Esports (short for electronic sports) is a new phenomenon where video gamers battle each other in teams or by individuals and have hundreds of millions of people watch them do it.
Esports is the next big wave of sports and sports betting. Online esports betting is just getting started. We bring you a comprehensive guide to esports betting complete with the top esports betting sites.
Esports first began picking up around the late 2000s, when professional gamers started garnering large amounts of spectatorship thanks to live streaming platforms. By the 2010s, esports became a critical aspect of the video game industry.
The sport is estimated to generate over US$1 billion from 450 million viewers in 2019. With the explosion, esports betting has started to catch up and the past years has featured many sportsbooks beginning to cover the most popular tournaments like League of Legends and Overwatch.
Here we give you tips on how to bet online and we not only cover this fast-rising sport but also provide in-depth insight into the sportsbooks that deal with esports betting. From the deposit methods to the best bonuses, we review all the books and provide consistent updates on the world of esports.
Is esports betting legal in canada?
Ignore all the taboos about both esports and betting. They are both legal and fun. esports betting is just like normal sports betting. You sign up for a sportsbook, deposit your money, and find the esports section and start placing bets.
Betting is not illegal in Canada and is usually done through each province’s lottery association. However, going to the online sportsbooks is just as legal and you can get more value for your money on here.
Tips for online esports betting
Although esports betting is just like sports betting, the sport itself is an entity of its own. Firstly, competitive video gaming requires different skillsets than most other team sports. Most of it is mental and heavily reliant on strategy.
Before betting, learn more about the players and their track record with betting and the official standings. And also learn how much you are willing to risk. Having a unit system (a percentage of your total deposit) is the best approach.
Sportsbooks are still learning about the industry and may release lines that may be off on occasion. The best sports betting sites are constantly adding more esports tournaments and games as its popularity keeps growing.
DoTA 2’s The International, LoL World Championship, and the Boston Major are just some major esports tournaments that are now being offered.
How to choose the best esports betting site?
There are hundreds of legitimate esports betting sites and over dozens are available to Canadians. Each of these books, while all similar in structure, have their own unique features and nuances.
You need to look through each sportsbook and find out how each differs and which offers the best promotions. There are a variety of ways on how to get free bonus bets.
Firstly, you should check how much bonus a betting site will pay out. Compare it with the rest. Secondly, read the reviews regarding each book and find which ones have a platform that is most suitable to your betting needs.
If you are always on the go, a platform that has an advanced mobile betting app would be perfect. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, find one that gives the best sign-up bonus. Or if you’re going deep into esports betting, find the site that offers the widest selection of markets to choose from.
Most betting sites offer esports betting and most have accessible mobile betting and signup offers. Comb through the differences carefully before committing.
Who has the best esports betting selection?
A bet in a specific sport like esports is called a “market”. A sportsbook that carries the most markets is the best place to find a wide variety of available bets. Most legitimate sportsbooks carry tens of thousands of sports markets DAILY.
Even with the recent explosion of esports, many books are already filled with esports markets. However, having the most markets does not always mean the book is the most ideal for you.
Different books have different conditions when it comes to betting, their betting lines are different, and they don’t all cover the same esports.
Check each book’s esports markets to find the esport you want to bet on and compare its lines with others.
Types of esports bets
There are many pre-match odds for esports like most other sports. You can find them on the moneyline with the best esports odds.
Live betting is also available for esports depending on the games. League of Legends (LoL), DoTA 2, and CS: GO are just some examples of popular esports that many books offer live betting odds with.
Futures bets are also offered for esports although in fewer capacity. Outright bets are the most popular bet. These are bets where you pick the winner of a tournament. These types of markets can be lucrative although you have to be comfortable with waiting for a result.
Esports Betting bonus
Every sportsbook has a promotion a.k.a. online betting bonus offers awaiting you. It starts with the welcome bonus or a “signup bonus”: this is when you are given credit or cash for signing up with a sportsbook.
A free bet is similar to a signup bonus. This is when the book gives you credits, which you can use in a bet. These are usually awarded as part of betting. The more you bet, the more free bet credit you accumulate.
A risk-free bet is a modified free bet. This is when you get a “free roll”, meaning you are playing with house money. As with the free bets, you will need to bet or earn this type of credit. Or you can acquire it when the sportsbook offers a limited time offer.
Who has the best esports welcome bonus?
Esports is more popular now than ever and sportsbooks are competing diligently to provide you with the best bonuses out there. But not all welcome bonuses are made equal.
Each book offers different welcome bonuses. Some will match your first deposit up to an amount like $200 or $150. Some will offer a percentage like 100% or 50% of the deposit you made. This applies not just with esports bonuses but in general.
It’s advisable to register to multiple sportsbooks to claim as many bonuses. Read the terms and conditions from each book. Some will match your deposit if you deposit a certain amount.
Not all books offer a deposit bonus, however. But some will compensate by offering other bonuses like free bets.
Popular games for esports betting
The top three biggest esports games are League of Legends (LoL), Defense of the Ancients 2 (DoTA 2), and Overwatch. You can also add Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO). But the initial three are the most popular in terms of esports betting.
Of the three, DoTA 2 has the biggest prize pools. Their International tournaments have been the most lucrative for the last five years and counting.
League of Legends World Championships and has many markets in most books.
Overwatch is a league that runs per season much like traditional sports leagues and it also has a dedicated fanbase. Esports betting in Overwatch is very popular.
Ninja, a superstar Twitch streamer, is one of esports biggest faces right now. Although he isn’t the greatest pro gamer, he enjoys the largest following online and has been affiliated with A-list celebrities like Drake and Pittsburgh Steelers’ superstar wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Speaking of celebrities, many are involved with esports either as an investor, promoter, or as a super fan. NFL players Odell Beckham Jr. and Marshawn Lynch and billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are involved.
Canadian and former NBA player Rick Fox, who created Team Echo Fox, an esports team that plays LoL, Dragon Ball Fighter Z, and Street Fighter V.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: