eSports and eSports Betting: Complete Guide

Are you ready? Today, we are introducing a completely new world of eSports and eSports Betting, where the thrill of gaming competition meets the excitement of live betting. As the eSports industry exponentially grows and becomes more popular by the minute, so does the betting scene. We did in-depth research and compiled this comprehensive guide to help you better navigate this new but full-of-life digital world. From understanding the basics of eSports to choosing your eSports betting options, let’s learn everything there is about this fascinating new combo.

Part 1: eSports Guide

eSports betting

What Are eSports?

Multiplayer competitions have been a big part of the gaming world since the very start. Gamers would organize themselves and compete for the sake of competing or to claim the title of the best player in the community. That all changed in the late 2000s with the rise of streaming platforms such as Twitch. These platforms enabled professional gamers to share their passion, provide entertainment, and inspire the creation of something never before seen – eSports.

Today, eSports is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Short for electronic sports, it often includes competitions for multiplayer video games between professional players hosted by the game studio itself or another gaming brand. These competitions can be run individually or as a team, depending on the game genre.

The genre of games most associated with eSports are:

  • real-time strategies (RTS)
  • first-person shooters (FPS) / third-person shooters (TPS)
  • multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA)
  • fighting
  • racing

That said, a competition can be created for almost every multiplayer or co-op game out there. Just an example: Stardew Valley held one! If you know Stardew Valley, you will definitely understand why that’s such a big deal. And Minecraft is one of the most watched eSports in history. That also says a lot.

Speaking of the most popular eSports, here is a top 10 list of the most-watched tournaments in 2024. Keep in mind that some of these eSports are on-going and the peak viewers data is from the time of writing.

1. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – 1.493.577 peak viewers

2. League of Legends – 1.197.492 peak viewers

3. Counter-Strike Global Offensive – 972.312 peak viewers

4. Valorant – 823.008 peak viewers

5. Fortnite – 739.575 peak viewers

6. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – 521.374 peak viewers

7. Minecraft – 516.315 peak viewers

8. Arena of Valor – 479.629 peak viewers

9. Rocket League – 413.177 peak viewers

10. Dota 2 – 360.894 peak viewers

As you can see, many different genres are present, which means there is an audience for every game out there. Still, tournaments such as The International (Dota 2), the League of Legends World Championship, and the Fortnite World Cup are among the largest in the eSports industry, with live broadcasts that reach billions of views and multimillion-worth prize pools.

These tournaments are not for the faint of heart, though. While most of us have a gaming history (or are still gaming), becoming a pro player is as difficult and time-consuming as a pro athlete. All competitors undergo rigorous practice and attend regular leagues, tournaments, and matches. The best part? As with the regular sports, eSports has an incredible community aspect. The gaming community consists of a diverse set of players, fans, coaches, sponsors, and game developers, all contributing to the growth and sustainability of this form of competition.

What Are the Most Common eSports Concepts?

As we already talked, the eSports industry is built for entertainment and inspiration. That said, all eSports organizations follow a few common concepts. The most crucial one is competitive gaming. Players compete against each other and show off their skills until one individual or a team emerges victorious.

Another important concept is teamwork. Since most competitions involve teams playing against each other, communication and coordination between the teammates are crucial. Just like in traditional sports, all team members often have a specific role (the most common roles being healers, tanks, and damage dealers). Whether they win or lose depends on their synergy and the ability to combine their unique skills and play as one.

Additionally, all eSports offer spectatorship. The tournament, league, or competition is not only designed to build a competitive space for gamers but also to create a spectacle for viewers. With live streams and broadcasts that include commentators and instant replays, it’s a memorable experience for everyone who’s a part of it. As with traditional sports teams, this leads to the growth of a dedicated fan base for all competitive eSports teams.

Lastly, like traditional sports, eSports has developed its own economy that includes revenue streams. This means sponsorships, advertising, merchandise, and even player transfers. We are living in a world where eSports provides career opportunities for gamers, as well as for coaches, analysts, and content creators.

The Rise to Popularity

While it all started as a hobby for gamers and gaming fans, within a few years, it became one of the most watched entertainment on the internet. This happened due to one key factor – the accessibility of gaming. With PCs and consoles becoming a part of almost all households, more people have started playing and falling in love with gaming, laying the foundations for a larger competitive scene.

Another factor that contributed to the rise of eSports is the internet. By empowering gamers to connect and compete globally and platforms such as Twitch and YouTube to provide streaming services that are one click away from their audience (and free!), eSports gained a loyal community of dedicated fans who follow their favorite teams and players with the same passion as those in the traditional sports.

Lastly, more established sports brands, organizations, and celebrities have been investing in eSports teams, which has led to something unique and interesting. The gap between eSports and traditional sports is closing fast, which means that it opens the door for many new opportunities that were never thought possible in the past.

Stats and Facts about eSports

The global eSports audience has been growing year over year, with estimates reaching over 450 million viewers worldwide.

The global eSports market revenue has steadily increased, surpassing $1 billion, driven by sponsorships, media rights, advertising, publisher fees, merchandise and tickets, and streaming.

Prize pools in eSports are substantial, particularly for major tournaments like The International for Dota 2, which has seen prize pools of over $30 million.

The number of professional eSports is continuously growing, with many earning a full-time living through salaries, winnings, and endorsements.

An average professional eSports player earns somewhere between $20.000 and $40.000 per month.

Popular eSports titles include League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Fortnite. These games attract millions of players and viewers and are often the focus of major eSports events.

Many professional eSports teams have become household names within the community, such as Team Liquid, Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, and Fnatic. These teams compete in various games and tournaments around the world.

Investment in eSports continues to grow, with traditional sports teams, celebrities, and venture capitalists investing in teams and leagues, proving the industry’s continued growth.

While eSports has a global reach, specific regions, such as Asia (especially South Korea and China), North America, and Europe, are hotspots for competitive gaming, with robust infrastructures and large fan bases.

Streaming platforms like Twitch, Kick, YouTube, and others significantly increase the accessibility and popularity of eSports, allowing fans to watch live games and events from anywhere.

As eSports continues to mature, there is increasing discussion about regulation, governance, and recognition as a legitimate form of sport. Some countries have begun to recognize eSports players as professional athletes.

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Part 2: eSports Betting Guide

eSports betting

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the rise of eSports inspired an entirely new betting scene. We have excellent news to share for those looking to combine the thrill of competitive gaming with the excitement of betting. There are so many ways to combine your two passions, and this is only the start. As the eSports world grows, so is the betting industry. Based on the latest eSports betting statistics, this is just the beginning. But before we get into details, let’s first go through the basics.

What is eSports Betting?

If you have had the chance to bet on traditional sports, you already know the basics of eSports betting. Since eSports tournaments are often structured events, the most common bets are placed on the outcomes of the events. That said, keep in mind that each game has its own scoreboard. As we already mentioned, many games and game genres have a thriving eSports scene. That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the scoring process and end results before betting.

If you decide to try your luck (and expertise) in the eSports betting world, you will most definitely not be alone. Since eSports is getting so much attention, more and more bettors are deciding to join the fun daily. But what are the most popular eSports among bettors? Let’s find out.

Most Popular eSports Among Bettors

While many games attract the attention of bettors out there, a few have become the go-to choice for most of them. That is because of the game’s popularity and how big and exciting these tournaments are. The most popular ones include:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO): This FPS game is known for its tactical gameplay and rich competitive scene with numerous leagues and events. It’s also one of the oldest-standing shooter franchises since the start of the gaming industry.
  • League of Legends (LOL): As one of the premier MOBAs, LOL has a vast global audience and hosts the annual World Championship, one of the most significant events in eSports. League of Legends remains among the most played and watched Riot Games.
  • Dota 2: Another MOBA, Dota 2 is famed for The International, a tournament with one of the largest prize pools in eSports history that reaches millions.
  • Overwatch 2: The sequel to the immensely popular Overwatch continues to provide a spectacle for many with tournaments such as Overwatch League, INCHEON Esports Challenge, Overwatch World Cup, and Intel Extreme Masters.
  • Valorant: Riot Games seems to know what they are doing, as this is their second most popular eSport for bettors. This time, in the form of FPS, Valorant quickly found its way into many major tournaments and betting platforms.

Types of Bets in eSports

While every game has its own structure, they can all be placed in a handful of betting choices. Beyond the usual win-lose dynamic, here are the most common betting types:

  • Outrights – the simplest and most common betting types in eSports. In short, you are betting on an outright winner.
  • Match Winner – the most straightforward outright choice, which means betting on the winner of a particular match.
  • Bracket or Group Winner – since most eSports tournaments are in stages, you can bet on the winner of each stage before getting to the final tournament winner.
  • Tournament Winner – another outright choice, this means that you are betting on the ultimate winner of the tournament, regardless of whether it’s an individual or a team.
  • Moneyline – a term that is often seen in the eSports betting scene that it basically the same as outrights, meaning you are betting on a team that will win without a point spread of any other conditions.

Other less often seen but still popular betting options in the eSports industry include:

  • Score
  • Player performance
  • MVP (top player)
  • Other specific metrics

eSports vs. Virtual Sports vs. Fantasy Sports – Similarities and Differences

We can all agree that eSports are dominating the industry, but a few other categories of digital sports entertainment have their own small and dedicated following. And that’s virtual sports and fantasy sports. Let’s find out more about them as well as how they compare to eSports.

eSports

eSports, as we learned today, is the industry of competitive gaming. eSports players compete in organized tournaments or leagues, often for a large prize pool and with entertaining spectatorship both online and in physical arenas. The competition is real, with players controlling all action, much like traditional sports.

Here are a few facts about eSports:

  • Both eSports and traditional sports involve competition and skill.
  • They can be played individually or in teams.
  • Both have professional leagues, tournaments, and a fan following.
  • eSports are entirely digital and involve video games.
  • The physicality involved is minimal, mostly requiring hand-eye coordination and mental acuity.
  • The environment is virtual, and the competition can be held online without needing a physical venue.

Virtual Sports

In short, virtual sports are computer-generated simulations of sports events. While they are most often based on real-life sports such as football or basketball, they are powered by random number generators to determine their outcome. The idea behind virtual sports is to mimic the betting experience of live sports, with one crucial difference – that the events are entirely made up, and the results are completely random.

We have a full guide on virtual sports and virtual sports betting, but here are a few facts for those who want to scratch on the basics only:

  • Virtual sports are inspired by traditional sports, often having the same rules and formats.
  • They provide betting opportunities similar to real sports betting.
  • The outcome in virtual sports is determined by algorithms, not by human skill or performance.
  • There is no human participation in the actual gameplay; it is all computer-generated.
  • These events are much shorter and can be run anytime, offering continuous betting opportunities.

Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports, on the other hand, include players creating and building their own virtual teams that consists of real-life players. Once they make their virtual team, they compete against other fantasy teams. The end results are based on the statistical performance of the players in the games.

Here are a few facts about fantasy sports:

  • Fantasy sports are based on real-life sports and use real players’ performances.
  • They involve competition and strategy, as participants must manage their teams effectively.
  • Unlike traditional sports, fantasy sports are not won by physical prowess but by players’ strategic selection and management.
  • The success of a fantasy team depends on the real-world performance of athletes during their actual games, not on the direct actions of the fantasy team owner.
  • Fantasy sports are more of a managerial experience, with gameplay occurring in real-world games rather than a digital or virtual environment.
  • Fantasy eSports betting is usually with a fixed prize, which is divided between players based on their scores.

In conclusion, while eSports, virtual sports, and fantasy sports all provide similar competitive excitement and betting opportunities, they differ in terms of player interaction, the role of skill versus chance, and the direct versus indirect influence of real-world events on the outcome of the competition.

Leading Online eSports Betting Platforms

The online gambling industry is growing exponentially, and that leads to becoming much more available than before. That said, now more than ever, it’s crucial to learn how to find reliable and safe online eSports betting sites.

We made the following list to help you get started. However, we also want to highlight that we’re simply giving you some guidelines and we’re not promoting any of these brands.

  • Stake – Bet on your favorite eSports teams, players or leagues globally.
  • Bet365 – Find your new Fantasy Sports favorite and start betting on them.
  • Pinnacle eSports – Follow eSports matches in real-time and gain the best betting experience.
  • ThunderPick – Looking for an eSports betting crypto platform?
  • 22bet – Bet on virtual sports and follow the latest statistics.

In a Nutshell

eSports betting is not just a momentary trend. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing industries in the betting world. As it continues to grow, it captures the interest of more and more gamers and bettors. With its diverse range of games, eSports live betting adds a new dimension to the world of competitive gaming. As the eSports industry continues to grow and evolve, so will the opportunities and innovations in eSports betting, ensuring that this digital arena remains thrilling for decades to come.

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