Gambling meets computer games - the two most competitive and lucrative fields of gaming. If you are aware of the fact that PCs are capable of more than doing spreadsheets, then you are quite familiar with the concept of eSports, where two teams face off inside the digital worlds of FIFA, NBA, League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO. As tournaments began burgeoning in early 2010s, the industry gradually developed into a multi-billion-dollar industry, with new tournament titles entering the scene every year. This article is for two main stripes of readers: the avid gamers who have zero clue as to how on earth you bet on your favourite team and the experienced punters who are always on the lookout for the next opportunity!What are the most popular tournaments?
The scene of eSports is constantly shifting because audiences must be kept entertained at all times. Unlike decades ago, when Dota and CS:GO dominated every competition, today virtually any game could be capitalised on.
However, there are a few titles that have managed to stay afloat after decades of changing tastebuds:
1. League of Legends
League of Legends was conceived in 2008 and follows the archetype of DOTA and other MOBA games. Though many would say that the popularity of the game has been dwindling since its absolute peak in 2015–2016, the League of Legends World Championship Final still enjoys more than 5 million viewers.
As the game grew in size and scope, a complex web of major and minor tournaments emerged, allowing competitors from all walks of life to compete against each other.
However, the major tournaments you would be able to bet on are:
- Weibo Cup
- Demacia Cup
- eSports Championships East Asia
- European Masters
All of which lead to the grand finale of League’s World Cup.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is the sequel of the cult classic Counter Strike 1.6. CS 1.6 began as an extra for another legendary game - Half Life - and, after meeting the approval of fans, took on its own course to become one of the most recognisable FPS games out there.
The prize pool of CS:GO (2012) rakes at about $150 million each year, being spread across multiple tournaments. But the ones worth checking out are:
- PGL Major: $2,000,000.00
- WESG - $1,500,000.00
- ELEAGUE: $1,410,000.00
- Intel Extreme Masters: $1,250,000.00
- BLAST Premier: Global Final: $1,000,000.00
- BLAST Premier: World Final: $1,000,000.00
3. Defense of the Ancients (DOTA 2)
DOTA 2 - shares a similarity with Counter-Strike in terms of backstory. DOTA began as a modification of World of Warcraft, as it placed WoW characters on a much smaller map. Soon, the idea spread like wildfire and turned out to be conducive to competitive tournaments. As of now, the total prize pool for DOTA 2 competitions is 315 million dollars.
The thing with DOTA2 is that the majority of the prize money goes into the main tournament: The International, which offered the astronomical sum of 40 million dollars in 2021.
Another tournament to look forward to is the Masters tournaments, which take place in a different city each year. Their prize pool, though dwarfed by the International’s, is large enough to be considered by a lot of online bookies. In 2022, it garnered over 4 million in prize money.
At last, the third type of DOTA 2 tournament to consider is the Major tournaments. They offer up to $3 million in prizes and are still a popular choice for bookies to stream.
In 2017, one game took the world of both PC and mobile gaming by storm. Fortnite quickly became the centre of everyone’s attention, so it was natural to turn it into a competitive eSport. Its free-for-all style makes it even more intense for viewers. For this reason, Fortnite comes in second place for largest gross tournament prizes, with over $150 million awarded so far.
The top-tier tournaments that everyone queues up for are:
- Fortnite World Cup
- Fortnite Skirmish Series
- Winter Royale
- Arena of Valor
Ten years ago, no one could’ve thought that our mobile phones would have the capacity to support a game as complex as League, Fortnite, or Arena of Valor.
Fashioned in the style of League of Legends, the game is mobile-exclusive and relies on agile fingertips and quick reactions. Since it comes from a Chinese developer, the majority of tournaments are based in China, but that doesn’t mean international ones are out of the question:
- International Tournament - $10, 000, 000. 00
- World Champion Cup: $7,500,00
- King Pro League Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall: $2-3,000,000How is betting on eSports any different?
To be frank, eSports may be different in every aspect to traditional sports, but in their core they are still treated in the same way by casinos. You still bet on a winner, loser, or a tie result. However, some of the markets may be different due to the nature of eSports.
For example, in traditional sports betting, you may be favouring a particular player, but in eSports, you can also bet on a specific character.
In addition, some game-specific bets may involve:
- Who will kill Baron/Dragon first (League of Legends-specifc)?
- How likely is it for a player to do a Penta Kill (League; DOTA2)?
- Will the counterterrorists diffuse the bomb as well as kill every terrorist (CS:GO)
- Who will be the game MVP?
- Who will get the most kills?
- Who will have the best farm (amount of minions/forest creatures killed)?
And so on and so forth. You can bet on every minute detail in these games since there are so many statistics involved.
And since we are talking numbers, cryptocurrency is also now a viable payment option. There are casinos supporting over 40 different kinds of tokens, so you, cryptobros, shouldn’t feel left out!Skin betting: a curious way of trading!
A third way of betting that strays from all types of currencies is skin betting. For the newcomers here, skins are a way for your to decorate your character or items in a game. Rarely do skins add any actual game advantage to your character, but they do make it more appealing and unique.
The reason some skins are so valuable is because they either can’t be bought directly from the games shop, and instead have to be won at tournaments, be part of a mystery box, or be bought during a limited, seasonal offer. This sort of scarcity boosts their value significantly, so they have an actual exchange value; such as chips at a casino. You may trade a skin for another, as is usually done in CS:GO, and then the skin could be resold at a higher markup.
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