By now, most gamers know that esports betting has become hugely popular. Away from the world of skin betting and loot boxes, esports has been picked up by the world’s biggest betting companies and sits side by side with the markets for the likes of the NFL, NBA and Premier League.
We are told in marketing articles, however, that betting on esports is just like betting on regular sports. But is this really true? There isn’t much difference in terms of basic betting strategy, but there are some fundamental differences overall that are worth exploring. By doing so, it could help you understand esports betting a little better.
Esports is more focused on head to head matches
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If you take a look at the latest LOL (league of legends) betting odds, you will notice that most of the focus goes on head to head matches between LOL esports teams. This is normal for esports, with bettors tending to focus on what’s coming up in the immediate future rather than events far in the future. While it is possible to find odds for, say, the LOL World Championship outright, or the Fortnite World Cup, the coverage is generally patchy. Regular sports betting tends to concentrate on both. So, for example, I could easily find odds for tomorrow’s Premier League matches or the FIFA World Cup 2022 instantly online.
Why, then, does esports betting tend to focus on the here and the now? It’s partly due to the fact that bettors will look to see what is upcoming on streaming services like Twitch, and then bet accordingly to the schedule. In addition, while esports is growing around the world, there isn’t yet the same level of fandom among viewers. If England win the World Cup, fans will take to the streets to celebrate. If FaZe win a FIFA online tournament, there isn’t the same level of euphoria.
Esports Has Fewer Betting Markets
If you were to look at a typical esports betting market for a high-profile match, you might find a few dozen betting markets. With regular sports – an NFL game, for example – there might be 300 unique betting lines. Esports betting tends to still centre around the basic betting lines – match winner, 1st map, 1st kill, handicap betting. What’s really missing, and we stress missing because we believe esports betting operators will change this in the future, is the focus on players. It would be exciting to bet on the likes of PVDDR, Bosco or Rampy to make individual plays in a match, just like we do with Lionel Messi or Drew Brees in regular sports.
Esports Lacks Reflective Analysis
If you are serious about developing a winning betting strategy, you should not rely on looking at results alone. If, for example, a punter saw that the New York Knicks lost their last three games, there is an analysis on why that happened and what it means for forthcoming games. The Knicks might have been without a star player, or perhaps they are better at home than on the road. This information feeds into a strategy going forward. While there are tipping sites for esports, the majority do not offer the quality analysis found for regular sports. This will change as esports continues to move into the mainstream.
Esports Is Better Suited for Objective Decision Making
Earlier we spoke about fandom, and it’s worth noting that some of the investors behind esports leagues are trying to encourage teams to establish regional identities to build loyal fanbases. It’s an interesting, almost sociological, experiment. But for the point of betting, fandom can mean cloudy judgement. You will often back a team because you want them to win, not only because of a cold calculation. That also feeds into the odds. Bookmakers must react to money pouring in for a team to succeed, and the odds will drop as a consequence. We aren’t saying that esports is pure in this respect, nor is it a world without fandom – far from it. However, many esports bettors can make decisions detached from the distractions of fandom that influences regular sports bettors. That, too, may change in the future. But for now, it seems like an advantage.