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 Esports Betting Bonus
Let’s take a look at the different esports betting bonuses you’ll find on Compare.bet.
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.
Want to place bets at no cost to yourself? That’s what a free bet offer allows you to do! This type of esports betting bonus is essentially a free stake that can be placed on eligible markets and odds, giving you the chance to net some profit without risking a penny. While the stake isn’t returned with most free bets, you’ll take home the winnings, which can be withdrawn once you’ve met any wagering requirements.
How you claim your free bet depends on the site. As with many esports betting bonuses, you might have to make a deposit to receive the credit. Other sites will reward you as soon as you sign up. Free bets of £5 up to £20 are fairly common, but you could find larger esports betting bonuses — these are usually split up into multiple free bets. Sometimes you’ll find a matched deposit bonus which is given as free bet credit too. For example, a £10 free bet for every £10 you deposit — effectively a 100% match.
If you regularly bet on esports matches, cashback is one of the best betting offers to look out for. With this deal, you’ll receive a percentage of your total losses, deposits, or wagers back, either as free betting credit or real money you can withdraw. The amounts vary by site — you might get just 0.5% or as much as 10%. Say you’re betting at a site that offers 5% cashback on total losses every week, given as real money. If you lose £100 in that period, you’ll get £5 back. You can then use the cash to place bets or withdraw it.
Although not strictly an esports betting bonus, many bookmakers feature online casinos where bettors can enjoy games like roulette, slots, and blackjack. With a free spins bonus, you’ll be able to play selected slots titles without wagering real money. Just spin the reels and cross your fingers! While esports betting bonuses usually have low or no wagering requirements, free spins often come with high requirements between 30x–40x. You’ll need to meet these before you can withdraw any associated winnings.
Other Esports Promotions
Certainly, there’s some good value to be had from the bonuses on offer at the top 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.
If you like to place accumulator bets, one esports betting bonus to keep an eye out for is acca insurance. Say you place a six-leg accumulator. Five of the legs have come good, but at the last moment, the sixth loses. There’s no doubt it’s disappointing to fall at the final hurdle, but acca insurance can take the edge off. This esports betting bonus will refund your stake if just one leg of your acca fails, either as a free bet credit or real cash that’s yours to keep.
Prize draws are another popular promotion available to esports bettors. What could you win? It depends on the site — there are usually some free bets on the table along with cash prizes, but some of the best sites offer electronic gadgets or luxury holiday packages to the top winners.
To qualify for a prize draw, have a look at the terms and conditions. Common entry requirements include betting a certain amount within the contest period or making a qualifying deposit. Some prize draws grant additional entries for wagering or depositing more — but it’s essential you don’t let this compel you to spend more than you otherwise would on gambling.
Esports Betting Bonus T&Cs
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.
One vital term to check before you make your deposit is whether any payment exclusions apply to your esports betting bonus. Use an excluded method and you’ll be disqualified from receiving the bonus. As a rule of thumb, debit cards are always eligible, while e-wallets, prepaid cards and sometimes pay by phone services are most likely to be excluded.
Why do bookmakers disqualify certain payment methods? Usually, it’s due to additional fees levied on the bookie by the service provider. There’s also a higher risk of bonus abuse with e-wallets.
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.
Games to Bet 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.
What do you get if you take a sports car, add rocket boosters to the back, and put it on a football pitch? Rocket League — a high-octane game where players must drive or fly their car into a giant ball in order to score goals. Competitive Rocket League is played 3-vs-3, with each match lasting just five minutes. The game is incredibly fast-paced and it’s not uncommon to see rapid turnarounds, with one team pipping the other to the post in the final few seconds. This can lead to some thrilling in-play betting opportunities.
Although it hasn’t quite reached the popularity of esports like CS:GO or League of Legends, Rocket League retains a bustling competitive scene. The Rocket League Championship Series, also known as the RLCS, is the esport’s premier tournament and is sponsored by the game’s developer, Psyonix. That said, there are plenty of betting options including A-Tier contests like the DreamHack Pro Circuit down and B-Tier events such as the European Invitational.
Based on Tom Clancy’s novels of the same name, Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical first-person shooter with similarities to other video games like CS:GO and Valorant. One team, the attackers, must defuse one of two bombs while the other team, the defenders, must stop them. To achieve their objectives, players pick an ‘operator’ to play as, each with unique abilities.
If you’re not sure where to get started with real money betting on Rainbow Six Siege, the Six Invitational is a good place to start. It’s sponsored by Ubisoft and is considered the top-class tournament for the esport, with the best teams from around the world clashing for the title.
Esports Betting Bonus Payment Options
In order to make real money bets on esports, you’ll need to deposit funds into your account. If you’re claiming an esports betting bonus that requires a qualifying deposit, make sure to check the T&Cs so you know which methods are eligible. Aside from that, which option you choose depends on your needs and preferences. We’ve explained a number of popular methods below to help you pick below.
Arguably the most popular e-wallet around, PayPal lets users store different payment methods and hold a balance. Rather than supplying card details when you make a deposit or withdrawal, you simply log in with your email and password and confirm the transaction. This makes it perfect for those wary of sharing sensitive banking info — and your account can be further secured with two-factor authentication (2FA). It can also be helpful to segregate your betting funds from your day-to-day bank account. PayPal deposits are instant, and withdrawals are some of the quickest. Once the betting site processes your request, you should receive your money within an hour or two or even instantly. The main drawback? PayPal and other e-wallets are often excluded from claiming an esports betting bonus.
Swedish fintech company Trustly facilitates direct transfers to and from betting sites by leveraging Open Banking technology. Simply log into the secure Trustly portal with your usual online banking credentials and confirm the transaction. The method is highly secure, utilising the latest encryption standards. Trustly also shares rich KYC data with the betting site, so the usual pre-withdrawal checks can be expedited — which means you’ll get your money sooner. Trustly withdrawals typically arrive the day you request them, although this depends on the betting site’s own processing times. The method is usually eligible for claiming an esports betting bonus too.
Visa debit cards remain a popular choice for bettors, thanks to their ubiquity and familiarity. After all, Visa is the largest payments network in the world. Just key in the 16-digit card number, expiry date, and CVC, and then confirm the transaction — quick and simple. Deposits arrive instantly, but withdrawals tend to be on the slow side. They’ll take around 3–5 days unless the site supports Visa Fast Funds, in which case you could get your money within just 30 minutes. One perk of using Visa or another debit card for your deposits is they’re always eligible for bonus offers. But if faster withdrawals are a priority for you, or you’d prefer to keep your card details private, alternative payment methods like e-wallets or Trustly may be worth considering.
If you’d rather not share any bank details at all, a prepaid card like Paysafecard is one of the best options. These vouchers can be purchased at participating retailers in denominations from £10–£100, and then used to top up your betting wallet. Once the voucher is spent, that’s it — it can’t be overdrawn. So, if keeping a close eye on your budget is top of mind, Paysafecard is an excellent choice. Of course, this does mean it’s not necessarily the best option for high rollers. If your usual gambling spend is on the high side, Paysafecard may be impractical. Another heavy drawback to this option is the lack of support for withdrawals. You’ll need to combine it with another method in order to request a payout.
Another popular e-wallet choice among online gamblers, Skrill shares many of the same benefits as PayPal. You can store different payment methods within the account and also hold a balance. That means you can safeguard your banking information when betting on the latest esports events. Deposits are instant, and Skrill withdrawals are on a similar timeframe to PayPal — arriving within 1–2 hours once the betting site processes the request. Skrill also suffers from the drawback that it’s frequently excluded from claiming betting offers. And while registering for a Skrill account is free, there are more fees associated with this e-wallet than there are with PayPal. In particular, customers may be charged a small percentage when withdrawing their Skrill balance to a bank account. With that said, Skrill is often supported at betting sites where PayPal isn’t, so it can be helpful to hold an account with both services.
One of the newest methods to gain traction among UK gamblers is AstroPay. This innovative service combines the functionality of an e-wallet with the privacy and security of a prepaid card. It trumps Paysafecard in terms of convenience — rather than purchasing physical vouchers, AstroPay customers can generate virtual prepaid cards on the fly with a value of their choosing. These can then be used to top up your betting wallet without revealing your own card details. Furthermore, punters can withdraw to AstroPay, unlike with Paysafecard. The main drawback of AstroPay is that it’s currently not supported as widely as other methods. Of course, this is set to change as time goes on, and the number of esports betting sites that offer this payment option is growing day by day. As AstroPay is considered an e-wallet, it’s a good idea to check if it’s excluded before claiming an esports betting bonus.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Where can I get help with problem gambling?
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.