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eSports Betting Guide

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The rise of video games wouldn’t have happened without some betting on the side. Here’s how eSports became a thing – and how you can get involved at Bodog.

 

Everything You Need to Know About eSports Betting

It’s been almost 50 years since Pong came out in 1972. That incredibly simple video game would launch an empire worth trillions of dollars – an empire that only got bigger once the internet came around. When people were able to play video games with and against each other online, it was only a matter of time before it would become a recognized sport.

Today, we call this pastime eSports (also stylized as Esports or e-sports), short for “electronic sports.” And eSports betting has become an industry all its own. We’ll show you how to get in the game right here at Bodog Sportsbook; our eSports betting guide will explain what all the fuss is about, how these incredibly popular tournaments work, and how you can bet on eSports like a champ.

 

CS:GO Betting Odds

DOTA 2 Betting Odds

League of Legends Betting Odds

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Betting Odds

Other eSports Betting Odds

 

What Is eSports?

Take two or more video game enthusiasts, put them in competition against one another, and presto – you have eSports. These tournaments have been taking place for decades, usually in small groups with little fanfare; it’s only been the last 20 years or so that eSports has gone mainstream and been given the same credibility (and media polish) as more traditional sports. Today’s top players are making millions of dollars a year, much of that coming from sponsorship deals.

 

To get a really good tournament going, you need a really good video game. Street Fighter II was the game that put eSports on the map, starting back in 1991. In the 2000s, games with military and fantasy themes like Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Warcraft III became big hits. Then you have the sports-themed games like Madden NFL, and card-based games like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone. These types of games are well-suited to individual and/or team competitions.

 

These games also have tremendous staying power thanks to eSports – people are willingly playing games that were released 20 or 30 years ago, where normally those games would end up abandoned at your local thrift store. However, today’s latest games tend to take over the landscape upon their release. Fortnite is the hottest game of them all at press time; before that, it was Overwatch, and before that, the triumvirate of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO for short), League of Legends (LoL) and Dota 2 held sway. All these games remain incredibly popular, with their own dedicated leagues and ongoing tournament series.

 

How Does eSports Betting Work?

Just like any other sport, you can bet on who will win these big events. You’ll find eSports betting odds at Bodog Sportsbook for all the major tournaments, using the familiar moneyline format. Here’s an example from the 2019 League of Legends LCS Spring series:

Team SoloMid –175
OpTic +120

Team SoloMid were the favourites to win this matchup, which you can tell by the negative sign next to their odds; in this case, you would bet $175 on Team SoloMid to win $100, or $17.50 to win $10, or any multiple thereof. OpTic were the underdogs (as indicated by the positive sign), paying out $120 for every $100 wagered. It’s exactly the same process as when you bet on baseball or hockey games against the moneyline.

 

Most Popular eSports

Every year, the world of eSports grows in both revenue and spectatorship. Major tournaments like The International are filling up stadiums and getting millions of views on streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Three games in particular (League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive) are getting lots of action in our sportsbook, and we want to show that eSports betting isn’t just for gamers. We’re going to explain how to bet on eSports through the same moneyline, spread and totals that sports bettors are already familiar with.

 

Type of eSports Bets Available

If you’re familiar with traditional sports betting, transitioning to eSports will be easy. eSports betting lines include odds for the three standard straight bets: moneyline, spread and total.

Moneyline

The simplest way to bet on eSports is through the moneyline. With the moneyline, you simply pick the team you think will win, and the odds dictate the payout. There will be an underdog and a favourite, with a premium placed on the latter. Here’s an example of eSports lines from a Counter Strike: Global Offensive matchup:

FURIA -235
MIBR+180

In this example, Furia is the favourite, as can be seen by their negative eSports odds. A $235 bet would pay $100. MIBR, the underdog, would pay $180 on a $100 bet.

 

Spread

Spread betting evens the playing field in a lopsided matchup by requiring the favourite to win by a certain number of “points” (points can be maps, kills, or wins depending on the game) as opposed to simply winning straight-up. Alternatively, the underdog can lose by the same specified number of points, or win straight up, and still pay out backers. Let’s go over an example of spread betting using the same Counter Strike: Global Offensive matchup.

FURIA -1.5
MIBR+1.5

FURIA is listed as the 1.5 favourite on the spread here, so they would need to defeat MIBR in the first two maps for a 2-0 score to cover the spread. If MIBR manages to win one map for a score of 2-1, MIBR covers the spread.

 

Totals

Many matchups include totals to bet on in addition to the spread and moneyline. Traditionally, the total refers to the total number of points scored between both teams in a game. With eSports, however, there can different types of totals, depending on if they’re for the entire game or for a map within the game. For the former, you’re betting on the total number of maps needed to determine the winner, whereas for the latter, you’re betting on the total number of wins in a specified map between both sides. Here’s what both scenarios look like on the eSports Vegas odds board:

Map 1

FURIA O 2.5
MIBR U 2.5

 

Map 1 FURIA O 26.5
MIBR U 26.5

This primer aims to shed some light on the basics of eSports betting at Bodog Sportsbook. For a deeper explanation, check out our comprehensive eSports Betting Guide.

 

Skins Betting

You may have heard in the news recently about skins betting – or you may already be well familiar. A “skin” is a virtual good that exists only in the realm of the video game in question; these goods end up being used much the same way as cryptocurrency, bought and sold in third-party marketplaces, and often used to place bets on games. There are even skins-themed cryptocurrencies like Skincoin that can be used for this purpose.

 

Skins betting falls into a grey area when it comes to legislation. What you’re allowed to do with skins will depend in part on what jurisdiction you live in, but when you bet on eSports at Bodog, you’ll use the same currencies as you would when betting on other sports – that means no skins betting.

 

How to Bet on eSports Using Real Money or Bitcoin

To get started with betting on eSports at Bodog, open your free account by filling out our simple one-page form, then make your first deposit once you’re approved – major credit cards, Interac e-Transfers, and Bitcoin are all accepted. Next, check out the odds board at Bodog and see what tournaments and matches you can bet on. In addition to betting on the winner of a single match, you can bet on who will win an entire tournament; this is called a futures bet, and futures odds can be found in their own section, separate from the game lines.

 

Most Popular eSports

You’ve almost certainly heard of Fortnite by now – that’s the one with all the dances that people do when they’re shown on the video board at NBA games. Fortnite is still a relatively new game, though, so it has yet to build up the same competitive league status as games like League of Legends and CS:GO. Overwatch betting and Dota betting are also very popular, especially the latter. You can find Overwatch odds and Dota odds throughout the year, along with betting lines for Starcraft, Call of Duty, Hearthstone and many others.

 

What the Future Holds

Like other professional sports, the eSports scene tends to rise and fall with the economy. South Korea is considered the global hub for eSports, with the largest and most fervent communities, and South Korea has felt the grip of the latest economic downturn more than other countries. But eSports remains tremendously popular there, and you’ll also find strong communities across North America and Europe, as well as China and Japan. With millions of players and fans following the action on streaming services like Twitch, it’s clear that eSports is here to stay – and even if you’re not a gamer yourself, you can join in the action right now by betting at Bodog.

 

 

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