League of Legends (LoL) is becoming a global phenomenon as far as esports go. It regularly draws millions of viewers and offers some of competitive gaming’s biggest tournaments.
Case in point, the 2018 LoL World Championship featured a $6 million prize pool. This event attracted over 200 million viewers, most of which watched the event via livestream.
As is the case with many popular competitions, LoL generates lots of betting action. Most online sportsbooks prominently feature this game in their esports section.
Betting on League of Legends is exciting when you’re a big fan of competitive gaming. However, you may be hesitant to do so if you’ve never wagered on the game before.
That said, I’m going to discuss everything you need to know about betting on LoL. But first, I’ll cover more on the game itself and how it continues its rapid growth.
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that was developed by Riot Games in 2009. It was inspired by Defense of the Ancients (Dota), a “mod” based on Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
LoL sees players act as an unseen “summoner,” who controls a champion with unique abilities. The champion must battle against a mix of human-controlled and computer-controlled enemies. Players build their champion’s strength by accumulating experience points and items.
Each player’s champion acts as part of a team. The goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s “Nexus,” which is found inside their base.
The concept of LoL has been very well received ever since its 2009 release. In just three years, it became the most popular PC game in Europe and North America in terms of hours played.
Its popularity has held over time, with over 100 million people playing the game every month. LoL is also a hit on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, where it’s watched more than any other game.
League of Legends is a natural fit for the esports world, serving as the basis for multiple professional leagues and major tournaments.
Riot Games runs the League Championship Series (LCS) in Los Angeles and Berlin. Other LoL leagues exist throughout the world, including China’s LPL, South Korea’s LCK, and Taiwan/Hong Kong’s LMS.
These regional competitions are preliminaries for the World Championship, which has increased in size every year. The Mid-Season Invitational is yet another major annual event for LoL.
This game is the second-largest esport in terms of prize pools and overall fanfare, ranking only behind Dota 2.
The World Championship is a big reason why LoL has become so successful in competitive gaming. Its prize pool increased from $5 million (2017) to $6 million in 2018. The winner, Invictus Gaming, took home $2.42 million of this amount.
LoL has become such a phenomenon in Asia that it’s going to serve as a medal event in the 2022 Asian Games.
It’s also gaining traction at the collegiate level. Riot Games sponsors college teams in the US and Canada, offering scholarship money to teams that make their conference playoffs.
Conferences cover four regions and include partnerships with the NCAA’s Big Ten and Peach Belt Conference. Riot Games’ program has helped generate over $35,000 in scholarships to date.
Esports were not a very popular betting activity up until a few years ago. But the rapidly rising industry has forced bookmakers to recognize esports as a viable gambling entity.
Nowadays, you won’t have any trouble finding esportsbooks. Going further, LoL is found at nearly every online bookmaker.
This variety is excellent from a convenience perspective because you can choose virtually any sportsbook if you’re interested and gambling on LoL.
But you certainly don’t want to pick just any betting site. After all, many operations differ in terms of overall quality and how many LoL lines they offer.
Most sites do an excellent job of offering plenty of moneylines, but separation can be seen in how many prop bets and live wagering opportunities are available.
Many sportsbooks only offer LoL live betting during the major events, such as the Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship. Some of the more significant bookmakers, however, feature live bets outside of the major tournaments.
You want to consider several factors when choosing where you’ll wager on this game, but I strongly suggest that you make betting variety a priority.
Wagering on League of Legends all begins with choosing an online sportsbook. As covered above, you won’t have any difficulty in finding bookmakers that accept LoL action.
The key skill, though, is finding a sportsbook that ranks high in multiple important categories. You should choose a bookmaker that has good customer support, plenty of LoL lines, a strong reputation, and at least one banking option you can use.
Reviews are a good way to narrow down the number of prospects when choosing an esports betting site. They usually cover the categories mentioned above, along with other crucial information.
Once you’ve chosen a betting site, the next step is to register for an account. The fields required to complete your account may vary based on the sportsbook.
Here are some common fields that are found across the board:
The final registration steps include agreeing to the site’s terms and conditions and verifying your email address. The latter involves visiting your provided email, opening the bookmaker’s message, and choosing the link that verifies your account.
Completing account registration is only one half of the battle. You have to fund your account with one of the available banking options.
You should check out a sportsbook’s banking methods beforehand to ensure that you can use at least one of the provided deposit and withdrawal options.
Common banking methods accepted at esportsbooks include:
You’re eligible to begin placing bets once you have a funded account. But you may find the actual betting process to be difficult if you’ve never wagered on esports before.
Luckily, placing LoL esports bets isn’t hard as long as you understand the odds and different bet types. The three types of lines found throughout the industry include American, decimal, and fractional.
However, you might be a little confused upon seeing lines listed in odds that you don’t understand.
Here’s a quick look at each style so that you don’t run into this problem.
Commonly found at American-facing sportsbooks, these odds use plus and minus signs to indicate the underdog and favorite, respectively.
Here’s an example:
You can win $100 for every $130 wagered on the favored All Knights. You stand to earn $130 for every $100 bet on the underdog Furious Gaming.
Typically found at European-facing esportsbooks, decimal odds indicate what you’ll win in terms of profit plus stake.
Here’s an example:
You can win $1.65 for every dollar wagered on Young Miracles. You stand to make $2.30 for each dollar bet on VP.
Normally available at UK-based betting sites, fractional odds show what profit you stand to win versus your stake. The profit is listed on the left side of the slash, while the stake is shown on the right.
Here’s an example:
You can earn $2 for every $3 bet on Invictus Gaming. You would make $5 for every $4 wagered on Gama Dream.
Most LoL betting action is focused on moneylines, but you’ll find that placing different types of wagers can be entertaining. You can see the various categories of LoL bets below.
League of Legends has some complex elements when it comes to powering up champions and working out strategies to beat opponents. However, the main goal of destroying the opposition’s Nexus is easy to understand.
Most LoL esports matches consist of a single round, with the winner only having to destroy their opponent’s Nexus once. Later tournament rounds may feature a best-of-three or best-of-five format, but single rounds are the most common.
A moneyline bet is based on which team will win the match. Bookmakers handicap the favorite and underdog to help draw action for both sides.
Here’s an example:
You’re wagering $170 to win $100 with Royal Youth. Meanwhile, you can earn $140 for every $100 risked on HWA.
A point spread handicaps teams based on how much they win or lose a match by. A team merely needs to cover their spread to offer a successful bet.
Therefore, LoL point spreads are usually based on how many rounds a team wins.
For example, betting on a team with a -1.5 handicap means that they must win both rounds in a best-of-three format (2-0). Likewise, wagering on a team with a +1.5 handicap means that they can lose a match 2-1 and still offer a winning bet.
Given that most LoL matches only feature one round, point spreads aren’t very common in this game.
An over/under wager (a.k.a. totals) is based on two teams’ combined point total. In League of Legends, totals deal with how many rounds the teams play.
Here’s an example:
You’d need a match to go all three rounds when wagering on the over. But you’d want the match to go two rounds when taking the under.
Again, the majority of LoL matches only have one round. Over/under lines are therefore uncommon in these matches.
In-play wagering (a.k.a. live betting) is available after a game starts. This form of gambling is different from moneylines, point spreads, and totals, which must all be placed before a match begins.
Bookmakers come up with live bets based on what’s happening in a match. An underdog could gain serious momentum, thus prompting the sportsbook to offer a new line where the underdog is now favored.
In-play betting isn’t usually available until big events, such as the World Championship and Mid-Season Invitational.
A prop bet deals with outcomes that aren’t based on the final score. They can instead be based on anything from which team will draw first blood to who ends up with the most kills.
Prop wagers are much like in-play betting in that they’re not often available during regular events. However, prop betting ramps up big time during the World Championship.
Many esportsbooks offer welcome bonuses to draw new customers. You should definitely take advantage of these offers when you’re starting out.
Common welcome bonuses include a free bet or deposit bonus. Both offers can give you a boost in the beginning.
A free bet allows you to earn back losses if your first wager is a loser. A $30 free bet, for example, would give you a chance to win back $30 in losses.
A deposit bonus gives you the opportunity to earn a bonus based on a match percentage of your deposit. For example, depositing $100 under a 100% match deal gives you the chance to earn a $100 bonus.
You need to meet terms and conditions before earning money from either of these deals. Rollover, which indicates how much you must wager to withdraw bonus money, is a very important requirement.
Here’s an example on how rollover (a.k.a. playthrough) works:
You should visit an esportsbook’s terms and conditions page to develop a good understanding of what’s required to earn bonus money. Common T&Cs include a bonus code (if applicable), minimum odds (e.g., -200), and time frames on both claiming a bonus and meeting playthrough.
Some betting sites also offer other promotions that give you a chance to earn free bets and deposit bonuses. This scenario is ideal because you can keep earning money beyond the initial welcome offer.
League of Legends is currently the second-most-popular esport. It draws heavy betting action throughout the year, especially during the Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship.
You should definitely consider learning LoL betting if you’re already wagering on esports or are interested in doing so. A great place to start is by learning more about the actual game.
Each player acts as a summoner for their champion, which can be powered up through experience and items. The champion is part of a greater team, which works to destroy their opponent’s Nexus.
Betting on this action is easy because most bookmakers offer LoL gambling. Of course, you should put some time and thought into which betting site you choose.
Read reviews and focus on important categories, including each esportsbook’s reputation, customer service, banking options, the bonus, and betting variety.
Next, you need to sign up and place a deposit. Registering for an account is an easy process that involves entering simple details about yourself. Depositing can also be easy, provided you already have a banking option in mind.
This guide can serve as a reference point if you have trouble with either of these aspects.
Esportsbooks offer welcome bonuses, which can help your bankroll in the beginning. Make sure to read terms and conditions on any bonus you pursue.
Gambling on League of Legends is one of the most exciting parts of esports. This activity is all the more entertaining if you have a strong grasp on how to find a good sportsbook and place LoL bets.
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