The electronic sports, or simply ‘esports’ industry is among the fasting growing in the world of sport. Each esports event sees the very best professional gamers pitted against one another, competing on multiplayer video games such as Overwatch, Starcraft 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Much like any other sport, fans flock to the bookies looking to put their esports knowledge to the test, spice up their viewing experience and of course, land a profit! Not sure where to start when it comes to betting on esports? Let us take you through everything you need to know before you head to the bookies!
Best Esports Betting Sites
You’ll certainly want to check out Midnite, as it’s one of the few bookies where the focus is squarely on esports. We’re big fans of the slick interface on this esports betting site. It’s clean and modern, and immediately feels intuitive and familiar if you’re also a gamer. A handy sidebar shows you which esports have active matches to bet on, and you’ll find markets on more niche games like Halo and King of Glory alongside the mainstream offerings. New players at Midnite get £20 in free bets when they place at least £10 worth of accas after signing up.
Ultimately, I think it’s hard to find a bookies with better attention to esports, so Midnite is firmly on my list of best esports betting sites.Pros:Cons:
The official sponsor of Ninjas In Pyjamas, you’ll find plenty of esports action at Betway. The greatest choice is naturally on the most popular esports like Dota 2, CS:GO, and League of Legends. But there are markets on older games too, such as Warcraft 3 and Age of Empires 2. Sign up at Betway Esports and you’ll bag a £10 free bet when you deposit and bet £10. That’s not all — there’s a weekly free £10 bet club when you spend £25 on accas before midnight every Friday. Other perks at Betway Esports include top-notch live streaming and in-play betting capabilities, plus mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. Want to bet on normal sports or online casino games? You’re covered there too.
I enjoyed several impressive Betway betting features. One of my highlights is the dedicated homepage for “esports”, accessible by the button on the top of the screen, although the Betway Boost odds boost feature is also a massive benefit.Pros:Cons:
Looking to place real money bets on the most popular esports? Unibet Esports has you covered, with markets on top games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Valorant, and Rainbow Six. One of our favourite aspects of this esports betting site is the built-in streaming functionality. Load up the esports page and you’re met with a live stream of a match currently in play, with easy access to the betting markets alongside. There are plenty of deposit and withdrawal options at Unibet Esports, including PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller as well as Apple Pay for iOS users. New players get a money back bet up to £40 when they sign up and place their first qualifying wager.
Besides the built-in streaming, I also enjoyed the regular odds boosts promos.Pros:Cons:
Bet365 is undoubtedly one of the best-known names when it comes to sports betting sites. Its expansive market coverage means support for esports betting comes as no surprise. You’ll find many high-profile games available here, like LoL, CS:GO, Dota 2, and Honor of Kings. Fancy something more traditional? There’s plenty of sports betting as well as casino games, so all your needs are covered. A solid range of payment methods makes deposits and withdrawals a breeze at Bet365. PayPal, Paysafecard, plus Apple Pay and Google Pay are supported, along with Visa and Mastercard debits with just a £5 minimum deposit. New bettors at the site get £50 in free bet credits when they sign up and bet £10.
In my opinion, Bet365 has one of the industry’s best esports betting homepages. You can access several popular tournaments with just one click, and a rolling carousel of boosted wagers is always available.Pros:Cons:
UK esports betting sites don’t get much better than Betfair. The bookies has become synonymous with top-quality betting since its 2000 launch. One look at the sleek and professional design confirms why the platform is rated so highly. I was impressed by the comprehensive range of esports betting markets and especially enjoyed the straightforward approach to exploring the various wagering possibilities during each game.
Betfair also offers a unique exchange service where punters can place esports bets against each other instead of the bookmaker. This can throw up some interesting results, but I cannot deny it was a refreshing way to place wagers.Pros:Cons:
One of the first things that struck my eyes at LeoVegas was the inventive 100% profit boost welcome bonus. The promotion is more interesting than many others, especially if you’re bored with the typical free bet offers.
The official partner of Manchester City also has a superb esports betting interface. I had to manually search for esports using the search tool as LeoVegas doesn’t have a particularly intuitive homepage, but once we got to the selection on offer, I was really impressed. The bookmaker gives deep statistics on matches and even offers free live streaming without logging in. This is arguably my main LeoVegas highlight regarding esports betting and one that’s difficult to ignore.Pros:Cons:
How We Review Esports Betting Sites
Properly reviewing esports betting sites requires a comprehensive exploration of various characteristics. Our expert team factors in several aspects to give you the best idea of what each bookies offers. Check out the most important below:
Ensuring a UK esports betting platform has full licensing from the UK Gambling Commission is at the top of our agenda. This organisation closely audits bookmakers, verifying whether they adhere to gambling laws and keep customers safe.
Great esports betting sites have highly competitive odds. This is another vital characteristic when reviewing these bookies. Our expert team always compares the odds with competing platforms, giving you the best idea of where you can find the best wagering opportunities.
User Experience and Site Design
The user experience and site design is another vital characteristic we consider when reviewing UK esports betting sites. We score highly for bookmakers that make traversing the various betting markets and sports options straightforward and intuitive. Additionally, we look for pleasant aesthetics and uncluttered layouts.
Mobile betting is undeniably the most popular method to place esports wagers nowadays, with punters enjoying enhanced convenience and various special features. We pay close attention to mobile apps and HTML5 browser sites during our review process to guarantee we give you the best options. This includes analysing the mobile interface, push notifications, app-specific odds boosts, and more.
All UK esports betting sites have various promotional offers, and researching how these work is key to our review process. We’re determined to give you the most complete and unbiased picture possible, which involves careful security of the terms and conditions to identify unfavourable wagering requirements, winning caps, or other details.
Reviewing the customer support options at esports betting sites is another vital stage. A comprehensive and genuinely helpful FAQ section is the first point of call. Additionally, we want to see a 24/7 live chat service, telephone number, and email support. We undergo rigorous tests to ensure these resources actually work, with polite and instructive agents being essential.
How To Bet on Esports
What is Esports Betting?
Compared to traditional markets like horse racing or football, esports betting is relatively new in the history of online gambling. But what actually is it?
Essentially, any video game played competitively can be considered an ‘esport’. The world of video games is practically limitless – it includes sports series like FIFA and NBA 2K, the gritty realism of a first-person shooter like CS:GO, and a nail-biting 1v1 clash between two alien races in StarCraft II.
And with many unique aspects characterising each esport, there’s always something fresh to bet on. Want to keep it simple? Stick with the usual tried and tested markets — such as match winner or final score — at the best esports betting sites. But if you want to delve deeper, you’ll also find wagers on the individual minutiae of the specific esport you’re betting on.
With most esports betting sites streaming matches as they happen, many punters like to get involved with live betting and early cash-out. The fast-paced nature of esports means there are some thrilling opportunities to get in a quick wager in response to the action. And with a jam-packed calendar covering all manner of esports genres, there’s no shortage of choice!
Quick Guide to Esports Betting
While esports has only found itself in the mainstream relatively recently, its history actually dates all the way back to the 1970s. Early tournaments were held for games like Spacewar and Snake, and the high score functionality of 1978’s Space Invaders and Asteroids the following year laid the groundwork for serious competitive gaming. The Atari-run Space Invaders Championship in 1980 marked the first major esports tournament, with over 10,000 players competing.
However, it wasn’t until the ‘90s when true player-vs-player competition took the spotlight, brought about by the release of fighting games like Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom. The genre led to the founding of the Evolution Championship Series, now known as Evo, which is held annually and open to all. Come the turn of the millennium, increased internet connectivity helped competitive gaming continue to grow, with tournaments established for games like Doom, Quake, Counter-Strike, and StarCraft.
From here, the profile of esports began to rise exponentially. MOBA games like League of Legends drew new players and spectators, and the launch of Twitch allowed gamers to stream their matches live to millions around the world. By 2020, Twitch boasted 15 million daily active users. And as online esports has grown, so too have the prize pools — in under 10 years Dota 2’s top-level tournament, The International, grew from a $1.6 million prize pool to over $40 million.
Today, there’s a wealth of different games to follow in the esports scene. Battle royales like PUBG and Fortnite remain incredibly popular, as do more tactical shooters like CS:GO and Rainbow Six. There’s even a strong following for competitive mobile gaming, including titles like Honor of Kings and Clash of Clans.
As the gaming landscape continues to evolve and new talent enters the scene, the future of esports is incredibly bright. So if you’re looking to get started with esports betting, there’s never been a better time!
Major Esports to Bet On
From fierce FPS firefights that test the reflexes to the tactical slow burn of real-time strategy, esports is one of the most diverse betting markets around. Whatever your preferred genre of video game, there’s something for everyone at the best esports betting sites — let’s take a look at some of the biggest titles in the competitive gaming sphere.
League of Legends
Inspired by the Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends was released by Riot Games in 2009 and helped push the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre into the mainstream. Each match of LoL pits two teams of five against each other on a square map divided diagonally. For a team to win, it must push into the enemy’s base and destroy a large structure called the Nexus. There’s a large degree of strategy involved, with players picking a ‘champion’ with unique abilities to aid them in their objective.
League of Legends has a thriving competitive scene, with 12 regional leagues that culminate in the League of Legends World Championship.
Dota 2 is a standalone sequel to the original Defense of the Ancients mod. Valve released the title for free via the Steam platform in 2013, four years after the popular Dota-inspired League of Legends. The two games have a lot in common, with each Dota 2 match staging an epic 5-vs-5 clash where one team must destroy the other’s Ancient in order to win.
The International marks the top level of competition for Dota 2. As the prize pool is crowdfunded by the game’s battle pass, there’s some serious money at stake. The International 10, held in 2021, holds the record for largest esports prize pool at over $40 million.
The Rainbow Six games series has remained popular among shooter fans, and R6 Siege has fostered a devoted following. Based on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six novels, the game pits two teams, attackers and defenders, against each other. The competitive format of the game uses the Bomb game mode, where one team must defuse two bombs while the other team tries to prevent them from doing so. What makes this esport so thrilling is the range of unique ‘Operators’ players can choose from, supporting their team with different abilities and weaponry.
The most prestigious Rainbow Six Siege tournament is the Six Invitational — and you’re bound to find it at the best esports betting sites.
Released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2010, StarCraft 2 is the follow-up to the massively popular original from 1998. A real-time strategy game with a sci-fi theme, each competitive StarCraft 2 match is a tense one-on-one showdown where each player builds up an army to obliterate their opponent.
The game is enormously popular in South Korea, where there are many regional leagues to bet on. On the global stage, Blizzard has partnered with ESL and DreamHack since 2020 to deliver the ESL Pro Tour — essentially the World Cup of StarCraft 2.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CS:GO is one of the most popular esports to bet on, thanks to a rich competitive scene dating back over 20 years to the very first instalment of the series. In Global Offensive, the Counter-Terrorists face off against the Terrorists, who must plant a bomb at one of two sites. If the bomb detonates, the Ts win, while CTs can win by defusing it. Either team can also win by eliminating all enemy players.
S-Tier tournaments like Intel Extreme Masters and the ESL Pro League are some of the most esteemed CS:GO contests, along with Valve-sponsored tournaments like the PGL and BLAST.tv majors. You’ll find these and more at the best esports betting sites.
One of the newest games to be played competitively is Valorant, released by Riot Games in 2020. A shooter heavily inspired by CS:GO, Valorant also draws from Riot’s own League of Legends, allowing players to choose from a range of ‘agents’ with different roles and abilities.
Valorant’s esports scene is less developed than other games, and so you’re less likely to find it at every esports betting site. The main event in the calendar is the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT), which is split into Challengers (regional qualifiers), Masters (international contests), and finally the Champions world championship.
Football is the world’s favourite game, so it stands to reason this popularity extends to the realm of esports too. FIFA has long been the king of football video games, although the most recent instalment — FIFA 23 — is the last to be released under the FIFA banner as the International Federation of Association Football and developer EA Sports go their separate ways.
The FIFA pro scene has seen many exciting tournaments take place throughout the years. Many regional qualifiers occur across the competitive season, along with headline events like the FIFAe Nations Cup and FIFAe World Cup, culminating in the most prestigious event — the FIFAe Finals. And while most of the focus is on 1v1 match-ups, the FIFAe Club World Cup determines the world champion in the 2v2 arena.
With the FIFA banner set to be superseded by the shiny new EA Sports FC series, we’re excited to see how the football esports scene develops.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is one of the most enduring series of games — and also one of the best-selling — of all time. A first-person shooter, the first title was released in 2003. Since then, the main series has grown to 19 instalments. The most recent is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 released in October 2022, a sequel to the Modern Warfare 2019 reboot.
The CoD esports scene is a little complicated due to the number of games in the franchise. The highest level of competitive CoD includes Call of Duty League, a series of tournaments sponsored by Activision, the publisher of the series. The regular season is usually played on the current release — in this instance, Modern Warfare 2. But you’ll also find contests for other games in the series, including Call of Duty: Warzone, a battle royale akin to Apex and Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Mobile for phones and tablets.
The Biggest Esports Events in 2023
With such a diverse collection of games being played competitively, the 2023 esports calendar is jam-packed with events. From smaller regional tournaments to hotly contested world championships, there’s no shortage of options to bet on. Let’s take a look at some of this year’s upcoming esports events to stick in the diary.
A CS:GO Major that was held between 31 January and 12 February 2023 – the convincing winner for this year being G2. FaZe Clan took last year’s title beating G2 into second place.
Six Invitational 2023
Ubisoft’s annual Rainbow Six Siege tournament returned again in 2023, bringing together 20 of the best teams from around the world. The contest ran from 7 February to 19 February and took place in Montreal, where Ubisoft is based. G2 were the eventual winners here, defeating w7m esports in the grand final of the competition by a score of 3-1.
VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo
Bringing together 30 teams from regional leagues in an epic clash in São Paulo, LOCK//IN was one of Valorant’s biggest tournaments so far. It ran from 13 February to 4 March. The winners of this event were Fnatic – they defeated Brazil’s LOUD in the finals . LOUD were going for their second international VALORANT title but lost out in the end, 3-2.
RLCS Winter Major
The second global event in the 2022–23 Rocket League season took place in San Diego, USA from 6–9 April. Gen.G are defending champions, with other teams in the running being G2, Spacestation Gaming, FaZe, Liquid and BDS. In the end, Karmine Corp took the title against FaZe in the final, earning themselves $100,000 in prize money and a ticket to the RLCS World Championship.
League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational
Running 2–21 May, the LoL Mid-Season Invitational returns to Europe for the first time since 2018 and will see 13 teams contend for the spot currently held by defending champions Royal Never Give Up.
Blast.tv Paris Major
With a $1.25 million prize pool, this CS:GO Major will certainly be one to watch. Team Vitality are expected to perform well in front of their home crowd, but number one is anyone’s for the taking. If you’re planning to bet on this event, it’ll be easier to pick favourites once the winner of IEM Katowice is crowned.
Valorant Masters 2023
The Valorant Masters tournament brings together the top teams from the International leagues, along with an extra from whichever region wins LOCK//IN. The 2023 Masters will take place in Tokyo in June, with dates yet to be decided. The best teams qualify directly for the Champions.
RLCS Spring Major
The Rocket League Championship Series Spring Major will run from 6–9 July. The location is to be decided, but it’s likely to take place in Europe as the Winter Major will be held state-side.
Sometimes called the ‘Cathedral of CS:GO’, IEM Cologne is a highly prestigious tournament. The 2023 edition runs from 25 July to 6 August. Winners of the Paris Major and IEM Katowice automatically qualify, along with the top teams in the ESL World Rankings.
RLCS World Championship
With the 2022 World Championship held in America, many are expecting Psyonix to host the 2023 tournament in Europe. Team BDS are defending champions, but they could be dethroned come 4 August.
League of Legends World Championship
The World Championship, commonly known simply as Worlds, set record viewer levels on Twitch in 2022. While dates are yet to be decided for the 2023 instalment, it’s likely to be around October–November and will take place in South Korea. Riot Games has tweaked the tournament format this year, with a double elimination play-in stage and a Swiss-style stage preceding the knockouts.
Esports Betting Markets
As every major tournament passes, the hype train surrounding esports only picks up speed. The prize pools become more lucrative and the view counts continue to grow at an astronomical rate. It should come as no surprise then, that a huge number of esports punters speculate on the outcomes of esports games, much like fans of football and horse racing.
Of course, any esports bettors wants to see the returns of their successful predictions. In search of potential profit, punters head to the top online betting sites, looking for wagers that return great value. The betting markets on offer vary depending on the game of your choice, however, there are a number of common options that you’ll find when betting on just about any esports game. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular esports betting markets.
- Outright betting – The outright betting markets of any sport simply allow you to place wagers on the outcome of a particular event. An example of an outright esports bet would be backing the winner of the League of Legends World Championship.
- Match result – Often referred to as the ‘money line’, placing this wager simply means betting on the outcome of a match. Here, you’ll almost always be required to choose between two individuals or teams.
- Handicap – In esports matches between two teams or individual gamers, you’ll usually find that there’s a bookmakers favourite. In other words, one side is deemed as most likely to win. In these instances, you might struggle to find good betting value. To level the playing field and attract bettors, esports betting sites place a negative handicap on the favourites and a positive handicap on the underdog.
- Totals – Commonly known as the over/under, these markets allow punters to bet on the number of specific events –such as kills or map rounds– being over or under a predetermined figure set by esports bookmakers.
- Map winner – In certain esports tournaments, each round involves multiple individual matches or ‘maps’. For example, each round in the Champions stage of the CS:GO IEM Major is best of three. In this case, you can bet on a team to win a particular map — you might bet on Team A to win on Dust 2 and Inferno, and Team B to win on Nuke;
- First blood – This is a prop bet on which team or player will draw the first kill. It’s a popular market in many esports including shooters and MOBAs;
- Objective completion – Most esports have an objective that must be completed in order for a certain team to win. Take CS:GO for example. The Terrorists can win by planting and detonating the bomb, or by eliminating all the CTs. However, an objective completion bet will only succeed if they win by bomb detonation. This market can have different names depending on the esport you’re betting on;
- Most kills – As simple as it sounds, this is a bet on a particular player to get the most kills in a particular match;
- Time – This is an over/under bet on the match duration. You won’t find it available for all esports, but League of Legends is popular for this market as matches can last anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour.
Live Esports Betting
Early esports bettors were limited to pre-match betting markets, but today you can expect to find a wide range of live markets available at the best esports betting sites.
Say you’re betting live on League of Legends at Betway, for example. The bookmaker will let you wager on which team will destroy the next tower or slay the next dragon. Once that match is done, you might then switch over to DOTA 2 and bet in-play on which team will be the first to reach 5, 10, 15, or 20 kills.
Savvy punters often turn to live betting when looking for more favourable betting opportunities, depending on how a game is unfolding. It’s a good choice for esports buffs who know the games and teams well, and can feel comfortable making quick calls as the action unfolds.
Bet on Esports Action on the Go
Betting on the likes of CS:GO, Call of Duty, and Dota 2 doesn’t mean you have to be glued to your desktop computer. These days, virtually every bookmaker has a mobile-friendly website you can access through the web browser on your phone or tablet. You don’t need to install any software — all you have to do is log in and place your bets.
Mobile Apps for Esports Betting
While mobile-compatible esports betting sites certainly get the job done, we recommend choosing a bookmaker with a downloadable native app if you’re looking for the very best handheld experience. These apps can be downloaded from the App Store on iOS devices or the Google Play store on Android handsets. What benefits do these mobile esports betting apps bring, and are there any drawbacks? We’ve rounded up the pros and cons below.
Settle Your Bets Early
Most bookies will offer cashout on some esports markets, much like traditional sports betting. Cash out allows you to settle your bet early, claiming a portion of your winnings before the end of the event. The size of this payout will vary depending on the time elapsed and score at the time of cashing out.
In our February 2021 interview with leading iGaming software supplier EveryMatrix, Malte Hegeler, Head of Product Development OddsMatrix, shared some insight into why cash out isn’t as popular in esports as it is in traditional sports betting.
“Cashout is considerably less used in esports, where the esports ratio between cashout bets and overall stakes is half of the same ratio in traditional sports betting. That happens because cashout is much more frequent for pre-live bets, while in esports live betting has a 93% share, and things happen much faster.”
Compare Welcome Bonuses
When choosing between the best bookies that offer esports betting, the odds and betting options on offer may not vary enough to let you filter your shortlist down to just one. While you might find the best odds for an esports tournament at one bookie, there’s no guarantee they’ll offer the best esports odds for the next event, as bookies price competitively.
One deciding factor might be the welcome bonus. As its name suggests, this kind of bonus offer is reserved for new customers only and is used by just about every gambling operator to attract bettors. These bonuses come in various forms, so let’s take a quick look at the most popular.
Matched Deposit Bonus
This is where the betting site matches your first deposit to a certain percentage, up to a maximum amount. For example, an esports bookmaker may offer “100% up to £100” for new players, which means an initial deposit of £50 will give you an extra £50 to bet with.
No Deposit Bonus
Like the thought of having bonus funds waiting for you in your account, as soon as you sign up? That’s what you’ll get with a no deposit bonus, which — as you might have guessed — doesn’t require any deposit at all.
Many top betting sites will give you free bets when you sign up and deposit a minimum amount. You may also be offered “risk-free bets”, where a losing bet will see your stake refunded to you in the form of free bet credits.
Remember to always read the t&cs with any welcome bonuses. You’ll want to check if:
- Certain payment platforms, like Skrill or Neteller, are ineligible for welcome bonuses
- The bonus amount needs to be wagered a minimum number of times before you can withdraw winnings (the “wagering requirement”)
- There’s a deadline by which you have to bet the bonus or meet the wagering requirement
How to bet on esports for real money
Choose a top online bookmakerWhile esports is definitely growing in popularity, esports betting is still in its infancy. With that in mind, choosing the right online bookmaker is very important - not every sports bookie provides comprehensive coverage. Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you. Rather than going from one site to another looking for the best esports coverage, you can simply choose from our list of the top licensed betting sites. Our expert team has carried out research and scoured the internet to find out exactly what bettors want and which bookies cater to their needs best. All you need to do is pick your favourite esports bookie.
Sign up and deposit to claim your bonusThe hard part is over. You’ve chosen your bookmaker, now you just need to sign up. You can do this via a desktop or mobile platform. All you’ll need to do is provide some personal details like your name, phone number and email address. This is for security purposes and is standard practice at almost every betting site. With that part cleared, it’s time to make your first deposit. All the bookmakers on our list offer a variety of options ranging from cards and e-wallets to prepaid vouchers. If you’ve signed up to a bookie that offers a deposit bonus, your account should be credited immediately.
Pick an esports game and choose your marketChoose from the list of esports usually found on the home page and pick an event if you fancy a flutter. You can take your pick from ongoing tournaments or events in the near future. Once you’ve found a game or match up you like the look of, check out what markets are available. Remember, you’re not restricted to just betting on the outright winner. Delve deeper and see if you can find some value in other markets.
Live streamsSome bookmakers now offer you the option of watching live esports. So, you can watch the action unfold and watch your bets play out in real-time! Not only is this great entertainment but it also helps to develop your understanding of the sport if you’re a beginner. You might pick up some useful insight that you can put to use next time you place a bet.
Claim an Existing Player Promotion
Welcome bonuses are one thing, but how about ongoing promotions for existing members? The good news is that the top UK sportsbooks do have a regularly updated menu of promos on offer, including incentives that are specific to esports like Fortnite, Fifa and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
Betway is a great example. It lets you opt into its “Esports Club”, which will award you a £10 free bet every week that you put at least £25 down on esports doubles, trebles or accumulators. Betway also regularly offers tournament-specific promos such as its ESL Pro League: Ace Special, where you’ll bag a free bet if an ace is scored on a match you’ve wagered on.
Meanwhile, over at dedicated esports bookmaker Midnite, you can join the Midnite Bet Club, where you’ll get a weekly £5 free bet if you place £25 acca bets with at least two legs.
Try Out a New Esports Betting Site
Some bookies, like Ladbrokes and Bet365, have been around so long they’re household names. But it’s always worth keeping an eye out for latest betting sites in the UK, as these plucky upstarts can offer exciting new experiences. New sites may push the envelope in terms of design, and also offer generous welcome bonuses to catch the interest of bettors.
Serious esports fans may also enjoy knowing they’re part of a site that’s completely dedicated to this specific industry. Midnite and Unikrn are prominent examples of betting sites run by people who live and breathe esports. This means these bookies can provide expert tips, insights and commentary on games and tournaments, alongside a huge spread of in-depth betting markets.
Payment Options at Esports Betting Sites
Once you’ve signed up to one of our recommended esports betting sites, you’ll want to top up your account with some betting funds. There are several services available for this very purpose, which we’ll run through next. Just click through the tabs to discover the benefits and drawbacks of some popular choices.
PayPal is one of the most widely used e-wallets among online gamblers. There’s no cost to sign up and most transactions are free from fees. If you’re not aware, PayPal is a digital wallet — essentially, it lets you store card or bank details within the account, as well as hold a balance in a number of currencies. Instead of using your card details to make transactions, you simply log into the PayPal portal with your registered email and password and select the source of funds. The betting site won’t see your bank info and you can further secure your account with two-factor authentication (2FA). Another benefit to PayPal is its fast withdrawals, which usually arrive within 24 hours of request. Be warned, however — PayPal and other e-wallets are often excluded from claiming betting bonuses.
Many of the best esports betting sites support Trustly, a payments intermediary which lets users make direct transactions using their online banking credentials. Unlike e-wallets, there’s no need to sign up before using Trustly, so it’s highly convenient as well as secure. Customers of all major high street banks are likely to be able to use the service, which offers fast withdrawals within 24 hours thanks to the Open Banking technology on which it runs. Trustly is usually eligible when claiming a bonus as well.
Visa debit cards remain one of the top choices among esports bettors. Familiarity and convenience is the main reason — although another benefit is that debit cards are nearly always eligible for betting offers. The main drawback here is the slower withdrawals, which can take 3–5 working days. However, Visa customers can use the Fast Funds service where it’s supported by the esports betting site. In this instance, you’ll receive your money within an hour or two of the bookie processing your request to cash out.
Prepaid cards like Paysafecard are a fantastic choice if you’d prefer to keep your bank details private. How does the service work? You simply purchase a Paysafecard voucher at a participating retailer and use the 16-digit PIN to transfer the funds to your betting account. The vouchers come in values from £10 to £100, and once spent, that’s it. So as well as being highly secure, Paysafecard is a great option to keep tight control of your gambling spend. Unfortunately, you can’t currently withdraw to Paysafecard, but deposits are instant.
Another popular e-wallet for online gambling, you’re likely to find Skrill at esports betting sites that don’t support PayPal. Its offering is much the same, and while registering for an account is free, there are some extra fees associated with transferring money to and from your Skrill account. Withdrawals to Skrill usually arrive the same day you request them, although — as with PayPal — this method is often excluded from promotions and bonuses.
The new kid on the block, AstroPay touts many fantastic features for online bettors. For starters, you can safeguard your bank details by generating virtual prepaid cards for your betting transactions. This gives you the security of a service like Paysafecard, but with the added functionality of an e-wallet — which means withdrawals are supported too. AstroPay also lets users purchase and transact with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It’s not yet found at many of the best betting sites, but coverage continues to increase.
Neteller is a sister payment method to Skrill, offering the same streamlined and versatile e-wallet service. The provider offers users a top-spec mobile app and close integration with existing bank accounts, allowing rapid transactions without sharing banking data. Just remember that Neteller deposits are often blocked from esports betting promotions.
Mobile betting fans will love MuchBetter, an e-wallet service with several industry-leading features. The multi-award-winning platform invented the world’s first dynamic CVV system, giving users exceptional online security by making it near-impossible for fraudsters to use stolen details.
Place Your Bets
Now that we’ve taken you through the ins and outs of betting on esports titles and the various bonuses on offer, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you place bets on esports matches. Whether you’re an avid Call of Duty fan or a complete newcomer to the scene, our carefully curated list of top esports betting sites is sure to provide you with a new favourite. Once you’ve picked out an option that ticks all your boxes, all you need to do is sign up, claim your exclusive bonus and bet on esports today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best esports betting site?
Bet365 is our top esports betting site, at the time of writing. It offers one of the biggest selections of esports to bet on, there’s a solid welcome bonus on offer, and it’s all tied into one of the most tried and true betting platforms in the UK. However, the best esports betting site for you might be one of the others detailed in our rankings above. Be sure to consult those rankings, and our expert reviews, to find out which esports betting site ticks the right boxes for you.
What betting sites offer esports?
Several betting sites offer esports, with Bet365, Midnite, Betway, Betfair, and LeoVegas being just a handful of sites we recommend to prospective esports bettors. However, not all betting sites offer the same breadth and depth when it comes to esports betting options, and your favourite games might not be available on certain sportsbooks. Consult our rankings at the top of this page, and our detailed, expert reviews for each site, to find out which esports betting site is best for you.
Is esports betting legal in the UK?
Esports betting is legal in the UK, provided you place your bets with a UKGC-licensed betting operator. All of the sites listed on Compare.bet are licensed by the UKGC, meaning you can trust that your data and transactions will be protected by SSL encryption, withdrawal requests will be honoured, customer support will be available, and that on-site time and money management tools will be provided.
Can I place an accumulator bet at the top esports betting sites?
Yes. To build an accumulator all you need to do is add multiple bets to your betslip. The great thing about accumulators is the potential to land huge wins from small stakes.
How does esports betting work?
Betting sites calculate odds for individual matches and season-long outcomes using data from previous meetings, current form, and a litany of other stats. They then make these odds available at participating betting sites for you to bet on. In the run up to an event, odds may change to reflect bettor behavior. e.g. If an underdog is offered to win at 5/1, and there’s a huge number of bettors taking the odds, the betting site may reduce the odds to 4/1. Your original odds will be honoured if this kind of adjustment happens. Enhanced odds and other boosts may be offered on certain events, so if you’re interested in betting on a particular game or match it’s worth keeping tabs on your betting site’s promotions page.
Why are some esports betting markets handicapped?
As with any sport, there’s often a clear favourite and an underdog. With low odds on the favourite and the low likelihood of the underdog pulling off an upset, betting sites use handicaps to level the playing field. Let’s say you’re betting on Rocket League, you can bet on your favourite with a handicap of -9.5, for example, which would require them to win by at least 10. Likewise, you can bet on the underdog with a handicap of +9.5, which would mean they need to avoid losing by more than 9.
Can I bet on esports on mobile?
Yes. Our top esports betting sites offer full support for mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. You’ll never need to rush home to place a bet, you can bet wherever you are.
Can I bet on esports in-play?
Yes. In-play betting is a great way to make money from a game that’s in progress, especially if you’re watching a live stream. You can assess what’s happening in the match and make your predictions on the outcome. This is a great option for players who know their stuff, as they can often read the game and predict when the tables will turn. New players can get in on the in-play action too, if you have a hunch and fancy a flutter on the team that looks down and out, you’ll be able to back them to win with esports in-play betting.
How do I win a handicap esports bet?
This depends on whether you decide to back the bookies favourite, with a negative handicap, or the underdog, with a positive handicap. To win a bet placed on the negative handicap, your pick was win by more than the handicap figure chosen by the bookie. To win a wager placed on the positive handicap, your chosen team must avoid losing by a value that is equal to or more than the handicap figure.
What is an esport?
An esport is any video game — typically multiplayer — played competitively in front of spectators, and usually by professionals. Esports can cover the smallest local and regional contests all the way up to global leagues with prizes in the millions.
There are many genres of esport, including:
- First-person shooters such as CS:GO and Valorant
- Real-time strategy games like StarCraft 2
- Virtual sports games like FIFA and NBA 2K
- MOBAs including Dota 2 and League of Legends
- Battle royale games such as PUBG and Fortnite
Which esport has the biggest prize pool?
The International, the highest level of competitive Dota 2, has repeatedly set records for the largest esport prize pool. The league is sponsored by Valve, who contributes the base prize pool of $1.6 million. Additional funds are added through Dota 2 Battle Pass sales. The International 2021 holds the record for largest esports prize pool at over $40 million, although the 2022 tournament dropped to just under $19 million — still a formidable sum!
The inaugural Fortnite World Cup in 2019 reached a similar sum, with a prize pool of more than $30 million.
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