Since lockdown across the globe the current rising star in the online gambling industry is eSports betting. More and more betting sites are catering for the eSports industry offering you the chance to make money with little risk. eSports betting is very much in vogue and offering different betting options on eSports games today is as normal as betting on the horses. But vital tipster knowledge on eSports is few and far between. Most tipsters opt to tackle mainstream sports and shy away from eSports since it has traditionally been seen as a bit of an outsider.
That is why eSports Tipster covers eSports betting tips and offers information about upcoming tournaments, strategy and discusses the future of eSports betting in the US, Europe and Asia. Armed with this information we hope to guide you towards top betting practices and make it easier for you to understand the world of eSports. The following article, is a short but sweet guide to eSports betting online in 2021 through the eyes of a pro tipster. We tackle general esports topics in the introduction then move on to cover five important eSports games whilst introducing top eSports betting tips from signing up to banking methods. We also list our favourite eSports bookie for all your betting needs in 2021 and beyond.
eSports tips - an introduction
Before anything gambling related first is a quick reminder about the foundations of eSports. eSports, sometimes written with a hyphen, is the name for electronic sports. eSports is the widely-used term for computer games that are turned into competitive, organised digital sports.
eSports pro players do not exert physical strength, they simply sit with a controller or keyboard and mouse occupying a screen. The focus is on the ability to successfully play computer games (from Fortnite, League of Legends and Counter-Strike, to digital versions of on-pitch favourites like FIFA and NFL) during which players will endure a tactical mental game.
What may sound like an easy task is actually very difficult and there are hard training regimes the top eSports stars to endure. As in other high-performance/high-reward sports, the margin of error is high. A player who is not at performing at his or her very best during a game can quickly lose control of a game.
To be an eSports star different skills are required
eSports ‘pro’ or ‘elite’ gamers, often called ‘athletes’, need to utilise a combination of skills in order to win matches at the top level. Motor skills, especially hand-eye coordination, and mental skills are vitally important. Depending on type the game, pro gamers need to act as a team. So that the ability to work in a team is very important.
Players often do skill based training with special programs and less actual screen time with an eSports game up close than you may think. However, time in front of a screen playing games is on the agenda too. Usually pro players train for a few hours a day on the upcoming game title games to prepare for competitions.
Most eSports pros specialise in one or two games and these are usually from the same genre. Although the mental game is the bulk of the fight a players physical condition should not be overlooked and pro gamers shouldn’t let themselves go. Most eSports pros hit the gym and/or do physical sports like playing tennis keep fit, switch off and relax.
eSports enters exceptional growth phase
The number of pro gamers who can make a career out of e-sports is relatively small compared to traditional sports like football. Premier league football alone has more professional athletes than there are well-paid pro eSports players around the world who are lucky enough to call gaming a career.
But eSports is growing, perhaps due to the increasing quality of video games being produced by the likes of Activision Blizzard. New games will only get better with new consoles like the PS5 and XBOX SERIES X on the horizon and scheduled for December release - just in time for Christmas 2020. Today’s game budgets give Hollywood films a run for their money and feature deep plots and advanced story-telling.
The annual BAFTA Video Game Awards, which is now in it’s 16th year, celebrates the finest games. The fact that BAFTA are involved puts video games on a par with film highlighting gamings success and potential with eSports to be something giant.
eSports as an official sport in 2021
Western politicians don’t see eSports in the US or Europe as a real sport. Remarkably chess is a classed as an ‘official sport’ so the chances are that eSports time will come. After all, eSports has very professional structures and huge prize money vs chess.
eSports won’t be on the list of sports for the 2020 Beijing Olympic Games and plans for the Paris 2024 games do not include eSports either. However, eSports could make it’s debut at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.
Whilst not currently popular with the International Olympic Committee, eSports is deemed an ‘official sport’ in a few countries, including China and South Korea. The Chinese have produced some of the most successful eSports athletes, although many pro eSports gamers also come from South Korea - widely regarded as the origin of eSports.
eSports is the national sport of South Korea
In South Korea, pro eSports gamers are celebrated like football stars. In South Korea the 40,000-seat Seoul World Cup Stadium sell’s out with ease. Fans love to cheer on their favourite teams, watching their every move as they play games like League of Legends.
Top eSports events in South Korea are also broadcast on TV and streamed on countless websites. Politicians follow eSports and Naver, the search engine in South Korea operated by Naver Corporation, has introduced its own tab for eSports, under which users can find all the important news and links to events.
It is astonishing that despite the level of attention that the eSports movement gets in South Korea, eSports is not considered a significant industry in South Korea. This despite the largest top companies in South Korea sponsoring eSports players, teams and competitions in one way or another.
This perhaps has a lot to do with the great pursuit of perfection that many Asian countries hold close to them. Education is top priority in South Korea with school days often running from 9AM to 9PM and because that is not enough, there are even summer schools. Demanding school hours in South Korea means there is not much time left to focus on eSports gaming.
Some kids in South Korea do give up school to practise eSports but this comes with high risk attached to it because the number of participants in eSports championships is very limited, as with elite level in football or tennis.
However, if you train hard and establish yourself as a serious gamer then you can achieve an incredible amount of fame as a pro on the eSports circuit in South Korea. An eSports pro gamer in South Korea commands the media attention of a Hollywood actor. A great deal eSports pros in South Korea earn an incredible amount of money, especially for South Korean standards. American or European pro gamers might not be in with such a chance to succeed vs their South Korean counterparts but that doesn’t stop them from becoming part of the eSports scene online.
Most successful eSports players in history
In the early days of eSports, it was mainly players in South Korea who won big cash prizes. Starcraft stars like “Flash” and “Jaedong” won large sums of money. The latter had already earned over half a million US dollars in 2013.
One of the most famous faces in the esports scene these days is the South Korean superstar “Faker”. In the League of Legends game, he is the most successful player of all time and has already won three world championship titles with his team SKT T1.
Although the prize money in LoL is not as high as in other games, the top stars are still among the top earners. Allegedly “Faker” signed a contract with SKT T1 that brings him over 2.5 million US dollars a year.
More professional eSports players and teams
There are now several high earning players outside Asia, especially in League of Legends, DOTA 2 and CS:GO. Players such as Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein are well known stars on the eSports scene streamed and followed online by copious amounts of loyal fans.
Professional eSports teams compete in transfer markets. Teams such as Fnatic and Ninjas in Pajamas are the Manchester United’s of eSports signing top players and nurturing talent in-house with huge investment and growth plans on the agenda.
The role of eSports clans in gaming
In addition to the big eSports teams, such as Fnatic, there small clubs, dubbed clans, in eSports. A clan is a group of players who come together to form a team. In an eSports clan the majority of players are casual gamers who play games as a hobby, although there may be the odd pro gamer in a clan too. A clan is often made up different teams that compete in a wide variety of game genres or titles like LoL or Overwatch for example.
Professional clans exist too and in similar fashion to the pro eSports teams they usually operate as a full on business and usually own a clubhouse complete with training zone area for players, employ full-time administrative staff, attract sponsorship plus investments, manage social commitments and set annual budgets in the millions.
Well-known sponsors of eSports
eSports is very similar to other sports in terms of sponsorship deals. You will probably be familiar with football shirt sponsors and F1 car sponsors. eSports attracts big money partnerships and some big brands have been known to sponsor eSports teams.
Companies such as Acer and Samsung have tapped into the advertising potential and have negotiated longterm sponsorship deals within the eSports world.
The top 5 esports games
The following five games are by no means a definitive list of eSports titles. There are other interesting games and genres to explore outside this shortlist. These eSports games have been selected largely based on streaming figures and prize money paid out. Apologies to fans of other genres and games like FIFA, although we had to be ruthless in our edit.
StarCraft 2 eSports game
StarCraft 2 is a real-time strategy game released in 2010 and distributed by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the successor to the 1998 StarCraft game and is science fiction based. It is a real-time strategy game in every sense of the word which means that players face real time action gameplay which requires quick action and responsiveness in stark contrast to turn-based strategy games. StarCraft 2 can be played as a match in which two teams compete against each other or vs which is 1 on 1.
In Starcraft 2 each player or team chooses one of three game options, each with their own characteristics. The aim of Starcraft2 is to defeat the opponent by eliminating the team/players base or combat units. To achieve this, each party first expands its army with different units that are “spawned” in different buildings. However, these buildings must first be built and the raw materials that are required have to be mined in advance. As soon as a team/player feels strong they advance on the opposing base, which must be defended by the rival team/player. The game becomes even more complex thanks to the different values and attributes of the individual units.
StarCraft 2 has a lot of tactical elements and is considered an advanced game for betting on. It is considered to be a complex game, and this is what makes it so attractive both to play and bet on. Blizzard created Starcraft 2, which consists of 3 parts, specially geared for eSports and has integrated various leagues internally in the game.
Outside of the Starcraft in-game league system, the game is played in pro level tournaments tailored for the game. The most famous tournament is the StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS), the Global StarCraft 2 League and the OnGameNet StarLeague. All these tournaments are played individually, with the ProLeague there is also a team tournament.
Following the pattern of traditional eSports games, StarCraft 2 is also played at major tournaments like Dreamhack where several video games are played. StarCraft 2 can also be found at the Intel Extreme Masters, which is held in different cities around the world every year.
DOTA 2 eSports game
DOTA 2 is the successor to a modification of Warcraft 3. Warcraft 3 is an old real-time strategy game from Blizzard, which was very popular at the time, but still today. A hobby developer programmed a modification for Warcraft 3 called Defense of the Ancients in 2003 . For this mod you needed the original game Warcraft 3, which has changed with the release of DOTA 2. The main developer of Defense of the Ancients is now under contract with the game publisher Valve Corporation and is primarily responsible for the development of DOTA 2. All essential elements of the first part were also adopted in DOTA 2.
In short, like StarCraft 2, it is a real-time strategy game, but one with completely different game mechanics, which is why a sub-genre was created for the first part of Dota, namely Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). In a MOBA, the construction of buildings and the dismantling of raw materials are completely avoided. In addition, no army is directed, only a single hero is controlled. In contrast to games like StarCraft, in which mostly 1 on 1 is played, in Dota 2 teams compete against each other. A match is played in the mode 5 against 5, which ensures a lot of action, hustle and bustle and a lot of team play.
In Dota 2, good team play is essential to achieve the goal of the game. The goal is namely to destroy the main building of the other team. The main buildings of the teams face each other diagonally. In the lower left corner of the map is the base of team A, in the upper right corner the base of team B. Both bases are connected by 3 so-called lanes, which you have to walk to get to the opposing base.
A simple walk through to the other base is not enough, because on the way the lanes in the opposing half are protected by watchtowers that have to be taken down. In addition, each team has computer-controlled units for support in combat. The individual heroes become stronger during the game, on the one hand through experience points that are collected and on the other hand through gold, which you get as a base salary and additionally as a reward, for example by killing opponents. With the gold you can buy important items from shops distributed on the map and level up with the experience points, so that you get more skills in the course of the game.
Each hero has his own attributes, passive abilities, active abilities and is assigned to a certain role. Since there are currently 110 different heroes, great individuality is required. In addition to team play and game-specific skills, it is also important for a team to choose the right combination of heroes. Before a 5v5 match, the heroes are chosen alternately, so that one team can always react to the other team and create the constellation that it is most convinced is superior to the opposing team.
In addition to the major events where many disciplines can be found, Dota 2 is mainly played in the “The International” tournament. This is the largest Dota 2 competition that has been held annually since 2011. The last time it took place last August this year, the next big tournament will follow in November in Frankfurt. One of three other major tournaments announced by the publisher Valve will take place in the Festhalle for the first time in mid-November. The prize money will be at least $ 3 million and we will report on it.
League of Legends eSports game
League of Legends , which is often abbreviated as LoL, is a MOBA like Dota 2. It is much older than Dota 2 and is distributed by the Riot Games studio. Although Riot Games has only one big game with LoL so far, it is the most played game in the world. Well over 70 million accounts are registered and around 27 million players play it every day.
But what makes it so successful and why is it the top dog compared to Dota 2? On the one hand, LoL has an advantage, as it came on the market about 4 years before Dota 2, which is an incredible advantage. On the other hand, there are some small differences in play, some of which can be considered better, some as worse. As in other areas, there are sometimes heated discussions between the two fan camps about which is the better game. We would like to introduce only a few small objective differences here, but not go into depth.
The first difference that even laypeople will immediately notice is the graphics. In LoL the graphics are not quite as mature and also a bit worse. In addition, the gameplay in LoL is much faster. This applies to the movements and fights on the one hand, but also to character development. In League of Legends, in contrast to Dota 2, you do not lose gold if you are killed, and the opponents in Dota 2 can deny you important experience points by giving your own AI supporters the last blow to death. So you get experience points and gold much more slowly in Dota 2. There is only one shop in League of Legends where the heroes can put their gold in items.
Overall, LoL is still the much faster game, where you can also buy playful advantages by buying individual heroes and equipping them with runes, all of which are already available in Dota 2. Both titles are basically very similar and are valued by the gaming community, as well as in e-sports.
That is why there are very highly endowed events and tournaments in LoL. In the foreground, however, is the league process, which is very pronounced in LoL. In Europe, franchising was introduced at the beginning of 2019 and the new LEC league was introduced and the teams now have fixed starting places and significantly more money. The biggest LoL event is the world championship in October. Last year the event broke several records. The prize money of € 5.7 million is impressive. Likewise the high number of viewers in the final between Fnatic and Invictus Gaming, which had an average of 19.6 million viewers per minute and a total of 99.6 million individual viewers. In 2019 the World Cup will be held in Europe.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive eSports game
Counter Strike is certainly one of the most popular computer games among non-gamers. The game is mostly perceived negatively. It is always mentioned when tragic rampages occur, but then completely torn apart in the media. This is usually followed by entire “documentaries” that deal solely with this game, but in over 90% of cases several untruths, often even brazen and deliberate lies, are spread in order to generate headlines. Counter Strike is undoubtedly the most violent game among the disciplines mentioned here, which of course is not for everyone, but you should leave the church in the village when describing it and stick to the facts.
Counter Strike is a game series that, like Dota 2, comes from Valve and has its origins in 1999. At that time, a group of hobby developers programmed a modification for the popular first-person shooter Half-Life. In this modification, two teams, the terrorists and an anti-terrorist unit, competed against each other and had to achieve their mission objectives. The two most common missions for the counter-terrorism unit were disarming a bomb and rescuing hostages. Accordingly, the terrorists had the opposite aim in mind. In order to achieve the mission goals, a team really tried to act as a team and had to keep an eye on the opponents in addition to the goals. Even if the goal of the game could be achieved without killing, it was usually necessary. In Counter Strike you had different weapons to choose from, which you could buy with money earned in the current match. If a player on a team was killed, he was not allowed to participate until the beginning of the next round. This made it possible to completely get the opposing team out of the game, which also won the round.
There is now Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), which is the third important expansion after Counter Strike: Source. The game principle has not changed, but everything has become more detailed and realistic. Nevertheless, the title is still rated at 16 by the USK, which shows that the game can’t be as brutal as it is always portrayed by the press. In contrast to Counter Strike: Source and Counter Strike 1.6, CS: GO was very well received in the gamer scene, so that you no longer play two different versions at the tournaments, but instead have agreed on Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
CS: GO is mainly played at major events where Valve sponsors its major events. The last tournament of this kind took place at ESL One in Cologne this year and will take place at DreamHack in Cluj-Napoca at the end of October. We will probably report on this as well.
Overwatch eSports game
Overwatch is in! The newcomer from Blizzard is called Overwatch. Games like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm are a thing of the past. Hearthstone was a great success and very popular for a long time, but the MOBA Heroes of the Storm was more of a toilet. At the beginning of 2019, Blizzar stopped the esports department of HotS and is now relying entirely on Overwatch. Blizzard introduced the Overwatch League early on and wants to use it to promote esports in its game.
The game Overwatch has its own niche because it is played like a moba, but it also contains first-person shooter elements. In the 6 versus 6 mode, the teams choose their characters. There are a total of 29 different characters, which are divided into three classes, tanks, damage dealers and supporters. Similar to a shooter, there are different game modes such as “Capture the Flag” or “Assault”, in which the aim is to capture and hold objects. In addition, the Deathmatch is played, in which the aim is to achieve a certain number of kills on the opponent.
The variety is retained on different maps. Each player controls his character, who has three skills and, in addition to these special attacks, carries out “normal” attacks. As with a first person shooter, these must be hit by aiming. Therefore Overwatch creates the connection between first person shooter and MOBA and combines elements of both types in its gameplay.
Top eSports betting tips 2021
Now we have looked at most dominant eSports games, we know come to the business end and will focus on eSport betting sites featuring a list of what to look out for before you bet. Since eSports is new, especially with regards to betting, it is understandable that not every bookmaker offers the opportunity to bet on eSports events. However, the number of sites with eSports is growing so to are the number of betting options available.
There are operators whose sites offer eSports on the periphery, where you have to search on the site to get to the eSports section and there are also sites that take eSports seriously and have created informative landing pages for eSports like Ladbrokes who offer great tips on matches.
But don’t just take our word for it do you homework and test sites for yourself following these 10 tips which are key for betting -
- Sign up process – It should be simple and super fast with few steps.
- Deposit – Check what payment methods are available and deposit times (time it takes for your payment to hit your online betting wallet).
- Sign up bonus – Is there a deposit or no deposit bonus? How much is it? What’s the bonus turnover requirements? Are any other requirements applicable? Each sites customer support can answer all these questions.
- Interface and User interface testing – Take sites for a spin on mobile and PC. Note navigation speeds and loads times per device. A clean UI is vital and general user friendliness is a must.
- eSports games – Check what eSports games are being offered by the site. Games like LoL, CS:GO and Starcraft 2 are popular legacy games but also look for betting on new games like Valorant and WoT (World of Tanks). A site taking eSports seriously will list new games too.
- eSports live betting – Is live betting available? Can you stream the match direct from the betting platform in your country?
- Community – Interact with eSports community via chat or forums. Try to see what fellow punters think of and site’s general vibe.
- Customer support – Contact support with a test case. Note the speed of response. Rate staffs knowledge and overall tone. Was it friendly?
- Withdrawal – Check withdrawal requirements (minimum amount, turnover etc.) and submit a small withdrawal request. Measure the time it takes from submission to receiving funds.
- Reputation – Ask on social media and browse reddit. Research steam groups. A sites reputation is vital especially when depositing big sums.
eSports Payment Tips
Having secure online payment options in your country is essential when betting online. Most eSports betting sites support these trusted methods:
- Credit and debit cards - All reputable betting sites accept deposits via MasterCard and Visa cards.
- eWallets - PayPal, Skrill and Neteller are accepted for both deposits and withdrawals worldwide.
- Pre-paid solutions - Paysafecard vouchers are available at various retail outlets globally.
- Direct banking - Banks often allow for instant transactions from your personal bank account.
- Wire transfer - Although wire transfer payments take a few days to clear, standard banking transfers are ideal for bigger sums.
- Cryptocurrency - A range of online betting sites now support Bitcoin, Ethereum and other leading cryptocurrencies.
Get tips direct from the bookie!
Ladbrokes, from GVC, offers you excellent eSports betting with very few negatives. GVC has highlighted esports betting as a major growth driver and CEO Shay Segev has revealed that the operator is taking “baby steps” to build presence in eSports which he sees as key in the long term.
GVC would undertake steps to build its brand into the growing esports environment as it looks to diversify outside of sports betting and casino gaming. Said CEO Shay Segev.
At Ladbrokes, you can bet on the overall winner, group winner and more in major leagues and eSports tournaments. Open an account with Ladbrokes and you will find top games such as LoL, DOTA 2 and CSGO are available to bet on with ease. The number of different betting options available at Ladbrokes is jaw dropping.
eSports is listed clearly and is easy to navigate to with one click from the Ladbrokes homepage. You will find the Ladbrokes quick links on the sidebar which list the top individual sports like tennis, NFL plus eSports!
Bet on the major eSports tournaments and smaller competitions with Ladbrokes. At Ladbrokes there are special bets like accumulator bets, but the most popular bet is the moneyline bet which is perfect for eSports. A moneyline bet is one of the easiest kinds of bets you can pull off. Simply put, it means betting on a specific player/team to win a game. If your selection wins your money (winnings + stake) is paid out in an instant.
During large eSports tournaments, such as world championships, betting on the overall winner is possible with Ladbrokes. Keep your eyes peeled for top teams like Fnatic and Team Liquid at good odds to win some easy cash.