Betway has its own dedicated esports betting section on the main site. Yet for many people it remains something of an enigma.
We hope by the end of this article you will understand a lot more about esports and betting on them, so you can enjoy this exploding market.
So let’s begin with the absolute basics.
What are esports?
Esports are video games played by two or more competing parties. The term “esports” tends to refer to specific types of games designed specifically for this competition. The games are played either over the internet (online) or offline via a local area network. While there are thousands of computer games, the actual number of esports games that operate at a level where sports betting is allowed is relatively small.
So what’s the difference between me playing on my PS4 with a friend and an esports tournament?
At the highest esports levels, professional esports players comprise many of the teams. While this may sound strange in the UK, in South Korea for example, top esports players share the same high profile as European footballers and pop stars.
Essentially, the difference is that a casual game of Call of Duty is casual. Major esports tournaments feature the world’s best players. They undergo training and have contracts and sponsorships.
What are the main esports on Betway?
Certain games are the focus of the major esports teams, players, and tournaments. The main esports seen on Betway are outlined below.
- League of Legends – This is a multiplayer online battle arena game (also known as a MOBA). In this game, players select from a number of “champions” and usually play in teams of five to defeat their opponents on a map. They defeat their opponents by destroying their base.
- Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) – Dota 2 is another MOBA game that operates in a very similar way to League of Legends. Two teams of five players battle it out, destroying each other’s players and base.
- Starcraft 2 – This is a real-time strategy, science-fiction game that features three races in battle against each other: Terrans, Zergs, and Protoss. The game is played individually rather than in teams.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Known as CS:GO for short, this is a first-person shooter. The aim is to win a map by completing mission goals. You battle against another team with its own conflicting goals. Win by completing the mission or by eliminating all the other team’s members.
These four games are the most popular esports betting games on Betway. However, on occasion punters may find bets available for others, including Rocket League, Hearthstone, Brood War (an earlier version of StarCraft II), StreetFighter V, FIFA, Overwatch, and Call of Duty.
How are esports tournaments organized and regulated?
Rather like any sporting event, esports tournaments are organized and rated depending on the size of the sponsorship deal, the coverage the tournament receives, the quality of teams that enter, and its general prestige.
The very best esports events are rated as Premier events. These offer the highest prize money and attracting the very best esports teams from around the globe. Behind these there are a high number of Major events, which still attract top teams but which perhaps don’t offer the same high levels of prize money or prestige. Beyond the Major events are Minor events, which tend to feature just one or two top teams, smaller prizes, and to be located in smaller geographic areas.
A Minor event may have a total prize pool of around $10,000; however, an event like The International 2016 boasted the largest ever esports prize pool of $20,770,640, spread among 16 teams . There are now well over 30 different events each year that offer a prize fund of $1 million or more.
In terms of regulation, each event has a full list of rules. Players are now even drugs tested to ensure fair play. Any team or individual suspected of not playing fairly will be sanctioned.
Is esports betting popular?
Although esports betting is growing in popularity, especially among younger punters who have grown up playing games on their computers and consoles, it still remains a fringe sport in the UK. Globally, betting on esports is increasing markedly, especially in markets like Europe, the US, South America, and particularly Southeast Asia.
Unlike with some sports, there is a chance of a real shocking result when a massive underdog can beat a big favorite. This occurred when the previously unheralded Russian team Albus Nox Luna defeated Korean giants ROX Tigers at the 2016 League of Legends World Championships in one of the biggest upsets the sport has ever witnessed.
Can I watch esports live?
The great news is that many esports events are streamed live over the internet via a number of free streaming services. Twitch is arguably the most famous one, but you can also view games live on YouTube, and many tournaments will have their own live feeds.
This is particularly useful if you are a fan of In Play betting.
Can I bet In Play on esports events?
Betway offers a number of In Play betting markets on top esports events each week. Head to the Esports section of the site and check out the In Play Esports section. There is a list of events taking place now, or you can click on the Upcoming tab to see a list of forthcoming matches.
What are the main annual esports events?
If you are new to esports betting, then it is arguably best to start with well-publicized and well-documented events. As such, we’ve provided a handy list of some of the very biggest and best annual esports tournaments.
- The International (Dota 2)
- LoL World Championships (League of Legends)
- DreamHack Series (CS:GO)
- Dota 2 Asia Championships (Dota 2)
- Valve’s Major Series of Events (Dota 2)
- World Electronic Sports Games (CS:GO, SCII, and Dota 2)
- ELeague (CS:GO)
- ESL (CS:GO)
- MLG (CS:GO)
- WCS Global Finals (SCII)
So if you fancy a flutter on something new this week, why not check out Betway’s excellent esports betting service? One thing is for sure — this market will only grow in value and popularity in the coming years.