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If you’re an Esports fan looking to up the ante and potentially win big, this guide is your go-to resource. We’ll take an in-depth look at the most popular games and betting markets offered by UK-facing bookmakers, equipping you with the knowledge and tips necessary to make informed wagers and increase your chances of success.

But what if you’re new to Esports betting, or simply want to test the waters before putting real money on the line? That’s where free bets come in. Many bookmakers offer free bets to new customers, giving you the opportunity to try out their platform and potentially win real money without risking any of your own.



Esports, also known as eSports, e-sports, and electronic sports, refers to the competitive world of video gaming. This activity has become highly organized with structured leagues for teams and individuals to compete in. Over the past decade, professional Esports has experienced a massive surge in popularity, transforming from an amateur pastime to a fully-fledged professional “sport”. This growth has resulted in a significant increase in global and UK brands investing in Esports betting. The most popular genres for playing and betting on include Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), First-Person Shooter (FPS), and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games. Additionally, the online streaming of Esports has led to even more betting activity, creating an exciting and dynamic industry.


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Esports Betting

One of the areas experiencing growth in online sportsbooks is Esports betting. Esports games are typically played in rounds referred to as "Maps", with options for best of three Maps or best of five Maps. Each Map is played to a predetermined number of points, either a total number or a race to a specific number. Bookmakers provide a variety of betting options for each scoring system, which are outlined below. To summarize, Esports betting is an expanding area in online sportsbooks, with bookmakers offering diverse betting markets for different types of scoring systems.  

  • Tournament Winner

Bookmakers provide odds for the ultimate winner of Esports tournaments, and these odds are updated following each round of matches. Bettors have the opportunity to evaluate the form of the competing teams or players throughout the early rounds and subsequently place bets on the tournament winner. There is an abundance of sources available for statistics and form analysis. Although outright winner bets tend to be long-term, most tournaments take place over just a few days.
  • Match Winner

Esports tournaments involve matches that feature teams or individuals competing against each other. The average length of a match is approximately one hour, allowing for a quick turnover of bets. Each match is comprised of Maps, which are similar to sets in tennis. Bettors have the option to place bets on the match winner during and after each Map. Since there is always a definite outcome in Esports matches, this betting market is two-way and does not include the possibility of a draw.
  • Map Winner

Esports events are known for their dynamic gameplay and exciting betting opportunities. Matches are played over a series of Maps, typically ranging from one to five. The aim is to win a predetermined number of Maps, depending on the format of the competition. Bookmakers provide odds for each Map, with the exception of the final deciding Map, which aligns with the match winner. Bettors can choose between two options - either Team or Player 1, or Team or Player 2 - to place their bets. However, in rare circumstances where a Map is not completed, bookmakers will follow their own set of rules to determine the outcome.
  • Handicaps

Handicap betting is a popular way to even the playing field in sports wagering. A typical handicap for the favorite is -1.5 sets, and in a best-of-five maps match, they must win by a certain number of sets to cover the spread. Handicaps are expressed in half-maps to eliminate ties. Successful handicap betting requires careful analysis and knowledge of the sport. It can be a valuable tool for sports bettors looking to increase their profit potential.
  • Totals

In the world of esports betting, there are multiple options available for bettors to place their wagers, such as predicting the total number of points in a match or Map, or the total number of Maps in a match. These markets can be divided into three bands for points and Over/Under total number of points in a Map, the match, or number of Maps. To avoid the possibility of a tie, Over/Under totals are typically expressed in half points or half Maps, which requires bettors to predict whether the actual number of points or Maps in the match will be higher or lower than a specific threshold. Successfully placing bets in the world of esports requires a deep understanding of the game and its players, as well as the ability to analyze data to make informed decisions. Esports betting is a thrilling way for fans to engage with their favorite games and potentially earn profits. By staying informed about the latest developments in esports and carefully analyzing the available data, bettors can increase their chances of success and enjoy the excitement of esports betting.
  • Correct Map Score

One of the riskier betting options in esports is betting on the correct Map score. Depending on whether it's a best of three or best of five match, there are only a handful of potential correct scores for each player or team. For best of three matches, the correct Map scores could be either 2-0 or 2-1. Best of five matches, on the other hand, have a few more possibilities with the potential scores being 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2 for both players. Betting on the correct Map score is closely linked to the odds for the match winner as the outcome of the match can greatly affect the outcome of the correct score bet.
  • First Blood

Esports matches consist of scoring plays referred to as "kills" or "bloods". These games are usually combat-based and require players to eliminate their opponents before being eliminated themselves. Bookmakers often offer odds on the first team or player to achieve a kill, with one point awarded for each successful kill. Additionally, some bookmakers also provide odds for predicting the winner of subsequent kills during the match.
  • Race to 3, 5 or 10

One of the available betting options in Esports is the race to reach a certain number of points at the beginning of a Map. This type of bet is settled quickly since it's a short-term market with a definite outcome, making it impossible to end in a tie. Bets can be made on the team or player that will reach 3, 5, or 10 points first. This is a two-way market where the possible outcomes are either Team or Player 1 winning, or Team or Player 2 winning.  

Popular Esports Games for Betting

  Discover some of the most popular and widely-played esports games, both established titles and newer releases, with the following information:  

League of Legends (LoL): LoL is a multiplayer online battle arena game that has been popular for over a decade. It has a large player base and a well-developed competitive scene with multiple professional leagues and international tournaments. Popular bet types for LoL include match winner, first blood, and total kills.


Dota 2: Dota 2 is another multiplayer online battle arena game that has been around for several years. It also has a large player base and a competitive scene with several professional leagues and annual tournaments. Common bet types for Dota 2 include map winner, total kills, and first to 10 kills.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO): CS:GO is a first-person shooter game that has been popular for over a decade. It has a well-established competitive scene with multiple professional leagues and tournaments. Common bet types for CS:GO include match winner, total rounds, and round handicap.


Overwatch: Overwatch is a first-person shooter game that was released in 2016. It has a growing competitive scene with professional leagues and tournaments. Common bet types for Overwatch include match winner, map winner, and total maps.


Valorant: Valorant is a first-person shooter game that was released in 2020. It has a developing competitive scene with professional leagues and tournaments. Popular bet types for Valorant include match winner, map winner, and total maps.


Fortnite: Fortnite is a battle royale game that was released in 2017. It has a large player base and a developing competitive scene with tournaments and leagues. Common bet types for Fortnite include match winner, total eliminations, and top finisher.


Apex Legends: Apex Legends is a battle royale game that was released in 2019. It has a growing competitive scene with professional leagues and tournaments. Popular bet types for Apex Legends include match winner, total kills, and top finisher.


Rocket League: Rocket League is a vehicular soccer game that was released in 2015. It has a well-developed competitive scene with multiple professional leagues and tournaments. Common bet types for Rocket League include match winner, total goals, and correct score.


Call of Duty: Call of Duty is a first-person shooter game that has been popular for over a decade. It has a well-established competitive scene with multiple professional leagues and tournaments. Popular bet types for Call of Duty include match winner, total maps, and round handicap.

  Overall, esports betting is a growing industry with a wide range of games and bet types to choose from. It's important to research and understand the games you want to bet on, as well as the rules and regulations of your chosen betting platform, before placing any bets.  

Esports Betting Pointers

  Esports betting shares similarities with traditional sports betting, such as having popular teams backed by reputation rather than recent results and team line-ups. However, the outcomes of esports matches and tournaments can be less predictable than in mainstream sports, with emerging teams sometimes causing upsets as they build a reputation. Additionally, the esports landscape is rapidly evolving, with new teams and players emerging frequently. While bookmakers may have more experience and knowledge in traditional sports like football, specialized knowledge in esports can provide an edge and help bettors beat the bookie. However, as with any form of sports betting, there are potential pitfalls to avoid when wagering on esports.  

Tips for Esports Betting

  Avoiding Short Match Favorites, Unknown Teams, and Squad Changes Similar to other sports like snooker, tennis, and darts, the longer the Esports match, the more likely the better player will win. However, in the shortest form, which is played over one map and is the best of one match, the outcome can be unpredictable and the favorites can be vulnerable. Betting on a new and emerging team over a big favorite may seem tempting, but due to the ongoing development and growth of Esports, the favorites may be too short in the betting and should be avoided. Assessing the form and merits of lesser-known teams and players can be difficult, and it's important to avoid placing bets based solely on speculation or guesswork. Instead, focus on games that bring together two established teams where the form and betting are more reliable. Additionally, take note of any squad changes or roster changes, as they can significantly impact team dynamics and performance. It's best to give newly recruited players a few matches to settle in and understand the team's style and tactics before betting on the signing team. Blindly backing favorites or outsiders is not a reliable strategy and can lead to losing money over time.  

The Future For Esports and Esports Betting

The growth of Esports shows no signs of slowing down, with a new generation of players and fans being attracted to the industry. With advancements in game technology and increased live streaming, there is potential for even more growth in the future. The development of mobile technology will lead to faster apps and improved betting sites, while mainstream media coverage and dedicated sports channels could help bring Esports to an even wider audience. The increased betting and sponsorship opportunities also means more prize money, which could make playing Esports an even more attractive career option. As a result, new businesses may emerge to train emerging players and sports clubs and federations may sponsor teams, leading to more lucrative contracts. Bookmakers are also expected to continue improving their Esports betting services to meet the demand of this evolving industry.