Just like the world of traditional sports, competitive gaming also attracts an audience interested in predicting the outcome of the matches, looking to bet on esports. Naturally, the demand brought along a supply of such opportunities, and now we can safely say that esports betting is very similar to what it’s like when it comes to regular sports.
Which are the most popular esports?
League of Legends: the Riot juggernaut
Ask anyone with a cursory interest in gaming and chances are, they’ve already heard of LoL. One of the most popular games in the world, League of Legends is one of the two big MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas), the brainchild of Riot Games. Their yearly world championship finals attract massive sponsors like Louis Vuitton and Spotify alongside the usual gaming companies, making it a must-watch for any gaming fan, and a straightforward starting point for betting on esports.
DOTA 2: the biggest event in town
Often seen as LoL for brainiacs, DOTA is an almost indecipherably complex MOBA game but its intricate teamplay and many decision points sometimes offer an even bigger spectacle than the most exciting League matches can. No wonder it’s an auto-include on every esports betting site! However, there is a price to pay for this in the form of a steep learning curve and it can take some effort to get into the game. Here’s the thing: once you’re in, you’ll never want to go out again. Like, literally. You’ll be glued in front of your computer for thousands of hours trying to rank up in this thing.
There’s also the small matter of The International, the biggest of all esport events in the world, the conclusion of the year-long circuit with eye-popping amounts of money on the line thanks to robust crowdfunding. TI10 will offer over $40 million in total to the twelve teams who qualify for a chance to make gaming history and change their lives forever.
CS:GO: the golden oldie that’s as big as it ever was
Counter-Strike is a first-person shooter. No, scratch that. Counter-Strike is the first-person shooter for many. The franchise has thrived for over twenty years based on the same ironclad gameplay formula: five attackers want to plant a bomb and five defenders want to defuse it. Since 2013, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO, has been the top title in the series. Killing the other team is also an acceptable solution. The punishing gunplay and the fast-paced action coupled with a unique economy system meant that CS stood the test of time when many others haven’t, and it still reigns as the king of FPS esports, with some of the best esports betting stories coming from CS upsets.
VALORANT: the new kid on the block
Speaking of CS, there’s the game that shall not be named, the one whose name begins with V and ends in wehavecopiedValve’shomework. Let’s be real, it is very much like Counter-Strike but with a much more hands-on developer. Why, yes, it’s made by Riot Games, them of League of Legends (meaning Dota but copied homework) fame! The game is often described as a mixture between Counter-Strike’s mechanics and Overwatch’s accessibility, with faceless and nameless fighters replaced with special characters with unique abilities. The game’s popularity has skyrocketed since its launch and the devs are clearly pouring resources into it to ensure that it becomes another LoL-like juggernaut both in the esports scene and outside of it.
Rocket League: cars playing football
Again, just for emphasis: it’s cars playing football! What else do you need to know? No other game has such crossover appeal for the traditional sports crowd as Rocket League, and the jet-powered flying cars with the oversized balls on a futuristic football pitch is the perfect setup for a fun gaming session, not to mention the wet dream of any young boy. Its rapidly growing scene now under the auspices of Epic Games, guaranteeing a ton of resources for any project aimed to propel Rocket League, just like the cars in the game, to the very top.
Overwatch: the most ambitious project in esports history
This game also warrants more than just a cursory mention when discussing Valorant. Though it clearly hasn’t lived up to the initial hype, Overwatch served as a natural development of the team-based shooter genre, taking the mantle of Team Fortress 2 into the new decade. Featuring Blizzard’s trademark polish and streamlined gameplay, Overwatch is a blast to play. It also happens to have the nuttiest competitive concept attached to it, a massive franchised league with big-money bigwig owners. Blizzard’s play to create an esport on a larger scale than any other title may have run into stumbling blocks but the game still remains more than relevant in the world of competitive gaming, and Overwatch 2 serves as a great tool to revitalize interest in the title.
League of Legend: Wild Rift
The latest entry into the League of Legends franchise, Wild Rift was designed to replicate the traditional LoL experience on mobiles and other handheld devices. Unsurprisingly, the mobile version of such a gaming juggernaut has turned out top be a smash hit it its own right, with a popular esports league and many imitators looking to get on the mobile MOBA bandwagon, as hard as it is to compete with Riot’s offerings.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Sometimes stylized as MLBB, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is another entrant in the highly competitive mobile gaming MOBA space. Developed by ByteDance subsidiary Moonton, a Chinese company, it offers a different take on the 5v5 team battle setup, and it’s been among the most popular games in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries back in 2017. The game is still going strong, with a robust competitive scene anchoring its pro play and high-level tournaments.
Call of Duty Mobile
It should be of no surprise that the most popular first-person shooter franchise on the globe also has its mobile version, which has proven to be a great success among gamers all around the world for many years. It’s no casual afterthought either: CoD Mobile has its own esports scene and official competitions, with its winners serving as some of the best players across the entire Call of Duty franchise.
Is esports betting legal?
Yes, it is. Our Isle of Man Gaming License is one of the most reputable ones in the gambling industry and we have many country-specific ones secured as well alongside it to make sure that you can sleep well at night once you’ve deposited your funds with us. We’re entirely transparent in our dealings and we go out of our way to support organizations like ESIC to ensure that the esports scene remains fair and solid all around. Relax, sit back and enjoy betting on Rivalry!
Why is Rivalry the best place to bet on esports?
We’re all gamers here and have been involved with the scene long before Rivalry came to be, and we’ve channeled our enthusiasm and passion towards esports into creating a kickass platform for you where you can safely bet on esports events, making sure to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s in the process.
Better still, we believe that our love for gaming helps us create a better product with many unique features you won’t find elsewhere on another site that just happens to offer esports betting alongside their regular markets. We know of the games and teams many of the big sites have never even heard about, and our team is always working on fancy new social betting ideas and fun features alongside some spicy esports betting markets you won’t find anywhere else.
Frequently asked questions
What is considered to be an esport?
Here’s a rule of thumb: is it electronic and are people competing? Congrats, it’s an esport. If any of these aspects are missing, you might be looking at an exception. Chess, for instance, though it may have been played online for big money by the top players owing to the pandemic, doesn’t attract the kind of screaming fans a massive Dota event, like The International would.
What are the most popular esports?
The list above should give you a good idea. In terms of player count, LoL, CS:GO and DOTA stand head and shoulders above the rest, though VALORANT will no doubt enter this conversation very soon.
How to bet on esports?
It’s easy as pie – just register with the gambling site of your choice (you’re currently visiting a pretty awesome one), deposit funds, navigate to the desired betting market and select a match. Make sure to check out the Rivalry Academy for an awesome breakdown on how to gamble responsibly and intelligently!
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