Sports betting is a multi-million dollar industry that’s been a favourite pastime of many for centuries. With the rising popularity of online sports betting and gambling, there was a demand for new and innovative products. Gaming has been recently officially recognized as esports, so it’s no surprise that it caught on pretty quickly.
The biggest change, however, happened with the Covid-19 lockdown and the cancellation of most sports events. Thus esports betting sites exploded! Although not literally, the aftermath sure feels like it. Esports are available on so many sportsbooks that many players are just looking for a complete guide to the best esports betting sites to find out where they should play.
Even though we make it sound like it was overnight, in reality, there are more sportsbooks that are about to jump on the bandwagon. With the rise of popularity of esports tournaments and events, other sportsbooks and casino operators are catching on as well, and experts agree that esports is taking over quickly.
If you’re a fan of sports betting and haven’t tried esports betting, then it’s definitely something worth trying! The matches are equally exciting to watch as sports, and are sure to leave you on the edge of the seat as you wait for that last kill for a major win. Due to the nature of esports, the bets are flexible too, so you can expect even more innovative betting formats to become available.
As weird as it may sound, sports betting has been around for at least 2000 years. It’s hard to imagine how that would have looked, but people have always loved to predict the outcome of sports events. It first started with the introduction of the Olympics and later on spread to Ancient Rome where it was legalized.
At one point in time, mostly during Medieval times, sports betting was condemned which cause all bookies to relocate their businesses underground. Sports betting continued to flourish with the introduction of new sports. As it spread around the world, the United Kingdom introduced and popularized horse race betting which is now a favourite pastime to UK bettors.
Sports betting continued to evolve and grow over the years and is popular around the world, especially in Europe – the biggest sports betting market in the world. Bettors can now predict the outcomes of not only competitive sports like football, basketball, and baseball, but also non-athletic events like political elections, game shows, and horse racing among others. Sports betting continues to change even more as today we even have esports as part of the sportsbook options.
Classifying video games as sports may be controversial, but it all depends on what one might consider a sport. And while for many hardcore sports fans, esports events aren’t exactly considered sports, they have now officially been recognized as electronic sports. Players compete professionally in organized tournaments where they show off their skills in various games.
Some of these esports games include Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), First-Person Shooter (FPS), Real-Time Strategy (RTS), fighting, card, battle royale, and other types of games. You can find tournaments for games like:
What’s especially interesting is that video game competitions aren’t a thing of the last decade. The first known competition took place back in 1972 at Standford University. The game in question was Spacewar and the grand prize was a year’s subscription for the Rolling Stone magazine.
The first and major difference is obviously in the types of sports that are being offered to bettors. There are traditional sportsbooks that have come to offer esports in addition to traditional sports, while there are those that have stuck to the traditions and are yet to jump on the bandwagon. Aside from the stark difference in the types of sports, several others should be mentioned too.
In both esports betting and traditional betting, bettors are trying to predict the outcome of the match. The types of bets are made according to the rules of the game and all include real money bets. However, with esports betting, players can decide to wager either real money or skins.
Skins gambling is usually available for CS: GO, where players can easily trade these skins to one another. Skins don’t usually do anything to upgrade the weapon of choice, and are rather a cosmetic item however they are still a popular ‘currency’ in eSports betting.
Any type of betting requires a strategy and it’s usually based on experience with the games beforehand. Traditional sports bettors watch and closely follow sports events, know players’ and teams’ abilities, and they closely follow any potential trades. The same goes for esports bettors, only the betting strategy is slightly different as there are certain parameters that they don’t have to keep in mind.
More specifically, esports bettors don’t need to worry about the weather, bad calls by referees, player injury, etc. Bettors need to know the game’s mechanics, software updates, and players’ and teams’ stats in order to make their betting strategy.
The term bookers and sports booking is derived from the fact that bets were previously written down in books. Considering that books are now a thing of the past and everything has been digitalized, the rewards can be digital as well.
With traditional betting, bettors wager real money and receive real money as rewards. While you can still wager and win real money on esports, you can also get rewards as in-game items or other resources.
With traditional sports, there’s a lot of data and statistics about the teams’ performance decades back. And while there are always surprises, bookmakers can make the odds according to previous data.
With esports, there’s not enough data as it’s a fairly young sport. Moreover, esports are yet to be standardized, and with so many different types of games available, it’s a much more open market with bigger bets up for grabs.
When it comes to following the matches, sportsbooks that are esports oriented usually offer streaming of the matches directly on the site. This isn’t always the case with other sportsbooks that provide bettors with the odds and match results only.
Esports betting sites tailor the experiences towards gaming fans, so it’s much more familiar to bettors than on other sportsbooks. What this means is that you can watch the match and bet on it, all in the same place.
Depending on whether you prefer an esports-only site or a sportsbook that offers both traditional and esports, there are several things you need to have in mind. They include the welcome bonus, esports selection, payment methods, customer service, T&Cs, etc.
Much like with online casinos popping up in every virtual corner of the internet, esports betting sites are on the rise as well. With so many options available, you’ll probably find yourself overwhelmed with choice. Here are a few things to look out for in order to find the best esports betting sites around.
This should go without saying, but the number one thing you need to look out for when choosing an esports betting site is a valid license from a reliable authority. If you’ve ever played at an online casino before, you probably know that your experience and legality of gambling are based on the license. The same goes for betting sites, as it regulates the way that a betting site works and it protects you from any potential scam.
If you are a bettor residing in the United Kingdom, you should be looking for an esports betting site that holds a valid UK Gambling Commission license. The UKGC is one of the strictest gaming authorities, so betting at an esports site that holds this license should give you peace of mind that it’s a reliable one. There are other types of licenses that an esports betting site may offer, so as long as the esports betting site has a valid license from a relevant gambling authority, you’re good to go.
The best feature about online betting sites is that more often than not there sign-up promotions and welcome bonus offers. These can be in the form of a match bonus, where they’ll match your initial deposit or give you free bet money which you can use to bet on any match.
If you’d like to get a good headstart, then these bonuses are a great way to reward you for choosing the best betting site. Some esports betting websites also offer other promotions once the initial welcome bonus has been claimed. Based on the promotions and welcome bonus, it’s easy to choose the best esports betting site.
We often have a habit of clicking ‘I agree’ without even reading the fine print. In order to choose the very best esports betting site, it’s always good to read the terms and conditions thoroughly before proceeding to play.
This way you’ll find out about the way that the casino operates and what you’re agreeing to by proceeding to bet on the page. This is where you’ll find the wagering requirements for any potential bonuses that you claim, which is always good information to have so that you don’t end up on the losing end of the bargain.
Sometimes, some payment options are excluded from claiming the bonus and you’ll not be eligible for claiming any bonuses. To avoid any sticky situations with payment method exclusions or bonus time limits, it’s always best to read the terms and conditions beforehand.
Some betting sites have unrealistic wagering requirements that are just unfair or limited deposit options, and they should give you a clearer picture of which esports betting sites are reliable and which aren’t.
The coverage of games and matches is an important thing to look out for. There are so many games that have their own pro league, so you always want to have a broader choice. While most of the betting sites have the most popular games like League of Legends, Dota 2, CS: GO, and Call of Duty, there are still so many games to bet on.
The odds for the bets are created by the betting site, and it’s up to you to bet against the bookmakers to win some generous sums. If you are a gamer, you should be familiar with the game mechanics as well as the teams that are competing in the tournament.
Therefore, you’ll know if the odds are realistic or not. Sometimes, some betting sites that have jumped on the bandwagon of esports betting have more favourable odds than others. So, before choosing an esports betting site, consider the odds as well.
Most of the esports betting oriented sites offer live streaming for most of the matches that they’re covering. This comes in handy if you want to watch the matches that you’ve bet on and have them all in one place. This feature is most common with esports oriented betting sites. So if you’re looking for the best esports sites, check if they also offer live streaming too.
Nothing puts off users like a laggy or overcrowded site. Betting sites tend to overlook user experience and build complex, overcrowded websites that can make it hard to navigate and find the matches that you’d like to bet. Moreover, if they don’t offer a mobile app, the website can be hard to access from a mobile device if it’s not optimized.
That’s why it’s always advised to look for a website that’s not only easy on the eyes, but it’s also user-friendly and offers you the best user experience. If you want a betting site that is available on mobile too, go for the ones that have a dedicated app or a fully optimized website that’s easily accessible from your mobile browser.
The betting format may also influence your decision on which is the best esports betting site for you. Some betting sites offer real money wagers, while others offer skins betting or other items and resources. More often than not, betting sites offer live betting and odd/even bets where you can bet if the final outcome will be an odd or an even number.
Depending on what type of betting format you want, you can be sure you’ll find betting sites that offer just what you need. The betting format can be a good indicator of which esports betting sites are worth your time.
Esports betting is a continuously growing industry that has new betting products regularly. It especially rose in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, which cancelled quite a few sport matches around the world. Nevertheless, picking the best games to bet on can be quite subjective, but there are a few that are the most popular among esports bettors.
First-person shooter games have always been very popular among players, but they’re also interesting for spectating as well. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a classic in this genre for the simple reason that it feels like you’re watching an action movie play out in front of you. You’ve also surely heard of Ninjas in Pyjamas, the most popular CS: GO pro-team.
The way the game works is that the teams get divided into two groups: Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist and their goal is to eliminate the other team. The matches are dynamic and highly entertaining, and are sure to leave you on the edge of your seat, especially if you’re one kill away from winning some serious cash!
If you want to bet on CS: GO, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the way the game works, as well as the teams and players. After watching several matches, you’ll be able to pick the team with the most glaring weak link as well as their playing patterns, so it should be fairly easy to find the best odds. This might not be the easiest of games to master as a player, but it’s sure an entertaining one to watch, and even more entertaining to bet on.
League of Legends is one of the most popular games in the esports markets and can be found in almost all of the best esports betting sites. It’s equally intense as first-person shooter games, only it’s a multiplayer online battle arena with three lanes.
The objective of the game is to take down the main building of the opposing team, also called the Nexus, which can be found in the opposing team’s base. Along the way, players come across other challenges like the opposing team’s minions, champions, and turrets.
League of Legends is a great eSport to bet on because it’s immersive, interesting to watch and because the game mechanics allows for innovative betting formats. In the main mode, Summoner’s Rift, you can bet on which player/ esports team will take ‘First Blood’ or have the first kill of the game. Esports betting sites also offer players handicap/spread bets ideal for the ‘best of three’ format, over/under/total, and many other betting formats that can bring you potentially big wins.
Dota 2 is very similar to LoL in the way a match plays out. The objective is also similar, with players battling to destroy the opposing team’s base, also called the Ancient. It’s an intense experience watching a match play out, as there are many challenges and objectives along the way.
There are also a lot of characters, also known as Heroes, with different powers and abilities, which plays an important part in how the match plays out. As with League of Legends, there are many interesting and innovative bet types, so it’s no wonder it’s a popular choice for esports betting enthusiasts.
The initial Starcraft came to life in 1998, and for those of you who remember the original, you’ll surely fall in love with Starcraft II – if you haven’t already. It’s one of those intense fantasy strategy games that are just as interesting to watch as it is to play. Players get to choose one of the three available groups: Terran (humans), Zerg (Aliens), or Protoss (Wizards). The objective is to destroy the opponent’s structures also called Units.
Starcraft II is great to bet on because of how immersive it is and with it being offered in all of the best esports betting sites, there are many great bets. You can bet on which team or player wins or choose one of the handicap bets. It might be hard to master it as a player, but it’s sure entertaining to watch and even more so to bet on.
Arguably one of the most popular games ever, Call of Duty is a first-person shooter with one main objective – don’t get killed! There are other objectives as well, but the most important objective that you’d be betting on is which team is going to eliminate the other first.
Like other esports competitions, Call of Duty is very interesting to not only watch, but also to bet on. They do require you to know the teams well as well as which players can register more kills, finish more objectives and ultimately stay alive.
Picking the best esports betting sites can be very challenging considering the choice you have, as it is a fast-growing market. There are so many gambling sites around the world that offer customers the chance to bet on esports, so it’s just about choosing the right sportsbook for you.
We’ve already gone over the most important things to keep in mind when choosing the right esports betting websites as well as the best sports betting operators. At the end of the day, it’s up to what you require as a bettor, but one thing is for sure – you’ll definitely be entertained.
Here is our list of the top esports betting sites, both esports-oriented and traditional sportsbooks that are worth checking out:
|Esports Betting Site||Bonus||Turnover Requirements|
|Buff.bet||100% up to €100 with bonus code 'GET100'|
125% up to €100 with code 'GET125'
150% up to €100 with code 'GET150'
|10x turnover requirements of deposit and bonus funds, on odds above 1.70 within 30 days of initial deposit.|
|Intertops||200% up to $50 bonus with code 'ROOKIE200' |
100% up to $100 with code 'ROOKIE100'
50% up to $200 with bonus code 'ROOKIE50'
|8x turnover requirements minimum odds -200
6x turnover with minimum odds -200
4x turnover with minimum odds -200,
|Tonybet||100% up to £/€50 with bonus code 'TONY50'||10X turnover requirements on odds above 1.65 within 30 days|
|Loot.bet||100% up to €100 plus €20 free bet with the promo code 'PORTO'||15x over 10 days turnover requirements, on odds above 1.59|
|Betway||No welcome bonus available, £/€ 10 in Free Bet money every week by esports wagers of £/€25+ on doubles, trebles, and accumulators||minimum overall odds 3.00|
|Vie.bet||100% up to $100, a minimum deposit of $10||7x turnover requirement of deposit and bonus funds,on odds above 1.75|
|WilliamHill||bet £10/€10 get get £/€30 in free bets||time limit of 30 days|
|Betwinner||100% up to €100||5x turnover requirements on odds above 1.40|
|Unikrn||200% match deposit bonus up to €100||45x turnover requirements|
|Unibet||100% up to €25||6x turnover requirements on odds above 1.40 valid for 30 days|
This is our list of top esports betting sites, offering the best welcome bonuses and esports odds that are sure to keep you entertained. They all cover the major esports markets, so you’re sure to find the right ones for you!
Are Esports Betting Sites Safe?
Yes. Like other sportsbooks, most of the esports betting sites are perfectly safe. If they have the industry-standard 128-bit SSL Encryption and operate under a valid gambling licence, esports betting sites are safe!
Is It Legal To Bet On Esports?
It depends on the jurisdiction of the place you reside in, but it’s perfectly legal to bet on esports as it is on other sportsbooks too. If the esports betting site operates under a valid licence from a relevant gambling authority, you should be at ease.
Where Can I Find The Best Esports Betting Sites?
There are many esports betting sites that are worth checking out. However, we’ve compiled a list of the best esports bookmakers to help you out with the choice. Check the list above.
Do Betting Sites Offer Esports Bonus Codes?
Not all of the esports gambling sites offer a bonus code, but most of them have generous promotions for you to claim. Those that don’t have a special esports bonus compensate with the best odds so you’ll be on the winning end either way.
What Games Can I Bet On?
Depending on what you prefer, almost all of the games that have tournaments can be bet on. From LoL, Call of Duty, Dota 2 and CS: GO to games like Hearthstone, Rainbow Six Siege, and Heroes of the Storm – you can bet on all of these games.
Do Esports Betting Sites Have a Mobile Version?
While not all of the esports bookmakers have a dedicated mobile app, the majority have fully optimized websites so you can access the esports site through your mobile browser from just about anywhere.