Esports was once a small industry that was mainly confined to South Korea. Back then, the “biggest” esports tournaments weren’t actually that big.
But the industry has exploded within the past few years. Now, certain tourneys feature multimillion-dollar prize pools.
These same events also draw a substantial amount of betting action. Going further, they offer plenty of prop bets and live wagering opportunities.
If you’re interested in esports betting, then you’ll definitely want to check out the biggest tournaments. That said, I’m going to cover the three largest events in competitive gaming.
Dota 2’s The International
Dota 2 has come to dominate esports betting action and viewership. Not surprisingly, it also features one of the industry’s biggest tournaments in The International.
This annual event features 16 of the best Dota 2 teams. Each squad can make the tourney through a regional qualifier, invitation from Valve, or earning enough points in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).
The International offers a massive prize pool, which is made up of Valve’s contribution ($1.6m) and crowdfunding from Battle Pass sales. The 2018 edition featured a $25.53 million prize pool, while the 2019 tourney will offer $31 million.
This massive amount of money is fitting, given how much esports betting sites earn off the matter. They run a large number of lines and prop bets for The International to capitalize.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is another Valve game that has enjoyed a long run as one of esports’ most popular titles. This first-person shooter features a number of notable events throughout the year.
Therefore, CS:GO is a popular bet at any point — not just for a one-off tournament.
Staged by developer Valve twice a year, each Majors offers a collective $1 million prize pool. The game’s top teams are invited to compete for fame and fortune.
The winning squads aren’t the only ones cashing in. Bookmakers also make a sizable amount on all the betting action involving the CS:GO Majors.
League of Legends World Championship
While Dota 2 may feature the biggest tournament, League of Legends (LoL) attracts more casual players than any other esport. It has over 100 million players worldwide, making it the most popular game, esport or otherwise.
LoL doesn’t quite have the tourney to match its immense popularity. However, the Riot Games product still features a notable marquee event in the World Championships.
This tourney involves 24 of the game’s best teams. They compete for a month for both a $1 million prize and the Summoner’s Cup.
The Worlds draw numerous viewers thanks to the game’s general popularity. In fact, over 100 million people watch this event — a figure that rivals the Super Bowl.
Naturally, this large fan base also leads to plenty of betting action. The LoL World Championship is perhaps the most bet upon tournament when considering its massive following.
How You Can Enjoy Betting on Major Esports Tournaments
You can see that there are a few esports events with huge followings. But how do you get started wagering on them?
If you’re new to the esports betting world, then you can use the steps below to start placing wagers.
Step 1: Sign up at an Esports Betting Site
The registration process at esports betting sites is relatively simple. You just have to enter the requested details in the signup form and agree to the site’s terms and conditions (T&Cs).
These details include your name, address, email, username, password, date of birth, and a few other simple pieces of info. The account should be approved shortly after you’ve entered your details and have completed the form.
Step 2: Make a Deposit
The next step is to fund your account with one of the site’s available banking methods. I recommend looking over deposit options before signing up.
Many betting sites differ on the banking methods they accept. But most take credit cards, debit cards, cryptocurrencies, and e-wallets.
The key is to make sure you have access to at least one deposit and withdrawal option. As long as this is the case, you won’t have to worry about banking any further.
Step 3: Take Advantage of Esports Bonuses
Most esports betting sites offer a signup bonus. These deals typically consist of either a deposit bonus or free bet.
A free bet provides the chance to earn back loses stemming from your first bet. A deposit bonus offers a match percentage on your first deposit (e.g., 100% match up to $100).
Both deals require that you meet bonus T&Cs to receive any money. But free bets and deposit bonuses are still worth taking advantage of wherever they’re available.
Step 4: Know the Odds & Bet Types
You don’t have to be an esports expert just to place wagers. However, you should at least familiarize yourself with the different odds and bet types beforehand.
Odds include American, decimal, and fractional.
American odds are common at North American-facing betting sites, while decimal and fractional are common among Europeans.
General betting categories include the following:
Totals (a.k.a. over/under)
Outrights (bets on tournament winners)
Live wagering (a.k.a. in-play)
If you’re unfamiliar with any of these wager types, then you can quickly find resources that explain how they work.
Tips for Choosing an Esports Betting Site
As you can see above, picking an esports betting site is relatively easy. But simply knowing how to choose a betting site doesn’t guarantee picking a good one.
That said, you should read over and follow the tips to ensure that you choose a quality bookmaker.
Read Reviews on Esports Betting Sites
Esports are relatively new in the online gambling world. After all, most bookmakers ignored competitive gaming until its popularity exploded.
Nevertheless, you can still find plenty of resources on esports bookmakers.
Many sites offer reviews that discuss the highs and lows of each esports betting hub.
The best approach involves reading multiple reviews on any prospective site. Such efforts will give you a composite view on a bookmaker rather than just the opinion of one reviewer.
General Betting Site or Esportsbook?
Some esports betting sites are part of general bookmaking operations that cover a wide variety of sports. Others are dedicated specifically to competitive gaming.
Assuming you’re just looking to wager on the biggest esports, then general sports gambling sites will do. But if you’re looking for more-obscure markets and bet types, then esportsbooks are the best choice.
Check Out Terms and Conditions on the Bonus
Bonus offers can appear similar on the surface. For example, a $25 free bet is common at many esports bookmakers.
However, these deals can differ greatly regarding T&Cs.
The best offers have lighter terms that provide a better chance to cash out the money.
You especially want to pay attention to rollover, or the amount that must be wagered before withdrawing. Low rollover doesn’t require you to bet as much to obtain your bonus funds.
Available Features & Bets
One more point to keep in mind when reviewing gambling sites is the extras. The best esportsbooks and betting sites offer a large variety of features and wager types.
As mentioned before, esportsbooks are typically the best choice if you’re serious about wagering on competitive gaming. But regular betting sites can rate high in terms of features, such as live streaming.
The International, CS:GO Majors and LoL Worlds are just some of the biggest esports tournaments. But these three tourneys currently represent the pinnacle of competitive gaming and draw lots of betting action.
The good news is that you don’t have to do much to join in the action. You simply need to find an esports betting site and make a deposit.
Of course, you might want to get more involved in the process. Following just a few tips is all it takes to pick a good gambling site.
You can also collect a bonus at many bookmakers. Free bets and deposit bonuses are common throughout the industry.
Above all, you want to pick a site that makes the experience entertaining. Gambling on esports is all about fun, so make sure that your chosen betting site offers exactly this.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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