eSports Betting: More Advantageous than Regular Sports Betting?
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eSports betting has grown rapidly, in tandem with the explosion in popularity of competitive video games. In the last five years the world of eSports has seen a huge influx of sponsorship from both games developers like Valve, and companies like Mountain Dew and Doritos.
Thanks to this, the money within the industry has soared into the tens, and hundreds of millions, and the top gamers can now boast paychecks on a par with some of the world's most recognisable athletes.
With video games like League of Legends, Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty having more active players than the population of sizable countries (like France) this very new “sports” phenomenon is predicted to eclipse the likes of the NBA in the very near future.
eSports betting takes some getting used to, but once you immerse yourself in this unique market there are a number of advantages.
Range of bookmakers
Some, such as William Hill only offer a small selection of markets, although these are slowly expanding as the operators become more familiar with the sport. Bookies like Betway however, offer a huge selection of markets, including total map wins and overall winners.
The casual observer through to die hard eSports fans are accommodated, whether you just want a cheeky flutter on a random League of Legends match, or want to wager map by map on a team you follow.
An interesting development in the world of eSports has been the rise of unique bookmakers, that only handle wagers on this market. The three most well known are Unikrn, Vulcun and EgamingBets.
(Get a free Vulcun welcome gift with an exclusive Betminded promo code)
For the eSports fanatic these sites have a range of unique services, which make them very appealing. Punters have the opportunity to wager in real money, or in special currencies. These currencies can be exchanged for in-game items for League of Legends or CS:GO.
Unikrn's website features a marketplace where winnings can be used to purchase high-end gaming equipment like keyboards, headsets and custom PCs.
When it comes to betting on football there is a huge range of factors that can affect the outcome: are all 11 players fully fit? what is the teams home / away form like? what are the weather conditions like, and will that affect the outcome, etc. etc.
With eSports a lot of these factors are far less pronounced, and often simply not an issue. In large tournaments all the gamers use the same hardware, they sit in plush chairs protected from the elements and play.
Teams are also restricted to five members, with a couple of subs in case someone sprains a wrist (or whatever) in the preamble. With less players to worry about, and considering the pro community is drawn from quite a small pool of players, once you're in the know it's easier to predict outcomes.
Seems like general skill aside, the biggest factor is whether these guys (and girls) can keep their cool with a stadium of screaming gamers in front of them.
Easier to be ‘in the know'
At first glance finding out the nuances of the eSports world can seem an impossible task, a strange, closed off internet world that can't be penetrated without access to the deep web and a computer setup resembling a modern day WarGames.
Aside from some carefully worded tweets, which are likely as not put out by some slick PR guy, we don't see inside the real world of most professional athletes, we certainly don't see them posting on forums and mixing with the proletariat.
This is not the case in eSports, pro-gamers stream themselves, reply to tweets, visit forums and generally inhabit the same spaces as their fans, meaning it's easier to find out key bits of information to make those informed, and generally better, bets.
You're playing the same game…
What we see.
What the pros see.
It might sound daft, but whether you're the world's best LoL player or some noob, you're both playing the same game. It's not like football, where a kick about in the park is somewhat different to walking out onto the Old Trafford pitch.
Does this help? Absolutely, with a complete understanding of the game you're wagering on it's easier to see how pro teams will react and this leads to more informed betting.
It's worth noting that there are a few downsides to betting on eSports. The biggest issue to face the industry is match fixing, which is as popular among pro gamers as… Doritos and Mountain Dew.
Because the industry grew to quickly organisers struggled to govern events properly, and there was not enough protection in place to shield fans and even players from unsavoury sorts who looked to exploit, lead astray and generally mess up the lives of spotty kids. A Korean LoL tournament was fixed by several players, their coach and members of organised crime.
Another issue has been drug abuse. We're not talking Tony Montana and mountains of cocaine, more Adderall. Needless to say competitors found popping ADHD pills are often invited (invited in the Tony Montana sense) to return their prize money, and voiding that lovely bet you placed a few days ago.
This being said, tournament organisers have become much more strict about drugs, and there have been increasing efforts made to stop match fixing, so there is no safer time to bet on eSports.