Elite Level eSports Betting for the UK
Last updated: by Leon Marshal
The world of eSports betting is a new and intriguing one. Not many could have foreseen the exponential rise of online gaming, and with it has developed the need for betting on games such as DOTA 2, League of Legends, or CS:GO. It is our duty to provide you with the best eSports betting sites. With that in mind, our experts thoroughly tested many different aspects of these sites in order to see which ones stood up best. If you want a good overview, we’d recommend reading our whole review, or you can simply click on your favoured topic listed in the table below.
What does make up an excellent eSport bookie? Well, let us tell you that there are many different factors. First of all, it needs to be licensed by the Gambling Commission. We only list legal and licensed operators here, so you know they can be trusted. Additionally, things such as odds levels, and bonuses, directly influence your pocket, whilst others such as in-play betting, or markets on offer affect your overall gaming experience and dictate on which events you can play. Carry on reading to find our in-depth overview and our experiences.
The Best eSports Betting Sites and How to Choose Them
Are all eSports betting sites the same? What makes up the best? Well, there is no guaranteed method as a lot of the time personal preference comes into play when gambling. Nevertheless, we will see there are certain key performance indicators that we can use to rank them. Factors such as bonuses, odds levels, specific promotions, and more all come into consideration. With this in mind, our experts chose the five online bookies below, as the best for eSports betting. Not only that, they are great all-around operators and are successful in many facets of what they offer.
|Bookmaker||Welcome Bonus||Highlights||Rating||Visit Bookmaker||T&C|
|🥇 bet365||Up to £100||Markets: 37, Bet Types: 22, Odds Levels: 94.56%||5.0 out of 5||www.bet365.com||Full T&Cs Apply! Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.|
|🥈 Betfair||£100 Free Bet||Markets: 35, Bet Types: 20, Odds Levels: 91.02%||5.0 out of 5||www.betfair.com||Full T&Cs Apply! *New customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded.|
|🥉 Ladbrokes||£20 Bonus||Markets: 28, Bet Types: 19, Odds Levels: 91.89%||4.8 out of 5||www.ladbrokes.com||Full T&Cs Apply! 18+ New UK+IRE customers only. PayPal and certain deposit types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account registration at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.|
|⭐ Betway||£10||Markets: 29, Bet Types: 14, Odds Levels: 92.53%||4.7 out of 5||www.betway.com||Full T&Cs Apply! *New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.|
|⭐ Coral||£20 Free Bet||Markets: 27, Bet Types: 16, Odds Levels: 90.78%||4.6 out of 5||www.coral.com||Full T&Cs Apply! *18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions apply.|
In the following sections, we will go into detail about our findings and demonstrate why we came up with the online bookies listed above. First, in the section below, we will head into odds on offer at the various bookies. Perhaps you’ll be intrigued to know that we will also tell you about specific bet types for this sport, plus common tournaments and bonus offers. Stick around for an in-depth look at the top eSports betting sites.
eSports Betting Odds Levels
We find that when signing up for a new online betting site that odds levels are one of the most important things when determining you should play there. You can always tell if all they are interested in is your money by the odds they’re offering. The best eSports betting sites should always have high levels of payout, meaning they charge a low commission. Below you can see that our chosen bookies all have relatively similar offerings. These levels vary depending on the tournament, or even fluctuations in the market.
|League of Legends||94.56%||90.89%||90.99%||92.53%||90.02%|
To the average punter, maybe odds aren’t important. Even so, it is good to know, and if you are looking to place some big stakes, even a few percent can make a big difference. What’s more, odds can change depending on favourites and the type of bet, live betting generally offers lower odds as you can see what is happening and have a better frame of reference. Even so, the commission the bookmaker takes, shows how greedy they are, thus the higher the payout, the better it is for you!
Markets on Offer
As eSports betting is a relatively new market, the number of gambling sites that cover lots of events on offer isn’t so high. This is where the top bookies can stand out and make a big difference. You want to go somewhere you can find the League of Legends LCK Spring Split League or the CS:GO ESEA North America tournament. Not every operator will offer this, so it’s always good to know which ones have the most coverage. Below you can see the operators with the most events and which leagues/tournaments they do cover.
|League of Legends||12||4||4||12||3|
|Tour Down Under||1||1||1||1||1|
As you can see, in comparison to a sport such as football, there are a limited number of markets on offer. In this sense, eSports betting is similar to that of golf betting, where you have limited events to choose from. That makes it very important that the events taking place are covered; thus, you have to do a little research and make sure your chose operator covers what you are looking for.
Bonuses and Promotions
An average eSport betting site may not have many tailored promotions directly for this type of sport. Normally the best betting sites we review have many general sign-up offers of bonuses that can be used in conjunction with electronic sports. When signing up all you have to do is to opt into such a scheme, however, you have to make sure you read the T&Cs, and also the wagering conditions to make sure they are eligible. Even so, a site such as Betway does have tailored promotions directly for eSports, which entail things like weekly quests or objectives, where a certain amount of bets on a particular tournament can result in a free bet in return. It is best to keep an eye out on your favourite site, as promotions constantly change, so make sure you don’t miss out!
Live eSports Betting Arena
When a competition is taking place, things can change quickly. An LVP Superliga match can turn in an instant; this is where live eSport betting can come to the fore. Many of the sites featured offer in-play for certain events. This means you can place a bet as the action unfolds, or better yet, if you have an inkling something is going to change, you can place a wager before they do, and then reap the rewards of your hunch. In our slideshow below, you are able to see the different platforms and the live events they offer. The best sites all offer great coverage and in-play options, so you can play as things are happening.
The best thing about live eSports betting is that online bookies usually offer a live stream of the event taking place. This is particularly the case if it is a big game or a battle between the top players. There is nothing better than seeing the Nexus destroyed by your favoured team on the Summoner’s Rift map. For the uninitiated, we are talking about League of Legends here! Come on, keep up! The great thing about a live stream is that you can really see the way in which a team is playing, thus you can make a better judgement on the bet you want to place.
Of course, you probably all use Twitch.tv to watch your favourite streamer, but just keep in mind the bookie you are playing with also provides you with the option, should you so desire.
Utilising Cash Out
A great feature many bookies offer these days is the ability to cash out. What does that mean? Well, generally, it means an operator will offer you the option to cash out your winnings early, at a reduced odds rate. Why would you do that, you ask? Well, a great thing would be if you sense the wind is changing and your bet is likely to fail, you take the money offered and watch with joy as your hunch comes true.
On the other hand, this could be a very wasteful thing, and that is what the bookies are counting on. Many times you cash out early and your bet is graded a winner, losing you a decent chunk of profit. So be careful, it can work both ways!
Bet Types Available in eSports
As eSports betting in the UK is different from normal sports betting, you’d expect a few different options available to wager. You are not wrong, of course, there are some traditional ones, like predicting the match winner, but as you can see below there are other intriguing bet types. This fascinating sport is filled with different events and tournaments, below you can find the best three bet types available for you to play with. Of course, there are more, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Match Winner Bet
The easiest and most common type of bet for eSports is predicting the match winner. Since most games are head to head, you only choose one person. Even though it sounds easy, the odds offered aren’t very big, as there are only two outcomes. So, it could be better to make an accumulator or similar. Sometimes games are contested between teams, or individual players. Doing a little research and seeing form tables can help you in predicting a winner.
Total Maps Bet
For most electronic sports, such as League of Legends (LOL) or CS:GO, players will play a set of maps; usually the number is 5. The winner is the person who finishes with the most victories. Therefore, this is a good bet, if you know a player is dominant and will get more than a certain amount of victories. Of course, some teams/players are better suited to certain maps, so once again research pays dividends. This is a great bet for beginners.
Total Maps Bet
One of our favourite bets is the so-called ‘first-blood’ bet. In gaming speak, this is the first person to make a kill. You could simply say, the best player will do this, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You may notice, that some players are quick out of the block, then fade later on. These are the types of bets you would target, and if you are lucky enough, you could find good odds offered.
As eSports betting sites continue to develop, so do the features that they offer. With this being a sport that is played year-round, there is always something to find. Not all betting companies are fully invested in this sector, but the ones that are, truly push the boundaries of what is capable. As eSports already take place in a virtual world, there is no specific ‘virtual betting’ for this field, instead, there are other features that have developed, that we will address in the box below.
These types of bets are very popular amongst the more casual of fans. The concept is, that the online bookmaker will offer you a boosted price of a particular market, and you will have a small amount of time to decide whether to place a stake. In other words, the bookie does the brain work for you, and you just need to decide if it is the bet for you. They will usually pop up in your browser, or smartphone, and will happen whilst you are watching an event live. They are there to grab your attention, but you still should use your judgment before staking.
New eSports Betting Sites
All the sites featured with us are trustworthy. With newer sites, that is not always the case. They try to tempt you with offers of free money and great odds, but what’s the point in winning if you’ll never see it? Luckily, our team of experts were on hand to test out some new sites and find the legitimate ones for you. Below, you will see one that is particularly suitable for eSport betting.
- Top Welcome bonus of £20
- Fantastic odds of up to 94.45%
- Over 30 eSport tournaments on offer
- In-play on most markets available
This new site has a great welcome bonus, odds levels and top eSport coverage. That is not something you will always see with a newbie. It is clear they have a penchant for testing new waters and aren’t afraid to go head-on into the eSports world. They know how to treat the customer right, and if you don’t think that we are telling the truth, then go and try them for yourself!
eSports Betting by Game
Like we have said a few times, eSports betting is a developing part of the online gambling scene. Even so, there are already numerous events, leagues, and tournaments taking place. These usually revolve around a few select games listed below. This is because they have a large following and as a result have players and teams all over the world. Of course, there are more than the ones listed, such as FIFA, yet these are the ones that truly get the most players and coverage by the bookies.
League of Legends
League of Legends is an online multiplayer video game, that is fought out on a battle arena. It is a 3D, multiplayer game and there are over 100 million active players each month and has a very widespread competitive scene attracting millions of pounds in bets, especially in Asia. With tournaments taking place all over the world. As a result, it has a fanatic fan following and it is one of the most popular streamed games, with fans often watching via YouTube and Twitch.tv. Matches can last anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes and are played out in teams.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is a multiplayer first-person shooter game. It was released in 2012 and is extremely popular with fans. It is the fourth in the series and has been updated numerous times. Basically, the game pits two teams against each other, the terrorists against the counter-terrorists. There a few different games modes, nine in total, and all have different characteristics. It has around 11 million players per month, and has many tournaments sponsored by Valve taking place.
Dota 2 is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and is a multiplayer online battle arena. Also produced by Valve, matches are played out from two teams of five players. Each player is unique with their own specific abilities. Teams win the game by destroying a large structure in the opposing teams base called the ‘Ancient’. The game was released in 2013 and has over a million users on the platform Steam. There are also many leagues and tournaments taking place annually.
Overwatch is a first-person multiplayer team-based game. There are two teams of six, and each player can select a character from a list of nearly 30 different ones. The game was developed by Blizzard and was released in 2016. After only two years it had over 40 million players and has won many ‘game of the year’ awards. There are also many professional leagues to bet on, such as the Overwatch League, and is a community that is continually growing.
eSports Betting Sites: A Rapidly Growing Genre
In the last few years, eSports has become a multi-billion pound endeavour, featuring professional teams, contracts and billionaire owners. Games like League of Legends and CS:GO are massive in regions like Asia and Europe, attracting young talent from the world over. As the genre grows, more betting sites are getting in on the action, letting you reap the rewards. At the end of the day, we feel like the only way for this genre to go is up, and you’ll be betting on first blood and map winners at all the best eSports betting sites just like you would the Three Lions Football team.
Q&A / FAQ
While we try to make all our reviews as comprehensive as possible, often readers have more specific questions which we answer in the section below. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to us with any other questions or comments you might have.
🤨 What is an eSport?
An eSport is a form of competition using video games. They can take the form of leagues, tournaments, and can be played online or offline. They are now largely professional and include many different games. You can check out our introduction to eSports betting for a more detailed overview of what eSports are.
👮 Are the sites featured here safe to use?
Yes, absolutely. Expert professionals and the UK Gambling Commission check and license all the operators listed here. Operators must adhere to stringent regulations to retain their UKGC licence, including anti-money laundering measures, the promotion of problem gambling organisations and avoidance of customer complaints. You can see our list of top online eSports betting sites for some examples.
🏆 What are the best eSport betting sites?
The best eSport betting sites are ones licensed by the Gambling Commission. Additionally, there are other sites out there which are called eSport gambling sites, however, in the context of eSports these refer to exchanges where players wager in-game loot boxes and currency against each other. The way to tell the difference is to stick to UKGC licensed betting sites. You can see our list of the best eSports betting sites for some suggestions on where to bet.
💰 What are the payouts like at eSports betting sites?
Different bookies have different odds for each event, as they all have a different assessment of the probability of specific events occurring. Ultimately, the odds are a reflection of the bookie's belief in the probability of an outcome occurring. Furthermore, bookmakers include their commission in the odds, so finding the ones with the highest payouts means your paying less commission. Here is a breakdown of the odds at eSports betting sites.