Welcome to our run down of the Top 7 eSports events that take place annually. Betting on eSports is growing and continues to gain in popularity year-on-year, with an increasing number of bookmakers now offering a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments. The global gaming market will hit CAD $151.5 billion in revenues this year, and eSports represents the highest-level competition in gaming today including the best and most professional players in the world today.
From CS:GO, Starcraft to League of Legends, there are now several betting markets and bet types available for eSports betting worldwide and specifically for Canadians. Our detailed eSports betting guide will introduce to the Top 7 eSports and where and you can bet on eSports.
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League of Legends
‘League of Legends’ is a production from Riot Games that was released only as recently as 2013. The game achieved almost instant success and is currently played by more than hundred million players worldwide on a monthly basis. In terms of competition play, ‘League of Legends’ is the second most played game worldwide, falling only slightly behind CS:GO. Leading eSports sportsbooks usually offer markets on the World Championships. The 2016 ‘League of Legends’ World Championship offered as much as a monster CAD $6.54 million prize pool.
CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)
CS:GO is THE most popular eSports game worldwide. CS:GO is an acronym for Counter Strike: Global Offensive and the game was first released in 1999. There are a multitude of eSports tournaments held for the popular game with professional players travelling and playing across the globe, a fully professional world tour just like tennis or golf. With the game being the most well-known in the world and around since 1999, it is by far it is the most common eSports game to bet on. Consequently, CS:GO is possibly the only game in which a second generation of players are now playing. Chances are, if you are new to betting on eSports, CS:GO is a good place to start.
Dota 2 International
The Dota 2 International is hosted by game creators, Valve. The first Dota 2 International first took place as long ago as 2011 in Cologne, Germany shortly after the game’s public release. The tournament prize pool that year was an impressive CAD $2.2 million and has been growing exponentially year-on-year ever since.
Last year’s Dota 2 was shown on the Internet through streaming website Twitch, and the final prize pot reached an astonishing CAD $26.76 million. It is worthwhile to note that Dota 2 winners tend to be underdog winners. For example, in 2017, none of the top four teams were ‘invited’ to the tournament and had to qualify for the tournament.
Qualifiers take place throughout the year in Seattle, Rio, London, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, Singapore, Seoul and Sydney. The competition usually wraps each year in mid-to-late August.
The Intel Extreme Masters
The Intel Extreme Masters was established in 2006, thus making it the longest running gaming tournament in the world. They host up to five events per year, including annual events in Katowice in Poland, Sydney, Australia, Gyeonggi, South Korea, Oakland, USA and Shanghai, China.
The Katowice event has established the crowd attendance record of any eSports competition in the world with more than 173,000 people attending the stadium a single day in 2016. In addition, that day, an incredible 46 million unique viewers watched online!
If you are interested in placing eSports bets but don’t want to limit your betting choices to a single game, the Intel Extreme Masters is the event for you as it covers the widest selection of games in eSports. eSports fans can bet on CS:GO, StarCraft 2 and League of Legends.
StarCraft World Championship Series
With elements of military strategy, set in a sci-fi setting, Starcraft is arguably one of the most exhilarating and ingenious games that now features an international tournament series.
The Starcraft World Championship Series is split up over a series of events with a total prize fund of over CAD $3 million. The series is produced in conjunction with Afreeca TV and the tournaments are co-hosted events with two other tournament series, ESL and DreamHack. After many games played over the several tournaments, the player numbers are eventually whittled down to a final 16. These players then take part in StarCraft final playoffs to decide the ultimate Starcraft champion.
Overwatch World Cup
Overwatch is the newest game to the eSports scene, released only three years ago. However, the game is growing quickly, with approximately 30 million players currently registered to play. It’s not the most common game to bet on, however, some bookmakers have added it to their list of eSport tournament betting options.
DreamHack Masters 2018
Every year in late August to early September, sixteen of the world’s best CS:GO teams compete to go down in the history books as the DreamHack Masters champions and win an incredible $250,000!
The tournament changes venues each year and having been in Las Vegas and Malmo in the past, this year, the event moves to the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm. The DreamHack Masters is a wonderful place to start betting on eSports (if you haven’t gambled on eSports before) thanks to its uncomplicated rules and small number of teams.
Betway – The Home of eSports Betting
Betway is one of the largest online sportsbook brands in the world, operating a full online casino and is THE leading eSports bookmaker in the world and is our recommendation to Canadian players who are looking to take an interest in eSports betting.
Betway was established in 2005 primarily as a sports betting platform, however, Betway rapidly grew to embrace many other exciting features such as a Casino, Poker room, a Live Dealer Casino, and of course now, eSports.
In 2017, Betway became the leading global brand in eSports betting, with sponsorships including the CS:GO Pro League, and ESL One Cologne in addition to their sponsorship with winners of the 2016 DreamHack Masters, the Sweden-based ‘Ninjas in Pyjamas’ professional outfit.
Good luck and great eSports gaming!