooter: Call of Duty, Overwatch, Valorant, Rainbow Six, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Battle Royale: Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
- MOBA: League of Legends, Dota 2
- Real-time Strategy: Starcraft, Starcraft II, Warcraft III, Age of Empires
- Sports simulator: FIFA, NBA2K, Rocket League
- Fighting games: Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros.
These games offer some of the most exciting markets you can bet on when looking for esports gambling. Each game has established esports tournaments that make it a worthwhile betting market in the first place. You don't have to bet on all of these games. Not at all. In fact, these games are hardly equal when it comes to the total esports betting handle.
A good esports betting site will usually cover the majority of these games, but the bulk of the action will always be focused on a few more prominent titles. We have definitive data about the four most bet on esports games, including:
- Dota 2
This data covers 2020, so you may expect another update in early 2022 about the esports betting volume per game for 2021. Other games continue to elicit strong interest, as betting on esports is becoming more popular every month.
Major Esports Events to Bet On
If you are new to esports betting, you are probably looking for the biggest esports tournaments you could bet on right away. Take this with a grain of salt because there are numerous esports titles out there and even more tournaments you can participate in or wager on.
The biggest esports events include Dota 2 The International, LoL World Championship, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2 Majors. ESL frequently organizes events that you should be on the lookout for, and it is also DreamHack and numerous StarCraft tournaments backed by both the ESL and DreamHack.
WePlay, PGL, and Beyond the Summit are all popular organizations that are seriously involved with esports and make it possible for esports fans to find events that are worth betting on. Because of the fluid nature of esports events, the main events often shift in organizing authorities, so you can expect to see different big events every year.
Nevertheless, the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are definitely great events to bet on. So are the LoL regional leagues and championships and, not least, the Mid-Season Invitational. There are numerous events that you can expect to hear about in the latest news, and if they manage to attract big enough names, you can expect sites like Rivalry, Loot.bet, Luckbox and the likes to cover them.
How to Get Started with Esports Betting?
If you are looking to get started with betting on esports, you are in luck. The process is actually quite simple, and you should have no trouble finding a site that meets your gaming needs. Whether you are betting on CS:GO or Dota 2, you will find that there are many worthwhile sites.
If you want to save yourself all the looking around, just pick from the list we have provided here. In the meantime, here is a quick list of the steps you need to follow to place your first bet on competitive video games.
- Find an Esports Betting Site You Can Trust: Finding a website you can trust should be step one of your esports betting experience. There are numerous regulated options for you to explore, and we recommend picking the one that is already reviewed by us and ranks high in your fellow esports bettors' personal rankings.
- Register an Account: The next step is to naturally set up your betting account. This is a process that usually only takes a few minutes. You will have no trouble going through the motions of registration as long as you provide accurate information.
- Deposit Money in Your Account: Once this is done, it's time to deposit money. Pick a trusted payment method, meet the minimum required amount, and you are ready to get started. You will be able to use numerous payment options, including bank cards, e-wallets, and more.
- See If You Want a Bonus: Most esports betting sites will always have a bonus to offer. Whether you want to deposit and claim a match bonus is up to you, but it's good to always consider the opportunity.
- Start Betting on Your Favorite Video Games: Now that you are all set up, the last thing to do is pick your favorite teams, contests, and matches and just back them up. We recommend sticking with those esports organizations and games that you understand best.
Types of Esports Bets
Esports betting terminology is not much different than traditional sports betting. To make it easier for you to follow, we will explain several types of wagers you can expect to dominate the betting market and esports industry. Let's take a look.
This is the simplest type of esports bet you can ever make. Essentially, you pick one team and bet on them to win. If they do, you cash in your winnings, and if not, the bookie collects. It's a simple and straightforward process. This is the most popular type of esports bet there is, too.
Futures are bets you place at the beginning of a competition. For example, you could extract a big value if you wagered on Undying winning TI10. The team's original odds were posted at +10,000, but after the Group Stage was completed, the team now has +2,000 to win. Futures can be great types of wagers if you know whom you are backing.
Proposition bets are the most esports-type of bet you can run into. There are many different “win conditions” in an esports game, mostly because the video games that are called esports are very different in their core. So a proposition bet is you not betting on the winner of a game or match, but on a specific condition being met – which team kills an opponent first, destroys a building, conquers an area, and so on.
Totals is popular sports betting nomenclature. They are also used in esports, and that is understandable. Essentially, players are asked to bet on whether a certain number of total kills, points, or scores will be met. You bet on Over or Under this condition and win whether you have guessed correctly.
In-play or live esports betting is quickly becoming everyone's favorite. Players appreciate the opportunity to be able to wager on esports matches that are in progress. In-play odds are changing rapidly, so it's definitely not easy to bet on live games, but it's quite rewarding and exhilarating, and many players prefer this type of bet.
Esports Betting Tips
If you are looking for the best way to bet on esports, we can help you out. Below are five betting tips that will make it much easier for you to pick the games that add value to your bankroll and help you move forward. Here are the time-tested pieces of advice that will help you bring your A esports betting game.
#1 Bet on Familiar Games and Teams
You are always better of betting on teams and games that you understand and follow because it's your hobby. Don't go where most of the fans are and focus on games that you truly appreciate. This is the best way to place a successful wager in Starcraft, Warcraft, Dota, or Fortnite.
#2 Don't Bet Much Money on Esports
You never have to bet much money on esports to be successful. Focus on spending only a fraction of your budget, and make sure to always stick to your guns rather than chasing unlikely returns by placing bigger sums.
#3 No Shame in Skipping an Event
If you are not too sure about what and who to bet on, you may just as well skip an event. For example, you can wait for the first round of the TI group stage to see which teams show promise and back them up on the next day of play.
#4 Match Winners Are the Best Value Bets
In terms of pure betting value, you will get the best money on match winners. These wagers are the easiest to follow through with, and they statistically offer the best return, perhaps only outside of accumulators. However, in terms of a sustainable betting model, you should go with match winners.
#5 Don't Bet for the Sake of Having Wagered
Place wagers that provide you with actual betting value. There is no need to bet on every game or even on every day of a tournament. Focus on the matches that you understand and where you believe your money will be able to bring you value.
Skin Betting: Why Are People Talking About It?
Skin betting is a now prohibited form of esports gambling. In 2016, skins were wagered instead of cash on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive games. If a bettor was successful, they would get a big payday, depending on how many skins they had gambled beforehand, in skins. These skins were then used to sell for real money, which became a conflicting point.
The global skin betting market was worth $2 billion, which is more than the entire esports industry as a whole today, which is worth $1 billion, according to Newzoo. If a website claims they can offer you betting with skins, they are most likely illegitimate, and you should avoid them.
Fantasy Esports Betting: Is That a Thing?
Fantasy esports betting is a form of video game betting that is predicated on the same model as fantasy sports. Essentially, you create a fantasy team of esports players (who may not be in the same team in the real world), and your team gets points based on individual players' performance. This is a rather niche market, and we cannot say that many mainstream esports betting sites offer fantasy betting.
Is Esports Betting Legal?
Esports betting is legal, but whether it's legal in your country or jurisdiction will depend solely on local rules and regulations. Europe and North America are moving quickly to couch esports betting in regulatory terms that allow the activity to take place legally while still complying with the law and protecting consumers. You can always check the latest news to check out where esports betting is legal, and we have provided several individual pages to help you out with that as well.
Conclusion: Bet at the Safest Esports Sites
Your knowledge of esports will ultimately be what decides how successful you are. Then again, the choice of a fitting esports betting site is what matters to make sure that your wagers are honored and that you can cash out your winnings quickly and without any trouble. Pick from our recommended list of esports bookies and have a blast.
Esports Betting Sites FAQs
Where can I place a bet on esports?
You can place a bet on esports at authorized betting sites. There are numerous such websites that operate globally, and we recommend referring to our reviewed list of esports operators to find out more.
What is the best esports betting site?
Different esports sites have different strengths. Some sites are good at match bets, and others provide you with a greater value in terms of odds boosters, bonuses, or in-play markets. It's best to examine each site individually and see what they have to offer, or just read our dedicated reviews.
Is esports betting legal in the United States?
Yes, esports betting is 100% legal in the United States and numerous other prominent jurisdictions. However, you must make sure that the site that offers esports bets in your state is authorized to do so by the state regulator.
How big is esports betting globally?
Predicting the global esports betting market is a difficult task. According to Zion Market, a research company, sports betting is on track to be worth $179.3 billion by 2028. In contrast, some analytics firms post the esports betting market by the same period to be worth $205 billion.
Should I accept a promo code from betting sites?
Some esports betting sites provide you with promotional codes that you can leverage to activate excellent bonuses that will guide your entire activity and make it simple for you to add value to your next wager. These promo codes should be audited. We recommend taking a look at our esports betting page to see what the latest esports promo codes have to offer you.
How does esports betting work?
Online esports betting works very similarly to traditional sports betting. You pick a team, and you place the desired amount you want to risk backing this team (or player) to win. There are many different win conditions – outright win, fulfilling a game condition specific to the game, securing a tournament, and more. Players will find the process intuitive and quick.