The eSports betting market has grown exponentially over the past few years and is now an established market amongst bookmakers. eSports betting has become popular through the growth of big gaming tournaments, with games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League and Fortnite being some of the most popular games to bet on. When it comes to the ways in which punters are betting on eSports, bets are typically being placed with either in-game currency or cosmetics and skins, or real money.
Betting on eSports
One side of the eSports betting market runs just like any other sportsbook, with people betting real money on the outcome of eSports. However, there are alternative betting methods such as cosmetic betting which have become popular. These alternate betting methods are similar to how casino bettors are able to bet on games such as blackjack using chips at a land-based casino, or how they can use bonus rewards by betting on online blackjack through SkyCity. Instead of bonus rewards, eSports bettors are using in-game skins and cosmetics to place their wagers, which makes for a different kind of betting experience.
In-game cosmetics and skins have become increasingly popular to bet within certain games within eSports. One game where this type of betting is prevalent is Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Skins and cosmetics in this game are unlocked through random crate drops and leveling up, or through the purchase of keys to unlock crates.
Cosmetic and skin betting in CS:GO typically takes place in two formats, the first is betting like a standard sports market by backing a team and using the value of your betting to skin to work out your stake. The second format is through a lottery-based system, where users deposit skins into a large prize pool. The higher value the deposited skin, the better the odds of winning. Once the lottery entries are closed, a winner is drawn at random and will take the whole lot.
Real Money Betting
As previously stated, the eSports betting market has now become an established market and different games can now be bet on. Typically, eSports betting markets consist of team-based games, and you can bet on what you think the outcome of the game will be.
A range of games has featured in eSports real money betting markets. Fighting games including Tekken and Street Fighter are popular as they consist of one-on-one matches so the betting market is simple. Other popular genres include FPS games such as Call of Duty and CS:GO, sports games such as FIFA and NBA 2k, and one of the most popular eSports genres, multiplayer online battle arena games such as League of Legends and Dota 2.
It is tough to say which is the more popular form of eSports betting as both cosmetic and skin betting as well as real money betting are growing in popularity. The more preferable betting model depends on what your goals are, if you enjoy playing the game then betting with skins may be a good option as you get the chance to gain more skins and cosmetics. People who prefer watching eSports may be more inclined to bet real money.