Esports betting continues to grow rapidly as competitive gaming cements itself in the mainstream. But wagering on esports differs in many key ways from traditional sports betting. This guide examines the major differences between betting on esports versus traditional sports that beginners must understand.
Number of Events
A major distinction is the sheer number of esports matches available for betting compared to traditional sports. Top esports titles like Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO and Overwatch have hundreds of tournaments and leagues running almost daily globally. Matches happen around the clock, amplified further by the popularity of best-of-three and best-of-five series formats. This provides many more betting opportunities compared to waiting days or weeks between fixtures in traditional sports leagues.
Related to volume is the frequency of competitive gaming events. Esports tournaments and matches occur almost continuously, rather than having defined seasons as in most traditional sports. While intervals between majors and finals do exist, daily or weekly matches are standard in esports. This allows bettors to wager on their favorite game multiple times in a single day, a stark contrast from the limitations of traditional sports betting.
The types of bets available also differ noticeably between the two betting spheres. Esports wagers usually focus on outcomes like match winners, handicaps and totals on variables like maps, kills or rounds. Exotic prop bets on player performance are also common. These differ from common bets like point spreads, moneylines and over/unders in traditional sports. The betting markets are driven by the games’ distinct scoring formats and metrics.
Teams and Rosters
Esports teams are far less stable than professional sports franchises, with roster moves and changes happening frequently between events. A Dota 2 or League of Legends roster at one tournament may look quite different at the next. This forces bettors to constantly research team changes and how they affect a squad’s performance. Traditional sports teams are relatively consistent year-to-year.
The identities and performances of individual players heavily sway odds in esports betting. A star like s1mple joining a CS:GO team immediately makes them more formidable. Traditional sports are certainly influenced by star power, but esports odds shift radically according to which players are starting for a team. Keeping up with roster moves is key for betting edge.
More Underdogs Win
Upsets where underdogs defeat favorites happen much more often in esports compared to traditional sports. variability. Young, hungry teams can topple veteran squads on any given day in esports. Events like Dota 2’s The International regularly produce Cinderella stories. Major upsets do occur in traditional sports but are far less common against entrenched power teams like Real Madrid or the New England Patriots.
Rapid Meta Shifts
The strategies, playstyles, compositions and characters used by esports teams change rapidly during a season, especially after patches or updates from the game developer. This evolving “meta” keeps matches and odds unpredictable, compared to the relatively fixed strategies in sports like football or basketball. Bettors must keep constantly up to date with the current meta trends in each esport.
Most esports matches take 30 to 60 minutes, with even shorter game lengths common. Traditional sports contests, especially those with physical endurance limits, run much longer. The shorter duration of esports matches enables bettors to utilize more in-play betting compared to waiting through four quarters of an NFL game. But it also gives sportsbooks less time to adjust odds between games.
More Games in Series
Esports competitions frequently utilize best-of-3, best-of-5 or best-of-7 series formats, rather than winner-take-all single matches. This allows bettors to adjust wagers between games based on updated conditions, as teams reveal strategies and momentum builds. Single matches in traditional sports don’t offer such intermediary betting opportunities.
Age of Competitors
Top esports players are generally very young, mostly in their late teens to mid 20s. This contrasts professional athletes in traditional sports who are usually in their mid to late 20s at peak. The phenomenon of early peak performance in esports is crucial for betting odds. Identifying rising young talent is key.
Advanced data analytics and probabilistic match outcome modelling plays a far greater role in esports betting than in traditional sports. This modelling considers metrics like damage per minute, economy rating and expected kills to project match winners. Mainstream sports analysis is still evolving beyond rudimentary metrics.
The unique variables of competitive gaming like rosters, meta shifts and match formats demand bettors approach esports with an open mind. But ultimately, this creates more opportunities to sharpen your skills and achieve betting success in the growing esports industry.