Anyone who thinks esports are a fad that will fade away given time is sadly mistaken. Esports events might not get the same attention from the mainstream sports media that is reserved for the NFL or the NHL, but the audience for these events grows by leaps and bounds every year. There’s even been speculation that esports will eventually become part of the Olympic Games.
A sign of how popular esports have become is evidenced by the amount of money that is wagered on esports competitions through online sports betting sites. Recent statistics estimate that number to be around $7.4 billion annually.
Is it any wonder then that all of the best Canadian sportsbooks are offering betting lines on just about every esports competition that’s out there today? The size of the wagers that are being placed on these esports events is absolutely staggering, with several different games all proving to be extremely popular with bettors.
These are the top esports games in terms of betting revenue among the esports wagering public.
League Of Legends (38 Percent)
Still the No. 1 esport in terms of betting revenue, LOL is the game that deserves so much recognition for launching esports from phenomenon into a full-force driver in the betting world. A fast-paced multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), LOL has managed to stay relevant in this ever-evolving genre by not resting on their laurels.
Much like the betting sites that offer lines on this game, LOL is always updating the quality of its product to keep pace with other developing games in this genre. The variety of strategies involved in LOL also make it intriguing.
Types of LOL wagers available include first blood, total match length (over/under), baron kills, dragon kills, first turret, first inhibitor and player vs player stats.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive (29 Percent)
With each passing year, CS:GO is closing the gap on LOL as the most popular esports game with the betting public. There are a number of reasons why this is proving to be so. For instance, it’s the most prominent first person shooter game among the current esports titles.
As a round-based game with multiplayer competition over a small area of maps, it’s a very exciting game. From a wagering standpoint, it creates a vast variety in betting markets and opportunities to place wagers. The live betting markets during a CS:GO event are also plentiful.
Among the types of bets available include match winner, map winner, map rounds handicap, map total rounds, map total rounds odd/even and yes/no overtime odds. And with almost all major tournaments now being live streamed on Twitch and YouTube channels, it’s easy to follow the action from an event in real time no matter where you are located.
Dota 2 (8 Percent)
Among the up and comers in the esports realm, Dota 2 looks to be the one with the most potential to usurp some of the betting market from CS:GO and LOL. Dota 2 is extremely similar in game play style to LOL in that it is a five-on-five MOBA format.
Wagering options for Dota 2 include map betting, over/unders on occurrences such as handicaps, kills and map victories, positive and negative map advantages, total kills, total maps won, kills advantage, first to 10 kills, first to 20 kills, first blood, roshan kills, courier kills, team to destroy barrack 1 and team to destroy tower 1.
StarCraft II (7 Percent)
StarCraft II is a science fiction real-time strategy video game, StarCraft II is a sequel to the original StarCraft game first released in 1998. With numerous leagues and tournament play to partake in year round, including the StarCraft II World Championship Series that is sponsored by Blizzard Entertainment, developers of the game, StarCraft II is often cited as being one of the key contributors to creating the esports craze.
While an extremely popular game, one of the reasons why StarCraft II doesn’t garner a greater share of the esports betting pie is simply the fact that there are limited betting markets with this game as opposed to some of the other esports competitions. Available betting lines on StarCraft II include match winner, Map 1 winner, Map 2 winner and correct map score.