The biggest challenges in betting on esports and how to beat them
Esports betting is exciting, there's no doubt about that. It keeps you at the edge of your seat during your favorite games and even rewards you for knowing your stuff.
But since esports betting is equal parts new and exciting in the betting industry, there are some challenges that newcomers may not be aware of. Once you know what to look out for, esports betting becomes a more rewarding experience. Let's clear up a few things to help you dive in.
Challenge #1: Avoiding illegal betting websites
Esports betting has its roots in skin gambling sites, most of which operate illegally with no gambling license. In 2016, Valve sent a cease and desist notice to all known skin gambling sites, which greatly reduced the number of skin betting operations. Without any regulations, restrictions, or safe guards, skin betting and other illegal esports betting sites are potentially dangerous to take part in.
Luckily, the popularity of skin gambling gave way to many legal and regulated esports betting platforms like Betway. It can take a while for companies to get the right licenses to run esports betting operations, but it's worth it so customers can avoid scams and other illegal activities.
Challenge #2: Finding the right sportsbook site
As esports betting gains popularity, more and more options are becoming available for fans looking to cash in on their favorite games. There's legacy sportsbooks with esports offerings, purist esports sportsbooks sites, and crypto betting platforms. So how do you know which platform is right for you?
Look for sportsbooks that don't just display the odds, but offer you in-depth match analysis, team data, news, and other useful contextual content to help you place smarter bets. For more information on picking the right site for you, check out this guide.
Challenge #3: Understand and compare the odds
While the numbers may seem only slightly different, you'll start to see a notable impact on your overall betting results if you don't take best prices into consideration. All betting sites will have varying odds for the same match results and it's up to you to pick which one sounds the best for you.
Even though it sounds straightforward, you must also consider if you're looking for the site offering the best potential return, meaning you should pick the site with slightly worse odds, or the site that makes it easier to win because it has the best odds.
This becomes something that skilled bettors find a good balance in when comparing esports sportsbooking sites.
Challenge #4: Understanding the games
For a lot of people looking to expand their betting prospects, esports is an entirely new animal. Games such as League of Legends and Dota 2 can be difficult to comprehend at first, thanks to their expansive rosters and complex in-game strategies. If you're looking to make the most well-informed bet you can, you might have to start by watching a game or two. You can even try playing the game to really get a feel for the action.
Understanding the game you're betting on is quite important, since it will help you better comprehend what's going on during the matches. This is essential if you're planning to take part in some live esports betting, since you'll want to know if a certain character ban will greatly affect a particular team, if a team is ahead in an important metric, or even if a certain map choice favors a team in a game like Counter-Strike.
Challenge #5: Keeping up to date with games
Unlike football or basketball, esports titles are often changing thanks to frequent patches and updates. Updates in games like League of Legends or Dota 2 can add entirely new champions, can see champions nerfed right out of the active playing meta, or even change the map, items, and general objectives. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have a changing map pool, meaning players might compete in different environments each year.
These things are important to keep track of, since these changes could greatly effect the teams competing in upcoming tournaments. Maybe one team had a one-trick whose champion is no longer viable in the current meta thanks to a nerf. Or maybe one team's favorite map was added to the competitive pool.
Challenge #6: Staying aware of roster changes
In-game changes aren't the only things you have to remain aware of if you want to make well-informed bets. Like traditional sports, esports teams can trade, sign, or bench players based on their performance, attitude, and other factors.
Sometimes there are unexpected situations that affect a team's roster. This can leave a team with stand-ins, which may not have as much practice or potential as the team's preferred roster. For example, Team Liquid used an Academy player in their first week of the LCS Spring Split when one of their players had visa issues. This is a roster change you'd want to be aware of ahead of betting on their matches.
Updates like these can be found on WIN.gg, as well as recent match results and other important news leading up to the matches you have your eyes on.