RTS esports might not be as popular as their MOBA or FPS counterparts, but they’re still enjoying a lot of views. There’s quite a bit of esports action too, scattered across the calendar and several well-known franchises like Starcraft, Warcraft, and Age of Empires.
Betting on RTS esports can be done on numerous online bookmakers. The bets aren’t as diverse and complex as those you’d find for FPS or MOBA games, but there are match-winners and outrights, what more do you need?
If you’re struggling to find tangible information about RTS betting online, then you’re at the right place. No matter what you’re looking for, our online RTS betting guide will help you out.
For starters, let’s take a look at esports betting websites that often feature RTS betting lines:
Best RTS Betting Sites
What is an RTS Game?
Let’s start off with the basics – what is an RTS? Or, better yet, what does RTS mean?
RTS means real-time strategy. It represents strategy games without incremental turn-based progression. Instead, players bide their tactics and strategy in real-time, simultaneously. They create structures, gather resources, control armies, and position themselves, all in real-time.
What makes RTS different from conventional turn-based strategy games? Well, it all comes down to the pressure of having to make quick decisions. You have to do everything you do in turn-based games but with the pressure of time on your shoulders. The longer you take to make certain decisions, the longer you take to orchestrate attacks and build your army, the lower chances you’ll have of winning the fight.
Why are RTS Esports Games so Popular?
This extra pressure makes RTS games that much more interesting (from the viewers’ perspective, at least) and puts them in front of their turn-based counterparts. Plus, the history of both Starcraft and Warcraft is second to none.
They’re not just interesting to watch but interesting to play too. Games like Starcraft (both Brood War and II), as well as the new Warcraft 3 edition, have been rather popular in the gameplay department. They still represent old-school RTS, but have pinches of modern aspects sprinkled along the surface.
As for the betting side of the deal, RTS betting lines are typically not as diverse and numerous as their FPS and MOBA counterparts. But, the popularity is still there, not just during the biggest RTS events but all year long!
History of RTS Esports
Here, we’ll be focusing on the esports aspects of real-time strategy games because focusing on the genre alone would take way too much space in this article. So, let’s begin!
Starcraft II, which was released back in July 2010, went on to become the end-all and be-all of RTS esports. It managed to singlehandedly push RTS games back into the spotlight and kickstart the esports scene even before the likes of League of Legends and Dota 2.
Starcraft 2 Immense Popularity
Starcraft II took control of the entire RTS genre. With two big campaign sequels and a largely popular esports ecosystem, Blizzard’s marvelous RTS franchise was on top of its game. But, seemingly without a reason, the status quo collapsed halfway through the last decade.
Of course, the reason became evident shortly after – the rapidly growing popularity of MOBA games! To put it in the simplest terms possible, there wasn’t enough room for Starcraft 2, League of Legends, and Dota 2. MOBA games had a ton of strategic elements too, and they kept stealing SC2’s player base until there was practically none left.
Fast-forward to the last half a year or so and we’re finally seeing slower MOBA growth coupled with a slight increase in RTS popularity once again. With new games coming out, mainly Age of Empires IV, an important agreement signed, and old franchises getting modernized (Warcraft III: Reforged), it’s become evident that new life is coming into RTS esports.
$4.6 Million ESL Pro Tour Agreement
What is that important agreement we mentioned earlier? Well, for those of you not in the know – ESL and Dreamhack signed a massive $4.6 million agreement with Blizzard Entertainment. Through this strategic agreement/partnership, ESL Pro Tour will feature tournaments in both Starcraft II and Warcraft III that will spread across four continents and whose world finals will be held under the IEM Katowice banner.
— ESL (@ESL) January 7, 2020
The agreement aims to rejuvenate the once-great RTS esports scene and give Blizzard’s games a fighting chance in the chaotic world of esports. Not only will it create opportunities for the biggest teams but give aspiring SCII and WCIII players something to dream about as they continue improving their gameplay and developing their esports careers.
“We feel extremely honored to establish a new home for RTS esports fans and be responsible for two of the most prestigious esports titles of all time,” said Sebastian Weishaar, CPO at ESL.
Top 4 Most Popular RTS Esports Games
Let’s focus on the four most popular RTS esports games people love to watch, play, and bet on!
Starcraft 2 is definitely the first name on this list. Blizzard’s strategical masterpiece is still going strong, even though the base game got released almost twelve years ago. It’s still the go-to place for fans of true RTS game design. It’s tedious, it’s fast-paced, and it requires tremendous mechanical skills, tactical wits, and experience.
Warcraft 3 had tremendous success in the esports scene, which is quite surprising considering it’s 20 years old. Warcraft III: Reforged, though, was supposed to continue in its footsteps. However, the game was met with fierce criticism for not being a true successor to the original.
Warcraft III: Reforged is NOW LIVE!
— Warcraft III: Reforged (@Warcraft3) January 28, 2020
Inadequate UI, poor 3D modeling solutions, bleak textures, and features that are in some cases miles below the original. The worst of all – Warcraft 3: Reforged replaced the original game meaning everyone who wants to play WCIII has to play Reforged.
Warcraft 3: Reforged is a long way from becoming a game people love to play, watch, and bet on. Updates and hotfixes will improve the situation, no doubt about it, but we still don’t know how much longer we’ll have to wait.
Starcraft Brood War
What about Starcraft Brood War? Even though we’re talking about an ancient game, it still has an active fanbase and a very lively esports scene. New tournaments come and go, with the majority of its esports ecosystem based in the birthplace of RTS esports, South Korea.
Age of Empires IV
By far the newest game on this list, a game that’s been released just a few months ago – Age of Empires IV! The long-awaited return of the AoE series, the fourth installment captivated lots of streamers, professional players and old-school RTS enthusiasts, and is slowly building its way to a healthy esports scene.
⚔️ Make history your story: Age of Empires IV is now available on the Microsoft Store, Steam, and with Xbox Game Pass for PC and Ultimate members! https://t.co/HM3Yao1uPD #AgeofEmpiresIV #Age4Ward pic.twitter.com/0wA7XmragL
— AgeOfEmpires (@AgeOfEmpires) October 28, 2021
There’s a long way to go, though! We’ve seen several notable AoE4 esports events already, but the organizers will have to arrange something much bigger if they want to attract sponsorships and betting coverage.
So far so good, though! AoE 4 definitely has the potential to make it as an RTS esport! It’s graphically pleasing, well-balanced, interesting to watch, and most importantly – it’s addicting gameplay-wise! The perfect mixture of all the key ingredients is there, which is why it’s going to have a very bright future.
How to Bet on RTS Esports Games?
The process of betting on RTS esports is identical to betting on any other esports genre out there:
- First things first, find yourself a quality online esports betting website that supports bets on games like StarCraft, Warcraft, and AoE.
- Next up, you’ll want to register for an account and use any bonus that might currently be available.
- You will have to use your real information and provide proof of identity, either upon registration or first withdrawal.
- Finally, use one of our recommended payment methods to deposit money into your bankroll and use it to bet on your favorite RTS esports. It’s that simple!
Biggest RTS Esports Events to Bet on
The world of RTS esports is still fragile. Even with games like Starcraft and Warcraft which have been around for more than a decade, we still don’t know the exact shape and size of their biggest events. Things aren’t as tangible as they are when it comes to esports like League of Legends, Dota 2, and CSGO. But, still, if you’re interested in online RTS betting, these two events ought to have you covered:
Betting on SC2 IEM Katowice
IEM Katowice, year in and year out, features the best of what the esports world has to offer. No matter the circumstances, no matter the main games, Intel Extreme Masters events in Katowice Poland are always on a whole new level. Here’s a clip of Katowice’s latest winner, Joona “Serral” Sotala:
— ESL StarCraft 2 (@ESLSC2) February 27, 2022
They’re not just important for CSGO esports scene but for betting on RTS esports too. Strategy games, more precisely Starcraft 2, have been an incremental part of IEM Katowice for several years now. Even though most people tune in and join the live action to see CSGO action, a small number of strategy enthusiasts are always there for Starcraft 2!
Betting on AoE4 N4C
Last but not least – the AoE4 N4C! Organized by GamerLegion’s Nili_AoE, this tournament is scheduled for early March and is going to feature $100,000 in prize money. It’s not the biggest pot in the history of esports, but it’s massive for a game as fresh as Age of Empires IV.
Most importantly, N4C will put AoE4 on the radar of RTS betting sites. Big events like this one always get proper coverage and now that the game’s professional scene has begun forming, it’s only a matter of time before we see tangible betting coverage. A new kid is on the block, that’s for sure!
Is RTS Betting Legal?
The legality of betting on RTS, just like betting on every other esports genre, doesn’t have one single answer. Instead, it depends on several factors, including your country of residence, the game/event you wish to bet on, and the online betting platform you’ll be using to place your wager.
Not all countries in the world see esports betting as legal. If you’re unsure of your country’s stance towards betting on RTS esports, it’s best to double-check and potentially avoid a hefty fine.
RTS Esports Games FAQs
What Does RTS Mean?
RTS stands for real-time strategy and it is a subgenre of strategy games. As the name suggests, it focuses on real-time instead of turn-based gameplay.
What is the Most Popular RTS Game?
At the moment, the most popular RTS games are Starcraft 2, Warcraft 3, and Age of Empires 4. If you’re looking for just one name, then it’s definitely Starcraft 2.
What’s the Difference Between RTS and Grand Strategy?
As mentioned earlier, RTS games are fast-paced, focused on resource gathering, villager/workforce distribution and battles. Grand strategy games encompass more aspects of running a country, enforcing policies, building infrastructure and defeating your opponents in more ways than by simply winning battles and wars.
As for popularity, the most popular grand strategy games are Crusader Kings series, Total War series, and Hearts of Iron IV.
Is Betting on RTS Esports Legal?
The legality of online RTS esports betting depends on several factors. The two primary factors include:
- Online bookmakers you use and their respective licenses
- The country of your residence and its respective regulatory stance towards esports betting
So yeah, when talking about whether or not betting on RTS esports is legal, it mainly depends on where you live and which bookies you’re going to use. That said, there’s no single answer we can give here. Instead, you’ll have to find the answers on your own and only use online esports bookmakers that have valid betting licenses recognized by your country of residence.