eSports Betting Sites

With the recent rise of the esports betting industry, many are asking what are the best esports betting sites around. The biggest question asked is if you should choose a traditional bookie or an exclusive esports betting site

As many know, most sites are dipping their toes in the water when it comes to esports, this means when using a traditional sportsbook it can be a bit tricky, this can be due to a lack of understanding a focus on esports in general. 

Esports betting sites

Top 5 Best Esports Betting Sites 2020

We’ve chosen a mix of both exclusive esports betting sites and traditional bookies like Betway. These sites will identify for you which is best suited for you as a punter. 

1. Betway 

Firstly, Betway is one of the most prominent betting sites and when it comes to esports, they’re not ignoring the industry. Betway recently launched their esports portal for punters with this came live odds of all the competitive tournaments like Dota 2’s International and IEM Katowice.  

Betway sponsors some of the best teams in esports, like Ninjas in Pyjamas, this shows Betway’s interest in esports. Betway has a portfolio of well over 15 games like CSGO, League of Legends, Overwatch, Call of Duty, FIFA and Rocket League. 

When it comes to Betway, they’re not shy when offering a fair bonus, they currently have 100% matched deposit up to £30 (See how to trigger you free bonus below.)

2. ArcaneBet

ArcaneBet is one of the most highly rated esports betting sites. ArcaneBet only covers esports titles, this allows for them to be completely focussed on esports. If you’re looking at the most competitive odds when it comes to esports, ArcaneBet is your destination. They also offer an excellent esports streaming service and news coverage and is licensed by Curacao. When having a brief look at ArcaneBet they appeared to be completely safe and secure. 

3. Rivalry 

Rivalry originally started its foundations with esports, which is why we thought it was a little odd they only offered the biggest esports like CSGO, League of Legends and Dota 2. When it comes to bonuses, Rivalry has an interesting ‘challenge’ type bonus reward system. Also, they have a brilliant live streaming service. However, a slight negative is that they only have the US playing currency. 

4. Buff.bet 

When it comes to an esports betting site, Buff.bet is a great example. Their website is appropriately designed, has a brilliant streaming service, competitive odds and covers a wide range of esports titles. We’ve also recently implemented a live chat feature. 

At the moment, Buff.bet offers titles such as CSGO, League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, StarCraft2. 

When it comes to Buff.bet, it’s potentially one of the best bonuses around, they offer a double your first deposit welcome offer. Their sportsbook is highly rated and all sections offer brilliant welcome offers and bonuses. With all this being said, Buff.bet is one of our favorites. 

5. Unikrn 

Unikrn is one of the oldest esports betting sites around and it is completely dedicated to esports betting. The Seattle-based site offers huge excitement when betting on esports. Unikrn is one of the oldest esports betting sites around, established in 2014 and had huge investments by Ashton Kutcher and Mark Cuban. 

The site obviously offers a wide range of titles such as CSGO, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Overwatch, PUBG, StarCraft, Call of Duty and many others. Unikrn is also dedicated to being completely transparent and has sworn to be as secure as possible, keeping your information and money secure. Unikrn is part of the Esports Integrity Coalition and is licensed by the Isle of Man Gambling Commission.  

Unikrn has also developed their own cryptocurrency, UnikrnGold, and has a ‘uMode’ which allows you to bet on your own game-play. 

6. Cyber.Bet (Bonus)

Cyber.Bet is one of the most highly rated esports betting sites when it comes to competitive odds, they also have a wide range of available titles such as Dota 2, CSGO, Overwatch, League of Legends and Call of Duty. 

They also have a brilliant welcome offer that allows you to get a little bit extra from your esports bets. They’ve also embedded a brilliant Twitch stream that changes to which game you’re betting on. 

Their simplistic design makes it easy for new customers, but can be a little simple for anyone who is an experienced punter.

7. Thunderpick

The best for last, Thunderpick is an interesting esports betting site, it’s clear that Thunderpick are esports fans and mobile and desktop viewing experience is one of the best amongst the esportsbooks. The clear design is also perfect for any new punter.

Thunderpick offers a maximum €500 matched deposit, one of the best among the websites.

Thunderpick has most titles within the esports world from CSGO, League of Legends and Dota 2.

Choosing The Best Esports Bookmakers 

Really, it comes down to what you want in an esports betting site. Some want the best bonus, level of coverage when it comes to esports, customer service, features and importantly odds. 

One tip is, keep to one website, when betting on multiple sites this can be confusing and tricky to deal with all the odds and winning/profits. 

The range of esports betting sites offered is an important one, most dedicated esports fans will likely want to bet on multiple games, Betway is probably your best bet for this, they have over 15 games available. 

Customer care is potentially one of the most under-rated aspects of reviews, so make sure to look at our reviews and establish that aspect. 

Live betting should also be a must when it comes to esports betting sites, esports tournaments are very dynamic so top esports betting sites should have this element included. 

Full list of must-haves in a sportsbook:

  • Payment methods – Wide range of payment methods supported by the esports casino? Visa, Paypal, Skrill or Neteller?
  • In-play betting and markets – Many of the sportsbooks we review have in-play betting odds and some very good markets to bet with.
  • Welcome offer, free bet and deposit bonuses – For some, this is a big aspect, does the site have a brilliant welcome offer, free bet or deposit bonus like Betway or GG Bet?
  • Security – Is the site secure, in order to keep your bet-slip and information from getting into the wrong hands?
  • Games supported – Does the esports betting site have a wide range of games supported?
  • Promotions and rewards – Do the website have promotions or rewards? Like Rivalry’s unique reward system
  • Mobile usability and multi-device usage – Is the esportsbook available on mobile? or have a cross-platform website
  • Coverage of esports – Does the esports casino have coverage of the esports games you wish to bet on?

In essence, all of the sites we review have some level of all of these elements, so make sure you pick which ones are important to you as a punter.

eSports Explained

Esports are competitive video games brought to the professional level. Esports is a term used to describe a variety of different video games, rather than any particular one. There are several different game genres that are commonly played at the professional level, traditionally FPS (first-person shooters), MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), strategy, cards, and fighting games, though sports and racing games are on the rise, as well.

Teams are formed for the purposes of competing in tournaments and these normally bear the name of the organization funding them but there are a few stand-alone teams. Much like with traditional sports, sponsors provide funding and equipment to teams and organizations to promote their brands. These include giant conglomerates such as Audi’s endorsement of Astralis and Betway’s sponsoring of Ninjas in Pyjamas. Gambling brands are one of the most commonly seen sponsors in the eSports industry, alongside computer hardware manufacturers.

As far as the players are concerned, they are treated like professional athletes for the most part. Teams offer salaries to signed players and provide them with the necessary equipment and hardware to play. Top-tier teams often provide lodging for their players, known as a gaming house, where all members of a team live and practice together. This custom began in South Korea with Starcraft competitors and carried over to the West.

Tournaments are hosted regularly across all different types of eSports and they generally fall into three categories. Minor tournaments are small-scale events, which feature smaller prize pools and are normally attended by mid-tier teams who have not yet made a name for themselves in the international scene. They can be played both online and offline at a physical venue, depending on the tournament.

Major tournaments are premium events where no expense is spared for production and quality. These events offer large prize pools, typically ranging anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000 or more. These are attended by the best of the best and are hosted at real-world establishments, such as sports arenas or theaters. Viewer attendance can range from several hundred to tens of thousands, while online viewership can go up in the millions. This type of event is hosted by a team of professional commentators, analysts and journalists.

Qualifier tournaments are hosted with the intention of deciding who is most worthy of attending the Major events. While these may feature a cash prize of some sort, teams aim to win a seed (a place) in the larger tournament. Depending on the Major event, Qualifier tournaments may be held over multiple continents and countries. Most of the esports betting sites like Unikrn, Betway, Bet365, Pinnacle and William Hill allow players to place bets on such events.

Skin Betting Sites vs Esports Betting Sites

Sites like ‘CSGOLounge’ and ‘CSGOSkins’ which are classified as ‘informal betting sites’ – These can be unregulated and insecure so choosing a mainstream website or one which is regulated is a must. 

Moving your bet to a mainstream sportsbook mitigates both. You get to work with a frequently heavily licenced and regulated operator–in fact, many of the sports betting operators we list are publicly traded. This provides a level of transparency and assurance that you will never reach informal betting markets like CSGOLounge. And since you’re handling cash all the time, there’s no concern about price volatility or selling your items.

So, sportsbook betting is more reliable and better overall. Skin Betting comes with many risks.

Which Esports Casino Has the Best Welcome Offers and Bonuses?

The terminology of ‘Free bets’ refers to a ‘welcoming bet’ offered by a sports bookie to introduce a player to their bookie instead of a competing one, in essence, it’s a method to attract you to use Betway instead of Bet365 for example.

Also, you should always read the fine print, so we’d advise you to do that before placing any bets. 

Here are some of the terminology you’ll need to learn when opening your bet on your favorite tournament.

  • Bonus Rate – Usually there is a percentage of a bonus – that is the corresponding amount. Any deposit will be “equivalent” to that rate (up to the bonus limit).
  • Bonus Limit – The bonus cap.
  • Minimum/Maximum Deposit – Usually there is a floor for match bonuses which means that at least a minimum amount needs to be deposited.
  • Betting requirement – You have to wager a certain amount of real money to change bonus funds into playing funds.
  • Time frame – Usually there is a certain timeline to collect and receive the bonus.

For example, Betway esports, offers $30, £30, €30 free bets on signups, however, there are some things you need to do to complete the free bet. To activate it, you must:

  • Open an account with Betway
  • Deposit a minimum of £10/€10/$10 within 7 days of sign up.
  • Once you’ve deposited the value above, the free bet will be added to your account.
  • You must place bets totalling the value of your deposit.
  • Betway only allows the free bet within 7 days of deposit. 
  • You can’t use the bet for more than one bet.

Some esports casinos will offer different types of welcome offers when new and exciting tournaments arise, For example, League of Legends Worlds, the SuperBowl of the esports world. 

Modern ‘sports’ betting bookies aren’t as generous as they once were, however, with the rise of esports, we may see a rise in free bets once all the esports betting sites start betting with free bet offers.

What are the best tournaments to bet on with Betway, ArcaneBet, Rivalry, Unikrn and Cyber.Bet

Most focus on the major tournaments, but betting on the minor tournaments shouldn’t be ignored. You can get some heavy returns by betting on the smaller events. Esports casinos like Pinnacle feature some amazing odds for both major tournaments and minor tournaments.

The expansion of tournaments has been ten-fold the last couple years, with IEM, ESL and other tournaments being announced.

Some of the largest esports tournaments to bet on:

  • Overwatch League
  • League of Legends Worlds
  • International Dota 2
  • Call of Duty World League (CWL)

Esports Coverage and Free Live Streaming

When using your favorite esports betting site to place a bet on your favorite esports title, you’ll want to watch the game live or at least read some news related to the tournament, so many of the bookmakers we review have embedded Twitch streams, esports news sections or have their own streaming service like Juked.gg.

For example, here are some of the best esports betting sites that support live-betting and have the best free streaming service which can give the punter more excitement when watching your favorite game.

Using a free live streaming service, this can result in a more successful bet.

Which Is The Best Esports Betting Site for Mobile Usability? 

It’s as simple as loading up one of the betting sites listed above on your mobile, however, if you’re looking at betting on a mobile app, Betway, Bet365 and other traditional sportsbooks will have specialised apps, unfortunately, esports sportsbooks like ArcaneBet and Loot.bet don’t have apps but their websites have great mobile compatibility.

Simply load up the section, if it is IEM Katowice or ESL Los Angeles, make your selection and place your bet. Then, load up Twitch, Youtube or Mixer and watch the tournament unfold.

Do All Sportsbooks Offer all Tournaments and Matches? 

Same of the websites don’t offer the same esports tournaments and games. Bet365, Betway and ArcaneBet are all constantly adapting to the industry and learning about which esports and tournaments are the most successful.

It really comes down to the limited understanding of esports, this is because it’s a new industry and many bookies don’t provide individual esports and understand that it should be a separate new industry.

Some of the esports bookies are testing the waters with esports so bookies are often offering tournaments like ‘International’ Dota 2 tournament but not some Call of Duty Leagues.

Are All Esports Betting Websites Regulated? 

Almost all of the esports betting sites we review and cover have signed up to regulators such as The UK Gambling Commission, Curacao Gambling Commission and The Gibraltar Gambling Commission. The above commissions are generally the best if you want a secure esports betting site or a betting site in general.

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