As CNN reported in 2018, eSports has undergone a dramatic transformation in a few short years from a niche interest to an explosive multi-billion dollar industry followed by hundreds of millions of enthusiasts around the world. That interest has grown substantially in the intervening years.
When lockdown canceled many sports events in 2020, more people than ever before began making the switch from betting on real-world sports to betting on eSports, as evidenced by the recent stampede of bookmakers to offer to bet on competitive video games and virtual events.
So, what’s easier to bet on: traditional sports or esports? Here’s a quick rundown.
Esports fans tend to have more knowledge about the genre than the bookmakers
People coming to eSports tend to become very knowledgeable about their new enthusiasm rather quickly. That puts them at an advantage over those who stick to betting on traditional sports because bookmakers are still relatively new to this, and while they know a lot about traditional sports, they often know less than the fans do when it comes to eSports.
That means that eSports enthusiasts are more likely to be equipped with expert knowledge to figure out the most favorable, best-value bets that offer better odds than those available for traditional sports. This is particularly true if they follow specialist websites such as Odds Preview, which brings its fast-expanding pool of regular visitors authoritative daily betting news and odds guidance on upcoming real-world and eSports events.
The best odds in eSports are continually evolving – to the benefit of the bettor
Sports bettors understand that the odds for specific teams tend to remain fairly static from one season to the next. However, this is not the case in the eSports arena, where developers frequently update their software, “buffing” (improving) some player-characters while “nerfing” (diminishing) the skills of others. That changes the odds you can expect substantially – even for the matches where the same two teams are pitted against each other. If you’re knowledgeable about this, you’ll be better able to take it into account when betting.
What about injuries and player fatigue?
There are lots of contingencies to be considered when betting on traditional sports, including the thorny issues of player fatigue and injuries. These can adversely affect odds for weeks or longer. With digitally-fashioned contestants, however, that uncertainty can be almost entirely avoided.
Nevertheless, there are injuries to contend with in esports. Digital players are operated by human agents, and if that human agent develops a repetitive motion injury such as tennis elbow – like DOTA 2 player Clinton “Fear” Loomis – that can impair their speed and efficiency with the mouse, it will impact their performance.
In other words, eSports betters still have to contend with player injuries and assess how the absence of the human operator might affect odds in the game.
The main difference, however, is that injuries among eSports operators are far less common than they are among traditional sports athletes, making the outcome of eSports events more predictable for the most part.
Finally, weather is unlikely to play any part in the outcome of eSports the way it can (and often does) with traditional sports.
Betting on traditional sports is here to stay, and the same is now true of betting on esports, too.