Would you have ever believed that competitive videogames would turn into a multi-billion dollar industry? For some, this concept seems almost a bit childish. For others, it was an inevitability. Either way, the future is here, and Esports is a force.
Even if you aren’t the type to pick up the controller for yourself, you can still make money gambling on Esports competitions. Sure, there’s a learning curve involved, but that also means if you’re able to get ahead of the public in terms of your knowledge, you can capitalize at the sportsbook.
In this article, I’ll lay out 4 beginner tips for betting on Esports.
1 – Find a Sportsbook That Specializes in Esports
Esports is still in its infancy as an industry – both as a sport and as a betting market. That means a good deal of online sportsbooks don’t have all the offerings you’d want when looking to make a bet.
Unlike traditional sports such as football, where the only game played is, well, football, Esports don’t only involve one game. For example, Counter Strike, League of Legends, Fortnite, and many others are all part of what would be considered the Esports umbrella.
If you’re a gamer yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll have firsthand experience in some games more than others. That will likely mean you’re going to be able to make more educated betting decisions based on your knowledge of the various games in question.
Don’t just make a deposit on the first Esports betting platform that you come across. Instead, have a specific set of criteria in mind that you’re looking for in a betting site.
If you’re someone who prefers to play lesser-known teams or players, you might need to find a website that only offers Esports betting options.
At the end of the day, which site you choose should come down to how well you know the sport, how familiar you are with the games themselves, and the types of bets you’re looking to make. If you’re someone who gets into prop bet offerings, for example, don’t expect to find those on the betting platforms which specialize in the “traditional sports” only.
2 – Learn the Teams and Players
The Esports subculture is not as widely-understood as most other sports. It’s primarily comprised of young people who have grown up with videogames as a ubiquitous part of life. If you’re someone who grew up with videogames like Pac-Man or Mario Kart, this new revolution of videogames – and gamers – can seem a bit overwhelming.
One of the biggest difference in gamers today is that they’ve grown up with the idea of turning their favorite Saturday morning hobby into a way to make a living. (And a pretty nice living at that.) That means they aren’t just playing for fun – they’re playing to get better, and they’re playing with higher stakes.
If you’re not deep into the Esports world already, there’s a good chance you’re almost entirely unfamiliar with the players and the teams.
In fact, did you even know that competitions can be between individuals or teams and not one or the other?
The good news is that even if you don’t know that much about the sport or the competitors, there’s plenty of resources that are dedicated to exclusively covering the sport. If you really want to learn the ins and outs, all you have to do is put in the time.
Once you have a grasp on the prominent competitors within the Esports world, it’s time to learn their past history in competition with one another. Just as looking back at past history between two NFL teams the previous season, so too is it important to gather all the head-to-head data on Esports teams.
If you’re betting on individuals, there’s plenty of data on past results to help bring you up to speed. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that more experienced players are necessarily better than newer players simply because they have more games under their belt.
The bottom line is that to be successful with Esports betting you need to take the same approach as you would any other sport: gather as much information as you possibly can.
3 – Understand Your Betting Options
Just as you would want to know all the different types of bets you can make on a basketball or baseball game, you should also learn all your options when it comes to Esports. Things like moneylines, totals, and even spreads are available, and for those commonly-known betting methods, there isn’t too much new information to learn. However, when it comes to exploring prop bet options, it’s a different story.
I know the topic of whether or not prop bets are a good idea is always contentious, but I believe there’s tons of opportunity to use them to your advantage when it comes to Esports. Not to mention, they might be even more fun to follow than in traditional sports.
Here are some examples of what prop bets look like during an Esports competition:
- Over/under the total number of kills a certain player will get in a game like Call of Duty, which team will draw first blood (could apply to a number of different games), the over/under on total amount of time it will take for a match to be played, whether or not a knife will be used for a kill in Counter Strike…the list could go on much longer, but you probably get the idea.
- Another major opportunity that is presented when you consider all betting options is futures bets. Though you’re probably familiar with what futures bets are and how they function, there’s something uniquely exciting when executing them in Esports. Most notably, the teams are so new, and the results so random, sportsbooks really don’t know what to do with them just yet.
Whereas we have plenty of context for the traditional sports teams and players because we’ve watched them for years, a new Esports team can pop up and immediately start dominating in short order. That means there’s tremendous value in taking some futures bets with longer odds than you’d normally feel comfortable playing.
If you take the time to learn your options and seek out sportsbooks that offer them, you can put together a betting strategy that is uniquely geared toward Esports in a way that differs from traditional sports.
4 – Watch before You Bet
If you’re serious about making money betting on Esports, you’ve got to get acquainted with the gameplay formats before putting your bankroll on the line. The good news? There are a number of different outlets that broadcast and cover the most notable events.
It’s never a good idea to bet on something when you have no idea how it works. Even if you win, it’s just due to plain luck (which is usually not a good long-term strategy). Simply watching a handful of matches and getting a “feel” for specific games can have a huge impact on your success as a bettor.
If you like certain games more than others, it’s okay to focus on specializing in these specifically. This is one of the advantages of Esports when compared with regular sports – Esports encompasses several different types of games, and there’s something for everyone.
In terms of where to start on your search to find Esports matches, YouTube has plenty of content that will help you get the information you should know before you start placing bets.
Esports are here to stay. Regardless of how you feel about them in the grand scheme of being considered a “sport,” the interest and economy that’s growing around Esports suggests a highly-sustainable outlook.
If you’re looking at Esports through the lens of a bettor, it’s best to get in now. Learning the ins and outs of the games and the best ways to bet on them can set you up for long-term success when the uninformed public starts hopping on board. Do the research, find a good sportsbook to place your bets, and there’s no reason you can’t be profiting off Esports competitions.
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- gambling industry
- league of legends
- Sports Betting
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- The Future