Today, the E-sports industry is bigger than ever. Professional gaming is now a multi million dollar business that attracts players from all over the world. So it’s no wonder more Esports betting sites can be found online in 2023 than ever before.
As an avid gamer myself, I know all too well the complexities that come with finding reputable Esports bookmakers – and that’s why today I’m going to guide you through the whole process. You’ll learn which Esports betting websites are best, what you should look for when choosing a betting site for yourself, and what key factors to keep in mind before signing up.
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There are plenty of sites that offer Esports betting, but they’re certainly not all the same. Some do a great job, others not so much. The Esports betting sites above are those that I have tested personally, and can honestly recommend based on my own experience.
What Are Esports?
If you’re more of an old school gambler, you might not know what the term E-Sports actually means. Well, it’s simple enough. The name literally means “Electronic Sports” and it refers to video games played by teams of professional players in leagues or tournaments. It’s a rapidly growing industry with a huge following around the world.
Esports betting sites let you place bets on the outcomes of these events, just the same as you would in any other sport.
These aren’t just a bunch of kids playing games at home. We’re talking about multi player games involving the best players in the world, which attract huge audiences, advertising revenue and media coverage. Trust me when I say that this is already very big, and growing all the time.
Popular Esports Events To Bet On
Betting on a variety of Esports markets is often a key consideration for many new customers wanting to place a bet online. The best Esports betting sites will often have hundreds of different competitions, matches and individual betting markets each week.
As always, there’s a lot going on in the world of Esports in August 2023, with several new tournaments for Esports bettors to look forward to. But if you’re new to all this, then you might not recognise all of the games or tournaments on offer. Let’s run down the list of the most popular Esports titles and betting markets you’ll come across, so you know what each one is and how it works.
CS:GO stands for Counter Strike: Global Offensive. It’s the fourth instalment of Valve’s popular Counter Strike series of multiplayer first-person shooter games.
The CS:GO Majors, organised by the developers, have been running since 2013 and features teams of the best players from around the world competing for prize money of over $2 Million.
There are also regional Pro League and various cup competitions running in North America and Europe. Esports betting on CS:GO is widely available, as it is one of the most commonly placed Esports bets.
Call of Duty
One of the best known first person shooter games, Call of Duty was first released back in 2003 and remains one of the most popular games around in 2023.
In eSports, the Call of Duty League (CDL) is an ongoing tournament between a set of permanently established teams based in various North American cities, plus one in Paris and London. Betting is available on all matches, both regular season and playoffs.
Dota 2 (which stands for Defense of the Ancients) is a game which follows the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) format.
Each Dota 2 match features two teams of five players. The aim of the game is to destroy the Ancient structure inside the opposing team’s base.
If this sounds complicated, then leave it to the professionals! You’ll find a range of Dota 2 tournaments taking place around the world.
Prize pools at the biggest events can exceed $30 Million, which gives you some idea of the levels of competition you can expect.
The most successful football game franchise of all time, the EA Sports FIFA series is the one game that even non gamers have probably heard of. With a new version released each year, it’s constantly improved in terms of realism and gameplay since its first version in the mid 1990s. So it’s no surprise to see this as a favourite among E-Sports teams.
The eEuros and eWorld Cup are the big tournaments to watch out for, and these obviously attract the most betting interest from esports fans. But there are many other feeder tournaments as well including the eChampions League and FIFA Global Series Playoffs.
League of Legends
League of Legends (often shortened to LoL) is a similar style of game to Dota 2 in which two teams compete with the aim of destroying a Nexus in the base of their opponent.
There are regional and continental LoL tournaments around the world, and the interest in this game is huge. The biggest, most important and most lucrative is the League of Legends World Championship. But even getting an invite to this event is hard, and the standard is incredibly high.
League of Legends betting is available at any of the top Esports betting sites, and there are often multiple events going on simultaneously, meaning plenty of chances to make your Esports wagers on this game.
Overwatch is best described as a combination of the MOBA and FPS genres to create a hybrid that offers the best of both. It’s by Blizzard Entertainment, and is by far their most successful Esports game.
There is an Overwatch League and also knockout tournaments. The unique thing about the Overwatch tournaments is that anyone can register, you don’t have to be part of an official Esports team. Think of it like a WSOP or Pro-Am style, where you need to work through qualification rounds to make the final stages. In Esports betting terms, this means that matches can feature some complete unknowns, and occasionally throw up some very big surprise results at long odds!
Now for a game that is very different in style. Psyonix describe it as “soccer, but with rocket-powered cars” which I’m sure we can all agree is something that hasn’t been tried before.
What’s more, it works. The 5 minute games between two teams of three players are fast, furious and exciting to watch (and to play) which makes it a perfect fit for professional Esports.
The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is the main competition. It’s initially split into four continental groups, with the best teams in each group progressing to the RLCS Finals at the end of the year. That’s where the big prize money, the best teams and the most betting opportunities can be found.
A very popular RTS (Real Time Strategy) game that is usually played in head-to-head (1×1) mode, Starcraft 2 by Blizzard has been around since 2010 and continues to be played at major esports tournaments in 2023.
The developers themselves host the biggest event, the World Championship Series which is by invitation only. However, the Electronic Sports League also organise many other Starcraft II tournaments throughout the calendar, and most of the best Esports betting sites offer odds on these as well.
Valorant is a relatively new game on the Esports scene, but it’s been very well received and is popular with players and viewers alike.
It’s produced by Riot Games, and has been compared to League of Legends and CS:GO.
With an increasing number of sponsored tournaments being announced, betting on Valorant is now widely available at Esports bookmakers. Popular events include the Champions Tour, as well as various other regional league and cup competitions.
Expect to see a greater proportion of Esports bets placed on this game over the next few years.
How To Choose The Best Esports Betting Sites
I’m often asked how I actually go about reviewing and selecting the best online betting sites for esports. So now, I’d like to show you what actually goes into deciding whether or not I think a site is worthy of being listed here. There are plenty of bookies that offer Esports betting, but only a few make the grade. This is why.
The top Esports betting sites will offer the following:
- Comprehensive range of Esports betting markets
- Generous Esports betting odds
- Esports bonus offers or free bets
- Choice of Banking Options
- Friendly, helpful customer service
To help you see how the above applies to Esports bettors, I’ll walk you through some of the key metrics that go into our Esportsbook ratings. Even if you choose not to bet at one of my recommended Esports betting sites, I’d highly recommend you use the areas below to make a decision on whether or not a sportsbook you’re thinking of joining is worth it.
I think one of the biggest issues I have with real money Esports betting sites is that some of them only seem to care about offering the major markets and events. Think along the lines of CS:GO and Dota 2.
I appreciate that this may be enough for certain punters, who only like to bet on the most popular teams or competitions. But personally, like millions of others, I like to have more choices available.
So, one of the first things I look for is how broad of a market range they offer. For example, if a site only offers CS:GO and Dota 2 betting markets, that’s going to – generally – lead me to a more negative view of the site.
Ideally, a dedicated esports betting platform that allows you to access many esports markets (including live betting) is preferable.
I like to be able to place e-sport bets on a huge variety of markets, including the likes of League of Legends, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Valorant and more – and you’d be surprised just how much the market and event selection offering at an Esports betting site goes into determining whether I choose to recommend them or not.
Best Esports Odds
Believe me – the quality of the odds you’re given on certain markets, events and leagues can vary massively depending on which Esports betting site you decide to join, and that’s why it’s another major factor I look at when deciding whether or not to feature a brand here on my website.
You may not think that small variations in odds makes much of a difference – but you’d be amazed how much it can add up over time. That’s the primary reason why I like to compare Esports bookmakers against one another, to ensure that I’m only recommending websites that offer consistently good odds on Esports – regardless of the market or event.
The best odds make a major difference in your overall long-term profitability, and it’s one of the main reasons why all of the sites I recommend here do offer some of the best Esports odds around. Trust me; I research this heavily to make sure I’m only bringing you the best places to bet on esports online.
I myself am a huge fan of free bets, and regardless of whether you’re making your first deposit at a new Esports bookie or you’re already a loyal punter, there’s a good chance you’ll want to make sure you’re being rewarded, too. This would usually involve a decent welcome bonus.
The free bets offered by the sites I recommend have been listed above for your convenience, along with the relevant promo codes (if needed).
Looking at the free bets and new-player first deposit offers is a major factor I take into account when looking at whether any Esports betting sites are worth recommending or not. I cover all aspects of the welcome bonus, from looking at the actual generosity of the bonus to ensuring the wagering requirements, qualifying bet, and other terms and conditions are fair.
For example, new customers are often looking to claim a free bet or a matched-deposit welcome bonus. Generally, these new customers are given the latter – matched deposit bonuses. These usually take the form of a 100% matched bonus up to X amount of money. This allows you to place wagers from all over the world without risking as much of your own money – and, what’s more, many of these new customer bonuses can also be used on sports betting too, so it’s not just limited to Esports.
Back when online gambling websites started to appear, making deposits and withdrawals was quite a hassle. There were relatively few banking options available to punters, and those that were available often took long periods of time to process or came attached with unreasonable fees. Thankfully, today, it’s easier than ever to make deposits and withdrawals at online gambling websites, and if you’re looking to have a bet online – and want to use your preferred payment option – you’ll be pleased to learn there are a huge number of methods available to you.
When it comes to esports one of the first things I always try to look for is the range of payment options available to me – and it’s another metric that plays a big part into whether a website is recommended here on on my website or not. For example, I look to check that the Esports bookmaker offers all major credit and debit cards (including VISA, MasterCard and Maestro), although I should point out that UK-based players are no longer able to use credit cards to fund their online gambling accounts.
Once I’m happy that the main “card” bases are covered I’ll then start looking at the “other” payment methods offered. Generally, I’ll begin with a look at the E-Wallets on offer. Some of the most popular E-Wallets include PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, although from my personal experience finding Esports betting websites that offer PayPal as a payment option is fairly tough; most tend to offer just Neteller and Skrill.
Aside from EWallets, other payment options which new customers at Esports sites will find include Trustly, Bank Transfer, Cheque deposit (for larger deposits/withdrawals only), Pay-by-Phone and prepaid voucher codes. New customers looking to find the best online betting sites for esports can rest assured that all the bookies shown here on my website do offer a great selection of payment options – so you won’t need to worry about this.
Esports betting sites have, in the past, been renowned for poor customer service. Many of the smaller sites (think along the lines of those just offering CS:GO and Dota 2 used to offer email support only, and for me, this frankly isn’t good enough. Both new customers and existing punters should be able to bet on Esports without having to worry that the sports site is going to take hours – or even days – to respond to any issues or problems the player encounters, and that’s why all of the bet sites on this page – where you’ll find a variety of Esports events – all have proven themselves to offer solid customer support facilities.
Esports gambling should be hassle-free – and thankfully most of the time, Esports betting site companies have rigorous systems in place to ensure that things don’t go wrong when placing a bet online. However, if something does go wrong, I find it imperative that you’re able to get in touch with the sports team instantly – and that’s why all the betting sites shown here on this page offer live chat support – usually, round-the-clock. Live chat allows you to speak with a member of the customer support team in a matter of minutes, so whether you want information of new customers offers or want to ask how to place a bet, you’ll be able to get the help and support you need in a matter of seconds.
I also like to see Esports betting sites offering phone support too. This isn’t quite as relevant as live chat support – in my opinion – but it’s a nice option to have, especially if they offer a bet by phone service. Placing Esport bets should be easy and stress-free – and that’s why all the Esports betting websites here on this page offer a great customer service portal.
Other Gambling Products
For those who are considering betting on Esports, there’s a great selection of sites here on this page. However, there’s another metric I want to point out – and it’s one that I look at quite closely when putting together a list of Esports betting bookies. Esports betting is great – but many new customers also want to be able to access a number of other gambling-related products and features, and that’s why I try to find sites that offer both Esports betting and other gambling products.
For example, I’ll take a look at what casino games a bookmaker in question offers. Do they offer all types of games, including live dealer games, video slots and casino table games, or do they only offer one of the aforementioned categories? Generally speaking, the more games the better – as this gives new customers more bet options – and I’m particularly happy if I find that a site has online poker and bingo games too, as this is a major plus.
Sports betting is another factor I look at, and while it’s rare for Esports bookies to offer just Esports, there are some that do just that. Because of that, most of the sites listed here will also offer sports betting facilities for you. So you can wager on Esports and also other traditional sports betting markets, including football, horse racing, greyhound racing and more. Ideally, Esports bookies will offer a range of casino games, multiple sports betting opportunities and the ability for you to bet on major Esports markets from all over the world.
Where Can I Bet on Esports?
Esports betting is growing in popularity, but many traditional sports betting sites still haven’t caught on yet. That means it’s still not available everywhere, or at least not to the standard you would expect. That’s why I’ve compiled the list of the best Esports bookmakers at the top of this page. This is a personally curated list based on a large amount of testing and research, so you can be sure that any site listed will give you a top Esports betting experience.
Is Betting on Esports Legal?
Yes, providing you are in a country that permits sports betting, then betting on online Esports tournaments is no different. Most countries have no laws against it. The USA has now legalized online sports betting at a federal level, so any site listed above that accepts players from the USA is fine to use.
Can You Watch Esports Live?
Yes, you can watch the Esports events live, for free. Some betting sites actually provide their own live streaming, but it isn’t actually necessary as you can stream any event on Twitch.
What Does Skin Betting Mean In Esports?
Many video games have a form of in-game currency. Skin betting means you place bets using that currency, instead of with real money. You’ll obviously need to have played the game yourself to have any, but it is a useful option for some players.
What Are The Most Popular Esports To Bet On?
Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota 2 and League of Legends are amongst the most popular Esports games to bet on. But the industry changes fast, and so does the betting volume, so it’s best to bet on whichever game you personally enjoy the most. For convenience, I’ve provided a list of all the most common Esports betting events above so you can get more information on each one. But even this isn’t exhaustive. There are also Esports matches in Heroes of the Storm, Super Smash Bros and many more
Do Any Online Esports Betting Sites Offer Live Betting?
Yes, most Esports bookmakers offer in-play betting so you have the option to watch some of the event and then place a bet based on who you think is most likely to win part way through the game.
Esports betting is a fairly new industry still, and many people still don’t fully understand the Esports industry – including some bookies. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to find some of the bigger sports betting sites still not offering Esports markets to customers.
However, if you’re looking for a top Esports betting site – and want to be confident that you’re placing a bet at a bookie that’s safe, legit – and actually cares about its customers – then you’ll want to make sure you pick one of the Esports bookies I’ve recommended right here on this page.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the Esports betting options I’ve described on this page, and know what to look for when choosing where to bet, you’re now in a great position to sign up and try this exciting new pastime for yourself.
Last Updated on August 1, 2023