Playing games professionally and the industry that arisen around it, known in the community as ‘Esports’, is now one of the world’s fastest-growing and most lucrative forms of entertainment. High-profile tournaments now come stacked with prize pools worth hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to the influx of investment from huge partners around the world, and betting on Esports has now become a popular pursuit for those within the community. Here are some of the best games you can begin betting on within the Esports industry.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) began life as a fan-made mod for Half-Life 2, before being acquired by the game’s creators, Valve Corporation. Since then, the game has grown to become one of the most played and followed games in the entire world of Esports. Known for its high skill ceiling that places far more emphasis on communication, teamwork, strategy and quick bursts of action, CS:GO boasts one of the most stacked competitive calendars in the entire Esports calendar.
With a community that is continuing to grow even over eight years on from its original release, and a whole plethora of longstanding and increasingly lucrative tournaments available for betting on all year round, CS:GO is still one of the most popular Esport titles out there for betting on.
League of Legends
Riot Games’ League of Legends is the most popular massively multiplayer online battle arena game of its time, and is in many ways one of the first titles people think of when it comes to the wonderful world of competitive Esports. Riot Games’ flagship franchise was first released in October 2009, and has gone on to cultivate together one of the most popular and diverse fan bases around the world.
The game’s intense strategy and high skill ceiling makes it a popular game for wagering, with League of Legends betting markets often the most competitive and engaged with options for bookmakers. Whilst Esports betting specialist sites such as Unikrn.com are the most popular options for fans, more and more brick and mortar bookmakers have begun to embrace the growth of Esports as a sector of the entertainment industry and will have League of Legends betting odds and markets available to wager on.
Epic Games’ Fortnite was undoubtedly the cultural phenomenon of its time, bridging the gap between the gaming industry and the mainstream in ways never before thought possible. For many gamers out there, Fortnite has been their segway into the world of professional gamers and huge tournaments that come part and parcel with the Esports industry.
2019 saw Fortnite break new boundaries with the very first annual Fortnite World Cup, held in New York in August. The event broke records with its $35 million prize pool spread across the solos, duos and creative competitions and headlines were broken right across the world as seventeen year old pro player Bugha bagged himself $3 million in earnings. The Fortnite World Cup saw a huge amount of new bettors being welcomed at online wagering sites, and the game’s huge popularity within the gaming sector has seen it remain as a popular pick for bettors ever since its breakthrough.
The longstanding rival to League of Legends, Dota 2 is regarded as one of the toughest games to master with a skill ceiling notoriously high within the gaming community. Valve’s entry into the MOBA world began with the original Defence of the Ancients, however its 2013 sequel has really ushered in the golden age of massively multiplayer online battle arenas.
Those who follow Dota 2 do so with a huge amount of passion and knowledge for the game, and that so often finds a way of nestling into them putting their money where their mouths are in the Esports betting community. Events such as the annual crowd-funded International tournament are shining examples of just how glamorous and impressive the Esports industry has become in recent times, with its latest prize pool of $36 million still representing the go-to figure to beat. Unsurprisingly, events such as Dota 2’s International are regularly amongst the most wagered on within the Esports industry every year.