As betting on eSports is new in comparison to sports like football, horse racing and tennis, choosing a big-name online bookmaker for your eSports betting is not as easy.
eSports betting is something which has developed in recent years and not all the major betting brands were onboard at first. However, things have changed and as it has become apparent eSports is gaining in participants and viewers, the number of people wanting to place bets has also gone up.
As with anything, if there is a demand there will be supply and whereas 5 years ago you would struggle to find an online bookmaker offering eSports, you now have a good section from which to choose.
When choosing your online bookmaker for eSports betting, there are several factors you must consider, starting with the odds.
In our opinion, these at the top 5 bookmakers for eSports betting:
Has there been a bigger rise in popularity and development of any form of sport than eSports in recent years?
While eSports is not regarded by many people as being an actual sport, there is no denying it has taken off massively around the world. Not only are more and more people taking part in eSports but punters are betting more regularly. Betting on eSports has become big business and many of the leading online sports bookmakers have added eSports to their markets.
Essentially, eSports is competitive video game playing, where teams or individuals face off against each other in tournaments to decide who is the best at a specific game.
However, these events are not open to the casual gamer and there are professional teams with sponsorship deals who participate in tournaments featuring games such as League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and FIFA.
Not only is eSports becoming more popular in terms of those playing the games, the numbers of people watching them is incredible and even in 2013 it was estimated that approximately 71.5 million people worldwide watched eSports.
This trend is set to continue as the industry explodes and betting on eSports is only going to get bigger and better.
Bookmakers with Best Odds on E-Sports
Despite the increasing popularity of eSports, betting sites have been slow to adopt their betting markets and you will find some still do not offer any odds on eSports at all.
Therefore, there is a smaller pool of options but this does not mean you should accept the first odds on an event or match you find. There are enough betting sites offering odds on eSports for you to lose out on money if you do not check the odds across several bookmakers.
In most cases for eSports matches, the difference in odds quality is slight but over time, this can accumulate and make a big difference. For example, if Bet365 offer 11/8 for Clutch Gaming to defeat 100 Thieves in a League of Legends match and you bet £10, you will receive £23.70 back. If William Hill offer 6/4 and you bet £10, you will get £25 back.
This is a small difference of £1.30 but if you bet on eSports regularly, before you know it you have lost out on a decent amount of money.
While William Hill, BetWay, Ladbrokes and Bet365 are examples of traditional bookmakers with good quality eSports odds, there are some speciality online bookmakers which cater only for eSports.
Betspawn and GGbet are examples two eSports betting sites but their odds were slightly worse than both William Hill and Bet365 in the League of Legends example above. So, because a bookmaker is eSport specific, does not mean their odds are going to be better.
In fact, they both struggle to get into the list for the top eSports bookmakers for odds quality.
A major thing to consider when betting on eSports, is which online bookmaker has the best coverage of game and tournaments.
The biggest eSports games currently in operation are Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Defence of the Ancients 2, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Rocket League and King of Glory. There are other games including Call of Duty, FIFA, Overwatch and StarCraft 2 but those in the list above should be covered by any serious eSports bookmaker.
From the traditional online bookmakers, BetWay leads the way and offers markets on every one of those games, with Mr Green and William Hill not far behind.
As one would expect from specialist eSports betting sites, they each have a good coverage of games and tournaments including Betspawn, GGbet, Arcanebet and Lootbet.
The betting markets on eSports can differ slightly depending on the game played but the most popular include Outright Result, Map Betting, Team Betting, Handicap, Over/Under Points, Number of Kills and Correct Score.
If an online bookmaker you are considering for eSports betting does not have these markets available, especially for the major games and tournaments, you should look elsewhere. Arcanebet usually have their markets priced up quickly and will have every market listed above available plus many more. The other specialist eSports bookmakers are not far behind plus BetWay and Bet365 also have a great choice of eSports bets and markets.
The surge in eSports betting has happened in no small part due to in-play betting and its this which has led eSports betting more into the main stream. Almost every other sport on which you can bet has seen in-play develop because of the popularity in betting on that sport, whereas the opposite is true where eSports is concerned.
Many of the eSports betting markets listed above are suitable for in-play betting. Perhaps the big draw of eSports is in the number of people who can watch thanks to live streaming. You can always find live coverage of the match on which you are betting at the top eSports bookmakers.
Every online bookmaker offering eSports betting markets should have live in-play betting available and if they don’t, you should definitely look elsewhere before placing your bet.
Many of the specialist eSports bookmakers such as Betspawn, Lootbet, Arcanebet and GGbet do not even require a deposit before you can watch the action live, usually via a Twitch stream. BetWay come out on top for choice of eSports in-play betting markets and they have a great choice, especially during the big tournaments.
As with any sport, you can use the generic bonuses and promotions at online bookmakers to bet on eSports. These are usually in the form of sign up bonuses and you can receive anything from a matched bet up to a certain amount on your first qualifying bet or a refund in the way of a free bet if your first bet loses.
Using these is a good way to start betting on eSports and you will find great sign up promotions at Ladbrokes, William Hill and Bet365, all of which offer eSports betting markets.
However, BetWay have moved one step ahead of the competition by offering Free Bet Objectives every week. In each promotional week, you can claim up to three promotions which are specific to eSports betting and you will not find offers like this elsewhere.
Even the specialised eSports betting websites cannot beat this and while you can enjoy sign-up bonuses at Betspawn and Arcanebet, its only really the former which offers anything extra in the way of their profit boost.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the betting industry, you already have a good choice of online bookmakers for eSports betting.
Thanks to the numbers of traditional bookmakers offering eSports in addition to the new, specialist eSports betting websites which have appeared, there is a good choice of odds, markets, live betting and promotions.
However, these are not the only factors you must consider when betting on eSports and the overall quality and experience of using the website should be considered.
There is no doubting the quality of established bookmakers such as Bet365 and William Hill. They have been operating their website for many years and its very easy to place a bet with them. Their websites run smoothly and they are well designed, which is what any good eSports bookmakers’ website should be like.
The new entries to the market, such as BetWay also have a nicely designed website and they even have their own section for eSports, which can be found from the menu across the top of the main homepage. The eSports sections are also easy find at Bet365 and William Hill, with links to each located above the fold.
The new, specialist eSports betting websites have a slightly different design to the traditional bookmakers and have more of a ‘computer game’ feel to them. With graphics in the background and a lot happening on the homepage, they are a little different to traditional online bookmakers but links to all the games and upcoming matches should always be easy to find.
Deposits and Withdrawals
It does not matter what type of event you wish to bet on, the deposit and withdrawal methods on the bookmaker you have chosen should be plentiful and efficient.
Even the new specialist eSports betting websites should have a wide choice of payment options including debit/credit cards, eWallets and preloaded cards. A good eSports betting website should offer Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller and Paysafecard. Having the option of PayPal is also a nice touch.
There should be a selection of deposit methods which are instant and this is very important for eSports betting because in-play betting is such as big part of the enjoyment and this can require quick access to funds.
In addition, the top eSports bookmakers should not charge for making deposits and withdrawals.
Having access to a live customer support team is very important when betting on eSports, especially in-play and you should only use bookmakers which offer this service.
With in-play betting a huge part of eSports betting, if you should run into any problems or have a question regarding a bet, you need an instant answer and the only way you are guaranteed that is if you can chat to someone directly.
Every good online eSports bookmaker should also have a telephone number, email support and postal address. While the latter may not be crucial to any issues you need sorted immediately, they are a good sign the betting site you are using is legitimate.
Having a safe and secure environment in which to bet on eSports should be one of your major concerns and if you are unsure about the betting website you are on, it is best to avoid placing the bet.
The first sign of a trustworthy eSports bookmaker is a gambling license and this information can usually be found at the bottom of the website. While most established online bookmakers such as Bet365 and William Hill will have licenses from Gibraltar or Malta, it is not uncommon for a specialist eSports bookmaker to have a gambling license from Curacao, which is fine.
The full details of the gambling license and number should be visible on the website.
Another great way to judge the trust of an online eSports bookmaker is their payment security. You do not want outside parties having access to your banking details and a green ‘Secure’ in the top left of the address bar is a good indication the eSports betting website is taking their banking security seriously.
Finally, its always a good idea to do a little research into the history of the eSports bookmaker and their development. If there is any news suggesting they could be struggling financially, you are advised to look elsewhere before placing your eSports bet.
AWFUL. Avoid at all costs. The withdrawal time is ridiculous. They leave withdrawals pending for over 48 hours and if it should be a significant withdrawal they just leave it pending indefinitely in the hope you reverse it. Poor customer service, they claim to have Live Help but the link directs you to your e-mail! Having used sports betting sites for the best part of 15 years I am struggling to think of one that matches their incompetency.