One of the biggest growing sectors of the sports betting industry in 2017 was esports betting. This relatively new type of betting has really taken off in the last couple of years, coinciding with the massive popularity increase in esports gaming. The growth has been so explosive recently that it is estimated the global esports betting market will be worth CA$38.45 billion by the year 2020.

Esports Canada 2017 Increasing in popularity

That’s an extremely impressive figure when you consider that esports gaming is still fairly new and under the radar to some extent. The esports fanbase is massive nowadays and keeps growing year on year. Despite what you may read online, however, esports still doesn’t match traditional sports in terms of support base. Most people outside of traditional sports don’t know esports has grown so popular, and certainly don’t know that you can now enjoy betting on esports as well. You can also find odds for esports at the best online casinos in Canada that also offer sportsbook wagering.

What is esports gaming?

At this point, you may be asking what exactly is esports and how does one gamble on it? The phrase “esports” actually stands for “electronic sports”. Basically, this refers to a type of computer or console game that is played as an individual or team of players, against other individuals or teams over the internet. In high profile tournaments, these games are played over a LAN or local area network, and are essentially offline gaming.

Many people don’t realize how big the video game market really is. In 2015, Grand Theft Auto V generated 322 million U.S dollars in global revenue alone. This easily places gaming in the same earning potential as many Hollywood blockbusters.

With gaming becoming so popular it is only natural for a competitive professional scene to emerge. This scene has started attracting major sponsorship, making it a lucrative and booming industry. People can watch these esports events online. The top live tournaments are streamed on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. Twitch has become the main powerhouse of gaming streaming with over 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million visitors per month.

Due to the serious sponsorships and massive viewer base, players end up competing for huge cash prizes. A recent international event held in Seattle in mid-2017 had a total prize pool of up to CA$27 million. This kind of regular payout is making it possible for more gamers to become professional, which in turn increases the quality of the gameplay. Due to the online nature of the top games, players from all over the world are able to take part and compete at a high level.

Esports prize pool comparison

How do esports tournaments work?

Tournaments in esports work similarly to regular sporting tournaments. Most tournaments follow the same kind of structure that differs slightly depending on the game being played. Most follow the usual bracket or pool stage which progresses to knockout phases and final stages. Most formats are very similar to how the NBA works or the World Series.

The main difference is most sporting events can take weeks or even months in some case to finish, whereas esports usually finish in a couple of days. Unlike regular sporting events, esports players can play more than one team per day, which really cuts down on the length of time a tournament can take.

Some esports do receive some television coverage; however, it is nowhere near the level of traditional sporting events. Instead, esports are traditionally watched through streaming services such as Twitch or YouTube. Furthermore, games such as Dota2, allow players to watch events through in-game resources. This is why one should not dismiss the coverage of esports too quickly if they are not covered on regular television. Many of the big esports events receive as much viewership as regular sporting events do, just not on television.

What are the most popular sports to bet on?

Betting online on esports is limited somewhat to the most popular online video games. More obscure game titles will most likely not see any betting. When a new game releases and quickly gains popularity and a competitive scene, betting usually follows. This is the case of 2016 game of the year, Overwatch, which has a strong competitive scene and can easily be gambled on as well. The current most popular games that people bet on are as follows:

  • Starcraft 2
  • League of Legends
  • Hearthstone
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Defense of the Ancients 2 (commonly known as Dota2)
  • Overwatch

Keep in mind that this list will constantly be updated as new games are released, and some games lose their player or sponsor support. One of the great things about esports betting is that the games constantly change, so it never gets boring or old for Canadians who are betting online.

How to bet on esports

Now that you have a fairly good idea of exactly what esports are and what you should be able to bet in, you may be starting to wonder how you actually go about betting on video games online. We are happy to report that it is an extremely easy process that works virtually the same as any of your traditional sports betting does.

All you need to do is find an online sportsbook that supports esports betting. Most of the top online casinos that offer sportsbooks are current with the times and will already support esports betting. If you don’t already have an account, you can easily create one. Then, you deposit real money online the same as you normally would. Finally, you simply pick a team or individual taking part in an esports event and hope they win! It really is as easy as that.

E-Sports tournament event with massive crowd attendance

If you are completely new to esports, we would advise you to do a little bit of research beforehand. Maybe investigate the teams taking part or the game being played. Always try to bet with at least a little bit of knowledge on your subject. If you look around at more than one sportsbook, you are bound to find better odds somewhere else. Doing this could increase your winnings if you manage to pick the winning team.

Online esports betting FAQs

What are esports?

The term “esports” refers to “electronic sports” and is essentially used to describe competitive play in video games. The best professional gamers enter into events or tournaments in the attempt to win real cash prizes. Some events are multi-million-dollar prizes.

What esports can I bet on?

Most of the popular video games globally have tournaments whereby the winner can be bet on. Games that are popular in the betting scene include Dota2, League of Legends, CS:GO etc.

What online sportsbooks offer esports betting?

An increasing number of major sports betting sites offer betting on popular e-Sports. The current list of major sites includes:

  • Pinnacle Sports
  • Bet365 Sport
  • 888 Sport
  • Ladbrokes
  • Betway
  • Betfair

Is esports betting similar to traditional online sports betting?

Apart from minor differences already mentioned, esports betting works exactly the same as sports betting does. Odds will be assigned by the sportsbook experts, and people can place wagers on their favourites to win or draw etc.

How do winnings get paid out?

This also works exactly the same as usual sports betting. Once your bet has been verified your winnings will be paid out in the method you have specified. This usually occurs with the same level of payout times as sports betting.

How do I know matches are not rigged?

Nowadays, esports has rapidly become a controlled and regulated sporting event. Players have also turned professional in recent times. Therefore, staying honest and clean is in a player’s best interest. Otherwise, they would get banned and lose their hard-earned reputation. The scene is also fiercely competitive which means players want to win and be recognized as the best. They also want the fantastic prize money on offer.