How to Become an eSports Expert
Max Dubossarsky, Betinvest, COO.
At first glance, eSports seem simple to understand: no more complicated than the rules of football. Indeed, what could be so hard about running around a map making frantic headshots at enemies?
However, going a bit deeper, you’ll find that eSports betting takes much more thought than traditional sports betting, and getting to grips with all the basic terms is a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the topic. With such a plethora of games – of various genres, features, and their own particular fanbase – it’s impossible to fit everything to know about gaming culture into a single article. Still, BetInvest has tried to summarise all the basics of eSports betting to guide you through the process of how to start offering your clients new betting options without losing your mind along the way.
Are there any substantial differences between real-life sports and eSports?
Some eSports games have nothing to do with real-life sports, while others are their exact replica. Therefore, the general term “eSports” should be divided to better describe each game category that requires our attention.
BetInvest analytics separate eSports into two categories: classic eSports, which consist of CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, and the alternatives – eGames, which combine all the sports-themed titles such as FIFA, NBA and NHL.
So, to understand eGames, you simply need to be familiar with the rules of the games they simulate (whether it is football, basketball or tennis).
Classic eSports betting markets are what pose the major understanding problem for betting platform owners. Here are some of the main terms needed to decipher the secret language of players:
Frags – a fancy name for “kills”.
Godlike streak – a term explicitly used in Dota 2 betting, which describes the number of kills (“frags”) a player has to make in a row before a character dies. Godlike streak is precisely nine kills in a row.
Map – simply put, a playing field where two teams compete to win. The term is universal for almost all eSports games, and yet it may vary in meaning. For example, in Dota 2, two opposing teams have bases on a map – to win the map is to destroy the opponent’s Ancient (main building). In CS:GO, opponents have no bases – winning a map involves either killing all enemies or achieving an objective (e.g. bombing the map if playing as a terrorist, or defusing the bomb when playing as a counter-terrorist).
Understanding of these three terms will help you begin to understand the markets available in our Sportsbook. BetInvest’s Sportsbook solution, for example, has 14 FIFA markets and more than 22 markets for NBA fans. The diversity in betting options attracts players with even a superficial understanding of eSports, who come looking for entertainment during the interruption in real-life sports tournaments.
What is important to know about eSports bettors?
In a recent study conducted by BetInvest, all bettors were split into two categories – ones who exclusively bet on real-life sports and those who bet on eSports from time to time. The demographics remained similar for both categories, with the majority of players being male – still, there were some differences which allow us to recommend eSports so strongly.
Based on our observations, the average eSports bettor is young (between 18 and 25 years old), has a high level of education, great financial stability, and is culturally diverse. Open reports from influential market players support this – the diagrams demonstrating the average age and bet size of players show that eSports fans are mostly young and they put more money on their favourite eSports than regular bettors do.
To put this into context, a regular football bettor would wager €14 on the most probable outcome of a match before lockdown, when real-life sports were clearly leading the betting industry. For CS:GO, the average bet has remained at around €18 throughout the past six months, having fallen slightly from €18.50 pre-lockdown numbers.
The events of the past six months have paved the way for the popularisation of eSports and their growth of influence among players in the betting industry. Most betting software providers have taken due note, with dozens of new eSports-tailored products coming onto the market every day.
BetInvest is proud to say that our focus on eSports dates back to 2018, when we made our first steps to split the eSports market into distinct categories. Since then, we have introduced hundreds of small upgrades, which have led to our eSports and eGames solutions as we know them today.
eSports are volatile and hard to understand for people outside of gaming culture – and yet the possibilities they hold are indisputable. Betting business owners may wish to spend some time learning what they want to offer their players, although this is optional – no knowledge is required to implement BetInvest’s Sportsbook solution on a website. In a matter of hours, a betting platform can start accepting bets on Dota 2, CS:GO, FIFA, NBA, NHL, LoL, Rainbow Six, Overwatch and many other popular games.
An established trend, eSports offer unmissable opportunities for betting businesses. And BetInvest would be glad to share its experience in the form of Sportsbook solutions for eSports and eGames with businesses looking for a hassle-free introduction to the betting industry of today’s world.