With a massive prize pool of almost $4 million on offer throughout the Overwatch League regular season and playoffs, there’s plenty on the line for the game’s very best players. 2019 season and Playoffs are 1.8 and 1.7 million dollars respectively. Fancy landing some winnings of your own? Betting on Overwatch esports games can be a profitable pastime if you know your stuff. To bring you up to speed, check out our beginner’s guide – we’ve covered everything you need to know about betting on Overwatch!
Beginner’s Guide to Overwatch
What, Where and When?
Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It’s the fifth popular esports game that they’ve created following Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and the StarCraft and Warcraft series. Since its release in 2016, Overwatch has sold more than 35 million copies and is today one of the most popular esports games in the world.
With such a huge following, it’s no surprise that Overwatch has a flourishing professional scene. In addition to the tournaments that are spread across the calendar year, such as 2017’s Overwatch World Cup and Overwatch Premier Series, there is a 12-team Overwatch League. The league’s regular-season is six months long and is followed by the playoffs, which last around three weeks.
Within the Overwatch League, teams are separated into two divisions: Atlantic and Pacific.
The Atlantic Division teams are as follows: London Spitfire, Houston Outlaws, Florida Mayhem, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion and Boston Uprising.
The Pacific division consists of Los Angeles Valiant, Seoul Dynasty, Dallas Fuel, Shanghai Dragons, Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock.
This competitive season, the Overwatch League is scheduled to take place between January 10th and June 16th. The top team from each division together with the next 4 best teams overall will advance into the Playoffs, which are scheduled to take place between July 11th and July 28th.
As well as the premier events mentioned, there a number of weekly tournaments such as the Go4Overwatch Europe Cup and even minor Overwatch events. It’s safe to say you’ll have plenty of betting opportunities throughout the year.
Who to back?
While it isn’t impossible to land a few winners with little to no knowledge of the scene, savvy esports bettors do their homework before putting any money on the line.
Many go down the route of backing the bookmakers’ favourites. These are usually the best teams, such as London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty or New York Excelsior and best players, including Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee, Je-hong “ryujehong” Ryu or Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park.
It makes sense to assume that backing the world’s best will payout more often than it doesn’t, but going the extra mile is never a bad idea. When considering your options at an esports betting site, you could benefit from taking a statistical approach. Head-to-head records, recent form and player stats are frequently used by esports bettors as indicators of future performance.
Overwatch Betting Markets
Once you’ve made your picks, it’s time to head to your favourite esports betting site and choosing a betting market that appeals to you. Let’s take a look at the most common Overwatch betting markets:
- Tournament winner: as the name suggests, you’re betting on a certain team to win a particular tournament.
- Tournament finalist: here, you’re betting on a certain team to qualify for the Grand Final of a particular tournament.
- Match-winner: arguably the most popular market, the match-winner allows you to predict who will come out on top in a particular match.
- Map winner: here, you’re betting on a certain team to win a particular map within a match. Overwatch matches are usually played in a best-of-four format, with an additional map being played if the score is tied at the end.
- Handicaps: In the event that there’s a matchup with a clear favourite, you may struggle to find some value. The handicap levels the playing field and can get you some great value. You’re simply betting that a certain team will win a particular match while starting with either an advantage or a handicap, such as being 1.5 maps behind (-1.5) or 1.5 maps ahead (+1.5).
How to play Overwatch
To the uninitiated, Overwatch can appear to be a complex game. It features 26 ‘heroes’, almost 20 maps and multiple game modes. Each hero has four different abilities –three basic and one ultimate– and is suited for one of four roles:
- Tank: this role is played by heroes who are excellent front-liners that can absorb a lot of damage before dying, such as Roadhog, Ana, Winston and Reinhardt.
- Defence: this role is played by heroes who adept at defending key positions and objectives, stalling the enemy team. These heroes include Hanzo, Junkrat, Bastion and Widowmaker.
- Offence: this role is played by heroes who can deal a lot of damage to the enemy team, including Sombra, Genji, Reaper and Tracer.
- Support: This role is played by heroes who are proficient at helping teammates and keeping them alive, such as Ana, Zenyatta, Moira and Mercy.
Overwatch is a unique mix of first-person shooter and multiplayer online battle arena. It’s played between two teams of six. Each team picks their heroes goes on to battle on a given map in an attempt to attain the map’s objectives. There are four primary game modes, and the maps are built around these modes.
- In the Assault mode, the attacking team must capture two consecutive target points on the map, while the defending one must hold them off until time runs out. Examples of maps offering this game mode are Volskaya Industries, Horizon Lunar Colony, Hanamura and Temple of Anubis.
- In the Escort mode, the attacking team must escort a payload to a delivery point before time runs out, while the defending one tries to prevent them from accomplishing this. Map examples: Junkertown, Route 66, Dorado and Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
- In the Hybrid (Assault/Escort) mode, the attacking team must capture the payload first and then escort it to its destination, while the defending one has to stop them from achieving this. The maps that were built around this game mode are Hollywood, King’s Row, Eichenwalde and Numbani.
- In the Control mode, the two teams fight to capture and maintain a common control point until their capture percentage reaches 100%. Control maps are played in a Bo3 format. Examples of such maps are Lijang Tower, Nepal, Ilios and Oasis.
Bet on Overwatch
Now that you’re all clued up on Overwatch, you’re probably ready to have a punt on the next big tournament! Looking for a top sportsbook? Check out our list for the very best esports betting sites on the market. It’s packed full of the best bonuses, markets and promos available online. Simply compare, sign up and place your bets!