The best esports games & betting sites - 2018Reviews and Comparison

The idea of esports betting is probably unfamiliar to many mainstream sports fans, who might not know the difference between Starcraft and LoL, or Riot Games and Blizzard.

After all, the notion of competitive computer gaming would probably still be seen as somewhat eccentric by many people too, especially if they are over the age of 35. Nevertheless, esports betting has become big business, and has started to attract massive interest, and investment, from some serious players in the mainstream sports scene, as well as the gambling industry.

FC Copenhagen have their own Esports team as part of their organisation, Team North. Arsenal part-owner Alisher Usmanov has invested huge sums in the Russian team Virtus Pro. This level of interest has been mirrored by bookmakers, who have started to offer plenty of markets for esports bets. Almost every mainstream bookmaker will now have an esports section, probably to the confusion of many customers, who are more used to placing football accumulators or horse racing bets.


There is actually quite a lot of similarity between how esports betting markets work, though, and the ways in which punters can bet on mainstream sports. The basic principles are the same. Gamblers can bet on the outcomes of matches and tournaments for esports games in the same ways that they can bet on football matches and tournaments. This article will indicate some of the main esports games and events, answer the question – what is esports betting? We’ll even discuss the ways in which sports fans can bet on games and events. The legality of esports betting has been in some doubt in many countries until recently, but the growth of the phenomenon has led to many bookmakers setting up esports betting sites where it is perfectly legal to bet on the games.

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What games are played in esports?

There are many esports games which are played in competitive tournaments across the world. There are three, though, which feature especially prominently in the esports world today, and attract the biggest teams, who play in iconic tournaments across the globe. These are Counter Strike: Global Offensive, usually referred to as CSGO; League of Legends, often referred to as LoL; and Defense of the Ancients 2, better known as Dota 2. These three games are played in some of the world’s most lucrative and iconic tournaments, with some of the world’s most famous esports personalities involved in them. These are battle games, point of view shooters, in which teams of players compete against each other to complete tasks and objectives.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

League of Legends

Dota 2


But, although these three games are probably the most popular in the world of professional esports, there are many other games which are played professionally too. Many of these games will be familiar to people who have a passing interest in gaming, even if they are unfamiliar with the concept of esports. Games such as Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and Warcraft 3 are all played by professional players and teams, and keen gamblers can bet on the matches and tournaments in which these teams and players compete. Even big selling games like Call of Duty, which has become very mainstream indeed in its reach, are now played in contexts which allow betting.


Starcraft II


Heroes of the Storm

Call of Duty

World of Tanks

world of esports tanks betting

Anyone familiar with any of these games will recognise that they tend to be action or role playing games, often with elements of strategy as well as tactics. This kind of game lends itself to the kind of absolute results which betting markets require. Teams compete to achieve directly opposing objectives, on which players can bet. Match results are easy to determine, and the opportunities for in-play betting are often plentiful. As with mainstream sports, matches in these various games are often streamed online, usually via Twitch TV, allowing fans to follow the progress of their favourite players and teams live. This is also very useful for following the progress of bets that punters have placed.

League of Legends betting sites

League of Legends is a multi-player online battle arena game, developed by Riot Games, in which players compete in tactical environments. Riot Games also play a part in organising some of the world’s top professional LoL tournaments. Teams must destroy the opposition’s defences, and take territory from them, before launching a final attack on their headquarters. Players can compete over a number of different maps, with the two permanent ones being the Summoner’s Rift and the Howling Abyss.

Other maps and game modes, such as Poro King, Dominion, Hexakill or URF (Ultra Rapid Fire), can also be played on at different times of the year. LoL is very popular, both with general players and professional teams. Some of the world’s biggest esports tournaments are LoL tournaments, such as the LCS tournaments, which have North American and European editions. Famous LoL teams include Cloud9, Team Dignitas and Team Liquid. Many of the world’s top players are Korean, such as Lee ‘GBM’ Chang-suk of Team Vitality. South Korea is considered a hotbed for this particular game.

league of legends esports betting banner

Punters who want to bet on League of Legends can usually bet on match results or tournament outcomes. Bettors who are used to betting on mainstream sports will find the format very familiar, and simple to understand. Punters are given a straight choice between teams. There are, though, many opportunities to bet in play on League of Legends too. Punters can bet on which team will win the match’s first map, which team will draw first blood, or the first team to get 10 kills on a specific map, as examples. This is a particularly useful way of betting for punters who have a little more insight into the games on which they are betting, and can give watching live streams an extra edge of excitement.


match results


tournament winner


map or dragon


first blood


10 kills

Many mainstream bookmakers offer the chance to bet on LoL, with Pinnacle offering a particularly wide range of markets. The number of League of Legends betting sites is growing, though, and it is worth shopping around for the best bonuses and odds as the range of sites increases.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive betting sites

CS:GO is a first-person shooter game, which takes place in a modern counter-terrorism battle setting. Two teams compete across a variety of maps and tactical settings. There is a team of Terrorists and a team of Counter Terrorists, who have to complete directly opposed objectives, usually centred on bomb planting or hostage rescue.
The Terrorists usually have to plant a bomb and protect their hostages, while the Counter Terrorists have to rescue the hostages and prevent the bomb detonating. Additional tasks often form part of the battles too, and players are awarded points for taking out members of the opposing team. There are six game modes overall, each with their own subtleties and unique characteristics. These are: Competitive, Casual, Arms Race, Demolition, Deathmatch, and Weapons Course.

counter strike betting esports games banner

Most professionals play in the Competitive mode, which places players in a five versus five team environment, with matches usually taking around 45 minutes to complete. CS:GO is one of the most popular esports games for professionals, with tournaments like the ESL One and the DreamHack Masters featuring the world’s best players, and attracting many thousands of fans. The PGL Major tournament, scheduled to take place in Krakow in 2017, has a prize pot of $1million, indicating just how a prominent place in the esports calendar this game now occupies.

csgo esl one
csgo dreamhack masters

There are a growing number of CSGO betting sites, which offer the chance to bet on match and tournament outcomes. In addition to the straightforward betting on results, though, there are also many ways to bet live and in play. Betting on match results is the simplest way of betting on CSGO, though the odds can be somewhat low. Accumulators, which work in exactly the same way as they do in other sports, are an excellent way of maximising winnings when betting on Counter Strike events. Other types of bet include a team’s total map wins, correct map scores, and whether a player will win a map in a match or not.

In much the same way as other sports, punters can also bet on which round of tournaments teams will reach, as well as which region tournament winners will come from. Once someone is familiar with the game itself, they will see that betting on it is little different to betting on a mainstream sporting event, such as the football World Cup.

Dota 2 betting sites

Defense of the Ancients 2 is sequel to Defense of the Ancients, which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. For people who are perhaps unfamiliar with the world of esports games, Dota 2, as it is usually referred to, is a battle arena game in which two teams of five players face off against each other. Each player controls their own ‘hero’, who has his own specialist abilities and characteristics. Players collect items and carry out tasks which allow them to pick up experience points, and must fight through the other team’s defences. The ultimate aim of each match is to destroy the other team’s base, known as an ‘Ancient’.

Prominent Dota 2 tournaments include the Kiev Major, which is a massive event, with a first prize of $ 3,000,000 for the tournament winners. Teams like OG, Team Random and mousesports compete in it, and the audience for live streams runs into the hundreds of thousands and beyond.
The Kiev Major, along with other Dota tournaments, also attracts plenty of interest from sports gamblers, who are keen to take the chance to bet on correct scores, match handicaps and number of team kills, as well as outright match and tournament results. Punters can also bet on individual map results within matches, adding another layer of in play betting to the experience. Matches are often live streamed via Twitch.


correct score


match handicap


number of team kills


tournament winner


map results

Overwatch betting sites

Overwatch is another first person shooter game, which was originally developed by Blizzard. A relative newcomer to the world of esports, it was released in May 2016, and has quickly developed a large following. Overwatch matches are played between teams of six, with each player choosing a ‘hero’ from a range of options. Each hero has different abilities and characteristics, and each hero fits into one of the following categories: Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support.





The game is the fourth major franchise produced by Blizzard. Rather than being set in a typically grim and dystopian future world, Blizzard deliberately set out to make the atmosphere of the game positive, maintaining an aspirational vision and ethos for its setting. This makes the game a little different from others which occupy more prominent positions in the esports pantheon.

As the game has developed its popularity and following, a number of Overwatch betting sites have sprung up, though the opportunities to bet on Overwatch are a little more limited than they are for Counter Strike, LoL or Dota. Nevertheless, some bookmakers do offer plenty of markets on events such as the Overwatch Open and the Overwatch World Cup.

Not many mainstream bookmakers have developed a full range of markets for this game as yet, and it can be compared to games such as Starcraft in this regard. Punters who are keen to bet on Overwatch should check out what esports orientated bookmakers such as Pinnacle can offer, rather than more mainstream companies such as William Hill.

Starcraft 2 Betting Sites

Starcraft 2 is another game from the Blizzard stable, and is a sequel to the original Starcraft. Released in July 2010, there are three parts to the game. These consist of the original Starcraft 2, subtitled ‘Wings of Liberty’, which is the base game, plus expansion packs ‘Heart of the Storm’ and ‘Legacy of the Void’. The game is a military space strategy game, set in a future space war, where humans, called Terrans in the game, compete with alien species the Zerg and the Protoss.

The game is hugely popular in South Korea, where two TV channels broadcast coverage of matches. A number of bookmakers offer markets on major Starcraft 2 tournaments, such as the Global StarCraft II League and the AfreecaTV GSL Super Tournament. Nevertheless, the game’s influence has declined somewhat in recent years, since the rise of League of Legends.


match results


tournament results


winning country

In terms of betting on Starcraft 2, the usual range of esports options is usually available. Punters can bet on match outcomes, as well as placing futures bets on overall tournament winners. An interesting twist on this is to bet on which country the tournament winners will come from. Sadly, in play betting options are pretty limited right now, though this may change in future.

Hearthstone Betting Sites

Hearthstone is a little different to other esports games, in that it is basically a card game. Recreational players collect cards throughout their playing careers, which they can then use in games. There are over 70 million registered players of the game in total worldwide, showing just how popular it has become.

Set in the Warcraft universe, players in the game take on the persona of a ‘hero’, drawn from the nine Warcraft character classes, and can cast spells and perform other tasks in the game according to their hero’s designated special abilities. The skill of the game lies in playing the right cards at the right time, though there is more of an element of chance in this game than in other esports disciplines.

In terms of Hearthstone betting, team tournaments such as the Trinity series provide options for standard match and futures betting. One feature of Hearthstone is that there are also plenty of tournaments in which individual players compete against each other, such as the Hearthstone Global Games. Betting on these events provides a different experience to betting on team events. Hearthstone provides less opportunities for betting than more battle-orientated games do, but there is still value to be found if punters do their research.

Heroes of the Storm Betting Sites

Heroes of the Storm is another game set in the Warcraft universe, and is another online battle arena game. Players can choose to play as heroes from other Blizzard games, such as StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch and World of Warcraft. Released in 2015, since when it has grown in popularity, the five versus five team structure of the game lends itself to betting.

There is less strategic thinking in this game than in other battle arena games, however, with the focus much more on tactical fights than any overall game plan. Blizzard have described the game’s ethos as more of a ‘brawl’ than a battle. This means that there is often more exciting action to engage players and spectators.

Bookmakers have begun to offer markets on the bigger Heroes of the Storm tournaments, with the Global Championship Series, which is divided into regional groupings, and the Gold Series Heroes League offering plenty of opportunities for betting. Pinnacle and Betway are useful bookmakers to use when it comes to finding Heroes of the Storm markets, as they have a more progressive and comprehensive attitude to esports than many of their rivals.

Call of Duty Betting Sites

Call of Duty is a very famous first person shooter game, which almost everyone in the world has heard of, even if they have almost zero knowledge of video games. Many versions of the game are now in circulation, focusing on different eras and aspects of warfare. In its original form, scenarios for the game were mainly drawn from World War Two, though newer editions focus on modern warfare, particularly special forces missions, and even future warfare.

Professional tournaments are staged in many of these different game scenarios and settings, with betting markets available on events such as the Gfinity Summer Championship and the CWL Atlanta Open. Major League Gaming is an organisation which organise some of the larger tournaments. Professional matches are usually played using teams of four players per side, and the game is object based. Some events have a three versus three, or six versus six set-up too. Some criticisms levelled at the game, for professionals, have centred on the game being too easy, with its rapid fire attachment allegedly removing much of the skill from the game.

Nevertheless, it is possible to find good value when betting on Call of Duty events. William Hill is one of the mainstream bookmakers which has often featured CoD markets, and Betway and Pinnacle often have a good variety too.


World of Tanks Betting Sites

World of Tanks has been featuring in professional esports competitions since 2012. It was originally launched as a massive, multi-player online game, in which players compete directly against each other in one versus one combat. The players control 20th century tanks and other kinds of armoured vehicle. In competitive play, teams can consist of up to 15 vehicles a side.

There is one primary professional tournament for World of Tanks, which is the League. This is split into regional leagues, the winners of which then play off in a world tournament. Bookmakers offer markets on these events, and there is a range of bets which punters can place. The usual bets are bets on match outcomes, but futures bets on which team will win tournaments can also be lucrative. Natus Vincere is one of the strongest teams on the WoT circuit. Some in play betting is occasionally offered at some bookies.

Vainglory Betting Sites

Vainglory is a little different to the games featured above, in that it is specifically designed to be played on mobile devices like phones and tablets, rather than PCs. It is another multiplayer online arena battle game, though, and has many of the standard features of that particular genre. The game has become more popular as a competitive esports discipline over the last couple of years, and prize money for the game doubled between 2015 and 2016.

The game has a fairly standard format, in that two teams battle each other,
trying to destroy assets such as turrets, with the ultimate objective being the
destruction of the giant crystal located in the opponents’ base. Teams consist
of three players per side.

Tournaments such as the VGL Challenge Series and the Vainglory Winter
Championship are often covered by mainstream bookmakers.

There's more to is a great place to find out everything that you need to know about esports games and betting. We feature reviews of bookmakers who offer markets on esports, and evaluate just what variety of markets and quality of experience they can offer to customers who want to bet on esports.

As well as the more popular esports games, we also look at the kind of betting you can find on games like Warcraft 3 and Hearthstone, and provide information on all the biggest teams and players in the world. Whether you are a complete newcomer to esports betting, or have been placing wagers on League of Legends or Starcraft for a while now, you can find all the insight, information and expertise you need to ensure that your esports bets are successful.









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