Electronic sports, known more commonly as eSports, have emerged in recent years as a new and exciting betting market, one that is poised to continue growing at a massive rate. With the ongoing surge in popularity and visibility given to these formerly niche ventures, now is as good a time as any for curious punters to explore this dynamic new market.
So what should they be looking for?
While eSports regularly sell out stadiums around the globe and have found increasing mainstream media coverage-including the broadcast of contests on the American television channel ESPN2-not all bookmakers have figured out how to handle them as wagerable sports.
A few list major tournaments as “specials” or create a temporary category for those events. While those are fine options, sites such as William Hill, bet365, and Paddy Power have embraced the burgeoning sport and have permanent eSports sections in their sportsbooks.
For the most part, eSports betting focuses on a few major video games, namely Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2), League of Legends (LOL), Starcraft II (SCII), Counterstrike: Go (CS:GO) and Fortnite . If there is a tournament of any consequence taking place in any of those games, punters are almost certainly able to bet on them, as well as very major tournaments in a few other games such as Hearthstone or Super Smash Bros.
Certain bookmakers, like bet365, pay even more attention than that and give odds on things such as qualifying events and the league competitions that have been created for the games mentioned above.
Finally, punters should be sure to make sure the sportsbook (or eSportsbook, in this case) offers the type of bet they are looking for. The most common bets in the eSports scene are outright and match betting. Outright bets are most often made on teams or individuals that bettors think will emerge ultimately victorious at the end of a tournament or league season, while match bets only focus on the very next game and opponent in front of a player or team.
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