eSports Betting For Beginners
The term esports stands for ‘electronic sports’, which is used to describe a video game that has a professional competitive scene that allows for professional play. Some of the biggest esports games are Dota 2, Counter-Strike, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. In recent years, esports gaming has taken the world by storm, with countless celebrities and social-media stars coming into the space and bringing mass attention to it in the process.
Although it might have seemed unthinkable just a few years ago, esports now awards some of the highest prize-money totals in the entire sports and gaming space. In fact, a recent Call of Duty tournament paid out half a million dollars in prizes including a massive $200,000 for the first-place winner. When looking at the numbers – the top five esports games have paid out a combined $578 million dollars – it is clear that esports is a massively growing sector that offers several career options, be it as a player or content-creator.
But before considering trying to make a career in esports, it’s important to consider your motivation. With tens of thousands of players vying for the lion’s share of competition earnings, and likely just as many inspired to make content across Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube, it’s critical that you are motivated to enter this space by a pure passion for the games themselves, rather than the AdSense revenue. That’s because – just as with any other discipline these days – if you are not inspired by the activity itself, it will be incredibly difficult to maintain the level of content creation that can compete with those who live, eat, and breathe esports. So rather than rushing in with a full head of steam only to face quickly dwindling motivation once the inevitable hurtles appear – such as poor engagement numbers or low YouTube views – take some time to ask yourself why you’re heading down this path, and whether it’s a reason that will enable you to grind through the pain.
With that said, let’s take a look now at the five primary ways you can make money on esports.
How to Make Money On Esports
- Prize Money – although it’s most definitely possible with enough practice and dedication, unless you are already an incredible player in one of main esport video games, making good money via tournament prizes is likely to take years of hard work and no pay. However, for those passionate enough about the games, this is also one of the most satisfying ways to make money on esports.
- Content Creation – be it reporting on the matches, making video highlights, or streaming the games yourself, there are a near infinite number of ways for esports fans to get in the action and start building an audience.
- Sponsorship – for those players who make it to either the professional or high-viewership content-creation level, sponsorship is one of the “easiest” ways to make money on esports, as it generally requires nothing more than featuring the company doing the sponsoring.
- Merchandise – regardless if you’re a professional esports player or esports Twitch streamer, offering your fans a way to show their support via ‘merch’ purchases is a great way for esports players to build a cashflow stream, especially now with the rise of merchandise printing & dropshipping services such as Redbubble and Teespring.
- Betting – for those who have significant experience with esports players and teams, esport betting on matches via a sportsbook is a fun way to join in on the action. In fact many online betting sites now offer attractive deposit bonuses, like Americas Cardroom who matches first-deposits 100% up to $2000. It’s among the best esports betting options out there.
How to Bet on Esports
Much like any other sporting or event-based betting, actually placing esports bets requires only that you log in to your sportsbook account, find the team or player you believe has the edge, and enter an amount you are willing to wager. However, as with any other bet, remember that e sports betting can be incredibly volatile and thus you should never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Esports Betting Tips
- Bet on what you know – the second biggest mistake people getting into esports gambling for the first time make (keep reading to see the first) is betting on too many different game-titles. Just as with traditional sports-betting, the most profitable approach is to become an expert in one arena before moving on to the next. Therefore, regardless of what match is happening that specific day, make sure the game you’re betting on is one that you know well, both the game itself and the players/teams competing in it.
- Research the latest news – just as millions are won and lost in traditional sports-betting by staying tuned in to injury updates, so too can e-sport betting benefit from reading the latest news and rumors from around the industry, be it via Reddit, Twitter, or each team’s own Discord channel.
- Bet small to start – as promised, the single biggest mistake people engaging in esport gambling make is overleveraging and blowing out their bankroll. Rather than seeing it as a get rich quick scheme that will allow you to retire in 3 months, dive into it as a fan first and size-down your bets at the beginning. One thing that professional gamblers understand that very few amateurs fail to consider is that the first goal should not be to win money, but rather to stay in the game long-enough to allow yourself to build up your skills. If you can do that by keeping your bankroll safe in the process, becoming a profitable esports bettor is a much more likely scenario. Besides, if you enjoy betting on esports today, you’ll likely enjoy it in the future as well, so make sure to practice a bankroll-management style that will allow you to continue chasing your passion!
eSports Betting For Beginners: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Can I Get Better At eSports?
Much as with anything else in life, the short answer is simply: practice! As anyone who’s spent some time playing games such as Call Of Duty or Fortnite can attest to, it takes significant time to get your bearings and begin building a solid game-strategy. In addition to putting a lot of time in your gaming chair, it is equally as important (at least for most) to dedicate an equal amount to watching tutorials, live-streams, and general gaming tips via YouTube and Twitch.
By observing the unique way each high-level player approaches each specific game, you can bypass much of the learning curve and get caught up to speed much faster than you would trying to do it on your own. Of course, if you enjoy being a solitary learner – and are willing to commit the extra time to doing it yourself – by all means follow whatever path suits you best. But for those looking to speed up the process, consider finding a digital ‘mentor’ (or five) and using their experience to build yours.
How Do I Bet on eSports in the US?
To bet on esports in the US, simply find a reputable betting platform with a great deposit bonus such as Americas Cardroom. Then continue just as you would with any other bet, selecting a side and amount you’d like to wager.
What Is eSport Gambling?
eSports gambling is when you bet on (or against) an esports team to win (or lose) their match. You can bet on it ‘straight up’ or play the spread just like with traditional sports-betting. The best esports betting sites give you lots of betting options and competitive odds.
Is eSports Gambling Illegal?
The definition of illegal gambling in the US has changed constantly over the past couple of decades as legislation is enacted both federally and at the state level. The debate will likely continue for some time as the definition of ‘games of chance that do not involve any skill’ is a contested clause that appears to preclude games like poker and esports from inclusion.
How Do You Win an eSports Bet?
To win an esport bet, the team you bet on must be declared as the official winner in the specified match. If you bet on the spread or the total number of games within a match, your team will have needed to ‘cover’ under those specifications when placing esport bets. Don’t forget to look for an esports betting bonus to boost your returns when choosing a site.
How Do Odds Work in Gambling?
Simply think of +200 (or +300, or +550) as the amount of money you’d win for every $100 wagered should your side of the bet complete. Alternatively, when looking at negative numbers such as -200, -300, -800, that is the amount you’d need to risk to win $100 (plus your initial bet back). The bigger the number, the more of an underdog that team is, while the “smaller” (further below zero), the more the team is considered a favorite. Esports odds work just like the odds in traditional sports like basketball.
Are +200 eSports Odds Good?
Once again, the easiest way to think of it is that, with odds, whatever number is behind the + is how much you’d win for every $100 wagered. So, for example, if you bet $100 on the Toronto Raptors to beat the Los Angeles Lakers after an injury to their star player moved their odds to +200, if they pull off the victory you’ll receive $200 – your initial bet of $100, plus $100 in profits.
What Else Should I Consider When Betting on eSports?
As mentioned above, it’s important to recognize that betting on anything is not a get-rich-quick scheme; as the saying goes – there is no such thing as easy money! So, if you’re going to decide to get involved in esports betting, make sure that you create some balance in your life by taking care of your diet, getting regular exercise, spending time away from your screens, and keeping your real-life relationships in a healthy place. That way (and in addition to proper bankroll management), whether you win or lose, the quality of your life will not suffer and you will put yourself in a position to succeed not just in the short term, but the long term as well.
What Are the Top eSports Teams?
When electing to bet on an esports match, it’s always good to have some historical data at your disposal. Because while the past is not necessarily a predictor of the future, it is a good bet that those teams that have been dominating this relatively new scene, will be in the best position to continue their growth and achieve more successes. These teams also make good candidates for you to begin learning new game-titles through, as you know the strategy they use are well-conceived and battle-tested. With that in mind, here are the top 10 esports teams based on prize-money won, as well as the number of tournaments they’ve competed in.
|Team's Name||Total Amount||Winnings|
|1||Team Liquid||37444200.7||2025 Tournaments|
|3||Evil Geniuses||24666338.49||887 Tournaments|
|7||Vici Gaming||13560150||284 Tournaments|
|8||Natus Vincere||13281993.51||534 Tournaments|
|9||Team Secret||12323192.58||298 Tournaments|