If you’re savvy, there’s good money to be made in betting on esports. This discipline may not match traditional sports for viewership and popularity, but esports’ star is on a meteoric rise, and it won’t be long before esports are discussed and analysed on the same level as regular sports. With that in mind, there’s never been a better time to start making bets and trying to earn a little cash from this nascent form of entertainment.
But, cry you, which esports should I bet on? It’s true that not all esports are created equal. Some games are better disposed towards betting than others, so it’s important you put your money in the right place if you want to bet on esports. There are several major titles you’ll need to know about and tournaments you’ll need to be familiar with. Here are the best esports games to bet on in 2019.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
You’ll also see Counter-Strike: Global Offensive referred to by its acronym CS:GO around the internet. Valve and Hidden Path’s first-person shooter has an incredibly active competitive scene and draws in around 350,000-400,000 players per month, which is a pretty impressive figure. There’s no single tournament for CS:GO, but it’s represented in all the major esports tournaments and prize pools can be pretty huge. Pairing intimate knowledge of CS:GO with helpful resources like this link can net you some seriously big money.
League of Legends
Riot Games’ League of Legends is one of the few MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas) that still commands a massive audience. Along with Valve’s Dota 2, LoL is the dominant force in the world of MOBAs. These skill-based games are intense and high-octane; games in the pro circuit rarely last more than 20-25 minutes, but there are hours of thrills packed into those minutes. LoL is ideal to bet on thanks to its changeable nature, making live betting and prop betting perfect for this game.
League of Legends’ biggest competitor is also arguably the place where MOBA games started. Dota 2’s origins lie with a Warcraft III mod called Defense of the Ancients, which subsequently became its own entity. Dota 2 follows on from the original Dota and plays somewhat similarly to LoL. You can bet on match outcomes, event outcomes, and moment-to-moment gameplay like who will get first blood and who will destroy the first tower. Dota 2 is a perennially popular esport with plenty of options for enterprising bettors.
Spearheading the battle royale revolution is EA and Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends. If you don’t know anything about battle royale, here’s a quick primer. One hundred players (sometimes more, sometimes less, but usually one hundred) are dropped into a map. The last one out wins. That’s it; it’s multiplayer gaming distilled down to its core essence. Apex Legends’ star may be in ascendancy and it may not quite have achieved its full potential yet, but its prize pools and potential winnings are still very impressive indeed.
Whether or not you’ve heard of Apex Legends, you’ve almost certainly heard of Fortnite. This game has been the subject of several controversies since its release back in late 2017, but it’s still a presence on the esports scene. The changeable nature of battle royale games makes Fortnite a perfect esport to bet on; outcomes can change quickly, so you’re probably better off with prop betting than outcome betting. Pro prize pools routinely reach tens of millions (spread across various teams), making Fortnite one of the most expensive esports out there.
The Overwatch League is promising to shake up the traditional formula of esports betting, making it the perfect analog to regular sports like football or basketball. Whereas most esports are concentrated around single large events in the calendar, Overwatch’s league format means you can follow teams, bet on them based on their fortunes, and make changes to your strategy on the fly. Blizzard’s “hero shooter” is a game based around tactical play and decision-making just as much as twitch skill, earning it a place in the pantheon of esports.
This is the Dota of battle royale games. PUBG may not be the first ever game to strip the multiplayer experience down to its base components, but it’s certainly one of the most successful. The game has an incredible esports presence, largely owing to a consistently faithful and outspoken community. PUBG is also proof that esports can work on the mobile scene; the mobile version of the game has as many players as Fortnite and is rapidly becoming a viable esport for pros to play and bettors to bet on.
BONUS – Watch This Space: Mordhau
While Mordhau doesn’t quite have the esports scene that the above games do just yet, we reckon this one will become huge. The medieval multiplayer battler has drawn incredible player numbers and has proven a hit on streaming platforms like Twitch. With that in mind, it seems like only a matter of time before Mordhau starts drawing the kind of interest that leads to an esports presence. The game is based entirely around skill and team play, which makes it perfect for esports.