Esports Betting: Available Markets and Products in 2023
Esports betting has been a dark horse when it comes to the legal sports betting market in the United States. Video games have been around for many years, but recently they have reached new levels competitively. Now is a great time to learn the ins and outs about betting on esports.
- Esports Gambling Currency and Event Types
- Esports Gambling: Popular Games
- Final Thoughts on Esports Betting
ESPORTS GAMBLING CURRENCY AND EVENT TYPES
As with any sports betting league, esports has its own vernacular and specificities. At this time, there are a few main ways that interested sports bettors are able to engage in esports betting. We will cover these methods of engagement in detail below.
Many esports games have an option to interact with the game using virtual currency. This virtual currency in this case refers to the concept of “skins.” Skins are in-game cosmetic items that offer the user no advantage, but can be used as a means to store value. The name “skin” comes from the fact that these virtual items tend to be focused on changing the appearance of some feature in gameplay.
This can refer to an in-game avatar, equipment or weapons. Users are able to use skins as a casino chip of sorts, a means that stores monetary value. And, as a result, skin gambling has arisen in the esports world.
There are a variety of games that offer an in-game skin system of their own. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is one of the main esports games that has dominated the skin gambling market. In fact, over 80% of the total skin betting activity is done in CS:GO.
This is because CS:GO skins are more easily transferred between users than skins in other games. And, because these skins are able to be transferred between players, skin gambling has naturally evolved. Here is how it works:
- Users will need to transfer the skin to a skin betting site. This can mean sportsbooks, roulette, lotteries, as well as coin flips. There are a few different CS:GO gambling/esports gambling sites to choose from. Users make this deposit onto their site of choice.
- Users can then use this deposited skin to gamble. Or, a user can use a different form of internal currency that they have received in exchange for a skin. The hope is to end up with a skin of a higher-value than the one you started with.
- If a user wins, they will be paid not in cash, but in additional skins. Users can then cash out like they would with traditional sports betting. However, in this case it means the user will request for the skin gambling site they used to transfer the skins back to the user.
After users have had the skins transferred to their Steam accounts:
- The user can keep the skins in their inventory, remaining dormant.
- Users are able to exchange these skins on third-party sites outside of Steam for cash.
- Users can alter the appearance of their weapons using the skins.
- Users can go on the Steam marketplace and sell their skins in exchange for Steam credit. Steam credit is not cash, but it is able to be used to buy other skins as well as games on Steam.
- A user can exchange skins with other users.
Skin betting has gained more popularity than cash betting in the esports betting world. However, Valve, the company that publishes CS:GO and Dota 2, is cracking down on this kind of activity. So, it is unsure if skin gambling will be around for much longer.
Esports gambling can also be accomplished by using real cash money to place bets through legal, licensed and regulated online sports betting websites like DraftKings, Betway, and FanDuel. But, esports betting is only legal in certain states as of this time. These states are:
These online sportsbooks are currently offering a limited selection of esports bets at this time. However, as it gains popularity, you may see more sportsbooks taking up the mantle. When you go to these online sportsbooks, you should be able to see the esports odds listed for different esports leagues.
Now, you may be familiar with fantasy sports. Well, there is also such a thing as fantasy esports. While you wait for more of the online betting sites in the United States to add esports, you can check out the daily fantasy sports sites that have filled that void.
These daily fantasy sports operators are offering DFS contests for esports games. Users are able to create their own virtual team of their choosing and use it to compete against other users’ virtual teams. Users create a virtual team by choosing from a pool of potential real life players.
Depending on the real life performance of the user’s selected players, their team earns points. Then, these points are compared against other users’ teams in order to determine the winner.
As you can see, these contests work a lot like an esports bet. A user stakes their money on a competitor of their choice and gets paid out from the pool if the competitor does well in the event.
You may already be familiar with jackpot slots. Jackpot games work in a very similar fashion. As users put their skins into the pot, the size of the jackpot will increase accordingly. Finally, one user, or multiple lucky users, will be able to win the pot, or a portion of the pot split between multiple users.
ESPORTS GAMBLING: POPULAR GAMES
If you plan to engage in esports betting, you need to know which games you can place your bets on. And, you may be curious which game is the best fit for your interests. Here we will tell you a bit about the most popular esports games.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a first person shooter game. It is made for multiple players to play together. This is actually the fourth game in the series of Counter-Strike games. And, it is available on a few different platforms: XBox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, and maxOS. The game first arrived on the scene back in 2012, but it also has new updates and patches launched all the time.
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
League of Legends, or League, was first launched over ten years ago in 2009. It is a multiplayer game that throws players into an online battle arena. Riot Games both developed as well as published League.
It was inspired by a Warcraft III custom map called Defense of the Ancients. League is free-to-play but does have in-game purchasing available for features to customize characters. It can be played on macOS and Microsoft Windows.
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena style game like League of Legends. Valve developed and published Dota 2. And, also like League of Legends, it also is connected to Defense of the Ancients, having been developed as a sequel.
Dota 2’s gameplay has two teams comprised of five players facing off. These teams occupy and defend their own respective bases on the game’s map. A team wins by being the first team to destroy the opposing team’s “Ancient.” An “Ancient” is a large structure that is located inside the team’s base.
StarCraft 2 is a sequel to the StarCraft video game, from 1998, and the Brood War expansion pack. It was released internationally in July 2010, over ten years ago, but it has been followed up with a number of expansion packs since. StarCraft 2 was both developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is a science fiction real-time strategy game. It can be played on Microsoft Windows as well as Mac OS X.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ESPORTS BETTING
Esports betting is a new frontier when it comes to the online sports betting world. However, it has increased in popularity each year, not only nationally, but all over the world. Players are able to engage with a number of different players worldwide who have the same interests when it comes to video games through esports.
You now should know everything you need to know about esports betting. You know about the types of ways you can engage in esports gambling. And, you know all about the games that are popular in the esports world.
Now, you should be able to go out and try your hand by placing your own esports bets.