There are no limits to what lies ahead in the world of Esports. The sport is still in its infancy, but it already has more viewers than the NBA on a global scale. And while many people may even find the idea of competing in video games and calling it a sport strange, they would undoubtedly change their minds if they knew how complex and competitive Esports is.
Let’s take a look in this guide at exactly what Esports and its most famous games are all about and how and where to bet on Esports in the UK.
We’ll also talk about the best offers, how to play on mobile, and the best payment methods for both live-betting and betting before a major world tournament.
Is the Esports betting market legal in the UK?
The answer is very straightforward. Yes. Yes, it is legal to bet on Esports in the UK. There are many worldwide famous bookmakers that not only offer hundreds of Esports markets but who also sponsor international and British Esports teams, as well as major gaming tournaments.
You need to be aware of whether these UK bookmakers have a valid and active license. Because, naturally, there may be hundreds or thousands of places to bet on Esports. However, if the platform does not have a permit from the UK Gambling Commission, you will not be able to bet legally on that site, which can also call for many unwanted restrictions.
Suppose you can’t find the license on the homepage of a well-known and trustworthy bookmaker in the UK. In that case, you can always contact their customer support, through the many possibilities, before opening an account.
Esports bookies operating in the United Kingdom
Let’s take a look at the best bookmakers in the UK for betting on Esports. Keep in mind that these bookies are not only highly respected in the UK but also in Europe. Thus, ensuring that they are safe and reliable:
· William Hill – This name echoes over and over again with every sports fan in Europe. It is impossible to turn a blind eye to this bookmaker, as they are the second largest and most crucial bookmaker in the UK. William Hill offers one of the most spectacular selections of esports markets, which is seemingly endless. With their reputation and fame, this bookmaker has armed itself with promotions and betting options that highly stand out from the rest. For anyone wanting to get started in the world of top Esports betting websites, William Hill deserves at least one good look.
· Betway – Two things set Betway apart internationally: their partnership with some of Europe’s top football teams and their Esports’ involvement. Not only does the bookie sponsor events and teams such as Ninjas in Pyjamas or BIG, but they also boast incredibly competitive markets and odds. Betway specializes in Esports because they have completely separated it from their sports portfolio, giving it a very sophisticated environment for their fans. On top of that, Betway also streams all the significant events, with experts informing fans of every event thoroughly.
· 10Bet – Although the name 10Bet may not resonate as much as the previous two, this bookie is a beast of the sports betting world. 10Bet offers an incredible range of 60,000+ pre-match events per month with over 55 sports and 25,000 live events. Although this bookmaker is not British, they are licensed by both the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. Hence, 10Bet is undoubtedly one of the most powerful platforms for sports betting, available as an app for iOS and Android.
· Unikrn – Many bookmakers and casinos concentrate on things like football and slots, as these are two of the biggest markets in the world. But the truth is that Unikrn focuses 100% on Esports, giving it an immense advantage over sports in the UK. Although there are still people who don’t know about Unikrn, the bookie has people like Ashton Kutcher or Mark Cuban in its investment team, which makes it a curious place to bet and demonstrates its seriousness and commitment on a global scale. The impressive thing about Unikrn is that bettors also have the possibility actually to play Esports and thus be part of a fantasy Esports betting environment!
How to choose a fair bookmaker in the UK?
From what we have just seen, you may have noticed that not only are these bookmakers licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. They also focus on offering every punter a unique betting experience.
However, it’s not all about the markets or the reputation of a bookie. What matters is whether they are also fair.
Two fundamental factors separate a fair bookmaker from merely trying to climb to the top of the betting ladder. As we have already mentioned, these factors are keeping valid and up-to-date licenses and the current conditions that the sportsbook sets for its customers.
Any severe and fair bookmaker does make life easier for punters, offering payment methods that are secure, fast, and modern. They must also include outstanding customer support and, of course, transparent and easy to understand terms and conditions.
So, when choosing your new bookie, always make sure you thoroughly check them out first before you start placing your bets.
Payments methods in UK esports betting sites
A more than essential aspect is the payment methods offered by the bookmaker. Take a good look at the following ones and always check if they are available when you want to place your first deposit:
· Credit cards – If you want to bet on something secure and international, then the first thing that should come to mind is VISA or MasterCard. These two identities are unmistakable in the online world. They have immense global security systems, meaning that they can be used in almost every country in the world.
· E-Wallets: Neteller & Skrill – In the UK, E-Wallets are not only gaining ground in the world of payments, but they also stand to become dominant identities in the online market throughout the next few years. Both Neteller and Skrill are candid to use, secure, and very fast for both deposits and payouts.
· Cryptocurrency – When we think of cryptocurrency, we think of bitcoin. And it is quite normal, as, over the last few years, cryptocurrency has revolutionized the world, multiplying its value year after year. Nowadays, bookmakers are increasingly implementing the use of bitcoin, which is a massive advantage for people who want to play not only securely but also anonymously.
· American Express – With perhaps a slightly shorter history than its cousins VISA and MasterCard, American Express offers the most popular alternative for credit cards both in the UK and internationally. This identity shines through its exclusivity and security, which is a perfect fit for esports betting.
· PayPal – PayPal reigns supreme in the realm of E-Wallets. This classic online payment method works perfectly and is incredibly convenient for betting and any other online platform. Bookies around the world have embraced PayPal as one of their favorite payment methods. As such, it is available in the vast majority with fantastic promotions.
The most popular esports games for betting in the UK
What used to be more of a niche market in UK betting has now transformed into a mass-market with endless betting options on the most competitive Esports games. In the last three years, the variety in Esports has spread to such an extent that today, the most famous games attract millions of fans every year.
Among the most dominant games is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is the essential shooting game on the market. Then there is LoL, which, even before the beginning of Esports’ fame, reigned supreme in the fantasy world. And recently, betting markets have also started to appear for Fortnite. Which, thanks to the buzz it has been getting since its launch, is becoming an essential part of the UK’s esports betting scene. Most of the bookies in the UK that offer Fortnite also offer games such as Hearthstone or King of Glory. They are slowly attracting more and more Esports players and fans to the world of online betting.
CS:GO ( Counter Strike: Global offensive )
Unlike what happens within the game itself, CS:GO is known for being the game that never dies. This is the fourth installation of the Counter Strike world, which was launched in August 2012. Since then, thousands of professional players have come to hone their skills, turning the game into an Esport juggernaut.
CS:GO has one of the largest communities of both fans and players. It’s true that in terms of cheating, the game also has some of the most famous scandals in the Esports industry, but that hasn’t stopped it.
As far as esports betting bookmakers are concerned, CS:GO is a heavyweight that, of course, attracts vast amounts of stakes. The game is so dynamic, exciting, and fast-paced that it is perfect for any live betting. In fact, in the UK and many other European countries, CS:GO has established itself as the main competitor to the old League of Legends fame and community. Without any danger of getting thrown off its shooting game throne.
League of Legends
In terms of League of Legends, it’s important to note that Riot Games recently launched a new LOL Esports brand, which serves as the umbrella brand for all League of Legends. This ensures that League of Legends competitions are held globally and in niche competitions such as high school leagues.
For those unfamiliar with League of Legends, the game is quite simple and straightforward. Players make it their mission to break the Nexus of opposing teams. Although it is a complex game in its strategies and fast-paced, it is not difficult to get the hang of it and get hooked on everything that can happen during a game.
Bookmakers in the UK love League of Legends due to its multiple top Esports tournaments and, of course, all of the above. This has made sponsoring a team or event a significant achievement in the industry, using it to increase Esports fans’ community on the bookie’s platform.
Behind CS:GO is the Overwatch League, slowly but surely trying to catch up with the shooting game giant. This game was released by Blizzard Entertainment and is described as a hero shooter. It was initially released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It later appeared on Windows and arrived later in October 2019; it came to the Nintendo Switch.
What is so striking about Overwatch and what makes it so prominent in Esports’ world is the fact that it is a cartoon style game and quite animated. In the first year alone, Blizzard announced that it had raised over a billion dollars. After three years, it already had over 50 million players. That’s why it is now considered one of the best games in history and can count on multiple awards.
This has created the Overwatch League, which is one of the most critical games in Esport. Overwatch esports betting is offered by most British bookmakers
To get an idea of the importance of Overwatch, one only has to consider the total Esports prize money of the second edition of the Overwatch League in 2018, which distributed more than 3.5 million dollars to its teams.
The fourth game that reigns supreme in the world of Esports is the legendary game Dota. Specifically, we are talking about Dota 2, which managed to set itself apart from all other games, thanks to its unstoppable story. It is a multiplayer online battle arena, also known as MOBA, released by the lovely people at Valve.
It all started as a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which came out as a community born through Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its successor, The Frozen Throne.
Like Esport’s other mainline games, Dota is also played as a team game, with each team defending its own map.
But the game’s revolution came when major streaming channels like Twitch and even famous TV channels like ESPN started to take an interest in the world surrounding Dota. This has led to the game becoming one of the emperors of Esport, offering, like the others, abysmal prizes that are higher than any other championship in the genre.
In fact, in 2017, it was when the Dota 2’s professional champions teams earned around $100 million, beating their competition by a margin of more than $60 million.
Bonus offers & Promotions for esports betting in the UK
Like the vast majority of current UK sports markets, Esports has specific promotions and offers that are not available in any other sport.
Given how active Esports is worldwide, the major online bookmakers in the UK offer an impressive amount of bonuses for betting Esports, concentrating mainly on free spins, cashback, and so forth.
This has not only boosted the UK Esports betting odds and markets but has given it a specialized identity, which doesn’t seem to be slowing down in any respect.
Then there are the welcome bonuses and deposit bonuses offered by sportsbooks, if you deposit in pound sterling, serving Esports fans precisely what they want for their favorite bets.
The truth is that, like all other promotions that exist in the bookmaker market, there are terms and conditions when betting at Esports which have to be respected and carefully analyzed. Every bonus dedicated to a market, tournament, or even an individual game has terms and conditions that specify precisely how the bonus is to be used. Whatever the bonus is, it is unnecessary to learn the entire bonus terms and conditions, but at least to know the basics to see if it is valuable or not in your betting.
You can be sure that the best esports bookmakers will do their best to make sure you understand the terms and conditions as well as possible. Besides, customer support will always be at your service.
Esports live-betting in the United Kingdom
Of course, let’s take into account how complex Esports are. We can also imagine how demanding and detailed the markets will be.
That has opened up new live markets, which were still completely unknown in the world of sport, and almost in the world of betting altogether. Today it is possible to bet during a game, who will be the next player to kill another player, who will take the map, or who will be the last one left alive.
To attract more fans to in-play esports betting and make it profitable for the bookies, many have decided to make live streams so that it would be easier to follow the game on the platform itself.
Apart from the classic bets like who will win a game or a tournament, it can be said that live betting currently dominates the Esports UK betting scene. Thanks to its wide variety and high odds.
Esports is also a much more suited example for live bets. There are many more fundamental factors at play during a game. But this does not detract from the importance of the main markets that are already established before a match or tournament.
Mobile esports betting
Esports was not the only recent successful addition to the betting world, as it was accompanied by betting on mobile devices instead of only PCs, featured as fantastic Esports betting apps.
Over the past few years, mobile Esports games to bet one have had a significant breakthrough, as sports punters have become more inclined to bet on live markets on the go. This has meant that today, almost every bookmaker in the world has at least a mobile version of their platform. Of course, the most famous bookies always have apps available, at least for Android and iOS. This ensures an increase in in-play betting, especially for sports such as football or Esports.
In 2021, mobile and tablet betting has become the main form of betting, having recently overtaken the computer’s classic use. Suppose mobile Esports betting UK is what you are interested in. In that case, rest assured that any safe and active sportsbook has the best moneyline Esports betting.