With the esports industry growing from strength to strength, it’s no surprise to see that the online esports betting marketplace is becoming more competitive. A number of new names like GG.bet and Arcanebet enter the fray every year, so it can be difficult for punters to pick out a favourite. To stand out from the crowd, the best esports betting sites offer a range of bonuses to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back. Let us take you through everything you need to know about esports betting bonuses before you pick out the ideal destination for your esports bets.
Types of Bonuses
Types of esports betting bonuses
Welcomes bonuses, sometimes called sign-up bonuses or first deposit bonuses, are the most common offer you’ll find online when betting on esports. They’re reserved exclusively for new customers and are used by pretty much every bookie to attract new bettors. These welcome bonuses come in several forms. The most common is the matched deposit offer, which sees the bookie match a percentage of your initial deposit, from 50% to as much as 200%. Other popular welcome bonuses include free bets, risk free bets and profit boosts.
No Deposit Bonus
As the name suggests, no deposit bonuses offer punters the chance to grab a bankroll boost without putting any hard-earned cash on the line. Just bear in mind that most bookies won’t allow you to withdraw any bonus winnings until you load some cash into the site. Still, it’s an excellent way to test the waters and get a feel for betting on esports if you’re new to the scene.
Monthly deposit bonuses are often referred to as reload bonuses, simply because they happen time and time again. It’s essentially a great way for esports bookies to kill two birds with one stone: keep customers coming back and reward them for their loyalty.
Other Esports Promotions
Certainly, there’s some good value to be had from the bonuses on offer at the top esports betting sites, but the generosity of these top bookies doesn’t end there. Existing customers can take advantage of a number of unique promotions on offer.
If you’re a frequent bettor after daily rewards, then price boost promotions are for you. These are generally only available on match result and other outright win markets but they do represent a good chance of getting a better return if you back a winner.
In our February 2021 interview with leading iGaming software supplier EveryMatrix, Malte Hegeler, Head of Product Development at OddsMatrix, told us why esports bettors shouldn’t expect odds boosts on esports multiples and accumulators.
“Due to the speed of real esports and to a lower number of pre-live events, esports betting allows for fewer multibets, and also fewer selections within a multiple bet. This makes odds boosts less relevant.”
Innovation is the name of the game when it comes to creating interesting and engaging promotions. A great example of this can be found at Betway, which runs a weekly ‘Esports Club’. By opting into this online betting promo, punters can earn a £10 free bet every week, as long as they wager at least £25 on esports doubles, trebles or accas.
What is the best esports betting bonus?
It boils down to you and your betting preferences. Some punters adore free bets, while others would rather snap up matched deposit offers. Additionally, it’s important that you read through the wagering requirements for each offer. In our opinion, the best esports bonuses are the ones which provide you with the greatest chance of landing a profit, so be sure to do your research beforehand.
Terms and Conditions
What's in the Small Print?
Esports betting bonuses can certainly give you a head start when it comes to placing wagers on the likes of Fortnite, StarCraft, Fifa and other top esports. It’s important to remember that T&Cs apply, however. Here are some of the factors in the small print you should look out for.
Many betting bonuses come with wagering requirements, which mean you’ll have to bet your bonus amount a certain number of times before you’re able to cash out any bonus winnings. Say, for example, you’re gifted a £10 free bet after making a qualifying wager at a sportsbook, and there’s 10x wagering. This means you’ll have to make £100 in bets (ie, 10 x £10) before any winnings can be withdrawn.
In order to unlock an esports betting bonus, you may have to place a qualifying bet at minimum odds. In other words, not all betting selections will provide you with a route to bagging the bonus. You’ll see this stipulation at Mr Green, where you can nab a free £10 acca bet after you make a qualifying bet at odds of 4.0 or higher. Relatedly, the free bets awarded at some bookies may only be eligible for use on selections at certain odds or higher.
Online bookmakers will often require you to make a minimum first deposit in order to qualify for the welcome bonus. For example, to make use of the £40 cashback welcome bonus at Unibet, which will refund you up to £40 if your first wager loses, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of £10.
Bookmakers may be generous with esports betting bonuses, but they aren’t too keen on punters making off with huge amounts in winnings using free bets. That’s pretty understandable, as it would cause a huge dent in their profits if members kept scooping up large profits without putting their own money on the line. This is why there are often maximum win caps on bonuses. A case in point is LeoVegas, where new customers can get a 100% profit boost on first bets – but only up to a maximum of £100.
While you may be tempted to sit on your esports bonus till you feel like putting it to use, you don’t want to risk accidentally letting it expire. Esports betting sites will often apply strict deadlines to bonuses, after which the deals can no longer be used. Timeframes can vary from days to weeks to longer. At William Hill, for instance, all free bets need to be used within 30 days.
Like to bet on the go? The good news is you can access welcome offers and all other kinds of esports betting bonuses through your phone or tablet. All the top online bookmakers have mobile-optimised sites, meaning you can bet on your favourite esports tournaments wherever you are. A good number of operators also provide native apps which you can download to your device. These offer even greater convenience, as they let you hit the betting markets directly through the app rather than having to go via your browser. You can also enable push notifications, which will alert you to the latest bonuses and promos – including mobile-only exclusives.
What games can I use bonuses on?
Many of the best esports bonuses are flexible, meaning you can use them to wager on a range of esports. Of course, T&Cs apply so it’s wise to check if any markets are out of bounds, but here are some of the big name games you can often bet on.
The sequel to a game called Defense of the Ancients, Dota 2 has vastly out-stripped its predecessor to become one of the most popular esports games on the planet. Teams battle to destroy large structures known as Ancients, with the skirmishes raging across a fantasy landscape. The game is famously complex but passionately followed by millions of esports fans, with the greatest players clashing at the annual world championship event, the International.
League of Legends
League of Legends, often simple known as League or LoL, is a global sensation with events broadcast on sites like Twitch and YouTube. Teams control characters known as champions, and wage war to destroy the opposing’s team’s Nexus, a structure that stands within each team’s base. The most commonly played mode is called Summoner’s Rift, and the biggest LoL event is the annual League of Legends World Championship, watched by tens of millions across the world.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CS: GO is another iconic esports brand, pitting teams of Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists against each other in a first-person shooter format. There are various game modes with their own objectives, such as defusing or planting bombs, or rescuing hostages. Elite-level players clash in the CS: GO Major Championships, simply known as the Majors, with prize pools worth millions of dollars up for grabs.
Overwatch is another team-based first-person shooter, with players controlling characters known as heroes. The game is set in a war-torn future Earth, and there are all kinds of memorable heroes to choose from, including a hamster which controls a spherical tank, and a creepy mercenary known as the Reaper. The best professional teams compete in the Overwatch League, which culminates in the annual Overwatch League Grand Finals.
Set in a distant part of the Milky Way, the real-time strategy games StarCraft and StarCraft II have both spawned lucrative esport industries. The game features three warring species – the Terrans, the Zerg, and the Protoss – and is known for its fast pace, which is part of the reason it’s so popular as an esport. The game is particularly big in South Korea, which is the setting for the prestigious Global StarCraft II League.
How to Claim
Place Your Bets!
Now that we’ve introduced you to the world of esports betting bonuses, all that remains is for you to claim yours and begin betting.
You can follow these 5 simple steps to claim your esports betting bonus:
- Check out our list of top bookies
Picking the right bookie is essential, and that’s why Compare.bet has curated a list of the top esports bookmakers just for you.
- Compare bonuses
With your top bookies lined-up, you’ll need to weigh up your options. Of course, you’ll want to compare bonuses, but keep an eye out for market coverage, promotions and the odds on offer too!
- Sign up
Once you’ve picked out a favourite, follow our sign up link and you’ll be able to sign up and become eligible for an exclusive bonus. Registering an account takes just a couple of minutes – all you need to do is enter a few personal details.
Of course, you may have snagged a no deposit offer. If so, you can bypass this step for now. However, if you’ve opted for a welcome bonus, you’ll need to make a deposit. You can do this by heading over to the cashier, selecting your preferred payment method and following the on-screen instructions. You’ll be able to choose from options such as debit card, PayPal and Skrill.
Most depositing methods are instant, meaning that you are ready to bet immediately. Head over to the esports markets and simply take your pick from a number of pre-match and in-play markets.
Your Questions Answered
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. You can bet on your favourite with a handicap of -2.5, for example, which would require them to win by at least 3. Likewise, you can bet on the underdog with a handicap of +2.5, which would mean they need to avoid losing by more than 2.
Can I bet on esports on mobile?
Absolutely. Our top esports betting sites offer full support for mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. This means you’ll never need to rush home to place a bet, you can bet wherever you are.
Can I place an accumulator bet at the top esports betting sites?
Yes, you can. To build an esports accumulator, all you need to do is add multiple bets to your betslip, just as you would when creating accas for traditional sports. The great thing about accumulators is the potential to land huge wins from small stakes, because the odds of each selection are multiplied together.
Will I need to use a promo code to get my esports betting bonus?
Not necessarily. In some cases, bookmakers will require you to enter a specific bonus code in order to unlock a welcome offer. On the other hand, you may simply be given the bonus automatically when you sign up or make your first deposit or qualifying bet.
What payment methods can I use to get esports betting bonuses?
The best esports betting sites support a whole range of payment and withdrawal methods, including debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, it’s important to check whether making your first deposit through a specific method will disqualify you from accessing a deposit bonus.
Is it safe to bet at esports betting sites?
Yes it is, as long as you make sure you only ever sign up to bookmakers who are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This seal of approval tells you that the sportsbook abides by strict criteria regarding secure, fair gambling practises online. From Bet365 to Unibet, we only recommend UKGC licensed esports betting sites.