eSports Betting in Ireland
In recent years, you may have seen eSports play a more prominent role in your chosen betting platform. If so, you aren’t alone. But is this a new betting opportunity? Today, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about this market. You’ll learn the history of eSports, how you can bet, types of odds, and we’ll even offer some tips at the end.
Top eSports Betting Offers & Sites:
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BetVictor offer an impressive €100 Match Free Bet for new customers in Ireland. This is a very competitive offer for the Irish market.
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As part of the Marketplay Ltd family, Mr Play has a sportsbook but the website has also expanded into slots, scratch cards, and even live dealer table games.
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888Sport offer a good welcome offer and their casino business also offers new customers some great incentives. At the time of writing they offer up to €30 in free bets.
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For many bettors, it is the welcome offer that first attracts them to a particular bookmaker so this is where we will start. In truth, it is fairly simple in that you can receive a €40 free bet when you join which is a great way to get started.
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Coral is a very well known brand in the UK, but relatively small here in Ireland, you can get up to €20 in free bets when you sign up as a new customer.
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With a name like Bethard, it is easy to think that the site’s branding is inspired by the concept of putting your cold, hard cash on the line when laying down some wagers.
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After opening in 2017, BetRegal has caught the attention of many for their sports products and online casino.
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QuinnBet is one of the newest players in the online betting scene. They're also based in Ireland, making them a good proposition for you as a betting fan.
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After launching back in 2005, Karamba has some experience in the gambling industry. However, all this experience came with their online casino.
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William Hill is a very well known brand in the UK and is gaining popularity here in Ireland. They currently offer new customers a €25 Free bet.
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Unibet operates throughout Europe and offer Irish customers up to €30 in Free bets, as well as offers for Casino and Poker.
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History of eSports
These days, it’s hard to imagine a betting world without eSports, but how did it all begin? If we look back even two decades, gaming wasn’t nearly as prominent as it is today. With the rise of so-called YouTubers and other influencers, gaming has lost the stigma that was once attached to the hobby.
As we progressed through the 2000s, we started to see more gaming events and tournaments. With the growth of YouTube, even casual gamers could attend gaming festivals and other events. As interest grew, the gaming providers got more extravagant with their reveals and launches.
Right at the beginning of the century, internet cafes and gaming centres became popular in Japan, South Korea, China, and other areas of Asia. There was almost a cult following for games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Call of Duty, Halo, and others. Leading developers and publishers that built a community around their games included Valve Corporation, Blizzard Entertainment, and Riot Games.
Over time, the niche snowballed, and some game franchises rose above the crowd and this led to professional leagues. Of course, the success of these leagues would only be possible with strong support…and this is what they had. In 2018, the winner of the Dota World Championship received $25 million, and this shows the extent of the growth in the last ten years especially.
In 2020, lots of eSports events are available to stream around the internet (and even the TV, in some circumstances!). Naturally, the betting world took advantage and offered fans and viewers an opportunity to wager money on their favourite teams and players.
Here are three of the most popular eSports for betting right now:
- Dota 2 – Interestingly, the roots of this game come from the playing community of World of Warcraft (WoW). Designed as a mod for the game, it soon found appeal in the market and even Elon Musk used the game to test AI projects.
- League of Legends – Considered a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game, League of Legends was created by Riot Games in 2009 – and it still has a huge following today. In terms of eSports and the associated betting, League of Legends is somewhat of a leader with plenty of events.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) – As a follow-up to the first Counter-Strike effort from the early 2000s, this game might be eight years old but it doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. To date, the publishers have sold 25 million copies and events are always available on YouTube or Twitch.
Other games include:
- Heroes of the Storm
- StarCraft 2
- Call of Duty
- Rocket League
Types of eSports Odds – How Does It Work?
If you’re just starting to take an interest in eSports betting, there are different ways to bet. Firstly, you’ll find straight odds, and this is where you choose a win for either side or a draw – much like you’d see in the sporting world. At the beginning of the tournament, you can also choose an outright winner. If this team or individual comes through to be victorious, the bet will win, and you’ll get the money.
Much like betting on football or cricket, there’s also live betting, and the markets you find will depend on the game in question. As an event unfolds, the markets and odds will change; you’ll need to act quickly before the event takes another turn and the odds change again.
In truth, we’re still in the early stages of eSports betting. With this in mind, the available markets for events are always evolving. We expect this to continue, and each game will develop unique markets for players to utilise. For example, while writing this guide, there’s an ESL Pro League Europe event for CS:GO. After clicking on a fixture, the available markets included the following for a ‘best of three’ game:
- Match winner
- Maps total (over or under 2.5)
- Maps handicap (+ or – 1.5)
- Correct score
- Team A to win at least one map
- Team B to win at least one map
As more and more people bet in this area, we expect the number of markets per event to expand significantly.
Choosing an eSports Betting Platform
Next, you need to know where you can bet on eSports events. As well as big names taking up this new sport, we have also seen a number of specialist platforms open. In other words, platforms that focus on eSports alone. If you choose the latter, be aware that these are new services and may not be as reliable as more established names. In our experience, it’s best to stick with the names we all know and love, even if they don’t prioritise eSports.
eSport-only services are certainly enticing, but they don’t have the scaling opportunities of the bigger names. They only focus on eSports, and this doesn’t have enough traction to become a leading service in the industry. With this, you’re better off choosing a huge brand that has the resources to offer extensive eSports markets.
How do you choose a platform? Keep the following in mind:
- Betting Opportunities – First and foremost, which video games take your fancy when it comes to betting? After coming up with a shortlist, ensure that prospective bookmakers offer these games. Some games are extremely fun to bet on, and this is just one of the reasons why eSports betting is so exciting right now. Choose the platform that hosts the games and events you need.
- Bet Types – Before choosing a website, look at the available markets and whether the bet types meet your needs. For some, they will only offer outright betting. On the other hand, there are some services with extensive markets for each game.
- Service – Thirdly, think about all the other considerations that are important when choosing a betting platform. This includes responsible gambling features, customer support, odds, whether you also want to bet on other sports, VIP club, banking methods, and more.
By choosing an established name, you can flick between eSports, regular sports, casino, bingo, and whatever else you enjoy. Keep this in mind when choosing a betting website. In terms of individual bookmakers, new games are released constantly, and even older games are finding their own betting markets. Established games have strong homes in 888Sport, bet365, Unibet, Betway, and many others (as you’ll see above!).
If you like to bet live, bet365 and Betway are two of the biggest names. While lesser-known tournaments might not get much attention, the larger events will have lots of different markets. Also, we should note that live streaming isn’t something you will find with many betting platforms. Since most events are available for free on sites like Twitch and YouTube, betting platforms haven’t a need to get involved in this area.
Tips for eSports Betting
First and foremost, our advice would be to consider game selection. With betting, it’s all about spotting opportunities and gauging the likelihood of one event happening over another – the best way to do this successfully is to be comfortable in your chosen game. In much the same way, it’s easier to bet on sports you know rather than ones you don’t know (even if the average bettor wins more on the latter).
Once you narrow down on the game, we urge you to learn as much as possible about the teams and players. What’s the history of a team? What’s their record across professional competitions? The odds will only tell you so much, so dig deeper and be willing to learn.
With many eSports, the event itself is preceded by a drafting phase. Here, you learn the line-up of teams and get insights into the event. For us, this leads to the next tip which is to watch streams (even when you don’t plan on betting). The more time you spend around eSports, the more knowledgeable you become, and this can only be a good thing with betting.
Also, take advantage of live betting. Let’s say a strong favourite has gone 2-0 down in a best of five. If you still believe they will win, live odds should be strong because the team needs to win three in a row. With live betting, you could spot some great opportunities to make quick money.
Betting on a favourite is reliable, but the favourite doesn’t always win, and returns for a favourite aren’t going to provide much motivation. Instead, weigh up the balance between risk and reward. With this, you’re ready to head into eSports betting. Good luck and have fun!