It is one of the fastest growing industries within the realm of betting, but for many people, the esports and esports betting industry is still something that is alien to them. For punters brought up on a standard diet of sports betting, the notion that people can play computer games, fairly, against each other and for people to be allowed to bet on the outcome, is still difficult to grasp.

That’s understandable for many punters, especially those that are not of the typical esports fan age range (which tends to be from 18 to around 30). Punters that are the other side of that age range may not be quite so enamoured with esports gaming as their younger colleagues. With that unfamiliarity comes a lack of understanding and potentially a lack of trust in how it all works.

In this article, we are going to take a broad look at the esports industry in general and then look at the esports betting industry in more detail, focusing on how bookmakers are willing and able to offer the increasing range of bets and markets on esports that they are doing so today.

  • What are Esports?

The first thing we need to do is understand exactly what esports are. Although esports can be a broad term, it is generally used to describe computer games that can be played by an individual or groups of players, against other individuals or groups of players in a competitive environment.

Now, that definition is extremely broad and you could include almost any computer game within that definition. But to become a true esport, a game has to have large scale appeal with a large number of people. Many of the top esports available today have been specifically designed to facilitate this particular form of gameplay.

It is this popularity with players all around the world that perhaps best decides whether a software title is just a computer game or becomes a bona fide esport.

There is not one particular type of game that is prevalent in esports. Games can be based on a wide range of different subjects. Such as, combat, fantasy, space or sports being some of the most popular.

Esports can also be played in one of two ways. They can be played by hosting large scale events in stadiums and theatres, where the teams and crowd will convene to watch the matches unfold over a Local Area Network (these are called LAN tournaments). Alternatively, players can compete from their own home over the Internet in what are called Online tournaments and it is these tournaments which are most in favour at the present moment in time.

  • What are the most popular Esports games in the world today?

We have already stated that by using the broadest definition, almost any computer game could be classed as an esports, but of course there are some that are the most popular types of esports in the world today. Outlined below are the most popular types of esports games you will likely find available to bet on with reputable bookmakers like bet365 Games. We have also included the commonly used acronyms for each esport game where applicable.

  • Counter Strike Global Offensive (CSGO)
  • League of Legends (LoL)
  • Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA2)
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Call of Duty (COD)
  • FIFA 20
  • StarCraft II (SCII)
  • Player Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG)
  • World of Tanks

This list is by no means exhaustive and there are a number of other esports events and tournaments that are played across the world, including official esports tournaments run by large sporting organisations, such as F1 Racing or NBA Basketball.

  • Why am I allowed to bet on these esports events?

The reason esports betting came into being was because when these events started to increase in popularity globally, it wasn’t long before people realised that as well as watching the game via a live stream, they wanted to actually place bets on the outcome. This led initially to problems as the industry wasn’t formally structured or legal and in order to protect customers, it was realised that a formal esports betting industry was required.

Although initially viewed as a specialist subject, the industry has grown massively in popularity over the last 10 years in particular and now you can enjoy esports betting on what you would term as standard sports betting sites, such as bet365 Sport.

These companies have invested a lot of money ensuring their experts are the best in the industry to ensure that they provide you with the best and most realistic and value odds they can.

  • Is esports betting legit?

Absolutely. Although you may recall playing computer games as being easy to manipulate, the esports industry is so regulated and sophisticated nowadays, and the penalties so severe for players, that cheating or trying to influence the results of an esports events is almost impossible.

Certainly, in terms of legitimacy and fairness, betting on esports is as safe and fair as betting on any form of standard sports.

Players nowadays are routinely drug tested, teams have to adhere to strict codes of conduct and play is analysed in so much detail that cheating is almost impossible to get away with. As such, this is what makes esports betting appealing for so many.

  • How do I make a bet on esports? Is it different to placing a standard sports bet?

The great news is that if you have ever made a bet with bet365 Sport for example, then placing an esports bet is completed in exactly the same way as you would a standard bet. There is no need to make any special preparations for an esports bet. Simply navigate to the esports section, click on the odds of the bet you want to make, enter your stake and then click the Place Bet button and your bet will be placed.

Similarly, once the result of your event is known and if your bet is a winner, you will receive your cash back in your account within a few minutes of the event being completed. Esports betting is as simple to do as any form of betting available at bet365 Sports.

  • What are the odds like for esports bets?

Rather like sports betting, the odds available on esports betting depends entirely on the markets you bet on and the event in question. There are a number of parallels between betting on an esports match and betting on a football match for example.

In the same way as a football match may be contested between evenly matched teams, or with one team considerably bigger favourites than the other, so too can esports events and of course, the odds offered will reflect the relative strength and weaknesses of the teams against each other.

The good news is that over the years, the esports betting industry has evolved so much that the number of markets available on esports tournaments, especially the bigger events around the world, are vastly increased from just a few years ago. This means people have far more choice of what bets to make and a greater choice of odds available across those bets.

Essentially, the odds you can find for a typical sports events, you should find similar odds bets available on an esports event and the bigger the event, the more choice of bets and odds you should find you have available.

  • Can esports betting be profitable?

Like almost all forms of sports betting, you can be profitable when betting on esports, however you will need a hefty slice of luck and a real understanding of the industry and betting odds in order to earn regular profits from this form of betting.

It is much better to take the approach that esports betting is the same as sports betting, a fun and interesting way to enjoy a wager in the hope that you can land a win, rather than the expectation. If you take that approach, then esports betting can be as enjoyable as sports betting in every conceivable way.

You can even tune in on streaming services, such as bet365’s live streaming service, or specialist esports streaming services on YouTube or Twitch, to watch esports tournaments unfold.

  • Is Esports betting available in the U.S.?

Esports betting is also slowly being rolled out across the United States and although the availability of esports betting is not yet universal, it is slowly becoming available in other states, which means states that offer sports betting services, such as Indiana (which has a great value BetRivers Affiliate Code offer) and Pennsylvania (with it’s playsugarhouse bonus code deal) are best places to offer these to US-based customers.