Bet on Esports Academy: A Complete Guide to Making Smart Wagers

Esports have become immensely popular in recent years. But is is possible to bet on esports?  More and more punters are taking to this new, exciting industry with the aim of turning a profit while making real money bets.

That’s where we come in. Here at, we’ve got you covered when it comes to smart betting on esports.

Our expert guide will teach you how to bet on esports, including: how to choose the right bookmaker, how to place your first bet and claim a bonus, statistics, odds and more.

Read more to learn how you can make real money esports bets online today!

[Esports Bookmakers List]

  1. Bet365
  2. Unikrn
  4. Pinnacle
  5. William Hill
  6. Betfair
  7. 1xbet
  9. Betway
  10. ArcaneBet


How to Bet on Esports for Real Money

If you’re a fan of video games, then you’re surely familiar with the hype surrounding professional esports tournaments.

This massive, worldwide industry is expected to be worth an all-time high of $3.5 billion by the end of 2021. And we anticipate it will continue to grow for years to come, which is great news for bettors.

But it takes time, study and practice to make esports betting profitable in the long run.

While it may seem difficult at first to wrap your head around all the moving parts, our in-depth guide will make it easy for you to understand and get started.

Keep reading to learn how to make your first bet on esports!


Choosing the Right Esports Bookie

One of the first important decisions you’ll make when you begin placing real money bets on esports is: which bookmaker should I choose?

After all, there are hundreds of betting sites active on the web today – but not all of them are created equal!

It requires research and trial-and-error to find a betting site that offers competitive odds, generous bonuses and reliable customer service.

Thankfully, we take the guesswork out of finding the right site for you to bet on esports. We’ve already done all the research, so that you don’t have to.

Just consult our list of the top esports betting sites and look around to see which one best suits your needs. Here’s a quick list of the most important things to keep in mind while browsing:


  • Selection of Esports Games
  • Generous Welcome Bonus
  • Competitive Odds
  • Variety of Betting Markets
  • Availability of Payment Methods
  • Reliable Customer Service


How to Register

Once you’ve found the esports bookie that appeals to you most, just click our convenient link to visit their main page.

Then, registering an account to bet on esports is easy and takes very little time. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Click the “Sign Up” button, usually located in the upper righthand corner.
  2. Choose a username, plug in your email address, date of birth and mailing address (you may also have the option to select preferred currency). Fill in any other information needed.
  3. Verify your email address and/or phone number, then you’re ready to bet on esports!
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Making Your First Deposit

Making the first deposit at an esports bookie couldn't be easier. Simply navigate to the payment page – usually labelled “Banking”, “Cashier” or “Deposit” – and then select your preferred payment method.

Now, the question of which esports payment method is best for you usually comes down to personal preference. You have a few different options to choose from. Be sure to visit our review pages to find out which is best for you!

  • Debit and credit cards are both convenient and familiar ways for virtually everyone to bet on esports. Or you could try paysafecard, a prepaid card offering unbeatable privacy and security features.
  • E-wallets – such as PayPal, Skrill or NETELLER – are very popular methods of payment among bettors today.
  • Bank transfers technologies, such as Trustly, Klarna and Entropay, allow heightened security but with the trade-off of slower transfer times.
  • Finally, Bitcoin betting reflects the cryptocurrency craze sweeping our world today and also provides some exciting new ways to make esports bets.


Receiving the Bonus

Once you’ve made a qualifying deposit (usually a minimum of £5), you can now claim your welcome bonus to bet on esports!

The best esports bonuses usually appear as one of the following:

  • Esports Deposit Bonus: For a deposit bonus, also known as a “match” bonus, the bookmaker will match your first deposit by a certain percentage, up to a certain amount. A 100% deposit bonus would effectively double your betting power. Check out our bet365 review to find a perfect example of this esports bonus.
  • Esports Free Bet: Who doesn’t love extra cash? Esports bookies will frequently give bettors free money to make esports wagers. What makes the free bet (or “no deposit”) bonus especially attractive is that you don’t have to deposit any of your own money to claim it. Though not active anymore, the ArcaneBet no deposit bonus was a great way to bet on esports with extra cash, and we hope to see it make a return soon.


Easiest Way to Bet on Esports in 2021

There are virtually endless ways to place esports bets, ranging from the very simple and straightforward to incredibly complex and dynamic. So if you are just starting out, the huge array of esports games and betting markets available can seem daunting.

For that reason, we recommend beginning with the simplest and easiest way to make wagers on esports: the “match win” or “outright win” bet.


Match and Tournament Winner Bets

Whenever individual players or teams face off in esports tournaments, there can only be one true winner. And the simplest way to bet on esports is to place a wager on which team or player will emerge victorious.

When you wager on who will win any given esports match – or a series of matches – then you are making a “match win” bet.

You can also make an “outright win” bet on which team or player you think will claim the title of tournament champion.


Advanced Bets on Esports

Here’s where placing a bet on esports gets even more interesting. Beyond the “outright” winner of a match or tournament, many worthwhile esports bookies also offer a variety of more specific wagers, typically called “betting markets”.


Handicap Bet

Sometimes, esports bookies will create a “handicap” in an attempt to level the playing field between two unevenly matched teams. Then, you have the option of betting on the team which has handicap advantage (the weaker) or handicap disadvantage (the stronger).

Here’s an example: you place an esports wager on Team Z, which has a handicap advantage of 2 rounds against Team A. Let’s say that Team A wins by a score of 7 – 6. But given the 2-round handicap, Team Z wins with a “handicap score” of 8 – 7. This results in your wager being paid out.



The over/under bet pits the bookmaker’s prediction against reality. Bookies will frequently predict a certain number for various statistics, which they encourage bettors to wager against.

This statistic is often the combined scores of two teams, but can also be the total number of kills or structures destroyed (depending on the game). Then, you place a wager on whether the actual outcome of that statistic will be over or under the bookmaker’s prediction.


Correct Score

This is a fairly general yet straightforward way to bet on esports, in which you try to correctly predict how many rounds/points/maps/kills any given team or player will score.

Region Winner

Group winner is a wager placed on which regional group or league (such as the League of Legends LEC) contains the champion of a multi-group tournament (such as the LoL Worlds).


First Blood

“First Blood” refers to the team and/or player who gets the first kill of a tournament match in games such as CS:GO, League of Legends, Call of Duty and others.


First team to score 10 kills

Practically in every game that has an eSports scene, kills are an important indicator of a team's success. Of course, there are almost always bigger goals that you have to achieve to win but taking out an opponent for a certain time gives your team a big advantage. Nevertheless, it often happens that the aggressive team reaches the 10 kills in the early stage but cannot finish in time and finally loses. It is therefore worthwhile to bet on the underdog when the odds are high. If no team reaches the 10 kills, the bet is also lost. Mostly this betting option is also available with 15 or 20 kills.

Map Winner Bets

Finally, the “map winner” bet is widespread and very popular for betting on esport events. As you’ll read in our game guides, many popular esports competitions take place over a certain number of rounds (usually best of 3, 5 or 7).

Each of those rounds takes place on a different map. Match winner bets then allow you to make a wager that your team will win any particular map. (You can also bet on how many total maps a team/player will win.)

Since each map features distinct terrain, buildings and/or equipment, different teams and players perform better on certain maps than others do. Map winner bets encourage you to laser-focus your research on these nuances, which offers an even more exciting way to bet on esports.



The Bo3 and the Bo5 are the most common match formats in eSport. A Bo3 consists of 3 maps, whoever wins more of them is also the winner of the match. It is therefore only necessary to play until a team has won more than half of the possible maps, because then the opponent can no longer pull the result round. Of course, you can also bet on the exact result of a BoX, for example the score “1:2”. It is basically a question of whether a team wins without losing a card or whether the match is rather close. The larger the number of cards that make up a match, the more difficult it is to predict the exact result, as there are more possible outputs (for a Best-of-X exactly X+1).

Dota 2 Chongqing Major Correct Score Betting Odds


Betting on Yourself

Wagering on your own gameplay is a recent alternative to traditional betting on esports. In March 2020, the popular esports bookie, Unikrn, launched its new platform allowing players to bet on themselves.

Since then, Unikrn umode has become a thrilling way to challenge yourself to perform well in ranked esports competitions. Depending on the wager, you can win real money based on different odds for an average finish, good/great finish or match winner finish.

Read our expert guide to Unikrn umode to learn more, and make your first esports bet on yourself today. It's one of the best ways to make money by playing games.


Key Points for Betting on Esports

Here is a quick overview of the three most important factors to consider when you bet on esports.

  • Bankroll: This is the amount of money in your possession that you are willing to stake on a bet.
  • Odds: Odds reflect the probability of any given outcome, as determined beforehand by the bookmaker. They show you how much will be paid out on a winning wager, in relation to the stake.
  • Format: Esports bookies usually offer esports in one of three formats: fractional (5/1), decimal (5.0) or American (5:1).

Many different factors can influence the outcome of an esports event, which in turn affects how you should bet on esports. As such, we advise that you invest the time to perform due diligence before you place your first esports wager.

Some of the most influential factors include: the skill levels of individual gamers, team rivalries, gaming conditions as well as team roster changes or even sick/injured players.

So research the game, the teams, their players, their current win/loss streaks and more so that you have the most complete picture possible – ideally before the event begins.


Top Esports to Bet On in 2021

As the esports industry grows, betting on esports continues to skyrocket in popularity among fans of professional video gaming.

The most popular esports games of all include the “Big Three”: League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

While these console and PC games tend to dominate the market, mobile esports games such as PUBG mobile are also hugely popular among bettors who use esports apps.

There are many free esports games out there and those which are not, may be bought cheaply on platforms like Kinguin. Learn why Kinguin is legit in our review.


How to Bet on Esports Like a Pro

Betting on esport competitions is a different experience for everybody; no two punters will have the same style, preferences or strategy.

But there is a big difference between the punter who makes informed, strategic bets and the one that doesn’t.

Here we’ve collected some of the most important things you should know about in order to bet on esports effectively and maximise your chances of success.


Shop Around for the Best Odds

Esports bookmakers use odds to reflect the probability of a player or team winning match against another.

Generally speaking, low odds imply high probability and high odds imply low probability. This allows you to analyse and determine the likelihood of any event turning out in your favour.

In addition, you can also use odds to calculate potential profits, should your esports bet turn out to be a successful one. For example, a winning £25 bet at odds of 9/1 would award you £250 total: £25 x 9 makes £225, plus the original £25 you wagered.

Finally, different esports bookies offer different odds on the same event. While it’s important to consider various factors when choosing a site to bet on esports, you should also pay close attention to the odds each bookmaker offers.

Try and find and compare a few different sites offering wagers on your preferred event(s), in order to find the one which will payout the highest.


Live Betting

Betting on esports is exciting enough when you make wagers before an event starts. But how do I bet on esports while the action takes place? The answer is simple: esports live betting!

Live bets on esports allow you to make wagers in real time as the professional competition unfolds. Some examples include betting on which player gets the next kill, or which team destroys the next structure.

Live esports odds can be very dynamic, changing in an instant as one team takes the lead or another loses it. Not all esports bookies offer it, but many do.

Overall, making esports bets in real time can be an adrenalin rush, and a potentially profitable companion to any live stream viewing session. Keep reading to learn more about how and where to stream the best esports online.

Follow Esports Streams

Esports streams add another dimension to betting on esport events, since you watch the action as it unfolds in real time. Twitch is universally regarded as the primary site to stream esports, where amateur and professional streamers alike will broadcast their gameplay for the world to see.

Many professional esports leagues provide free streams of their top events. For example, most major League of Legends live streams take place on, including the French LCS live stream and the LoL LCK.

YouTube offers a wealth of other resources too, including commentary and analysis from virtually any major gaming community.


Learn the Statistics

Esports are very similar to other professional sporting events, where players and teams perform according to a variety of factors. Statistics are a way to measure these performance factors, and as such can help you build knowledge and improve your betting strategy as a whole.

Esports bookies use statistics all the time to predict the possible outcomes of an esports event and make betting odds. You too can use this information to try and beat them at their own game.

Following the statistics of different players and teams during a season can help give you a better idea of how they will perform in their next esporting event.

Esports Charts is arguably the most comprehensive resource you can use to study and track esports tournaments. You can even filter results by player, by team, by league or tournament depending on what information you’re looking for.

Using statistics can help you make more informed wagers and improve your chances of success. For another resource, read our betting tips to make even smarter decisions when you bet on esports.


Bet on Esports Legally and Safely

As you begin your journey of betting on esports, it is very important to ensure that you do so safely and legally.

First, you must be of legal gambling age. This can vary depending on which esports country you’re living in. Secondly, make sure that you only bet on esports at the licensed and reputable sites that we recommend here.

Gambling underage or at blacklisted sites can lead to serious trouble down the road, both financially and legally. So we only recommend that you stay on the straight and narrow. This helps keep betting on esport competitions safe and fun for everyone.


Try Fantasy Esports First

Fantasy esports let fans simulate the experience of managing an esports team. Similar to traditional fantasy sporting events, esports fantasy betting lets you select a squad of real players from various professional teams.

Then, hope that yours outperforms other squads in the same fantasy league – you’ll get points for kills, wins and other in-game achievements. Should you squad make it to the top, then you’ll get a share of the prize money! Here are the main fantasy events you’ll find when you bet on esports:

Read our full guide to fantasy esports to read tips and find the best bookies to get started today!

Or perhaps you are more into simulated sports betting? We have an article on this type of gaming as well.


How to Bet on Esports FAQs


How do I place a bet online?

It is very easy to bet on esports online. All you have to do is sign up at one of our recommended betting sites and make a deposit to claim your welcome bonus. Then, browse from the list of supported esports and make your first wager on match winner, map winner and more!


Can you bet on esports for real money?

Yes you can! There are plenty of esports bookmakers offering real money bets in 2021. Learn more about bookies, odds, strategy and more at our in-depth guide to betting on esports.


What is the best website for betting on esport events?

There are so many esports bookmakers out there that it would be impossible to choose just one favourite! Visit our in-depth analysis on different esports bookmakers to learn more about different sites, then choose which one best fits your needs.


What are the most important esports of 2021?

The most important esports to follow in 2021 are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and FIFA. Other popular and important games include Starcraft II, SMITE and Fortnite.


Is it legal to bet on esports?

Yes, it is perfectly legal to bet on esports in many different countries if you are of legal age to gamble. However, some countries place restrictions on gambling of all kinds, which includes betting on esports.

Be sure to research and follow the laws of your country of residence in order to ensure a safe, legal experience when you bet on esports. Check our esports countries reports here.


Can I bet on esports with a bonus?

Yes you can! Virtually all top esports bookmakers offer generous bonuses for new registrations. The most popular esports bonuses of the moment include deposit match bonuses and no deposit free bets. Read our full guide to the best esports bonuses to learn more!

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Please be aware that all predictions given on this website are the oppinion of the author and might not necessarily be correct.

Bonus offers and betting odds featured on this website are subject to change. Terms and conditions of the featured bookmakers apply.