Introduction to eSports
Electronic sports, or eSports, is the competitive playing of video games between two or more players. The earliest competition dates back to the early ‘70s when competitors played early games such as ping-pong on individual machines to attain the highest score or the target for the competition. Back then, individual machines were not linked, but with the advances in technology, linking machines within the same close environment became possible.
Now, of course, you can link up to opponents from all over the globe to compete. Organized competitions are now widespread, and there are official governing bodies who control the bigger eSports competition events. eSports is now classified as an official sport, and there are even professional players.
With the organization of these events, naturally, this became an attractive market for the betting industry, and today’s statistics show that eSports betting online has become hugely popular.
What type of eSport games exist, and what are their rules?
From its humble beginning with games like Space invaders and Asteroids, eSports is unrecognizable today by comparison. A wide variety of games are played, role-playing war games and racing. Virtual sports such as golf, soccer, basketball, and many others attract a huge following. The amount of games available, and the complexity of them, is staggering.
Let’s look at some of the more popular games and what they entail.
This is an online multiplayer battle arena game. Rated as one of the top online eSports betting games. It is played in domestic leagues globally, which leads to the qualification for the League of Legends World Championship.
Two teams of five each take part, with each player controlling a character that has to fight its way through various adversaries. The goal is destroying the Nexus, which is the focal point of the game.
Produced by Blizzard Entertainment, this game features two teams of six, with each player taking on a character with various powers. The game is map-driven, with the aim to capture certain locations within a specific time frame.
Overwatch is popular as an eSports game and is played in several leagues, mainly in the USA.
Published by Valve, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online game featuring two teams of five players. The format is player-to-player combat, with the objective to capture the enemy’s base while defending your own. This game is the subject of several tournaments worldwide.
This game belongs to the military science-fiction genre and is produced by Blizzard.
It has been evolving, with several new chapters added since its release. Popular as an eSports event, notably in Korea, Starcraft II is played over three scenarios, with several different missions in each.
Another military first-person shooter type game, developed by Valve. The theme of the game is terrorism vs counter-terrorism and involves scenarios such as hostage rescue and bomb disposal defusal. Played on eSports by two teams of five players each, in a best of 30 contest. Various weapons are available to both teams throughout the game.
Counter-strike is a popular eSports game and the subject of several leagues and tournaments, including the Star Ladder Major, which comprises 24 teams. eSports betting on Counter-strike has been the focal point of controversy, and while betting is available, it may not be as widespread as before.
Without a doubt, one of the most played soccer video games of all time. From the EA Sports stable, FIFA is well represented as an eSports online betting subject, and virtual International tournaments are held.
Qualification rounds are held domestically to determine the entrants into the main tournaments. The governing body for these tournaments is FIFAe, governed by FIFA. The primary tournament is the FIFAe World Cup, held annually. eSports betting on FIFAe is well represented, with most major bookmakers offering eSports odds on the events. Online betting markets are similar to those associated with the actual game.
A first-person shooter game, originally set in WWII. Primarily developed by Infinity Ward and released in 2003, this game is one of the earliest and best-known military roleplay simulations. As an online eSports game, Call of Duty can be played in either ladder or tournament format, with a substantial prize going to the eventual winner. The game is very popular as an eSports game in the USA, by far its biggest support base. Most of the top eSports online betting sites offer odds on Call of duty tournaments.
A multiplayer battle arena game, played by teams of five people . The main objective of the game is to destroy the opposition’s main structure before they destroy yours. Most eSports online betting sites offer odds and counter-strike odds on Heroes, and the game’s popularity as an online betting choice is growing as a result.
The evolution of eSports has led to several high-profile online tournaments and competitions. Naturally, these attract online betting. Here are some of the major eSports competitions.
- League of Legends World Championship
Hosted by Riot Games, this event is held at the close of each season. Finalists compete for the 32kg Summoners Cup, and a multi-million dollar prize fund. The popularity of the event is borne out by the 2018 final’s viewership of almost 100 million. The tournament moves to different countries each year.
- Battle.net World Championship
This was the branding used by Blizzard Entertainment for the 2012 championship featuring their World of Warcraft and Starcraft II video game franchises. It has subsequently been replaced by the Starcraft II World Championship Series, featuring only the game of that name.
- The International
Operated by the International Esports Federation, with a membership of 60 countries. The first tournament was held in South Korea in 2009, with the latest hosted by Eilat, Israel, in 2020. Four different games are played during the tournament. There are regular test matches between nations and tri-nations events.
Dreamhack specializes in the organization of eSports events, primarily in Europe and North America. A prize pool of over US$360 000 is attached to the Dreamhack events, and the eSports competitions attract players from all over the world. In 2020 Dreamhack merged with the ESL (Electronic Sports League)
- Electronic Sports World Cup
Now retitled as the Electronic Sports World Convention, this annual event is usually hosted in Paris, France, although there have been finals in both the USA and Canada. Winners of qualifying events held internationally gather to represent their nations at this prestigious event, which often is held in conjunction with the eSports Expo convention.
- FIFA Interactive World Cup
Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest online gaming tournament in the world, the event, now known as the FIFAe World Cup, is held annually, with a different host nation each year. International online qualifying rounds culminate in 32 players entering the finals. The first round is held as a group phase, with the top 16 advancing to the knockout stages. Covered by live streaming on Youtube and television, the event has a viewership in more than 100 countries.
- Overwatch League
This is a dedicated league for the Overwatch video game, owned by developer Blizzard, and run by subsidiary company Major League Gaming. Played in teams of six, who must qualify through a series of preliminary matches. The leagues are divided into four zones.
- Call of Duty World League
Call of Duty World League dates from 2016. Each version of the game has its own tournament. Prize pools are now often exceeding US$2 million.
Where to bet on eSports
With the growth of eSports, the number of online eSports betting sites is showing a marked increase. Not all of these sites are good at what they profess to offer, and we recommend visiting eSports betting guides such as esportsbets before committing yourself. Several traditional sports bookmakers are offering eSports odds to supplement their portfolios, and we suggest going with the more established bookies.
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eSports Facts and History
The first known video game competition was in 1972. A primitive affair, it comprised a batch of students trying to reach the highest score. Identical stand-alone computers were used, and the player with the highest was adjudged the winner.
As computers developed, so did e-gaming, and soon many commercial machines were to be found in arcades, malls, and even the local store. eSports encourages competition, and soon games were developed where one player could face-off against another, as opposed to a computer. Home consols became popular. In 1980, the Space Invaders Competition attracted over 10 000 participants, and the eSports tournament was born.Advances in online connectivity allowed e-gaming to progress to new levels. Players could now compete against any opponent, wherever they were. Naturally, such competition soon led to organized events, usually set up by game developers.
By 2010, eSports had attained commercial status, with a large number of players turning professional. eSports is now recognized as a sport in most circles, and moves are in place to have it incorporated in the Olympic Games.
eSports has come a long way since its primitive origins. The story is not over. With constant advances in technology and gaming, the future growth of eSports will be phenomenal. eSports Fantasy betting has grown hand-in-hand and will continue to do so. We doubt that back in 1972, those early pioneers would have imagined that eSports would become the industry that it is today.
We hope these answers will give you more tips on eSports.
How does eSports betting work?
Very similar to traditional sports betting. There are various markets specific to each game.
How do you win an eSports bet?
Usually, the bets will involve predicting a winner or the outcome of a game scenario. Bet correctly, and you win.
What eSports game is most popular for betting?
FIFAe is probably the most popular game, and the FIFAe World Cup attracts the most bettors.
Is eSports international?
Yes, there are players in almost every country.
What is the minimum age for eSports betting?
Generally 18, but each country will have its legal limit.