eSports continues to grow year on year. And, when a sport grows big, betting soon follows. Being a centuries-old pastime, wagering fits perfectly with eSports. The eSports betting market is experiencing exponential growth, but surprisingly the US only comes second in its share of eSports gamblers, with Australia taking first place. Check here for the top eSports betting sites.
But, which games attract the most gamblers?
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Call of Duty
Call of Duty was one of the first online multiplayer shooters that become mainstream. Since then, they have upheld their popularity, though with some peaks and troughs. When Fortnite began to take over, in part because of the free-to-play and battle royale element, it was Warzone that really put COD back on players’ screens.
Call of Duty is heavily watched on Twitch, which makes it ideal for eSports betting. Many different eSports betting sites now accept bets on Call of Duty, in part because of its credibility, but also because of how vast the viewing figures are for it.
As mentioned, Fortnite took the world by storm in late 2017. The new, free-to-play battle royale games happened to coincide with the rise of Twitch, the most popular streaming service. And, players like Ninja took Fortnite to record-breaking levels, putting video games on the map for all generations as the likes of its World Cup tournament – a competitive eSports event – were broadcasted on television for millions to see.
The many competing teams within Fortnite are common themes for betting markets, a little bit like choosing which car manufacturer will win the Grand Prix. As the game continues to evolve, so do the betting markets.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that has become one of the biggest esports titles in the world. The game features teams of five players competing against each other in fast-paced, strategic battles. LoL is known for its high skill ceiling and requires players to work together in order to achieve victory, making it great for a betting and eSports setting. The popularity of League of Legends has led to the creation of several professional leagues and tournaments, including the League of Legends World Championship, which is one of the biggest eSports events in the world.
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that has been around for over 15 years. This credibility and longevity has the game is rich in features, as well as having competitive player-versus-player (PvP) battles. WoW has a dedicated fanbase and has been the focus of several eSports tournaments, including the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship. The tournament attracts players from around the world who compete for large cash prizes, and the games are very well broadcast on platforms like Twitch. This makes them very appealing to wager on, much like some of the other titles here.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a first-person shooter game that has been around for well over a decade. The game features teams of players competing against each other in fast-paced, tactical battles. As opposed to being highly realistic with a rich gaming experience, much like Battlefield, it is instead a brutally competitive arcade game.
CS:GO has become one of the most popular eSports titles, with several professional leagues and tournaments being held throughout the year, including the Intel Extreme Masters and the StarSeries i-League. Because it is easy to run and it’s long history of keeping the base game the same, CS:GO is highly popular in many countries, particularly in Russia and eastern Europe.
Overwatch is a first-person shooter game that has become popular due to its unique blend of fast-paced action and tactical gameplay. The game features teams of six players competing against each other in various game modes, including capture the flag and escort missions – a little bit like Counter-Strike. Overwatch has been the focus of several eSports tournaments, including the Overwatch League, which is one of the biggest professional esports leagues in the world.
Overwatch 2 was released as a free-to-play game in 2022, which led to another wave in popularity, both competitively and casually. This gave second wind to the attention of bookmakers, and Overwatch is now available to bet on more platforms than ever before.
The theme here is clear: it is only the titles with which there is a reliable and established competitive platform that bookmakers are happy to interface with. This is because they’re credible and have regulatory standards and rulesets. But also, they have a large, dedicated player base that isn’t particularly volatile. This makes it worthwhile investing in as a bookmaker, in which they need to apply their own algorithms and strategies to how they will price the odds. They know that the eSports scene of all these games will likely continue to exist next year, unlike some other hit-and-miss titles.