eSports Betting in the UK 2023
Competitive gaming has seen a massive surge in popularity over the past decade, growing from groups of friends playing video game consoles at home to a billion-dollar business where gamers from all over the world compete online, watched by a global audience that is expected to surpass half a billion in the coming years. And side by side with that growth, eSports betting in the UK has also become hugely popular with punters.
In this article, we’re going to highlight our favourite eSports betting sites and explain exactly why they are worth your time and money! We’ll also talk a little bit about the most popular eSports such as CS:GO, League of Legends (LOL), Dota 2, Overwatch and FIFA eSports betting, and share some practical betting tips too!
*bet265: For new customers only. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. #Advertising disclosure
The Best eSports Betting Sites in the UK
Before we answer the question “What is eSports betting?” and take a deep dive into this fascinating world, here’s a summary of what we consider to be the top 10 eSports betting sites in the UK:
- bet365 – Great range of eSports betting tips and statistics
- William Hill – Acca boost can be used on eSports selections
- 888sport – BetFeed feature tells you which eSports bets are trending
- BetStorm – Multi-view eSports live streaming
- Luckster – Huge range of eSports markets
- LuckLand – Great selection of in-play eSports markets
- FansBet – Great selection of free bet deals
- Spreadex – Excellent eSports odds
- QuinnBet – Daily and weekly free bet offers
- VirginBet – Massive range of eSports on offer
The Best eSports Betting UK Sites
1. bet365 – Superb all-round eSports service
It’s no shock that one of the biggest sportsbooks in the world is also a superb eSports betting website. However, what did come as a pleasant surprise was just how well-rounded bet365’s eSports offering is. There are a huge range of eSports featured, from the big-hitters such as League of Legends, Call of Duty and CS:GO eSports betting markets, to slightly less well-known games such as KOG (King of Glory).
The number of markets available within each game is also impressive, as is the fact that you can bet on the future winners of the biggest eSports tournaments.
The bet365 in-play offering is also superb, with lots of games and markets to wager on and a great selection of live streaming options. And the cherry on top of what is already a very tasty cake is the eSports betting tips that can be found at bet365, along with a huge range of past results and statistics to inform your betting decisions!
- Generous welcome offer
- Huge range of eSports matches and markets
- Superb in-play offering with live streaming
- eSports betting tips
- Great range of eSports statistics
- Acca bonus doesn’t apply to eSports
*For new customers only. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. #Advertising disclosure
2. William Hill – One of Britain’s oldest bookies is moving with the times
As one of the most well-known bookmakers in the UK , William Hill could easily rest on their laurels and offer a bog-standard eSports offering. So credit to them for being such a strong eSports betting website, offering a huge range of pre-match and in-play markets, live streaming and even a useful eSports gambling guide.
And as an added bonus, both their Acca Insurance and Acca Boost offers also apply to eSports multiple bets, giving eSports bettors the chance to share the benefits enjoyed by punters wagering on the more mainstream sports.
- One of the most trusted names in British betting
- eSports Acca Boost & Acca Insurance
- Great selection of eSports matches and markets
- Extensive in-play offering with live streaming
- eSports gambling guide
- We’d like to see more free bet offers on site
3. 888sport – Tailored betting experience
888sport is one of the most intuitive betting sites we’ve come across, providing a tailored betting experience on desktop and mobile where your history is remembered and your favourite markets appear more prominently as a result.
If you’re a regular eSports punter the site will also recommend wagers for you based on previous winning bets. And even if you’re new to eSports, to give you inspiration, the top five trending bets are shown front and centre on the eSports section of the site. In addition, 888sport’s Acca Club is a great offer where you can earn a £5 free bet each week when you place £20 or more on multiple bets, including eSports.
- eSports trending bets feature
- Tailored betting experience
- Acca Club loyalty bonus
- Daily price boosts
- eSports betting with Paypal is available
- Slower withdrawal times than many of their rivals
4. Bet Storm – eSports specialist with a superb live betting offering
Bet Storm may be a relatively new eSports betting website but they are certainly aware of the growing popularity of eSports. They are one of the few sports betting sites to offer a specific eSports-related promotion, called the eSports Leaderboard. And the 10 highest-wagering players on certain DOTA, League of Legends and CS:GO eSports betting markets in a given period of time will win free wagers.
Placing eSports bets is made easier by the fact that on the Bet Storm home page, different titles are listed separately alongside all of the other sports you can bet on, instead of only being accessible by clicking a general “eSports” button. Their range of games and markets is also excellent but where Bet Storm really comes into its own is with its in-play offering. Live streaming is offered as well as a nifty multiview feature allowing punters to follow more than one live event at the same time.
- Win cash prizes for betting on eSports
- Multiview option for live betting
- Excellent amount of worldwide eSports markets
- Lots of eSports statistics
- No mobile app
- Withdrawal fees
5. Luckster Sport – New eSports betting site making an impact
The newest eSports betting site on our list is also one of the best, thanks in no small part to the fact that Luckster is powered by Aspire Global, one of the leading providers of iGaming solutions. Which all makes for a smooth betting experience when wagering before an eSports event and betting in-play.
Luckster also ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to eSports betting in the UK as they offer a fantastic selection of games to bet on and a great range of markets too. Live streaming is present and correct and we also love the fact that their Acca Boost applies to ESports bets, enabling you to potentially increase your profits.
- Acca Boost can be used on eSports multiple bets
- One of the best selections of eSports we have seen
- Live streaming available
- Excellent range of in-play markets
- No eSports betting app
How We Rank the Best Sites For Betting On eSports
UK punters are blessed with a superb selection of eSports betting sites and can bet safely in the knowledge that they are all covered by the gold standard of gambling regulation which is a license from the UK Gambling Commission. However, there are differences between sites so we always judge them by a specific set of criteria so that you can pick the site that best meets your needs.
The security of betting sites is our number one priority, especially when it comes to eSports betting sites that are increasingly frequented by novice bettors. So you can always be sure that any site featured in any of our articles will be properly licensed, regulated and 100% trustworthy. Beyond that, you should always make sure that a bookmaker you are considering joining up with has everything in place to protect their customers’ payment and personal details. And as we always say, if safety is one of your most important considerations then you can’t go wrong by selecting an established bookmaker such as William Hill.
The best betting sites will not only feature the most popular eSports titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO and Valorant, but games such as Starcraft, Rainbow Six and also sporting titles such as FIFA. And Bet Storm is one of the best bookies out there when it comes to their selection of eSports titles.
Range of Markets
Punters want as much choice as possible when it comes to betting on eSports, so it’s important to know which sites offer the largest range of markets. The strongest eSports betting sites will not just offer match winner and total map markets but more in-depth markets such as the first kill on a particular map, map handicap markets, and specific prop bets on League of legends such as total kills and total towers destroyed. And we were really impressed to see all of this at bet365, and more!
Promotions that specifically relate to eSports are rare, so we were impressed to see that Bet Storm features an offer where you could be rewarded with free bets for placing in the upper echelons of their eSports betting leaderboard. QuinnBet also offers free spins when you place a certain number of eSports bets. And there’s an honourable mention for both 888sport and William Hill, whose acca offers apply to eSports.
The eSports online betting experience can be made all the more immersive and enjoyable if a site has a good selection of special features. And 888sport scores highly in that regard as they offer a great selection of eSports news and betting guides, as well as a trending eSports bets feature where you can see what the most popular wagers
Any site hoping to attract eSports online betting fans needs to have a strong in-play offering, with the key components being a strong range of games and markets, live streaming and a mobile-friendly site or eSports betting app. And we’re pleased to report that Luckster Sport is one of the few betting sites to feature all three.
How do eSports betting sites Compare in Terms of Games Covered?
If the range of eSports titles that a site offers is of great importance to you, then here’s a quick rundown of our top ten sites and the games they feature.
|Sportsbook||CS:GO||Dota 2||LOL||Valorant||Overwatch||Football||Rainbow Six|
How Do Esports Betting Sites Compare to Traditional Bookies?
All of the sportsbooks we have recommended on this page offer a wide range of betting markets, including the most popular sports such as football and horse racing as well as eSports. However, there are some differences between traditional bookies and the platforms that are more dedicated to eSports online betting, so it’s important to understand what they are.
|Dedicated eSports Betting Sites||Traditional SB|
|Markets||Different bet types, particularly when it comes to individual map markets such as over/under and prop bets such as first kill.||Generally offer a smaller variety of markets, including match winner and map handicaps.|
|Bonuses||Promotions that are specific to Esports events, whether it be price boosts or enhanced winnings, as well as general promotions that apply to eSports such as Acca Boosts and Acca loyalty programmes||Other sports are prioritised when it comes to bonuses. eSports markets may also not qualify for betting offers such as Acca Insurance or free bets.|
|Odds||Actual gaming experts help set the odds rather than stats guys, so they may well be more accurate and lead to better value prices.||Traditional sportsbook sites may not have as good an understanding of the eSports industry, meaning that prices could well be inaccurate at times.|
|Live Streaming||Live streams of popular eSports will be accessible on some sites.||Streaming is often limited to more traditional sports.|
|Payment Methods||Dedicated sites are likely to offer payments using more modern methods such as esports betting with Paypal and cryptocurrency.||Traditional sportsbooks will likely accept deposits and withdrawals via debit cards, e-wallets and bank transfer.|
Bet on eSports’ Biggest Events
Just like the Super Bowl is the culmination of the NFL season each year, eSports has its very own marquee events that not only sell out arenas worldwide but lead to huge viewing figures. And just like the Super Bowl or the football World Cup generates a huge amount of betting revenue, these tournaments are immensely popular for eSports punters.
League of Legends World Championship
The League of Legends World Championship is the marquee event in the LOL calendar and is always guaranteed to be one of the most-watched eSports tournaments every year. The 2021 edition in Reyjkavik attracted over 73 million peak viewers worldwide, who watched Edward Gaming lift the Summoner’s Cup for the very first time. And given that it is one of the heaviest trophies in the world, it needed every member of the team to get it done!
The 2022 Worlds will be held in Mexico City, New York, Atlanta and San Francisco and with fans set to be present for the first time since 2019 it will be one of the hottest tickets in the eSports calendar. And we reckon that LOL eSports betting will also be hugely popular for punters following the Worlds.
The richest event in the eSports calendar is The International, which is the culmination of the Dota 2 season. The total prize fund for the 2021 edition in Bucharest was a staggering 40 million dollars, with the winning team of Team Spirit taking home a cool $18 million, which should buy all the skins they need for the foreseeable future!
The next International will be held in Singapore and should generate another record-breaking prize fund and drive a significant amount of traffic the bookies’ way!
Fortnite World Cup
Fortnite is one of the few multiplayer games to have become a genuine cultural phenomenon. So it was no surprise when Fortnite graduated from being played in bedrooms and lounges after its 2017 launch, to the inaugural Fortnite World Cup just two years later, played at the home of tennis’ US Open and viewed online by over two million people!
The format of the Fortnite World Cup is unique, with single-player and team events, and 16-year-old Kyle Giesdorf, aka “Bugha” won the biggest ever solo prize for an eSports competitor when taking home a cool $3 million after winning in 2019.
Overwatch World Cup
Blizzard Entertainment’s multiplayer first-person shooter Overwatch was launched to critical acclaim in May 2016, so it was no surprise when the game took off with eSports aficionados to such an extent that the inaugural Overwatch World Cup ended up taking place just six months later.
The Overwatch World Cup is different from many eSports tournaments because it is made up of national teams, giving it a similar feel to sporting competitions like the football and rugby World Cups, allowing fans to cheer on their own countries either in person or via a Twitch live stream.
CS:GO Major Championships
The Majors are considered to be the most important Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournaments. The first CS:GO Major took place in 2013, with a prize pool of $250,000 split among 16 teams. Since then, the Major circuit has grown, with multiple events every year since 2014 and recent tournaments featuring 24 teams competing for a $2,000,000 prize pool.
And with CS:GO eSports betting being hugely popular the Majors also provide ample opportunities for eSports fans to enjoy a bet while watching their favourite teams in action.
FIFAe World Cup
No list of the biggest eSports tournaments would be complete without the FIFAe World Cup, partly due to the huge popularity of EA Sports’ FIFA series and FIFA eSports betting, but also because the open qualifying format means that millions of regular gamers can compete in the initial online stages. Only the very best 32 make it to the Grand Final though, leading to a fierce battle for the crown which provides a huge amount of excitement for FIFA fans worldwide and lots of FIFA eSports betting opportunities!
eSports Betting Special Markets
In addition to the standard betting markets such as a particular team or individual to win, there are a decent number of special betting markets available at the best eSports betting sites:
The vast majority of eSports games, whether they are First Person Shooters such as CS:GO, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games such as League of Legends or Real-time Strategy titles such as Starcraft, take place within the confines of a computer-generated map. Teams must complete a particular objective before their opponents to “win” a map, with games often played in a best of three or best of five map format.
There a number of betting opportunities relating to maps which you should know if contemplating a bet on eSports, the first of which is betting on the winner of a particular map. Then there’s the handicap bet, where instead of betting on a team to emerge victorious, you are wagering on them to win by more than one map, such as 2-0 or 3-1.
There are also “prop” bets on specific outcomes, such as the total number of kills in a particular map. And when it comes to LOL eSports betting you can wager on how many of the 22 towers featured on the map (11 held by each team) will be destroyed, with a common market being “Over 12.5”. Then there’s the prop bets such as which team will secure the first kill or slay the first Baron in a particular map.
Most eSports titles are free to play but the game developers make money by selling “skins”, which are a type of item within a game which can change the appearance of a character and allow for increased personalisation. Common skins are new character costumes, special paint jobs for equipment such as guns or even a change in the colour scheme or a design modification for the game interface. Players can purchase skins with in-game currency, which they can either earn via playing or purchase with real money.
Skin Betting Sites
With some skins being expensive and much sought after, a new type of gambling has developed called skin betting, which is betting using skins as opposed to real cash. Skin betting does not come without its risks and has come in for criticism due to the fact that it might encourage young people to gamble when they wouldn’t normally. Also, many skins gambling sites are unregulated and have no safeguards in place, increasing the chances of being conned out of money.
So it’s no surprise that traditional betting companies such as the ones listed in this article do not offer skin betting, and even the ones such as Loot.bet, only have a license from the Government of Curacao rather than the UK Gambling Commission, so should be approached with extreme caution.
Fantasy betting (often called DFS) goes hand in hand with sports such as football and American football, where individuals compete against each other by building teams of real-life players who earn them points during the course of a season. Most people play fantasy games for free, although some sites that are available to UK punters allow you to compete for cash prizes by charging an entry fee.
There are also eSports fantasy betting sites where players can build their own teams of players and compete with others, with some contests requiring an entry free and prize money being given to the winning competitors. None of our recommended sites offer fantasy betting on eSports, but it is out there and we would advise making sure any site you visit is fully regulated and has received predominantly positive reviews.
How to Bet on eSports
Now it’s time for our handy step-by-step guide to betting on eSports, using 888sport as an example.
Step 1: Visit Your Chosen Site
Using the information in this article you will be able to select an eSports betting site that best meets your betting needs, and from there you just need to click on the relevant link to open what is called a landing page, and then click through to the site itself.
Step 2: Sign Up
Now it’s time to sign up and you will need to input your personal details including your full name, address and date of birth and also create a username and password.
Step 3: Deposit Funds
You will need to fund your account before you can commence your eSports betting journey, so you will need to click on the “Cashier” button which is generally located in the top right-hand corner of the page. From there it’s a simple case of inputting the amount you wish to deposit as well as the payment method. And now’s the time to think about the welcome bonus, making sure you deposit the correct amount and use a payment method that will ensure you qualify for the new customer deal.
Step 4: Find Your Preferred eSports Market
Most betting sites will have a list of sports along the left-hand side of the home page, where you can either click on the exact game you are looking to wager on, such as League of Legends, or click on “eSports” and then find it on the next page. Once you have found your chosen game, click on it to open the markets and scroll down until you find the bet you wish to place.
Step 5: Place a Bet
Click on the odds to add your selection to the betslip, which will usually appear on the right-hand side of the page. Then repeat the process if you wish to create a multiple bet and when you’re ready, input your stake and then click “Place Bets”. And don’t forget that if this is your first wager on this particular esports betting site, make sure it is the right amount to trigger your welcome bonus!
Step 6: Withdraw Your Winnings
If your wager has been a winning one and you wish to withdraw some cash from your betting account then you need to click on “Cashier” once again, followed by “Withdraw”. Then you need to input the amount you wish to withdraw and confirm the payment method you wish the funds to be sent to, which will default to the one you used to deposit. Then click withdraw and the money should be with you within a couple of days but could be a matter of hours depending on the site you are using.
eSports Live Betting
Betting on an eSports matchup after it has started is hugely popular as it adds a more exciting and immersive element to your betting experience as you need to make quick betting decisions while the game is happening right in front of you. And you can also use the information from the game so far to make more informed betting decisions.
Every eSports betting site featured on this page has a superb live betting service featuring regular updates in graphical form, but the very best offer live streaming too. And another good live betting tip is to stay calm in the face of all the action that is taking place in front of you and try to effectively use events that are unfolding in the game to make sensible betting decisions.
Esports Betting Exchange
Standard fixed odds betting involves punters backing an outcome at a price set by the bookmakers, but exchange betting has been a welcome addition to the UK eSports betting scene because it allows customers to bet against each other rather than a traditional bookmaker.
In any betting market, there are two sides, those who think an event will happen (backers) and those who think it won’t happen (the layers). Only on exchange sites can you play the role of a layer, offering a certain price for a particular outcome that a backer can accept. If that outcome happens you will have to pay out their winnings as a normal bookie would, but if it doesn’t, you will win their money.
Betfair is the premier exchange betting site in the UK and a common example of an eSports exchange bet on their site would be who will win between Macko Esports & Atleta Esports in their LOL matchup. Instead of being restricted to backing one of the teams to win, you can lay a bet that one of them will lose, either at a price suggested by the site or one set yourself. And if that price is accepted by a backer then you have yourself a bet!
The Best eSports Betting Site Offers
Betting offers specifically related to eSports are few and far between, but the best UK eSports betting sites have some excellent existing customer offers that you can qualify for by placing eSports wagers, or new customer deals that will furnish you with free bets to use on eSports. We’ve given picked the best eSports betting site offers below, highlighting the main details for each, but you should always check the main terms and conditions too!
5 Ultimate eSports Betting Tips
Best eSports Betting Odds
When it comes to eSports betting odds, we can’t definitively say which site comes out on top as there are so many markets on offer that it would be impossible to compare each and every one. However, what we can say is that in our extensive experience of betting on eSports we have found that the more established bookies tend to offer the most competitive prices, and even if they aren’t best in class for every event you can bet with confidence that they won’t be far off!
Here are our three favourites:
- bet365 – Excellent range of eSports betting markets
- Spreadex – Competitive eSports betting odds
- William Hill – Tweet #YourOdds to William Hill to request bespoke eSports prices
As well as answering the question “What is eSports betting?” we have proved on this page that eSports is here to stay and will only get more popular in the future. And armed with the knowledge we have shared on this page you can not only select the best UK eSports betting sites for you but take advantage of all available offers and make sensible and well-informed wagers. And as ever we wish you the best of luck on your eSports journey!