With the increasing popularity of esports, more and more betting sites have sprouted out to offer esports betting markets.

This has created an opportunity for players who love esports to make money from the action.

In this guide, we will highlight what esports are and the factors you should look out for when choosing an esports betting site from our esportsbook ranking systems.

E-sports betting
E-sports betting

What is eSports?

The term eSports is derived from the word ‘electronic sports’. Ideally, esports is a form of competitive video games where you can play as an individual or as a team, against other individuals or teams. 

The most popular types of esports include:

  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games
  • First Person Shooter Games
  • Combat Games
  • Real-Time Strategy Games
  • Fortnite Battle Royale

Best E-sport betting sites

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E-sport games

Among the popular games (events) at esports sites under this category include

  • League of Legends (LOL)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Dota 2, Call of Duty
  • StarCraft II
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • and World of Tanks among others.

You can play these games online or using a local area network (LAN) which is termed as offline.

Although numerous video games can be played consoles and PCs, the one factor that makes esports stand out from the rest is the fact that these games attract major sponsorship and they have a laid-out tournament structure.

More so, these games entice many gamers which creates an opportunity for bookies to offer betting markets.

How to choose an Esports betting site

Here are some aspects that determine the reliability of an esports betting platform

  • Is it easy for players to make withdrawals?
  • How long is payout turnaround?
  • What are the customers’ reviews about the platform on forums and social media?
  • Is there a variety of payment methods?
  • What is the platform’s policy about players’ funds? Are the funds first held in segregated accounts?

These are some of the questions that go to our analysis of rating esports betting sites.  

Other vital aspects that we put into consideration include;

After determining that a site meets our above requirements, we then determine if the lineup offered is in line with esports gamers’ interests.

We understand that a platform that has a wide range of esports does not mean that they provide the best betting product.

Thus, we ensure that there is a balance between quality and product coverage.

Advantages of esport betting

We understand that players prefer varying types of bets, and we recognize that this criterion is entirely subjective.

Some players prefer match betting at low limits while there are high rollers who prefer wagering on exotic outcomes.  

With this in mind, we don’t assign a major weight to this factor since we respect the fact that there is no single best betting menu that can suit all players.

However, we also recognize that a platform with an extensive menu is more likely to please a wider audience.

Bonuses at esports betting sites

esport betting bonuses
Esports betting bonus

Just like most online casinos and bookies, esportsbooks also offer sign up bonuses to their new players.

This not only attract new players to the site, but it also gives you a chance to take advantage of the offers and play for free or boost your bankroll.

Although these offers can be quite lucrative and tempting, some have stringent terms and conditions which not only limit the amount of winning you can withdrawal but some are also quite unattainable.

Thus, before accepting these offers, it is always advisable to read the terms and conditions and make sure you understand the wagering requirements.  

Also, these bonuses have an expiry date, and you should ensure you claim the bonus before the limited time lapses

Esports deposit bonuses

Unlike sign up bonuses which don’t require you to fund your account to activate the offer, deposit bonuses are usually a match-up of the funds deposited.

Typically, there is a set Minimum deposit limit which you must meet to qualify for the offer.

As earlier mentioned, this bonus is usually a match-up bonus where you receive a matched bonus depending on the bonus rate.  

For matched bonuses, there is always a cap on the bonus where the bonus can only be matched up to a specific limit.

As it is the case with most bonuses, the deposit bonus usually has a wagering requirement which must be met before withdrawing any winnings obtained from the bonus money.

And lastly, there is a time limit of when you can collect the bonus as well as meet the playthrough requirements.

Free bets at Esports

Free bets can be in various forms such as ‘free money’ or ‘free bets’. With the free money the site will fund your account (cannot be withdrawn) and you are required to use the money to place wagers.

On the other hand, with free bets, bookies will rebate your first bet if you end up losing.

Free bets are not usually complicated, and esportsbooks are willing to forego the small amount of money if that will help them gain a new customer.

The terms and conditions of these offers are also not complicated. Here is an outline of the basic concepts

  • New customer offers– This means that the bonuses are only available to players who are signing up on the platform for the first time.
  • Wagering Requirements: This is the number of times the bonus amount must be wagered before you can cash it out.
  • Odds: With the free bets, you might be required to place wagers involving certain odd limits.
  • Eligibility Window: There might be a set time within which you can claim the bonus after signing up.
  • Bonus Expiration: This is the set time within which you must meet the wagering requirement of the bonus before it qualifies for a cashout.

Although free bets are not common among esportsbooks, we can expect to see more bookies offering these promotions as the popularity of esports increases.

Esports vs traditional sportsbooks

diagram of esports audience growth  in the last 5 years.

The esports industry includes both exclusive esports platforms as well as traditional online sportsbooks that offer esports betting options as well as other sports such as football.

As you would expect, esportsbooks offer more esports betting opportunities compared to traditional bookies.

This is in terms of the extended scope of bet products such as esports events streaming.

More so, esportsbooks are more user-friendly since they focus on offering the best gaming experience for esports gamers. On the other hand, conventional bookies offer many betting services and are less likely to tailor their services to suit only one betting niche.

Although esports-focused betting sites may seem to have the upper hand, the traditional bookies also have their share of preferences.

For instance, these bookies are well established and have tremendous influence and experience in the betting industry.

This means that gamers are more likely to trust well-established platforms such as Betway compared to newly established esportsbooks such as Unikm.

More so, there is a less likelihood of getting scammed when using a long-existing platform compared to upcoming bookies.

Ideally, both options are recommendable, and despite the difference, you have the opportunity to choose the betting website that meet your needs.

Despite your choice, make sure that you are comfortable with the markets and the services offered.

Why the sites that offering esports are limited?

Although platforms such as Pinnacle have been in the esports industry since 2010, this market is relatively new and not most bookies are willing to embrace a new market.

Also, since this form of betting is new, it means that few players understand it.

Bookies are always looking to offer markets that most players understand, which creates more engagements.

Bookies profit more when there are many players; thus, they are less likely to join markets where the benefit is less.

However, as the popularity of this market increases, we can expect to see more and more bookies join.

Is Esports betting legal in NZ?

The legality of esports betting is based on one’s jurisdiction. If you are from New Zealand it is absolutely legal to bet on sports sites that are not based in NZ. See the gambling laws in NZ.

However, currently, it is not yet clear whether there is a different regulatory approach to that taken for sports betting.

The legality can be expounded in terms of esports betting options by country; where there are regulated markets, grey markets, and other markets.

Regulated Markets: These are clearly-regulated markets such as the United Kingdom where the UKGC licenses operators. Established bookies such as bet365 offer esports and their products are available in most regulated markets.

Grey Markets: Here, there could either be an absence of laws regulating sports betting or ambiguity in the regulations regarding online betting. In these markets, operators take different approaches since the legality is fluid.

Other Markets such as the US, online sports betting is considered illegal, but there are options available for players.

E-sports FAQ

Is it safe and legal to play at sports betting sites for New Zealand players?

If you are from NZ it is absolutely legal to play any overseas gambling sites, as long its headquarters is located inside of territory of New Zealand. Each sports betting site should have licenses from regulatory bodies like UKGC and MGA and Curacao. If the casino is not either under the license of these three authorities you should avoid it.

How much money do esports players make?

The average monthly salary of a pro gamer in esports is between $ 5,000 and $ 1,000. The highest-paid players on the popular LOL game earn up to $ 15,000 a month, plus prizes.

Are esports matches rigged?

No, esports matches are hard, if never, rigged. However, this does not mean that there are no rogue sites. However, with our reputation check, we ensure that all the sites on our platform are reputable and regulated by the necessary authorities. More so, you can quickly check the legality of a website with the help of Google search as well as from consumer reviews.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esports
  • https://www.esf.nz/