Russia has always been a top country for sports, and the Russian bear has also left its mark on the world of esports. The country is home to some of the best Dota 2 and CS:GO players and esports are even a national sport federation. Esports betting is very popular as well, and plenty of betting sites accept Russian players and payment methods. Check our list of other esports countries here.
The Best Russian Esports Betting Sites
Russian players have a wide range of options when it comes to esports betting. Players can bet on esports at several major international sports betting sites, which usually have mainstream esports like CS:GO, Dota 2 and LoL bets, along with their regular sportsbook. Players can also choose dedicated esports betting sites, which usually have more coverage of smaller esports, such as Hearthstone, WoW, etc.
Most offer a welcome bonus in Euros, Dollars, Pounds or Rubles, and accept a wide range of Russia-friendly payment options, such as Mir Card, Moneta.ru, Yoomoney, or cryptos.
Sometimes these sites are blocked in Russia, but all are accessible with VPN, and most have mirror sites for the Russian market.
GG.Bet is a dedicated esports betting site, where you can find odds on almost any esport, including Dota 2, LoL, CS:GO, as well as football esports, basketball esports, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, StarCraft II, Valorant, Rocket League, and more. They offer the widest range of esports betting options.
GG.bet offers new players a $20 welcome bonus, while regular player scan enjoy plenty of other promos, including cashbacks, deposit bonuses, and more.
Check our GG.bet esports review here.
Pinnacle is a sports betting site with an excellent esports betting section. Besides popular games like LoL, CS:GO or Dota 2, you can also bet on games like Overwatch, Starcraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, Rocket League, PUBG, Warcraft 3 and many others.
Check our Pinnacle esports review here.
Loot.bet is another dedicated esports betting site, where Russians are more than welcome. They offer odds on virtually any professional esport, from popular games like CS:GO or Dota 2, to niche sports like Hearthstone or Rocket League.
Loot.bet offers players a 100% bonus up to €100 on their first deposit!
Check our Loot.bet esports review here.
Arcanebet is London-based, licensed and regulated by the Government of Curacao. The site offers detailed odds and extensive markets on almost any esport, from top games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and CSGO, to smaller esports like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, or even Street Fighter V.
Arcanebet offers new players a 100% bonus up to €/£ 30 for the first deposit!
Check our Arcanebet esports review here.
1xbet has been around for quite a while and is one of the biggest betting sites in the world. It is one of the most popular sites for Russian sports bettors, and it has an excellent esports section, where you can bet on LoL, CS:GO, Dota 2, Rainbow Six Siege, and Starcraft.
New players at 1xbet get a 100% welcome bonus up to €100, while there are plenty of other bonuses and regular promotions.
Check our 1xbet esports review here.
The Best Esports Betting Sites for Players in Russia
- Arcane bet
Russia Esports Market
Esports have been popular in Russia since the early 2000’s. While the Russian Esports Federation was founded in 2000, the Russian authorities recognized it as a National sport federation in 2017, putting esports on par with established Olympic disciplines. In fact, Vladimir Putin himself has advocated organizing esports tournaments in schools and allowing children to play esports on school computers.
Esports have experienced a boom in Russia the past few years. In 2019, the industry was estimated at $28.6 million, and it is projected to reach $57.28 million by 2024. While data for more recent years is still being collected, the number of esports players and viewers grew from 3.6 million in 2017 to over 4.8 million in 2019.
With its large internal market, Russia has become a hotbed for esports fans, many of whom also like to bet on esports.
Popular Esports in Russia
The most popular game in Russia, in terms of professional esports is by far Dota 2, while comparatively few Russians play League of Legends, the MOBA’s main rival. CS:GO is the second most popular game, while Starcraft comes in third. Other popular esports include Hearthstone, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. (Source: Esportsflag)
Russian Esports Teams
Russia is home to some excellent esports teams, most of whom specialize in CS:GO or Dota 2. Here are the top-5 earners. (source: Esportsflag, earnings retrieved on 18 march 2021)
Virtus.pro is Russia’s top earning esports team. They have won $9,604,763 with their Dota 2 team, and are the number 3 ranked CS:GO team in the world, earning $3,001,089 with the game to date. The team is also active in Fortnite and Apex Legends. Virtus.pro player Dmitriy ‘hurma’ Geynts will also become a content creator for Fortnite.
Team Empire is Russia’s second highest earning Dota 2 team, with $1,856,263 in prize money to date, and is currently ranked the 21st ranked Dota team in the world. They also dabble in Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege and even PUBG.
Gambit Esports is Russia’s second best CS:GO team in terms of overall earnings, with $1,178,872 to date. The team is very versatile, and it has made a handsome $460,466 in LoL and $418,266 in Dota 2. The team was one of the first successful LoL teams in Russia (2013 – 2014), and had an excellent CS:GO season in 2016 – 2017.
Vega Squadron is another team that shows just how good Russia is at Dota 2. So far, the team has earned $468,792 from the popular MOBA. The team also dabbles in CS:GO and LoL. You can follow them on their Twitch channel.
The Top 10 Russian Esports Players
As we mentioned earlier, the top esports in Russia are Dota 2 and CS:GO, though one of the top 10 esports earners, “Pavel” is actually a Hearthstone player. The country’s top CS:GO earner is “flamie” Egor Vasilyev, while the top earner overall is Dota 2 player “RAMZES666” Roman Kushnarev.
|1||RAMZES666||Roman Kushnarev||Dota 2||$1,787,796.92|
|2||Solo||Alexei Berezin||Dota 2||$1,782,525.61|
|3||9pasha||Pavel Khvastunov||Dota 2||$1,713,179.57|
|4||RodjER||Vladimir Nikogosyan||Dota 2||$1,343,941.13|
|5||flamie||Egor Vasilyev||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||$852,674.16|
|6||electroNic||Denis Sharipov||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||$650,708.66|
|7||G||Sergey Bragin||Dota 2||$431,047.82|
|8||Illidan||Ilya Pevcaev||Dota 2||$387,272.26|
|10||seized||Denis Kostin||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||$341,759.80|
(source: Esportsearnings.com, earnings retrieved on 18 march 2021)
The Legal Situation of Esports Betting in Russia
Sports betting is slightly more complex legally in Russia than in other countries. This however, does not stop Russian bettors from finding their way to sites like 1xbet, GG.bet or Pinnacle. Technically, casino betting and sports betting are illegal in Russia, and the Russian government tries to stop Russians from betting online. Their efforts, however, are mostly focused on blocking operators from getting access to the Russian market, and not on bettors who play at these sites.
Payment Options for Russian Players
The fact that many standard payment options are still available for Russian players to bet with, shows that the Russian betting market is in fact wide open, as many operators accept Russia-based Yandex, among many others.
Mastercard and Visa
Credit and debit cards with Visa or Mastercard are the most widely accepted payment methods worldwide, and that includes esports betting sites. Whether you can use your card at any betting site usually depends on your issuing bank. Some banks in certain countries do not allow betting-related transfers, but most will process your payments without issue.
Mir card is a payment system unique to Russian. The system has 73 million users in the Russian Federation, rivalling Mastercard and Visa in the region. Many betting sites, such as 1xbet, accept Mir payments, among others.
Yandex is Russia’s version of Yahoo or Google and is the most popular search engine in the country. They also have their own e-wallet system YooMoney (formerly Yandex.Money). This payment system is widely accepted at various esports betting sites.
Qiwi is an e-wallet that works with a Visa Prepaid Account. It has 20.3 million active users, most in the Russian Federation. Anyone with a Qiwi wallet can make purchases or deposits at retailers betting sites that accept Visa.
WebMoney is a prepaid card which you can purchase with a wide range of payment methods. Anyone can register for an account, and you can use your personal WebMoney ID for deposits at betting sites or online purchases.
Moneta.ru is a Russian e-wallet, which allows Russian users to transfer money safely online. Accounts are available in Russian Rubles, US Dollars and Euros, and you can preload your Moneta Wallet with a wide variety of payment methods.
Cryptos: Bitcoin and Ethereum
Cryptos like Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum are some of the best options for esports betting in Russia for a number of reasons. You will not need to pay any fees (except miner’s fees in certain cases), making it a much cheaper option than most e-wallets. Additionally, your transfers will be anonymous, meaning nobody will know how much you are making from esports betting.
Esports Betting Russia FAQ
What are the most popular esports in Russia?
The most popular esports in Russia are CS:GO and Dota 2, while Starcraft takes the third place, ahead of LoL, Hearthstone, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm.
Who is the top Russian esports player?
The top Russian esports player in terms of earning is “RAMZES666” Roman Kushnarev, who has won over $1.7 million playing Dota 2.
What is the best Russian esports team?
Russia’s top esports team is Virtus.pro, who have earned tens of millions playing CS:GO, Dota 2, and several other games.
Which payment methods can Russians use for esports betting?
Russian bettors can use a wide variety of payment options at betting sites, including Mastercard and Visa, Mir card, YooMoney, Qiwi, WebMoney, Moneta.ru, and Cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Which betting sites accept Russian players?
For players in Russia, we recommend GG.bet, Pinnacle, Loot.bet, Arcane bet, or 1xbet.