What are esports?
Esports is the catch all term to cover competitive video games usually played professionally. Esports come in many forms, in the same way that the Olympics covers many sports, so the term esports covers many titles.
Who plays esports?
People sometimes confuse esports with kids playing video games. This is like confusing a kick around in the park with the Premier League. Esports players at the top level are professionals who can earn millions a year in sponsorship and prize money. Esport players are usually professionals playing for well run teams such as Team Liquid or Evil Geniuses. Unlike in other sports an esports team will have different teams competing in numerous esports.
What are the most popular games
Esports come in many forms from Rocket League (football played in cars) to Hearthstone (card based battle game) but when it comes to betting 85% of bets are on the three big titles: Dota2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Which esport betting market is the easiest to understand?
While Fifa and Rocket league are easy to understand, the betting markets are not big. The two big MOBAs (Multiplayer online battle arenas) are League of Legends and Dota2, there are thriving betting markets but it is not immediately obvious what is going on. For our money the easiest entry to esports betting is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, (CSGO). It is quick to understand, you can follow the action easily and there are more betting options so you will be more likely to find one that suits you.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
What are the rules?
CSGO is a first person shooter or FPS. Other FPS include Call of Duty, Doom or Halo. In CSGO two teams of five players compete to attack the others base.
A match is the best of three maps and each map is the best of 30 rounds. A round lasts around 1 minute 55 seconds.
Once you get the hang of CSGO it is easy to understand what is going on and get caught up in the excitement.
What are the big upcoming tournaments?
Dreamhack Masters 19th May to 7th June
BLAST Premier 31st May to 21st June
How to bet on CSGO
CSGO betting falls into two camps. Betting on the teams or betting on the players
Team betting on CSGO is available from most bookmakers and a number of markets are available such as Match Winner, Map Winner, Total Maps, Total rounds or handicap betting. As team bets are basically an either or choice the odds are generally just under evens but markets are available frequently through a single game.
Team betting on CSGO is like betting on a football game, you just have to pick the team that will win the match, or the half (map).
March this year saw the launch of the first Player betting site, Puntt. Puntt is the only operator who can offer bets on an individual players performance. This means there are five times as many out comes and 5 times the odds.
Puntt is currently offering win and place markets on which players gets the most frags on all major CSGO tournament.
Player betting on CSGO is probably most like horse racing. You can study the form and use your insight to bet on the tote. With place betting in May and exotics coming down the track this may appeal to the more decerning punter!
Where to watch
Most games are available on either twitch or HLTV and are free to watch. Betting operators often have links to the games or streams on their bet pages.
How can I see the form and check results?