Here our main focus will be on League of Legends and DotA 2, though we also include betting tips for Hearthstone, CS:GO and Starcraft 2.
League of Legends is a multi-player online battle arena game developed by Riot Games. The most common bets on League of Legends are match bets, in which you simply gamble on the outcome of a single contest. There are no draw bets and no favourites with short odds.
Outright bets on the outcome of an entire tournament or league will return much higher odds, even for the favourites and with so many variables at play and so many teams involved, the odds tend to be considerably higher. In some events you can even gamble on how far teams will advance.
Handicapping League of Legends matches can be difficult. It is difficult for bookmakers to create good lines, so researching the win probabilities for one team against another can be lucrative. First look at one teams win rate and adjust for how the opposing team has fared. Then adjust for other factors including summoner picks and playing styles of the teams.
DotA 2 is one of the biggest eSports. Place a bet on the team you believe will win or draw. Handicap bets are also possible or bet on the end score of a match or bet on who will win a specific map. You can place a bet on a team to get at least one map win. These can either be safer bets on the favourites or more reasonable bets for underdogs that are unlikely to win the match, but can take a map from the favourites.
There are often other bets offered closer to the start of the games and the bigger the games, the larger the selection. You can often find prop bets including which team will get First Blood, who will get the first Roshan kill, how many kills in total and many other options.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most intense and action-packed eSports. Played by teams and individuals, the games objectives range from who can get the most kills in a specified time (a Deathmatch) to a hostage rescuing objective (Hostage Scenario).
The betting markets in CS:GO are mainly focused on the team-player aspect of the game, with outright betting markets, generally available until the tournament begins. After this, it becomes an active live betting market, though it may be difficult to find bets.
In extended tournament markets, you can bet on the winners and qualifiers from individual groups. On many sites you can bet on the success of certain nations.
Starcraft 2 released in 2010 by Blizzard Entertainment is a real-time strategy game and one of the most popular eSports to lay a bet on. Each player starts with very little, from where they have to harvest resources, build a base and an army, and then destroy their opponents.
Starcraft 2 bets usually relate to a tournament or event. You can bet on the outright winner, but you can also bet on who will reach the semi-final or the quarter final. In many events you will be able to bet on which country the winner will come from, or how far nations will make it in the tournament. If the tournament has a heavy favourite, which is common with the smaller events, then you will often find bets such as ‘Winner Without [Favourite]’.
Hearthstone is a multi-player game that draws the eSports betting crowd. One of the biggest bets on Hearthstone is the ‘tournament outright’ winner. With many players contesting for the top prize, the odds on all of the entrants are quite high. You can also bet on individual matches and there are no ‘draw’ possibilities.
In bigger tournaments, you may be able to bet on how far certain players will advance. The game plays much like poker. Watch the players past games, construct their decks and then run some simulations between them, you might be able to come up with very accurate numbers for a players win probability.