One of the most anticipated StarCraft 2 tournaments is just around the corner, with the world's best players getting ready to fight for their share of $500,000 in prize money.
A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
Esports has come a long way from being a mostly niche hobby to a multi-billion-dollar industry in a matter of years. As such, it’s no wonder that, when it comes to esports betting, UK bookmakers have expanded to provide coverage for the biggest events in this sector. Let’s take a look at the best UK esports betting bookies in 2023.
Get straight to the point:
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Pinnacle is one of the longest-lasting esports bookies in the industry, and they’ve used this experience to create an excellent platform with loads of betting options to choose from. They offer competitive odds on the biggest events, as well as a varied live betting section.
The site itself is easy to use and supports a wide range of payment methods for punters from the UK. Overall, you can’t go wrong with Pinnacle!
If you’re a fan of esports, you’ll most likely become a fan of Rivalry. This bookmaker is primarily oriented towards esports and has devised their betting markets and odds in a way that reflects that.
Rivalry has a user-friendly, mobile optimised site with a very well-organised layout that clearly displays different matches and tournaments, offering more than 20 titles to choose from.
If you like to be creative with your bets and are interested in betting on some less popular tournaments, Rivalry is a perfect choice.
Betfair was formed in 1999 and holds a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). They also fulfill all the recommendations and requirements of the UK Gambling Authority, which means all punters from the UK can legally use the site's services.
Betting on Betfair is easy since you’ll be able to use either their website or their mobile app. This bookie also offers competitive odds on most larger esports tournaments, but what makes them stand out are the betting markets.
In fact, Betfair offers some incredible betting markets, including betting on the correct score, total number of maps to be played (in CS:GO, Rainbow 6 Siege, etc.), and some hefty handicap betting options.
LeoVegas is a relatively new esports bookie that has fairly quickly gained the ability to offer esports betting to UK residents. This bookmaker is fairly unique in the sense that, on top of traditional and esports betting, punters can expect to find swathes of modern casino games.
As far as esports betting is concerned, you’ll be able to place live bets and watch livestreams of events that are currently happening, making the entire betting experience very positive and beginner-friendly.
Everything is available in one place, so you won’t have to switch browser tabs or use multiple devices for your betting needs. All in all, LeoVegas is a great choice for UK-based punters.
And finally, we have Luckbox – one of the youngest bookies in the industry with 7 years of experience. However, during this time, the operator has optimised and enhanced its platform to the point where they’ve quickly become a highly popular choice for punters in the United Kingdom.
They’re also the only bookie in this list to hold a licence from the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, hence their eligibility in the UK.
Some useful features of Luckbox include live betting, live streams, match statistics, cash-out options, 24/7 customer support, and a mobile app for betting on the go.
UK esports betting enthusiasts can expect a wide variety of esports betting markets. On top of that, there are numerous esports games that punters can place bets on, as well as a variety of bonuses they can claim.
In any case, here are the most popular games for UK esports betting enthusiasts:
CS:GO is one of the most popular games in the world and it represents the gold standard of competitive FPS games. It’s also arguably the easiest game to choose if you want to learn how to bet on esports because of its relative simplicity and straightforward betting markets.
Some of the world’s most prestigious esports tournaments are part of the CS:GO esports ecosystem, including events like BLAST Premier, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League, and other CS:GO Majors.
Lastly, CS:GO odds are almost always highly competitive across a wide range of bookies, so you’ll always be able to place the bets you want and expect some nice winnings in return (if you win your bets).
Dota 2 is a game that set untouchable records in the world of esports with the creation (and existence) of The International. This event features the largest prize pools out of all other esports tournaments, often containing more than ₤10 million.
The International with the biggest prize pool (and consequently in all esports) was The International 2021, offering more than ₤33 million; an amount that no other tournament has reached ever since.
But Dota 2 isn’t all about prize pools; it’s an action-packed MOBA that requires lots of strategy and tactical prowess, hence the popularity among punters. Some even find it better than CS:GO or League of Legends! The truth is, Dota 2 is popular across the esports world and the esports betting environment, so you should definitely give it a shot if you haven’t already.
“League of Legends”. That’s the answer you’d get from asking almost any person about what they associate with esports. LoL has become an absolute leader in the industry when it comes to production quality and overall structure of how esports functions.
For starters, all of the major regions (North America, South America, Europe, China, South Korea, Japan, etc.) have their respective leagues (LCS, LEC, LPL, LCK, and others). Below them are the regional leagues (France, Germany, The Balkans). Everything is neatly organised. And then you’ve got the World Championship, which draws in astounding viewership numbers.
But the true popularity of League of Legends lies in its esports presence. The same is also true for punters – most of them will opt for LoL betting because they’ve either played the game in the past or have heard of it in person or on the internet.
UK esports betting doesn’t differ much from esports betting elsewhere, and it generally follows the same concepts as traditional betting. However, it’s important to know which betting markets are available for punters from the UK and how they work.
It is legal to bet on esports in the UK, but there are still some things worth bearing in mind. Below, we've included some more insights and the ways in which the industry is regulated to ensure punters are protected while placing wagers.
In the early days of esports, there was a huge problem with skins betting that developers and tournament organisers had to contend with. Although there was no official support for these illegal sites, they were still very popular among fans who wanted to bet on their favourite games but had no other way of doing so. These skins betting websites would allow players to trade ‘skins' (in-game items that change a character's appearance) illegally, resulting in many people being scammed.
Tournament organisers and game developers took this controversy on board, recognising the need for regulated esports betting markets. As esports events became bigger and bigger, with audiences growing at an unprecedented speed, these companies worked with the local government and the UK Gambling Commission to license specialised esports bookmakers and esports markets on mainstream sportsbooks. This was to ensure that the gaming community could bet safely, securely, and legally.
Today, the UK esports market is strongly regulated, with a plethora of trusted betting sites offering esports wagers for those looking to bet on a variety of games. This means that, if you live in the UK, you can readily bet on an esports title of your choosing, as long the online bookie in question is licensed. More bookies are now getting involved more than ever, with even the most popular and experienced operators that have long focused on traditional sports jumping on board.
If you’re a betting enthusiast living in the UK and you’re looking for tangible esports betting picks, here are the three most important figures:
By familiarising yourself with the basics, we’re referring to factors like understanding betting odds, moneylines, spreads, accumulators, different staking options, esports betting strategies and so on. Esports betting can be a lot more complex than it might seem at first glance, especially if you run into it without a clear plan.
Once you get the basics down, make sure to test what you learned by placing a few simpler, smaller bets to get the ball rolling. If you make some mistakes or your bets don’t work out, it won’t be as big of a problem as if you had placed one or two large, high-risk bets.
Let’s not forget about bookmakers! If you are to have a pleasant experience with online esports betting in the UK, you’ll need to set up your account with a good betting site with combination of characteristics that suit your needs.
Check things like odds, betting markets, supported payment methods, available esports games, betting bonuses, ease of use, and more to determine which bookie is the best for you. While most of them are stellar (and fully legal), some may not support punters from certain countries (in this case, the UK).
As for the bookies we mentioned earlier in the article – all of them are accessible from the UK.
Prior to placing any bet, you’ll need to gather information about the game being played, the tournament, and the teams. This is the only way to justify your bets with data that is true and tested, allowing you to form a solid betting strategy.
Keep in mind, however, that you can never have 100% chance of winning your bets. Even if a team is clearly stronger than their opponent, there is a possibility that they won’t play as well and will end up losing. After all, betting itself always depends on a good dose of luck at the end of the day.
Knowing the rapid development of esports betting sites in the UK, it’s no surprise to see a plethora of payment methods available for esports betting enthusiasts. Of course, the availability of the following will slightly vary from one bookie to another. Still, this is a rough depiction of what you can expect in terms of supported means of payment:
Skrill is one of the most popular digital wallets among online punters. If you already have a Skrill account set up, you'll be glad to know it's great to use for betting purposes.
Also supported across the globe, NETELLER is one of the ideal options for UK esports betting enthusiasts. Setting everything up is rather straightforward, just like the processes of depositing and withdrawing funds.
PayPal is yet another go-to choice for numerous esports betting enthusiasts across the globe. It brings simplicity, responsiveness, and instant transactions to the table, a combination which is almost unheard of in this niche. The fees do exist, but they vary from bookie to bookie, so it’s not on us to discuss them here any further.
Betting with cryptocurrencies is great for privacy- and security-conscious punters, as it offers almost total anonymity. Whether you’re looking for bookies supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or some other cryptocurrency, chances are you’ll be able to find a site that accepts your crypto of choice.
Let’s not forget about credit and debit cards. Say what you want about digital wallets – they’re simple and intuitive, but their popularity still isn’t at the level of debit and credit cards. Their biggest virtue is the fact everyone has access to them. They’re the go-to payment method for beginners and are likely to remain that for years to come.
This is how it all started. Bank transfer was the first proper payment method on online betting platforms. It’s available nowadays too, though payment fees and minimum amounts aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea for deposits. As for withdrawals, it’s still among the most popular options, not just in UK but across the globe.
Esports betting is a lucrative business in the entertainment and gambling industries primarily due to esports’ meteoric rise in popularity over the years. And there are no signs of it stopping growing.
There are more than half a billion esports viewers (audiences) in 2023 and the esports industry itself is valued at almost £1.5 billion. The world’s leading esports region in terms of both viewers and revenue is China and the Asian market.
However, the UK is still a very strong player with more than £50 million, with the annual revenue growth rate projected at 9.27%.
While the UK may never surpass China or the US in the grand scheme of things (due to population size and varying popularity of esports), it’s still a powerful region where esports is taken seriously.
Even though the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has relatively strict rules when it comes to betting online, they are simply there to protect punters who, at the end of the day, still have countless options to choose from.
Considering the latest information and statistics, online sports/esports betting in the UK is one of the fastest-growing sectors. It has successfully completed the transition from a marginalised niche to a mainstream powerhouse.
The process of setting everything up is fairly simple, and it shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes to start betting on your favourite sports or esports disciplines.
Pinnacle, Rivalry, and Betfair are excellent choices for beginners and experienced punters alike. They have the best odds and betting markets, making them ideal for most bettors. However, it ultimately falls to the user to determine which UK betting bookmaker is the best for them based on the bookie’s characteristics (payment methods, odds, supported esports games, and so on).
To start betting on esports, you’ll first need to find a bookie that you like. After that, you’ll have to create and verify your account to become eligible for bonuses and the full functionality of the website. Then, it’ll be time to connect your preferred payment method, after which you should dedicate some time to researching the teams and their performances in past events.
When you’re ready, start with easier bets to get the hang of things (match-winner and total kills are two great betting markets for beginners).
Yes, betting on esports is legal in the UK, as long as bookies are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
The most popular games for esports betting in the UK are CS:GO, Dota 2, and League of Legends – the three largest gaming titles in esports.
If you’re just starting out, match-winner, total kills, and over/under bets are your best options. You could also try your hand at outrights, provided there are a couple of favourites that have the highest chances of winning the entire event.
Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.