Whilst the growth and development of esports has been well publicised in recent years, one of the often forgotten industries that has fully engaged with esports is the sports gambling niche.
Seen as a trivial pursuit by many gamblers only a decade or so ago, esports betting has now become a million dollar industry for many bookmakers and there are a growing number of esports betting sites the world over.
Historically, sports betting sites are never slow when it comes to sensing the opportunities. Almost at any respectable betting site Dota 2 takes special place, as well as League of Legends, CS:GO and other esports titles. Markets and bets are offered on all of the major esports disciplines on the market, meaning that sports bookmakers are able to cater for every different type of punter, regardless of their esports betting interests and financial aspirations.
As the demand for esports gaming has grown, sportsbooks have looked to stay relevant and offer markets and odds on all of the latest games played within the world of esports – enabling punters to find a game that works for them.
With a myriad of different games out there within the esports betting market, let’s take a look at the most popular game titles for esports punters to get stuck into:
League of Legends
Arguably the most popular and certainly the trend setter when it comes to esports gambling has been League of Legends. Developed by Riot Games, League of Legends has an army of fans across the world and its distinctive playing characteristics tends to lend itself to the world of sports betting, with plenty of markets to be accessed.
Following suit is Dota 2, which is a game that follows a similar concept adopted by League of Legends, with some unique permutations too. Generally speaking, Dota 2 tends to generate a higher-stakes betting audience, with less variables within the betting marketplace and it too has become one of the biggest esports betting platforms for punters.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
Counter Strike: Global Offensive, commonly known as CS:GO is another hugely popular output within the esports industry, but only recently has it transcended into the world of online sports betting. One-player shooter games weren’t previously seen as all that viable by sportsbooks but the emergence of esports personalities and celebrities has given the game a wider global audience and the players taking part are now known for their CS:GO gameplay credentials.
Overwatch is arguably one of the most complex games out there within the esports betting sphere but yet it seems to correlate nicely into sportsbook form. Blizzard Entertainment have created the game that is hugely popular the world over and its unique gameplay system enables punters to access markets that they perhaps wouldn’t be able to with plenty of other esports games.
Another game that took a short while to penetrate the sports betting market was Fortnite. A multi-billion industry within its own right, Fortnite’s participation numbers are exponential, but the accessible gameplay didn’t initially transcend the game into the world of esports betting. However, the personification of the key players taking part in Fortnite has again raised the profile of the game within the eyes of esports punters.
Call of Duty
Parallels can also be drawn when discussing Call of Duty, one of the longest standing franchises in esports and a pioneer in terms of first-person shooter gaming. The variety of different game modes and settings offered up by Call of Duty has made it an easier game to bet on in recent times, with punters able to access a range of different markets.
Perhaps the game that has seen the biggest shift in attention since the emergence of sports betting within it is Rocket League. A combination game of soccer and rocket-powered cars, the game, developed by Psyonix, wasn’t an instant hit but the parallels that can be drawn to more conventional sport have made it hugely popular for all levels of esports betting fan, regardless of their team allegiance or betting aspirations.