With the rise of popularity in playing computer games, it was only a matter of time before eSports became a global sensation. Currently the fastest growing sport in the world and already estimated to be worth more than C$1.3 billion, eSports is becoming a significant career opportunity. As the popularity of a sport soars, naturally the opportunity for eSports betting comes to the forefront, and in this guide, we will look to bring you up to speed in this fascinating area of the betting world.
Canada, like the rest of the world, has fallen in love with eSports. With lucrative teams such as Luminosity Gaming, Vancouver Titans, and Team NP, as well as high earning individuals in Fly, Aui 2000, and Arteezy, there is no lack of talent coming from Canadian shores. There is also a whole host of events held up and down the country throughout the year, helping to separate the elite from the rest of the competition across a whole range of different eSports games.
When it comes to eSports betting, Canadians may have to look further afield for where they place their bets due to the complex regulations system. However, that is no problem whatsoever as in this guide we will bring you up to speed with some of the leading international bookmakers you should consider using for your eSports bets.
eSports covers such a vast array of different games that it should come as no surprise that the betting markets vary just as much from game to game. We will bring you up to speed with some of the more conventional and popular bet types, but be aware that each individual game will also have unique bet markets that you should get to grips with before placing your bets.
Outright winner bets are the most straightforward and easy for newcomers. You simply choose who you think will win a particular eSports event, whether that be a specific match or tournament, and should your predicted winner be successful, your bet is a winner.
An Over/Under eSports betting market requires you to predict whether a certain event will happen more or less times than a specified amount. For example, in a game of FIFA the bookmaker could offer odds on Over/Under 2.5 goals in a game, and you have to bet on whether you think there will be more or less than that amount after full time.
Handicap betting is popular across all sports and eSports is no different. The nature of handicap betting is that one team starts the game with a disadvantage, and they have to overcome that disadvantage for your bet to be profitable. For example, in a game of Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), if a team has been given a handicap of -1.5, it means they have to win the match by 2 maps or more for the bet to be successful.
Parlay or accumulator betting is another market hugely popular across most sports. It requires the punter to choose the correct outcome on multiple different events, and all of the events have to come in for the bet to be successful. The pros to parlay betting are that the rewards are usually huge, the con is there has to be a lot of variables going your way for it to come in.
A lot of eSports events are available to stream on-line whether through a betting site or YouTube or Twitch. This enhances the appeal of in-play betting where you can watch all the action unfold live. There are a wide range of eSports in-play betting markets available that will be specific to the type of game you are betting on.
As we previously mentioned, there are also a whole range of unique markets for each game to discover. In a game like Call of Duty you may choose to bet on an individual with the most kills or captures, or in FIFA you can bet on who will score the next goal. eSports is such a versatile and expansive sport that you will continually discover new ways to bet.
By now you have probably grasped that there is a huge range of gaming options within eSports that you can choose from. In this section we are going to look at some of the more popular games in which punters tend to focus their esports betting money on.
League of Legends (LoL) boasts more than 8 million active users every day. The game generates income via microtransactions that take place through in-game currency to improve a player’s profile. The game involves a player taking the role of a Champion and each individual Champion comes with a unique skill set. You then battle as an individual or in a team against another team with the overall objective being to demolish the opponents Nexus, which is central to the opposition's base.
CS:GO is the fourth game in the Counter Strike series and is hugely popular in the eSports world. The game sees two teams facing off against one another: the terrorists and the counter terrorists. The overall objective of the game is to eliminate the opposition whilst also undertaking other goals. There are nine different game modes that vary from defending hostages to planting bombs, and you can play on a whole range of maps, including custom-made ones!
FIFA sees players either play one-on-one online, or via FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) where a player builds up their squad by earning or buying coins that can be traded for packs. Within these packs are a selection of players, with the better players being increasingly rare. Once you have built your squad up, you compete with other players and as with real life soccer, you need to score more goals than your opponent.
Rocket League sees either individuals or teams of up to four players competing against one another. The main objective of the game is to use a rocket-powered vehicle to score more goals than your opponent in a soccer-style game.
DOTA 2 is the most profitable eSport for gamers. The game sees two teams of five square off against one another. Each player controls a Hero that possesses a unique set of abilities and characteristics. The objective of the game is to defend their own base whilst trying to demolish the opponents Ancient, a specific building situated in their base.
Multiplayer Call of Duty sees a team of 6 to 10 players pitted against one another with the winner having completed an objective before their opponent. The objective can be straight kills, collecting dog tags, capturing flags, planting bombs, or defending set positions. Different objectives see varying levels of skill and tactical knowledge being required by the players involved.
So, now you know about eSports betting markets and the types of games you can bet on. Now it’s time to look into how you can maximize your potential return with specific things to watch out for in order to do so.
As Thomas Jefferson once famously said, ‘Knowledge is power’. The more information, data, and insight you can get into a particular game, the more you can use it to your advantage when placing bets. Every game will have its own niche quirks, trends, and variables to add to the mix. The more you study, research, play or watch these games, the quicker you will pick up what to watch out for which will help you in predicting correct outcomes for competitive matches. As we’ve previously mentioned, sites like Twitch and YouTube are perfect for gaining more knowledge on different game types, and as we will look into next, different teams’ or players’ gaming style.
Luckily, there is data and information widely available on all the top players and teams that you can get your head into and analyze. As well as reading up on all their statistics, it’s worth checking their recent form, as form and confidence can play crucial roles in every aspect of life and eSports is no different. Watching previous games of teams or players is also a tip we would recommend, as sometimes differing styles can cause different problems for opponents.
Using FIFA as an example, you may have a player who is very solid and robust defensively, playing against someone who plays free-flowing attacking soccer. The defensive player might be able to absorb the attacks and hit the team on the counterattack. Different styles and tactics in every game will mean matches play out differently. There are many vloggers or online forums that look in depth into different elite level gamers and their unique styles. It’s worth taking the time out to watch and read these to increase your knowledge.
One of the most important variables in any prospective betting strategy is ensuring you choose to use the right bookmakers. Always do your homework and research the available markets on a specific event or game. Look at how competitive the odds are and if there are better opportunities and value available elsewhere.
It’s always beneficial to shop around and look for value, but it’s also worth taking into the account the reputation and validity of the company you choose to bet with. We’ll shortly take a look into the best sites to bet on eSports for Canadian punters, but always make sure the company you choose is fully regulated and certified by the correct governing bodies.
When betting on anything it’s important that you stick to your budget and don’t bet excessively. Give yourself an allocated amount that you can afford to bet with and don’t start to stray over it. Look to utilize cash out markets if it seems sensible and never start chasing lost bets. Keeping to your budget will ensure a safe and sound overall betting strategy.
888 Sport boasts 25 million online players from across the globe. It has built up a reputation for the best customer service around with 24/7 assistance via live chat, email, or phone. 888 Sport accepts payments from debit cards, credit cards, wire transfer and e-wallets making it accessible for all players. They offer great value promotions to both new and existing customers as well as a fluid esports betting experience on tablet, mobile phone or desktop.
Betway has worked hard to ensure that it has built a solid and respectable reputation and it is one of the best sites to visit for eSports. It provides quick payouts and accepts a wide range of deposit methods, making it efficient and versatile. There is also a matched welcome bonus for all eSports punters as well as an extensive range of markets with great value odds.
Established in 1934, William Hill is one of the most well-respected bookmakers around. Whether via the website or mobile app, the site is smooth and easy to navigate making depositing money or finding your markets a breeze. There is a wide range of eSports events covered as well as a broad selection of markets within each event, too.
Generally speaking, the top-tier eSports are considered to be Dota 2, CS:GO, and League of Legends. These are the games where you will find the most markets available, however, the likes of Fortnite, PUBG, and Rainbow Six among others are not far behind.
eSports have not really broken on to the mainstream television channels just yet, but you can get up to speed and watch all the main events via online channels like YouTube, Mixer, or Twitch.
It’s natural to be cautious when entering into the big world of betting online. However, you can rest assured that if you choose a respectable and reputable company you have nothing to worry about. Follow our guide and bet with the companies we recommend and stay safe.