[Feature] The rise in esports betting: what’s the story?


Few sectors have flourished over the last 12 months as the esports gambling industry. Once viewed by the major bookmakers as a niche market, found near the bottom of their sports list alongside table tennis and bandy times have certainly changed.

More people from across the globe are now betting on the top esports games, teams, players and competitions than ever before. The gambling market has responded – they had no choice if they wanted to keep up – and now show esports the respect it deserves. 

Visit any respected betting app, and you’ll find esports near the head of the page alongside major sports like football and horse racing. The most popular betting markets are available on games like CS: GO and Dota 2, including the game-winner, parlays and prop bets.

Have you been watching the growth of esports and would like to get involved? Perhaps this is all news to you, but you are intrigued and would like to find out more. This is the article for you. Our betting expert explains the reasons behind the sudden rise in esports betting, some of the games you can bet on, the various types of bets and more. Let’s get started.

Nintendo World Championships

The signs were there

Why the sudden spike in interest in betting on esports, and what caused players to abandon traditional sports betting for this new, exciting brand of gambling? If you look back over the last five years, the signs were there for all to see. It was always going to happen, and it was a case of when esports betting would strike, rather than if. 

Interest in betting on the top tournaments had been growing at a steady rate for years. The smartest betting apps knew it was coming and invested in esports, sponsoring competitions shown to millions on social media and through live streams. This caught the eye of those already loyal to esports, encouraging them to place bets on the outcome of games and forced esports into the view of bettors accustomed to gambling on sports.

In 2020 when the COVID-19 epidemic swept the world, professional sports was one of many industries brought to its knees. The likes of the English Premier League, Grand National horse race and Wimbledon tennis championship were all forced into lockdown, either postponed or cancelled for 12 months. No fans were permitted entry for more than a year, and games either took place behind closed doors or not at all for the safety of the players. Esports could continue, however, and it did so. 


Esports were good to go

Gamers could play in competitions and leagues from the comfort of their own home. They could even take part in team games via video links and live streams. With no traditional sports to bet on, those looking for their gambling fix soon turned to esports. 

New bettors were joining esports and familiarising themselves with the exciting markets and generous odds. They caught the esports betting bug, and many have stuck with it, even as sports returned from the shutdown. They learned the differences between the most popular games, the rules on esports betting, types of bets available and were happy to take advantage of the various promotions available on esports betting.

In a bid to grease the wheels and make the transition between sports betting and esports betting easier for gamblers, bookmakers offered promotions and specials. They gave and continue to give registered members free bets on esports games. These are often deposit matched free bets promos. For example, if you deposit and bet on esports, you’ll receive a free bet to the same value you can use on your favourite markets.

Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament

Give it a try today

Fancy giving esports betting a try today? There has never been a better time to get started. You can join a site that specialises in esports betting or any major sportsbook that offers customers access to esports.

The registration process takes less than three minutes, and you must complete this just once. When you create an online betting account with a bookie for the first time, you’ll receive a welcome bonus free bet. Click the esports tab on your betting app to view a full list of upcoming fixtures available to bet on.