I want to preface this page by answering the most common questions that I hear.
- Will esports ever be big like other sports? Yes
- Will esports ever be considered a “real sport”? Yes
- Are esports players really “athletes”? Yes
- Are there ways to win money betting on esports? Absolutely!
Professional esports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, there are currently millions of fans all over the world who spend countless hours each day watching the best players streaming their favourite games online. Betting on major esports tournaments is quickly becoming a booming business and Australian online bookmakers are not being left behind, each of the top Aussie bookies now accepts bets on all major esport events.
There are plenty of major sponsors of pro esports teams, in fact traditional sporting teams are some of the biggest sponsors of the best teams at the moment. The definition of esports is very hard to define in only a few words, I would say that esports are computer games that are played at a professional level with prizes, paid competitors and regular events. The difference between professional gamers and esports is that pro gamers are often solo players, where pro esports are generally team based games and require a lot more than just the best player in the world in order to be a successful esporting team.
Many people ask if esports are “real sports”, or if esports players are “real athletes”. I think the answer to both is a definite yes. Without meaning to sound condescending, a lot of people thought that about newer sports in the past as well, curling didn’t always feature in the Winter Olympics, skateboarding was never really seen as a pro sport until Tony Hawk and others like him came along and proved just how good people can get at something. Nobody had even dreamed that drone racing would be a thing, and these are just a few of many, many examples.
What is Esports Betting?
In case you aren’t aware of just how big eSports betting is becoming especially from the younger generation, I once heard a conversation between a parent and their son which went something like this “Parent: ‘Why do you waste your time watching other people play computer games when you could spend the same time playing them yourself? To which the son replied: ‘Why do you spend your weekends watching football when you could be playing soccer yourself?’
To many people, these aren’t just computer games, they are real sports. The amount of skill and strategy involved is truly unparalleled in traditional sports, this makes eSports betting popular among younger bettors and the market is only going to grow. If you aren’t already a fan of betting on computer games, perhaps you never will. But one thing is for sure, betting on eSports is here to stay and its one of the biggest growth markets in online betting.
The Most Popular Esports Computer Games
Counter Strike: Global Offensive aka CS:GO
One of Valve Corporation’s (of Half-Life fame) most successful games of all time, it’s essentially a FPS (First Person Shooter) where teams are assigned randomly as either a terrorist or counter-terrorist. Originally releaseed in 2012, CS:GO has had continuous updates and is still immensely popular today.
Defense Of The Ancients 2 aka Dota 2
At the present time, Dota 2 is one of the largest esports games in relation to prize money, major tournaments often have prize pools totaling millions of U.S. dollars, the highest of any esport game at the present time. Dota 2 is a MOBA game where the objective is to defeat the other teams “Ancient” with your own team, whilst defending your own “ancient” from being destroyed. Don’t let the simplicity of my explanation fool you, it is a highly skillful game and millions of people watch the best streamers play each day.
League of Legends aka LoL
Another MOBA game inspired by a mod of Warcraft called Defense of the Ancients, the concept of LoL and other MOBA games is difficult to explain in a few words. Similar to DOTA 2 but with quite a few major differences which sets it and its fans apart.
One of the original eSports games is still one of the most popular, especially in Aisa. Blizzard Software’s most popular computer games, a Real Time Strategy game which relies on resource management, defending your own base whilst at the same time building up a force to attack your opponents.
Blizzard has come out with another massively popular game suited perfectly for eSports competitions, Overwatch won many Game of the Year awards and is one of the most unique FPS games on the market today. A team based game where the objective is to either capture an area, or move a “payload” through the map with characters who each have completely unique abilities. The characters are based on certain classes such as offensive, defensive, tanks and healers, but mastering a character and playing as a team is a lot harder than it seems.
Another Blizzard game, Hearthstone is one of the most popular card strategy games based on the existing lore of the massively popular Warcraft games. Hearthstone is a fast paced and easy to learn but the skill level is high and immensely popular in part because it is cross-platform, meaning you can play on a mobile phone against a person on a high end gaming computer with no disadvantage.
If you are wondering if esports are a fad or a real trend, then you don’t need to wonder any more. Esports are growing at an astounding pace, and they aren’t going anywhere. There are lots of good betting opportunities to be had if you can learn about some of the games, or even play them yourselves. Who knows, you may end up becoming a better player than a punter, for me, however, I’ll stick to punting.