The Rise of Esports Betting: How It Differs from Traditional Sports Betting and Ways to Get Started

by Staff

The increasing popularity of esports poses multiple opportunities, primarily for gamers. An ongoing revolution in esports here in New Jersey and beyond shows that aside from providing multiple physical and monetary benefits, it offers players at the collegiate level the opportunity to build a professional career. 

Yet gamers aren’t the only people who can take advantage of esports’ soaring fame. Other parties who can benefit from it include developers, event organizers—and, more importantly, spectators. With the esports market raking in billions of dollars a year, viewers who play their cards right can turn a profit based on the outcomes of various competitions, leading to a similar rise in esports betting. In fact, the market for this activity is expected to reach $2.5 billion this year. 

But what exactly is esports betting? How does it differ from regular sports betting? More importantly, how can you try it yourself? Read on to see your burning questions answered. 

Defining esports betting

The concept behind esports betting is pretty simple: it involves predicting the outcome of an esports event. It’s a fairly new form of wagering in the overall sports industry that, thanks to its tech-reliant nature, offers a number of ways to play and earn. Aside from leveraging real fiat currency, you can use virtual currencies like Bitcoin and even gaming skins to place bets. You can even try social betting, which involves private arrangements between you and another bettor. 

As you’d expect, most bets revolve around which player or team may win a particular match. However, you can also wager on plenty of other factors, such as:

  • Who makes the first kill during a match 
  • What the final score of a particular match will be
  • Odds/evens betting, where you guess if a certain player or team will achieve an odd or even number of players killed, or rounds or matches won 
  • Over/under betting, which involves guessing if a player or team will hit a score above or below the amount set by an esports betting site
  • Who will win a tournament 

The type of esports betting you try can also be unique to the game you’re following, such as VALORANT, Call of Duty, or Overwatch 2.

Esports vs sports betting 

Though similar, esports shouldn’t be mistaken for sports betting—which, thanks to a few key technological advancements, can now also be conducted via computer or mobile device. The main difference between them is the different formats with which sports and esports are played. The latter’s competitive tournament setting uses distinct rules as compared to traditional sports like boxing and football, which can affect what and how you can bet in the first place. Because esports matches are more digitized, you can get more accurate statistics and better decide what you want to wager. Finally, most traditional sportsbooks stick to real money betting—and as we established above, esports betting goes beyond that. Ultimately, that means you’ll have more options if you wish to try the latter. 

How to get started in esports betting 

Esports betting may seem simple, especially if you consider the data this wagering format grants you. However, don’t let it fool you. There are still plenty of factors you’ll need to consider when trying it if you wish to achieve the best outcomes with minimal loss. 

Do your research 

If you’re going to enter the world of esports betting, you’ll need a solid foundation of knowledge to help you navigate it. That’s why one of the best esports betting tips for beginners is to do your research. Of course, you can always start by learning more about how different types of bets work, what you want to bet with, the different rules for betting in specific games, and how to understand team and player statistics. You can leverage plenty of free online resources to do this, such as news articles, videos, forums, and podcasts. 

However, you can go even further by taking your betting skills on a trial run. Try picking a game you’re interested in, then tune into a live match. Don’t bet anything just yet—before you watch the stream, check out the teams’ match histories and the rules of the specific tournament you’re looking at. Once the match begins, pay close attention to the commentary. Put all this information together and make some educated guesses, then see how accurate you are once the game is over. It’s a great way to sharpen your skills before you start betting for real. 

Pick a platform

For a seamless experience, you’ll want to make your esports wagers on websites and apps run by licensed and regulated operators. That will ensure you’re betting in a more secure environment. Finding one will depend on the state you’re in. For example, those in the Centennial State will want to look for a provider approved by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission. Meanwhile, people betting right here in New Jersey should ensure their platform was given an internet gaming permit by the state government. 

From here, you’ll want to pick your website or app based on your needs and preferences. That can include the games you want to bet on, the betting types offered, and the payment methods accepted. You may also want to try platforms that provide additional features. For example, you might like functionalities allowing you to bet anonymously or withdraw your money without charging extra fees. Some websites even offer live esports betting features, which can further inform your decisions in real time as matches progress. 

Stick to a budget

Before creating an account on your chosen esports betting platform, try to set a budget by determining how much money you’re willing to lose. Once that’s done, stick to it. After all, this is just a pastime—so don’t let it affect your other financial obligations. You can select specific betting strategies to help you out. For example, you can start wagering low amounts and gradually increase them the more you win. 

From here, it’s crucial to keep track of how much you’re spending. Manage your bankroll and list all your wagers, wins, and losses, whether in a notebook or on a spreadsheet. That can prevent you from one of the biggest rookie mistakes in the game: chasing your losses. With a proper strategy and a means to follow your money, you can keep yourself from spending more after betting inaccurately. Otherwise, you may end up losing more money in the long run. 

Keep practicing! 

Practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first few bets don’t turn out the way you want them to. Accept that losses happen and recognize that your esports betting skills may need more honing. To fix things, you can go back to the basics. Redo the trial run process mentioned above and see where your decisions went awry. It may turn out that you rushed your bets or overlooked some key statistics, so you’ll want to determine where you need to improve before placing another real bet.

 Once you’re ready to start betting again, take things slow. You’ll want to gradually build your skills and experience to achieve the best results. Experiment with different bet types and see what works for you. Familiarize yourself with how to bet for a specific game before moving on to another one. If you feel a specific strategy isn’t working in your favor, tweak it and see if it becomes more effective. All these things can help you achieve better outcomes once you’re well into your esports betting journey.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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