With our ten golden rules for betting on esports we end this guide. Make sure you read, acknowledge and follow these steps as you make your first dive into the virtual betting arena to avoid any unnecessary bankroll losses.
1. Separate Fantasy From Reality: This is more specific to matches and tournaments that feature competitors that are born out of professional sports clubs outside of the virtual sphere. If you are a fan of PSG in football, you shouldn’t start betting on PSG.LGD to win just because you see the familiar logo. Research is the key in esports betting, so do not get fooled by the big names you see and ignore research over a gut feeling.
2. Beware of the Unknown: In the real world, teams and players can have off-days, and the virtual comparison to that is the element of unpredictability when players face-off in a one-off match. Because the esports scene is growing so quickly, there is a rapid emergence of a huge pool of new, unknown players. What does this mean? Well, it makes it extremely difficult for bookmakers to price up matches featuring a well-known favourite and a virtual unknown, which can cause you to place bets of poor value. Because of this, try to channel your focus initially on team sports which have much less volatility, and because they are traditionally played over the course of several rounds, there is a much smaller variance in results, so the cream should eventually rise to the top.
3. Shop Around: It's a basic principle when betting on traditional sporting events, but is one you should certainly carry over to the virtual world of betting on esports. Make sure you are registered with the bookmakers and platforms that are offering the best odds in your chosen markets, to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Specialist esports betting sites may be great for depth of markets, but some of the traditional bookmakers have the market clout to be able to offer slightly better odds that will bring in the bigger punters.
4. Check the Format: There are several factors that combine to create a match, but some of the most important ones to consider include the amount of rounds in a match, the maps being used, and the condition of the competitors and their rosters. A one-off match can lead to unpredictability, and while in real-life sports where a team could be depleted by injuries and suspensions, an esports roster is often rotated from event to event because of the heavy schedule. This can have a huge effect on the outcome of the match, so make sure you read up on which individuals are taking part in the match.
5. Choose the games you enjoy: It goes without saying that you should only bet on the esports that you have an active interest in. If you are simply not interested in League of Legends or Dota 2, you are not going to spend those extra hours reading up on form and keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in the game, which can have a detrimental impact on your bankroll. If you are a football fan, you might find Rocket League interesting. For those who are into high paced strategic thinking and insane personal skillevel, Starcraft 2 is made for you. When you start betting on esports, being enthusiastic about it goes a long way in terms of research.
6. Be the bookie: As bookmakers are still attempting to get to grips with esports, they make far more mistakes when compiling odds than if they were to do so in the more traditional sports betting markets. This means there are more opportunities for you to take advantage with value bets. Value bets involve the punter compiling their own odds based on their own perception of the probability of Team A beating Team B, or vice versa. If there is a reasonable difference between the theoretical odds you have put together and those offered by the bookmaker, you have what we would call a value bet.
7. Promotions: When you get used to lots of different bookmaker sites, it is quite easy to get an idea of which ones take esports seriously, and which ones treat is as something of an afterthought. You can tell a lot about a bookmaker by the promotions they offer to esports punters, so make sure you're keeping your eyes peeled. A particular favourite (at the time of writing) is the First Map Wins promotion offered by Betway in their League of Legends markets. In this promotion, they pay out your selection as a winner if they win on the first map in a best-of-five match, which is a great layer of protection if you are thinking about backing an underdog. Specialist esports platforms also offer a great range of free bets and bonuses, so don't be afraid to move away from your usual betting havens and trying something new.
8. Pick Teams to Follow: A simple framework we would suggest trying out when taking your first steps into esports betting is to select a maximum of three games which you would like to focus on, and then select up to three teams within those games, and follow their progress closely. For example, if you want to follow the FIFA circuit, why not "support" teams who are born from professional football clubs, such as Manchester City, Southampton and Werder Bremen. Having a more focused strategy allows you to build up in-depth knowledge of one particular niche, allowing you to become an expert, and while the bookmakers continue to catch up with esports, you can cash in.
9. Track your bets: As betting on esports is likely to be a new venture, it is essential that you track every bet you place, so you can keep a close eye on exactly which games and markets are delivering the best return on investment. If you are choosing to follow tipsters from Betting.com, it makes sense to keep a log of their success against each other, so you can determine which one is worthy of your bankroll investment in the long term.
10. Follow the news and join a community: Because esports is such a rapidly changing landscape, it can be easy to lose track of certain developments which can alter the way you place bets. One very good way to be informed is Twitter. Follow the teams and players to make sure you always have the up-to-date info if someone is playing with a stand-in, as that can have a massive effect on the game's result. One player change in Football or ice hockey won't matter as much with larger rosters, but in a 5v5 CS:GO game with no substitutes it makes a big difference. To avoid missing out on vital tidbits of information such as emerging talents, new tournaments and upcoming games, make sure to update your reading list with news sites in the world of technology, gaming and esports. This extra knowledge will help put you one step ahead of the bookie, which should manifest itself in some great profits.