A major difference between esports and traditional sports is that esports tournaments often take place on an irregular basis. Football, for example, is played every Sunday, Monday and Thursday during the season. Hearthstone, on the other hand, has its yearly world championship tournament, while Grand Prix takes place sporadically throughout the year. Many esports tournaments that are regular take place on a widely spread out calendar, which diminishes the effect of the regularity.
Of course, not all tournaments are like this. As esports continue to rise in popularity, more and more regular events begin to take place. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or daily, you can bet on these esports tournaments going down. This regularity can have a huge effect on how the tournament plays out.
For the esports betting community, understanding the effect of regularity is highly important. In this article, I’ll go over what that effect is on a broad scale and how it can be applied to several of the regular esports tournaments that take place. Generally, the effect of regularity will remain the same regardless of the game that is being played, but it can have smaller effects on a game-by-game basis.
The Effect of Regularity On Esports Betting
Regular esports events provide the esports betting community with three unique areas of focus. The first is the effect of repetition. Take for example the League of Legends World Championships, which often sees the same teams vying for the top spot. As the saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” In cases like this, sedimentary players apply the same approach to a tournament over and over, which means the results will only vary as much as the game naturally allows for it.
Often, this will play to the favor of the book more than it does the bettor. When the results are almost certain, there is very little room for betting. If you notice the same patterns appearing at an event, look for propositions. While the book may be focusing on the results of a game, you may find that they have the odds off on first blood, game wins in a match, and so on.
The second major effect regularity has can be harder for the esports betting community to pick up on, but is very important to understand. There is a psychological effect created by regularity that players will either fall prey to, or learn how to leverage. When we know that an event will happen week after week, we may not give our all to it; instead, waiting for something “special.”
This leads to a poorer performance from otherwise spectacular players at some events, as they are underprepared. Players may also be affected by a luck streak, good or bad. In a skill based game, a player who has won for a few weeks in a row will likely continue to do so, as they can more easily put themselves into a winning position. On the other hand, a player who has performed poorly for a few tournaments in a row will likely continue to do so until taking a break or making a major change. An important loss can easily spiral, as it builds a player’s anxiety and puts them off the game.
A player who is level headed, such as Magic: the Gathering World Champion William “Huey” Jensen, may break these effects and will put up better than average results because of it.
The final effect that the esports betting community needs to look out for, is the effect that regularity can have on a meta or the effect of increased data. Again, an astute player will absolutely be using this to their advantage. When reports are made about a regular tournament, it will begin to show patterns of the tournament that can be leveraged. For example, a weekly Smash tournament may see Captain Falcon Mains constantly on top, an observational player may pick up Pikachu as a good counterpick. Of course, this effect can go deeper.
In a meta that evolves quickly, the best players will be people who can find the best counter for the counter. As an esports bettor, understanding the meta breakdown may not pay dividends in the first round.
Applying This Knowledge
One detriment to betting on weekly esports tournaments is that very few of them have gotten big enough to attract much attention at this point in time. However, they can provide good practice for yearly tournaments. For example, paying attention to the ROG Arena Microsoft Store League of Legends events will put you in a good position when the League of Legends World Championships come around. In this case, you will have 52 valuable data points on the meta, what Champions are performing best, and the percentage of matchups.
I would also suggest taking a look at the TCG Esports Weekly Eternal Warcry events, and Go4RocketLeague Cup. In both cases, these games haven’t broken yet, but are quickly rising on the esports scene. Rocket League, which I’ve discussed before, is evolving rapidly from kid’s game to competitive sport. The beloved Go4RocketLeague Cup Series, broken up by region, will provide valuable insight into what teams are best positioned.
It’s not uncommon to see the same team win each event in a month, which will surely translate to bigger events. Eternal, developed by former Magic: the Gathering Pros, is a rich trading card game that will be launching into full open beta in early 2018. A deeply strategic game, the TCG Esports Weekly Eternal Warcry series has been the major indicator of the competitive meta. While the game has yet to break onto the esports scene, Dire Wolf Digital has announced that having professional level Organized Play is one of their highest priorities as they prepare for release.
Taking place daily for over a week, it should show a rapidly evolving meta and provide many great stories.