eSports Betting Guide: Everything you need to know
Welcome to the only eSports betting guide you’ll need to see before placing a winning bet.
Here we covered everything – from sports betting essentials such as bookmakers and odds, to intermediate eSports betting tactics.
And the best part?
Even if you are a beginner in betting, after reading this, you will be capable of making the winning prediction.
Read on and find out what we learned during the ten year long eSports betting journey.
What should you know before starting to bet on eSports?
Back in the days when we started with eSports betting, there were too many trial and errors. We’ve been testing everything – from different games to specific markets and more.
However, after some time of testing (losing), we consulted an experienced sports bettor. In the end, he gave us enough advice to double the profit.
Here we introduce you to what we’ve been told, as most of the rules apply both for sports and eSports betting as well.
- Learn your game inside-out
Each successful eSports betting story starts with specialising in one particular game. It’s hard, if not impossible, to follow League of Legends, Counter-Strike and Dota 2 simultaneously, with the same, high level of attention to detail.
As there are thousands of eSports tournaments worldwide, the success will increase as you narrow the selection.
For example, let’s say that you want to start betting on League of Legends matches – the same as Amelia.
Perhaps you came with decent in-depth game experience. You may be an active player (or have been an active player in the past), and it’s time to transfer the knowledge into profit – while having fun in the meantime.
You are not testing your luck in Dota 2, nor in Counter-Strike because League of Legends is where you specialised, and you are aware of that.
Each hero, spell or update brings new rules. Thus it’s hard to keep up with the pace of the evergrowing gaming industry. From there, you have two options:
- Keep up with the pace and make the winning predictions.
- Get lost while trying to catch with multiple games, leading to wrong choices.
So the final choice is on you.
Speaking of new rules and changes leads us to the next essential learning point.
- Keep an eye on meta changes and specific rules
Meta (most effective tactics available) changes happen in a gaming way too often. Even the pro players are unable to keep up with the fast pace.
When the change happens, either if one champion (if we’re speaking on LoL’s example) is buffed, or a new item is added – teams struggle to find the best way to utilise the change. The best teams are indeed capable of adapting to a given situation way faster than the average rosters, yet this isn’t always the case.
In the past, we’ve seen some of the most astonishing turnovers where underdogs took the lead due to a perfect application of a new meta. As the tactic is unknown, it’s often under the radar of the opponents, and it may give a significant advantage, eventually leading into a win.
Another technical factor that influences many eSports games is the changing of rules. This may happen on some lower scale tournaments, or while the game is going through the development steps.
Although more than 90% of competitions have uniform rules, don’t be surprised if you find the one included in the remaining 10%. These non-uniform rules may change the odds for winning, and give an advantage or disadvantage to a specific team.
- (Don’t) bet with your heart
We understand that sometimes it’s hard to separate a desire for your favourite team to win. Yet successful betting is not the same as cheering the team.
As a part of our eSports betting academy, our goal is to polish your skills and turn you into a better and more competitive punter. We are all fans of specific teams and players, yet if we want to make the profitable prediction, we need to separate the passion from profit.
If the desire to place a bet is too tough, make sure to look at the broad picture. Look from the aspect of a neutral player, without subjective judgements.
This may be an excellent opportunity to try out some of the unusual betting markets. If your team is focusing on late game, for example, chances are you could play on the total match length, by predicting a clash that will last for quite a while. In this particular case, you managed to combine betting on your favourite team, while maximising the odds for winning.
Another option is to make separate betting tickets. Especially if you’re playing on combination bets, don’t stick all the matches on the same list.
If you are the type of bettor that struggles with the mentioned situation, the best is to make two tickets every time. Let the first one be the passionate one, where the prediction is less likely to happen, and on the second put only the ‘smart’ predictions that are likely to become profitable.
How to bet on eSports – in simple steps
Betting on eSports may seem like a complicated process for newbies, yet the reality is different. It’s relatively easy to go over the basics, and the tricky part comes in when it’s the time to make the right prediction.
Here is a simple list that answers the given question:
- Learn the technical side of betting – betting markets, betting odds and such
The first big obstacle for newbie bettors comes with terminology and the fundamentals of sports betting in general.
We’ve all been in a situation where we didn’t have an idea of how to calculate the profit from betting, what the betting markets are, and not to mention handicaps, system bettings and similar.
Down on this page, we will explain everything you need to know about odds in betting and different odds formats. It’s important not to stress about the thing you don’t understand, as you’ll quickly learn as you go.
- Pick the game you’re the most experienced with
We’ve already discussed this part in the previous section. For a start, we suggest picking one game that you’re familiar with the most.
The most popular betting games on the market are League of Legends, CS:GO, and Dota 2, yet many other eSport titles are available as well, so feel free to pick one that suits you best.
What the practice shows us is that the most successful bettors are the active players. They understand the current meta at every given moment and can associate the strengths and weaknesses of every team with a forthcoming clash.
If you aren’t an active player, we suggest you find professional streamers and use their videos to gain a deeper understanding of current standings.
- Find the right bookmaker
Back to the technical aspect of betting – choosing the best eSports betting site is the first and foremost step. Not only you need to find a secure and trustworthy bookmaker, but you should look for those with the best odds, the outstanding selection of different matches and betting markets.
Also, there are some bonus points or even deal breakers for some, such as different payment and withdrawal options and welcome and sign up bonuses.
Under the next headline, we explained how to pick a betting operator. Don’t miss out on that part, as you might oversee some critical factor, and once you deposit funds, it’s a painful process to do the same with another betting operator.
Where to start with eSports betting?
Once you decide to start with eSports betting, the first and essential part is knowing where to do so.
If we ignore not so convenient live betting operators, then we’re left with numerous online betting operators. On this site, you can find some of the best eSports betting sites, and spare yourself from exhausting research and detailed analysis you should do before you pick a preferable bookmaker.
We made a selection of the best operators available on the market based on numerous factors relevant for every successful eSports betting journey.
As you can find individual reviews of each bookmaker, we suggest you read it and see which one suits you best. Also, don’t forget to test each site yourself, as this is the best method to check if the deal works for you.
Once you open those sites, feel free to navigate through different eSports and general sports games, look for matches, leagues, cups and such. Get familiar with the user interface, as that is one of the most important factors when picking a bookmaker.
Some bettors value user interface more than odds quality, selection of different markets and availability of bonuses. Also, if you’re browsing using a smartphone, or some device with specific resolution and requirements, the bookmaker’s website optimisation isn’t only a benefit, but a deal-breaker as well.
Betting odds explained
There are a total of four different odd formats in sports betting. Yet on the positive side, eSports bettors will often see only one – decimal format, so you don’t need to worry about complex equations and mathematical formulas.
In case you need to deal with any other odds format, we’re going to introduce you to all.
Decimal odds format
As we’ve just mentioned, decimal odds are the most common ones in eSports betting. They are the easiest one to calculate as well.
You are betting $10 on the market with odds at 1.8
Now multiply $10 with 1.8, and you will get the total amount of money the bookmaker will pay out if your prediction is right.
$10 x 1.8 = $18
In this particular case, your total return is $18, where $10 is the initial bet and $8 is your profit.
Fractional odds format
Fractional odds are the oldest dating from medieval times. They are also known as British or UK odds and are mostly used in horse racing.
They are written as fractions, where one number represents the amount of money you will get compared to your bet, which is the other number. You can look at it as a proportion as well.
Odd example –
This means that for the stake of 1, the profit would be 2. So if you bet $100, the yield would be $200, so the total return is $300 (initial deposit/stake + profit).
You can read this as “two to one” or “two to one against.”
Let’s take the opposite as an example – 1/2
In this case, if your stake is 2, the profit will return as 1. So for the $100 stake, you will get $50 as a profit, or $150 in total.
If you see 1/1, you can call that even money or even odds, and the outcome is pretty straightforward – if you win, you will get back double of the initial stake.
Implied probability or betting odds as a percentage
Percentage odds are supposed to represent the probability of a particular scenario to happen.
Calculating the profit is slightly more complicated, as you need to get the decimal value first, and then do the math for it.
To get a decimal odds from probability, you need to use this equation:
Decimal odds = 100 / probability odds
So if the probability is 30%, decimal odds are 3.33 (100 divided by 30).
Now, as we get the decimal odds, multiply them with your stake, and you will get the potential profit.
Moneyline or American odds format
American odds may be the most abstract from the list. While they are used mostly only in the US, it’s good to know the meaning.
They show either how much money you need to deposit to win $100 or how much money you will win for $100 of deposit.
Odds for favourites are written with a minus sign before the number, while odds for underdogs have a positive value.
For example, if you are betting on a favourite, the odd might be -300. This means that you need to invest $300 to win $100 as a profit so that the total return would be $400 (deposit + profit).
To convert negative American odd to decimal format, take -100, divide it by the given US odd and add 1.
In our example that would be -100 / -300 + 1 = 1.33.
The calculation for betting on the underdog is slightly less abstract. The figure represents how much money you can win on a wager of $100.
So if the odd is 400, if your stake is $100, the profit would be $400.
To convert underdog American bet to decimal odd format, divide the odd value by 100 and add 1. In the previous example, that would be 400 / 100 + 1 = 5.
How to pick the winner?
The most basic form of betting market is predicting a winner of a match. While the profit is usually on the lower end, chances of failing are minimal.
Let’s check through five essentials before picking the winner in eSports betting.
Analyse previous clashes
General standing of a team is an essential factor to consider before submitting a prediction. However, the most reliable information you need to watch is the past games and matches of both of the opposing teams.
Analyse those games in detail and find out what led them to a win or a loss.
- What was the strategy they used?
- Were there any breakpoints?
- Can they apply the same scenario again?
Answer those questions and gain a deeper understanding of the game. You’ll be competent to analyse matches more objectively, leading into more successful predictions in the future.
Compare map and game-specific opportunities and threats for both teams
A team can’t perform on the same level in all given circumstances.
For example, in CS:GO, we regularly see performance gaps as the maps switch. One team can’t remain on the same level in Dust II, Inferno, Mirage and Nuke – some ups and downs are inevitable.
Speaking of Dota 2 and League of Legends, as soon as the draft phase is finished, we can predict the outcome based on picks and bans. If the main carry heroes of one team are banned, unless they figure out a proper plan B, their chances of winning are questionable.
Watch for individual player standings
This part is easy due to the availability of live streams. Check the individual players’ standings before the match, as it can tell a lot about the form.
The same as in other sports, besides the team tactics, each player has to be in top-standing condition before the big match happens.
Additionally, assume a player is having any kind of personal problems, or their performance dropped recently. In that case, this will quickly come into the first place and crush the team like a domino effect.
Beware of roster changes
Newcomers in the team can represent fresh new energy, improved strategy and a performance boost.
However, before this happens, some time needs to pass. The team will struggle to adapt to the new tactics and new player and will take some time to reach their peak performance.
Even if the player is significantly above the team’s league, they will need some time to improve.
So from there, make sure to watch for recent roster changes, as they might indicate lower performance during some of the first matches and tournaments.
Get in touch with betting communities
If we had to pick only one tip to recommend to eSports bettors, that would be to join the gaming communities.
Start from easily accessible blogs and forums, and expand onto more private chat groups, premium membership portals and local communities.
Only by discussing the game with others may give you enough information to rethink your decisions and make polished predictions in the future.
eSports betting tips for success
Successful punters are ones who place a winning bet on more than 60% of their total predictions.
Yet the road they need to take is often measured in years of not as successful betting.
To make your personal journey as pleasant as possible, here we present you with general betting tips for success.
Start with small deposits
The rule of thumb even for pros is to keep deposit within a reasonable limit. The advice for beginners is to scale the stakes even lower.
First steps will be filled with trial and error. The same as with any other activity, the best way to learn something is to try it out by yourself.
So if you start big, you’ll have less opportunity to learn. A big profit may seem appealing but think of it as a disadvantage for beginners. The start is reserved for getting as much experience as possible, and even if you lose, which is inevitable, you shouldn’t stress about it too much.
The biggest mistake is betting on every match you come across. Especially when you win for the first time, or score a few consecutive wins.
Being selective in the process might significantly improve your win to loss ratio, as you’ll focus only on matches and markets you are almost 100% sure.
Additionally, punters often turn sports betting into a Friday night activity, as most matches happen during the weekend. This is the first trap bettors fall into, as chances for winning are not always the same.
Once you get used to eSports betting, don’t forget that you can watch the match even if you don’t place a bet. If two opposing teams begin the game with similar odds for winning, skip betting and you can enjoy the game without stressing about losing your stake.
Focus on one region or team
The competitive gaming industry covered the world scene like a plague. There are thousands of tournaments happening every year, with remarkable ongoing growth.
To get into the expert bettor field, with more than 60% win rate, you need to narrow down the selection and focus on a specific region or a team.
This can be your local competitive scene, or you can pick any that you find appealing to watch and profitable for betting.
Speaking of League of Legends, China and South Korea are usually the betting favourites. In CS:GO bettors mostly focus on Europe or the United States. And Australia happens to be the perfect ground for Rocket League and Overwatch.
Don’t bet on a loved team
Combine a passion for your favourite eSports team with betting, and you will end up with objective, and mostly mistaken predictions.
Even if you try your best to look for the facts, analyse general standings and such, your brain will unconsciously gravitate toward subjective decisions.
For that reason, the easiest is to avoid your favourite team and switch your brain into a business mindset.
Apply general rules from business
What differs successful bettors from enthusiasts struggling to earn a profit is the general mindset. Watching an eSports game may be a hobby, yet once you bet on a certain team, then it transforms into something more complex.
The first step would be tracking your deposits, profits, win/loss ratios, and such. If you have all this information written down, it will be easier for you to see where your mistakes were, and what you did successfully.
And as a bonus, you’ll be grateful to look back to the past and admire your worth and effort.
Risk brings profit
Just the opposite from the popular opinion to stake your money on safe bets. Safe bets might be more likely to happen, yet the profit you will eventually get in the end is miserable.
Once you get familiar with eSports betting and the rules of gambling in general, you’ll see that it’s more profitable to risk a few times and fail.
Because once you make the winning prediction, you will win big. And that big win will outnumber the amount you spent as a deposit for many previous matches.
Betting in the eSports industry attracts thousands of punters for many reasons. The obvious one is profit. However, the hidden gem is the fun you’ll have throughout the entire process.
Yet if you want to make your predictions successful, you better arm yourself with a decent amount of knowledge.
In this eSports betting guide, we walked you through the entire process, from A to Z. Don’t place your bet before reading this page, and once you start make sure to apply the given knowledge to maximise profit.
And for the end, don’t forget to have fun in the process! This is the entertainment industry, and it’s supposed to be this way to the end.