eSports originated in Korea in the late 1990s and has evolved significantly over the last two decades once the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) was formed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The KeSPA oversees over two dozen eSports titles while Korea is home to three television networks dedicated to eSports alone.
A successful beginning allowed the sport to spread throughout Asia including India in the 2000’s and has captured the hearts of many fans in North America and Europe as well.
A survey by SuperDataResearch  indicates that there were 134 million eSports viewers worldwide as of May 2015.
eSports aka electronic sports, is now as popular as ever with multiplayer video game competitions attracting plenty of attention. There are some fantastic video game genres that include FPS or first-person shooter, or MOBA or multiplayer online battle arena.
In addition, there is an incredible amount of tournaments such as:
- The League of Legends World Championship
- Battle.net World Championship Series
- The Intel Extreme Masters that bring with it incredible prize money.
- CSGO or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Hidden Path Entertainment’s online first person shooter are among the major tournaments that attract games in large numbers.
The Best eSports Betting Site for India
As one of the oldest bookmakers established in 1974, Bet365 offers a wide range of betting products and accepts wagers in Indian Rupees (INR).
It is one of the most reputed bookmakers licensed and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. Members also have the privilege of using the live in-play feature to wager on eSports games in progress.
*To learn more if Bet365 is the esports betting site for you read our full Bet365 review.
Here is what Indian players can wager on in Bet365’s eSports markets:
- Dota 2
- CSGO – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends (LoL)
- HOTS (Heroes of the Storm)
- Starcraft 2
- Call of Duty (COD)
- Smite (recently introduced in 2016)
Finding eSports on Bet365
eSports betting markets are available through the main menu of Bet365’s site. Simply click on the E-Sports link on the left side of the main menu and choose the desired game and tournament/league.
If you are a fan of League of Legends, Dota 2, or any other eSports games, you could definitely use your knowledge and place some lucrative bets on your favorites, right here at Bet365. They offer some of the best odds.
How to Bet on eSports
- Open Account on Bet365 –To be able to bet on eSports, the first thing you will have to do is sign up for a betting account with a bookmaker like Bet365 and make a real money deposit. Earn a 15% deposit Bonus up to 2500 Rs. at Bet365.
- Deposit Funds – Registering for an account doesn’t take more than a few minutes after which you will need to deposit money in your account. Players residing in India have the option to make deposits and withdrawals in Indian Rupees with Bet365.
- Deposit Methods – Members can fund their accounts via credit and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro. The bookmaker also supports eWallets such as Neteller, and Skrill.
- Select Market – Once you have deposited adequate funds in your account, you are ready to start wagering on your favorite eSports events. Simply click on the ‘E-Sports’ icon on the left hand side of the main menu and on your choice of event, and place an appropriate bet.
- Betting Types – Players can place bets on Match Handicap, Match Winner 2-way, Map 1 Winner 2-Way, Total Maps, and Correct Map Score, to name a few.
You can view the bet slip on the right hand side of the screen to know how much profit you can make.
7 Tips on Choosing an eSports Betting Site
There are several fundamental criteria that must be met before you go ahead and sign up with a bookmaker.
1. Trustworthy Site
1.To begin with, the site must be trustworthy and have a solid reputation in the online bookmaker’s industry. It is important to consider the jurisdiction under which the sportsbook is licensed and regulated. This information is always available in the footer of the site.
In the above example, it is clear that Bet365 is licensed and regulated in a credible jurisdiction, i.e. the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner.
2. Social Media Presence
Another potential test of authenticity is the bookmaker’s social media presence. Make sure to check out what other people say about the site and its availability and accessibility on social media.
3. Test the Site
It would be prudent to do a bit of homework and open an account with the minimum deposit and place a minimum bet. If you have any queries, contact the customer support staff and gauge the quality and sincerity of their response. Test their support service but mostly focus on their odds accuracy, odds value compared to other sites and withrawal transaction speed.
4. Variety of Betting Options/Odds Value
Any online gambling enthusiast will want the best possible betting options and odds. Bookmakers like Bet365 offer favorable odds that are among the best in the business so make sure to check out the prices before you start.
In addition, look for the number of betting options. Some bookmakers offer a variety of options on every single eSports event or game. Live betting or ‘in-play’ betting is also offered by some sites, which is also a major attraction.
Bookmakers like Bet365 continue to rapidly increase their cover so make sure to consider this when choosing an eSports betting site.
*Learn how to read betting odds, you will need to determine value in each bet.
5. Banking Methods
Some online bookmakers support a variety of payment methods for the convenience of players around the globe. Bet365 goes a step ahead in permitting players in India to deposit funds and cash out in Indian Rupees.
Always look for a site that offers a payment method that suits your style. Everyone is not comfortable using credit and debit cards online, so check for sites that offer a variety of eWallets such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. Prepaid cards such as Entropay are also a convenient way to fund your sportsbook account.
*Visit our banking walkthrough guide for more information on how to fund your sportsbook account from India.
6. Experience Matters
An online bookmaker that has been around for a while is usually a sign of credibility. The more the experience the more likely the online bookmaker will provide an overall better gambling experience.
7. Promotional Value
Apart from price and a wide range of eSports betting markets, an online bookmaker must also offer great promotional value in terms of welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, VIP and cash back programs, and free bets.
*Here we propose a list of the best sports betting bonuses available for India.
Fighting Games are the earliest tournaments to be played which started with the Evolution Championship Series in 1995. The competitions focused on arcade games such as Killer Instinct series, Mortal Kombat series, Super Smash Bros. and Street Fighter Series.
First person shooters (FPS)
Then came FPS or first person shooters that focuses on the simulation of a firefight which can be played individually or team based.
Doom, released in December 1993 set the tone for eSports competitions and was the first FPS in the market.
Quake was a series 1v1 PC based games launched in 1996. The last release was Quake Live in 2010. In 2012, the Intel Extreme Masters dropped the title.
The Counter-Strike series is one of the most popular team based first person shooters that includes Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, released in 2012. Major League Gaming’s CS:GO Major Championship: Columbus 2016 featured the largest prize pool of $1 million in Counter Strike history. The title went to Luminosity Gaming who got the better of 15 other teams.
Other popular FPS games include the Call of Duty Series with hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs in high level leagues and tournaments.
The Halo series is another game that features in Major League Gaming with a current prize pool of $2 million.
Real Time Strategy (RTS)
Real time strategy games are also a major part of eSports gaming where individual competitors compete on PCs over a LAN or the internet. StarCraft, Brood War, Warcraft II, and Starcraft II, continue to feature prominently at events and tournaments.
FIFA Football has been an official game of World Cyber Games since 2001. Hosting leagues such as the World League eSport Bundesliga and Electronic Sports Leagues in Germany are home to the largest FIFA Football community.
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA)
MOBA games have stolen the show over the last few years and are a spin-off of real time strategy games. These are team focused games that feature five players in each team.
- Defense of the Ancients Smite is a third-person MOBA that was officially released in 2014. Hosted by Hi-Rez Studios, the Smite World Championship Series (SWC) is one of the popular tournaments with a multimillion dollar prize pool.
- Other popular eGaming sports include War Thunder, World of Warcraft, and the Nintendo World Championships.
Now that you are familiar with different eSports games, it’s time to learn the types of betting.
Types of eSports Betting
There are several ways you can bet on the outcome of eSports competitions. These include:
Traditional Sportsbook Betting
Sportsbooks like Bet365 offer a wide range of eSports betting products. The main advantage of betting at sportsbooks is that players can place wagers with confidence since bookmakers like Bet365 have a solid reputation in the industry.
In addition, the bookmaker continues to add to its selection of eSports betting products. In this type of betting, players can wager on the outcome of a match or a specific event.
Fantasy eSports Betting
Fantasy betting permits players to create fantasy teams for major events. The team which performs the best during the series of events is declared the winner.
This genre is popular in the United States and has enjoyed partial exemption from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) . Instead of betting against the house, players compete against other players for millions of dollars at sites such as AlphaDraft and Vulcun.
Social eSports Betting
Social eSports betting may be a limited market but has also gained popularity. In this type of betting, individuals place casual bets on the outcome of a match or even, between friends.
It’s a great way to add some fun and excitement to betting and enjoy a social experience.
Item betting usually does not involve cash transactions and takes place within marketplaces for in-game items, often for high stakes.
Most wagers and prizes are in the forms of transferrable in-game property such as abilities or weapons.
Types of eSports Bets
There are several ways to place wagers on eSports. Most products offered by bookmakers are similar to bets offered for live-action sports such as football or basketball.
However, money lines and point spreads are the two commonly offered betting types for eSports events.
Money lines: American Format
Money lines are the odds on bets for simply picking the winner of a match. A money line is denoted either in American or decimal format. In the American format the money line has a negative and positive value. For example, for a Dota 2 the American format let’s say is:
Team Spirit: -200
Team Rebels: +150
In this example the values are based on the amount of money a bettor must wager in order to earn $100. Team Spirit has a negative value and are therefore favored to win. The ‘200’ denotes that a person must wager $200 on Team Spirit in order to win $100 and get back $300.
On the other hand, Team Rebels has a positive value ‘+150’ which is an indication that they are the underdogs. In the above example, an individual who bets on Team Rebels will have to place a $100 wager in order to win $150. If the bet is successful the person will get back their initial $100 wager in addition to $150 more, giving them a total of $250.
Money Lines: Decimal Format
Indian players may find the decimal format more conducive to their settings. In this system, bettors must multiply their stake by the decimal value shown. The number 2 stands for even odds since bettors can earn double their stake in case of a successful bet. If an individual bets $100 with the odds at 2, they will earn $200, i.e. $100 in winnings and their $100 bet:
Team Spirit: 1.5
Team Rebels: 2.5
In this example, Team Spirit is the favored team since its value is less than 2, which makes Team Rebels the underdog since its value is greater than 2. If you bet $100 on Team Rebels, a successful bet will result in you getting back $150 as part of the victorious bet and $100, the initial amount bet, for a total of $250.
On the other hand, if you placed a $100 bet on the favored Team Spirit, you will win $100 x 1.5 i.e. $150. In this example, $100 is the bet what you put up and $50 is the winnings.
In plain terms, point spreads are handicaps or advantages offered by bookmakers. For example, if the point spread is (-1.5) the favored team must win by at least 2 points for bettors to be successful.
For the most part, in eSports betting the handicap refers to the number of games won in a best of a specified number of games series. The money line changes according to the number of games or points needed for victory.
The bookmaker considers the different outcomes when creating odds. The odds of a team winning by at least 2 games are different from that of a team winning first place because of the added handicaps.
let’s say Team Spirit was an underdog in a game. In such a case, an interesting bet may be one whether Team Spirit may win if they start with a 1-0 game advantage (a handicap bet).
Such a bet would be written as: Team Spirit (+1). If a team begins with a game deducted, let’s say Team Rebel, then it will be denoted as Team Rebel (-1).
The odds will change due to the added handicaps so Team Spirit with a +1 advantage may be now at 2.00 while that of Team Rebel may have drifted to 1.99.
Parlays are bets that can be placed on the outcome of eSports games or events. It is basically a combination of multiple wagers into a single, large bet.
For example, an individual may bet that Team Rebel wins a Dota 2 Prodota Cup match on April 23, that Team ROX Tigers may win a League of Leg3ends playoff on April 25, and that MVP Black may win a HOTS match on April 27.
These wagers can be combined into one single wager where if all three predictions are correct the bettor’s winnings will be based on multiplying all three money lines together.
On the other hand, if any of the three wagers is incorrect, the bettor stands to lose the entire amount.
eSports Questions and Answers
Is eSports Betting Illegal?
The answer to this question solely depends on a player’s jurisdiction.
Currently, there is no law to stop players in India from betting on eSports. The important thing to understand as a bettor is to be aware of the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction.
For more information on betting laws in India you might want to read:
How is eSports Regulated?
eSports consists of a number of leagues and entities cooperate with each other.
Currently, there is no central regulatory body but online bookmakers that are licensed and regulated in reputed jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Gibraltar, undoubtedly have more credibility.
How Do I Know if eSports Matches are Fair?
Gamblers are understandably concerned about fairness in any sportsbook. There are a few elements that help ensure and affirm the fairness of eSports matches and events. And it all begins with the fact that the prize pools only get bigger, which diminishes any incentive to fix or throw matches.
Most importantly, the entry of online sportsbooks like Bet365 in the eSports betting market, which is licensed and regulated, does much to ensure fairness in eSports. Increased prize pools and betting options leads to more focus on regulation and decreases the ability of any unscrupulous elements to hide.
There is a good amount of respect amongst competitors and fair play remains integral to their character as the thrill of not only winning money but beating an opponent is much greater than that of being labeled a match fixer.
3 Tips From Our Expert
It is no secret that there is no quick rich scheme when it comes to eSports betting, just like any other betting.
However, there are always ways to get an edge as a bettor. And our experts believe it all starts with learning to play the game yourself. Knowing the basics of the game will make you bet smarter.
Catch up with all the latest on eSports games and events in the news.
- Make use of social media, Reddit, forums, and other places where active players tend to interact.
- Make use of YouTube to watch streams of pro players and the advice they have to give.
- Watch tournament broadcasts, don’t miss the opportunity to pay attention to what the commentators have to say. They may have some specific points to note while it is prudent to look for patterns between games as well.
With time, you will be able to learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team and make well informed bets.
Popularity of eSports and Betting
Asia is said to be the leading eSports market with revenue worth over $321 million. North America is next with $224 million and Europe a close third at $172 million, according to Fortune.com .
Global revenue is expected to touch $2 billion by 2018. Fans are projected to bet around $23.5 billion by 2020, which just goes to show how rapidly eSports has grown and how lucrative it is to bet on the outcome of competitions.
Then again, eSports betting is just as popular in India as it is in North America or elsewhere and if you want to learn more about how to bet on eSports, you’ve come to the right place.
Betting on eSports matches is easy so even if you aren’t too familiar with the sport there’s plenty of room to understand the finer aspects of the game and wagering.
As reported by The Economic Times, India has made its way into the list of countries that own major professional eSports leagues .
The beginning of 2016 saw the launch of the Indian Gaming League (IGL) that aims to revive gaming culture in India. In the first 2 weeks following its launch, the IGL was able to garner over a thousand applications from individuals seeking to become professional gamers.
Founded by Yash Pariani and Krish Galani, two men in their early twenties, the IGL plans to base its model on the Indian Premier League (IPL), the country’s major cricket league. The plan is to have six city based franchises. The games currently include DotA2, LOL, Call of Duty and CounterStrike, to name few.
This means there a whole lot more money to be made by betting on eSports in India. This could be the best time to join the fun and get ready to cash out plenty of winnings from the Indian Gaming League teams.
 superdataresearch.com, The worldwide eSports market reaches 134 million viewers, 2016
 forbes.com, Why Is Gambling On Fantasy Football Legal?, 2016
 fortune.com, Global ESports revenues to surpass $1.9 billion by 2018, 2016
 economictimes.indiatimes.com, esports Gaming League Looks Like Taking Off in the Country, 2016