Betting on eSports: Expert Advice and Wagering Tips
As a casual video game player, I can recall just about every single time a family member told me that I was wasting my time playing "stupid" video games and that I should get off the couch and go do something productive. I listened to them more often than not and turned off the video games to go outside and practice whatever sport was in season.
To the kids out there who defied their parents' wishes and stayed up all night to not only play video games but master their game of choice, I commend you. These kids are now in their late teens and are probably laughing at most adults who work a mundane 9-5 office job with very little excitement while they are filling stadiums and making a ton of money by playing a "stupid" video games.
Video games have always been classified as "nerdy" no matter which game you played. There was no differentiating between the massively popular gaming franchises like Madden, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, FIFA, Halo or even the newest game to take the world by storm, Fortnite. Every single one of these franchises have an insane following, and they break records almost every single time a new game is released.
Unfortunately for the majority of those franchises, the eSports world is composed almost exclusively with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft and Overwatch. Yes, Call of Duty is a big hit in the eSports world, but it pales in comparison to Counter-Strike (CS) or League of Legends (LOL).
Origin of eSports
To fully understand the origin of the eSports industry we know today, we must first go back to 1972 and the earliest known video game tournament ever recorded. On October 19, 1972, a "Spacewar" video game competition was held amongst students at Stanford University, and the winner was rewarded with a one-year subscription to the Rolling Stone magazine. A fellow by the name Bruce Baumgart won the five-man, free-for-all tournament, while the team of Tovar and Robert Maas won the team competition.
It wasn't until 1990 that eSports got it's first "online sports game" in the form of Netrek. Netrek capitalized on the increasing Internet connectivity and was able to use servers to link up to 16 players at once. Some of the largest eSports tournaments took place in the 1990s, including the 1994 Nintendo World Championships. This was the second edition of the tournament and featured 132 finalists that contested the finals in San Diego. Games for this tournament included NBA Jam and Virtua Racing.
As the calendar flipped to the year 2000, eSports took off in a big way thanks to the mass consumption of broadband internet and the popularity amongst South Koreans, especially those who frequented the internet cafes/LAN gaming centers known as PC bang. eSports become such a phenomenon in South Korea that the Korean government implemented a Korean eSports Association, which was tasked with regulating and promoting eSports in the country.
The most recent eSports boom is due to the fact that video game companies finally embraced the eSports potential of their product. Take Nintendo, for example. After shunning the eSports world, Nintendo chose to host a tournament called the "Wii Games: Summer 2010". This tournament spanned more than a month and had more than 400,000 participants, making it the largest and most expansive tournament in company history.
Halo also followed suit and conducted a "Halo Championship Series," which had a prize pool of more than $50,000.
And as recently as last year, Blizzard Entertainment unveiled a new initiative to provide scholarships and prizes for collegiate eSports clubs competing in its tournaments worth more than $1 million.
eSports Leagues and Tournaments
eSports leagues do exist, but they take a back seat to tournament play when it comes to prize money, popularity and interest. Blizzard Entertainment teamed up with Overwatch and created the Overwatch League, which is home to 12 teams who are all fighting for a chance to win the grand prize of $1 million at the conclusion of the season. Each player in this league has earned a contract and is guaranteed an annual salary to go along with benefits.
Take-Two Interactive partnered with the NBA to create the NBA 2K League, and it is the first eSports league to be operated by a professional sports league. EA Sports and the MLS did something similar when they created the eMLS, which used FIFA 18 to kick off the inaugural season.
The eSports industry is a tournament-driven industry, and that's thanks in large part to online streaming services. "Twitch" is an online streaming service that routinely streams eSports tournaments. It's estimated that more than 12 billion minutes of eSports was watched on this platform in 2013. During one day of the biggest tournament in the world, "The International" (Dota 2), Twitch recorded 4.5 million unique views, with each viewer watching for an average of two hours.
Other major tournaments include the World Cyber Games, DreamHack (League of Legends), Major League Gaming, Electronic Sports World Cup and the World eSports Games, which is held in Hangzhou, China.
Considering you are reading this article to better understand eSports and what it's all about, I would be shocked if your jaw didn't hit the floor when you read the prizes and prize pools that are up for grabs. Remember, the first "video game tournament" winner received a year's subscription to Rolling Stone magazine.
The International (Dota 2) - which is the biggest tournament in the world - had a prize pool of $24,780,916 in 2017, and the winning team was awarded $10.8 million to split amongst each other.
The League of Legends World Cup tournament winners took home just less than $2 million in 2017.
How to Bet on eSports
Now that you fully understand how eSports has grown into one of the most popular industries in the world over the last three decades, I'm sure you want to know how you can bet on it and make money.
It's rather quite simple to be honest with you. eSports betting is like betting on any of the four major North American sports.
Moneyline: This is the simplest form of bet you can possible make. This bet means you are picking which side/team is going to win the game/event.
Handicap: This is similar to the point spread in NFL or NBA betting. In order for your team to win, they must win by more than the handicap if you are to cash your ticket.
For example: Team X is (-2.5) games over Team Y.
If you bet on Team X, they must win the match by three or more games in order for that bet to be deemed a winner.
If you bet on Team Y, they must win, draw or lose the match by two or fewer games for them to be considered the winning side.
Total: This is very straight forward. You must predict the "over" or "under" in a particular game. Depending on the game being played, the total will refer to different things. In DOTA 2, the total refers to the number of kills, while in Counter Strike the total will refer to the number of rounds played.
Futures: This market refers to the overall outcome of a specific event. It's similar to picking the Super Bowl winner long before the season even begins.
You can find the best eSports lines over at Xbet.ag, and you can even use your Bitcoin account to make a deposit. Sign up through Doc's Sports and get a great introductory bonus .
eSports Betting Tips:
The most important (and generic) tip I would give to any novice bettor is to find a sportsbook that works for them. Whether that's paying reduced juice on lines or one that gives you bonuses, the decision is up to them. Finding the right book (or having multiple books) is vital when it comes to betting the best line possible and turning a profit.
When it comes to eSports, I tend to dedicate a bit more time to the research aspect of the game then I do the watching/betting part. Doing the right research and analyzing it appropriately will help you act on the information that you find. If you know a team isn't playing its strongest players in a particular match, betting on the opposition before news gets outs will give you much better odds to back and a better chance at turning a bigger profit.
Another tip I can give you is not a ground-breaking betting secret, but it can help save your bankroll from disaster. The tip is not to bet too many games. Correctly predicting every single outcome of every single game is near impossible. Having money on each one of those games will almost guarantee you won't even break even considering the juice you would have to lay with every favorite that you decide to bet on. The best bet you can make is the one you don't make at all. If you aren't sure or need reassurance on a particular side, its best to walk away and find a better spot to invest your money.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc's Sports list of expert sports handicappers. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free .
- NBA Over and Under Betting Tips: Best Stats to Factor When Wagering Totals
- 12 MLB Handicapping Betting Tips from Expert Baseball Handicappers
- What Happens When You Lose a Sports Bet?
- Betting Tips for Public Underdogs: Expert Advice and Wagering Help
- Money Management in Sports Betting: Expert Tips and Advice
- How to Bet XFL Football Betting Tips
- Who is the Best Sports Handicapper?
- NHL Totals Betting: Expert Tips and Advice
- NFL Betting Tips: Understanding Key Numbers
- NFL Preseason Betting Advice and Tips