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How to bet on eSports games | Terminology Explained

Zuletzt aktualisiert & geprüft: 29.08.2021

So you’re at work counting down the hours until you get home to log on to Twitch to watch the LOL World Championship. You know the difference between being buff and being nerfed and you’d like to think when it comes to Hearthstone you’re no Dennis*…so how can you get involved with the eSports tournaments? Well, many choose to spice up tournament watching by placing eSports bets on their favourite teams or players. So how exactly do you bet on eSports? And what do you need to know before you place your first wager?
*A beginner without much knowledge of plays.


How to bet

Betting on one of the many eSports games works the same way as betting on regular sports, so if you have experience of that you are part-way there. Here is how to place a bet on the eSports betting markets and the terminology used in eSports games.How to bet on eSports games | Terminology Explained

Placing a bet

On most online bookmakers, eSports bets will be listed under the Sports tab on the website. From here you can find a list of eSports games to bet on. The most commonly found tournaments will cover the following games:

  • Betting Games 2017
  • Call of Duty
  • CS:GO
  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • StarCraft II

However, betting is occasionally available on other world-renowned games such as Street Fighter V which is played at the famous Capcom Cup.capcom cup esports betting

Each game has their own tournaments which can be found under the game headings on the site. These tournaments usually involve a series of knockout rounds between players with the winners of the first round of games competing against each other in the second round and so on until there are just two players remaining. These two players will then play against each other to determine who is the tournament champion.

With eSports bets you are often able to bet on individual games, accumulate several bets (more on this later) or bet on the overall result of the tournament. Here’s an example:

DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix Semi Final

Team Archon 1.800 vs Vici Gaming 2.200

Cloud 9 2.300 vs Team Liquid 2.700

In our example above there are two games remaining in the DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix. The teams in the games are clearly listed and next to the teams are their odds.DreamHack Masters Betting Odds

So say you want to place a £10 bet on Team Archon to beat Vici Gaming. All you’d need to do is click on the team name, in this case Team Archon and your team will appear on your betting slip. On your betting slip you just need to type in the value of your bet and click the confirmation button. That’s it, you’ve placed your first bet (and maybe another one for luck). Next up is to tune in to Switch to see if your team is successful and collect your payouts (or commiserate).esports betting players and fans

eSports betting strategies:

1. Understand the market

There are many eSports betting strategies you can adopt when placing eSports bets, but the most important aspect when betting is understanding the market before parting with your cash. This means researching the players, teams and tournaments before placing a bet. It’s also common sense to know the game you’re betting on so you can use your own personal experience as a valuable resource.pinnacle esports betting resources

No amount of research can cover for your own knowledge of a game. So if you’ve only ever played Hearthstone, don’t be tempted by some sweet sounding odds on Virtus.Pro winning a League of Legends tournament. You might fluke a great result and come away with more moolah, but often using this betting strategy will result in you kissing goodbye to your money.

2. Only bet if it’s worth it

Check out the eSports odds provided for a team before you bet. Do they look about right for you? Are they a little on the high side or are they miserly? If you’ve done your research on the teams, as we mentioned above, you should be able to spot great odds when you see them. Say for example you have our old favourites Virtus.Pro listed at 1.600 but they’re playing a team that your research has told you has a very slim chance of winning. That 1.600 (which works out at a 62.5% probability of winning) is a pretty sweet deal if they win. Knowing which eSports bets to take on and which to leave alone is crucial to long-term betting success.betway esports bets

3. Take great odds

You would be surprised how much eSports odds vary online, so one of your first steps after learning how to bet should be looking at the odds out there to make sure that you get the best payout possible on a potential win. Scouring the bookmakers and finding who offers even the slightest increase in returns is essential and will boost your profits in the long run. Aim to have accounts with at least three bookmakers offering betting on eSports to ensure you get the best eSports odds available.

4. Research gameplay strategies

You may have a handle on eSports terminology (or check out below, we’ve got a great glossary for you) and have poured over pages of game results and titbits of information about your chosen players, but you’ve forgotten one thing – gameplay!

This is one of the most vital research areas as strategies change at an ever-increasing rate.

These changes can be the difference between a team coming last in the tournament and winning; and odds don’t always reflect these strategy changes as they’re calculated based on who the average bettor is most likely to bet on. By doing your research well you could potentially cash in on high odd bets while others miss out.

Typical eSports terms

There is a lot of eSports terminology out there, and it will vary from game to game. We’ve compiled a list of terminology that you may hear in eSports circles that could help when deciding on bets.

Aggro: An aggressive, predominately offensive play style.

Ban: When playing in tournaments, players and teams are allowed to ‘ban’ certain classes or champions to assist them in their game plan. These bans are strategic, tying into the metagame.

Buff: A champion, spell, creature or rune can be made stronger by the game developers. This is known as being buff. The term can also be used to describe something that increases the power of the player once conditions are met in the game.

Caster (noun):  Similar to a streamer, but unlike actually playing games, the Caster focuses more on commentating on the gameplay of other players. Most high level competitive games have casting options built into the UI.

Cheese: If you play a strategy that is used to exploit game mechanics in an unsportsmanlike way or unfair way, it is said to be ‘cheese’ or ‘cheesy.

Champion: A unit controlled by a player that can auto-attack and has four other abilities.

Dennis:  An inexperienced player in Hearthstone that doesn’t get the mechanics of the game they’re playing.

Gank:  An ambush.

KDA Ratio: This is a stat that measures the kills, deaths and assists a player has earned. Formula is kills + assists / deaths. The higher the KDA the more you are contributing. 2-3 is considered average, anything above 4 is excellent.

LCS: League of Legends Championship Series – An annual eSports competition run by Riot Games and takes place in North America and Europe. 20 teams compete, 10 per continent. These compete in a season and the top six teams of each continent play in a playoff series. The top three teams from each continent qualify for the League of Legends World Championships.

LOL: League of Legends. A Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game developed by Riot Games.

Meta: Short for ‘metagame.’ Players use this to reference dominant strategies, champions, decks, builds, etc. in a multiplayer game.

Nerf: Opposite of a buff. Champions/spell/rune/creature is made weaker to address balance.

OP: Overpowered. Describes something that needs to be nerfed.

Rekt: Losing very badly.

RNG: Random Number Generation.

Strat: Short for strategy.

Streamer: Someone who shows live feeds of themselves or others playing video games.

Twitch: The biggest streamer in eSports. It hosts all the biggest events online.

The above list of eSports terms is by no means complete, but as you’re researching your chosen games, tournaments and play strategies this will hopefully come in handy.

eSports bets, odds & bonuses explained

Types of Bets

So you’ve learned a little eSports terminology and now you’re interested in finding out what you can bet on. Let’s run through the options available for you:

An individual bet: A bet on a person playing a game against another opponent.

Future Bets: This is a bet on the outcome of an event, not an individual. This may be a bet on an overall winner of the tournament or the team who wins the tournament overall.

Proposition Bet: A bet on a variable in the tournament, for example ‘How many games will be won by Luminosity Gaming’ or ‘What will be the score at the end of this match’?

Spread/Handicap Bets: This term is interchangeable and describes bets on teams where a handicap such as a game advantage has been added. The betting odds are calculated as if the team has a starting advantage. For example:

Imagine Team Liquid has odds of 2.500 and Team Virtus.Pro has odds of 1.600. We then give Team Liquid a 1-0 game advantage. This then alters the likelihood of Team Liquid winning and Team Virtus.Pro losing, changing the betting odds for the two teams.

Advantages are written like this:

Team Virtus.Pro (-1) vs Team Liquid (+1).

We’ve already said that the odds will change, too. So while Team Virtus.Pro had odds of 1.600, they are now at a disadvantage at 1-0 down, so their odds lengthen. This could take them to 1.800. Team Liquid’s odds on the other hand have lowered because of their advantage, so their odds might be 2.100, narrowing the betting margins.

Accumulator bets: Also known as Parlay bets are a combination of more than one bet where the odds are calculated in conjunction with each other rather than separately. Each bet must win for any payment to be made to the bettor. As an example, you place a bet on Team Virtus.Pro to win the quarter final, semi-final and final of the Dota 2 tournament. They then go on to win the first two games but lose the final. In this case, you will lose the bet and your stake. 

How do odds work?

You may be wondering how eSports odds work. Well, they’re relatively simple. Odds are written in a decimal formal and the lower the decimal number the higher chance there is that the team will win. The higher the number, the lower probability of a win. So Team Virtus.Pro from earlier with odds of 1.600 against 2.500 are considered more likely to win than Team Liquid.

But how does that equate to cash? Well, let’s take a nice round number of £100 and place a bet on Team Virtus.Pro. If they were to win that match the potential return would be £160, which is calculated as odds x stake = return. In Team Liquid’s case the winnings would be £250 if they won and we placed the same £100 bet.

There’s also a formula for calculating a team’s odds of winning. Simply divide the odds by 1 and you’ll get the percentage.

1/1.600 = 0.625 (62.5% chance of winning).

½.5 = 0.400 (40% chance of winning).

What? But that’s over 100% percent!!! Yup, you’re right. But when bookies organise bets they add in their own margin, which in this case is 2.5%. The lower the margin the better the value to the player, so keep an eye on these.


All the Best eSports Betting Sites offer bonuses that will help you stretch your budget, so what is available out there? Here is the humble free bet bonus explained in plain English.

Free bet bonuses: Free bets are the bee’s knees. Most gaming sites offer them, but not many offer ones specifically for eSports. Instead, check out the terms and conditions of free sports bets, which often include eSports betting in their details.

The biggest free bets are awarded when you sign up for a gaming site for the first time. Sometimes they request that you place a bet, but occasionally you can get a free bet just for entering your details and registering an account. Be aware that with all free bets you will be asked to meet wagering requirements before you can withdraw your bonus money. The requirement is usually around three times the bonus amount, but some are lower (or higher). Most often, free bets cannot be used on accumulator bets or on odds that are lower than 1.500.

Betway eSports Free Bet

Check out the top ranking EU regulated eSports Betting websites with our reviews:

1esportsbetting96 / 100Esportsbetting ReviewEU Regulated Betting EsportsGO TO ESPORTSBETTING
2betway95 / 100Betway ReviewEU Regulated Betting EsportsGO TO BETWAY
3arcanebet94 / 100Arcanebet ReviewNon EU regulated esports bookmakersGO TO ARCANEBET
4pinnacle93 / 100Pinnacle ReviewEU Regulated Betting EsportsGO TO PINNACLE
510bet92 / 10010Bet ReviewEU Regulated Betting EsportsGO TO 10BET

We always recommend our readers to choose eSports Betting Operators that are Licensed in the UK or fall under European Legislative bodies, to ensure security and transparency when betting on eSports.

Too many good offers?