BEST BOOKMAKER FOR ESPORTS BETTING
| By Aaron Noy
Leading tipster site Betting Expert compares bookmakers’ esports offerings, exploring their markets, odds and in-play options to determine the best in the UK
Betway, Energy Bet and Sky Bet scored highly in the criteria we analysed, with all three offering esports odds on a range of leagues. Our research found that Betway offered odds and markets on nine esports tournaments. We used one of them, the CS:GO ESEA MDL match between Bad News Bears and ex-Zone, as the basis for part of our research. We found competitive odds from those bookmakers offering markets on the event, with little difference between the prices on offer at Betway and the other bookmakers on our list. There were 10 separate markets available at Betway for the Bad News Bears vs. ex-Zone match, a figure beaten only by Energy Bet, which offered 18. Betway also offered odds on seven other Counter-Strike events, a number matched by Sky Bet and LeoVegas. BetVictor took the honours with a total of eight. There was no live streaming available on the specific match we researched, but it was possible to bet in-play. Betway was also one of only two bookmakers, Unibet being the other, to offer exclusive esports offers. Energy Bet, our runners-up, also impressed us. The company offered odds and markets on fewer tournaments than many in our list, but it made up for this when we compared the odds for the Bad News Bears vs. ex-Zone match. Energy Bet offered more markets on this game than any other bookmaker on our list. At third-placed Sky Bet there were eight esports leagues available to bet on, one short of Betway. Players could bet on four separate markets on the Counter-Strike match we reviewed, with in-play betting also a possibility. Sky Bet finished just ahead of Bet-At-Home. Our fourth-placed bookmaker was the only operator to offer live streaming on the event we researched.
TOP BOOKMAKERS FOR NUMBER OF LEAGUES OFFEREDFor punters looking to bet on a range of esports tournaments, the deciding factor is often which bookmaker offers odds on the most leagues and competitions. We found the following bookmakers to be best in that respect: ● Bet365 ● Bet-At-Home ● Betway ● Sky Bet ● LeoVegas ● 888Sport Bet365 and Bet-At-Home shared the crown for offering the most leagues and tournaments, with 14 separate competitions available to bet on. These were: ● CS:GO ● Dota2 ●Hearthstone ● League of Legends ● MTG ● NBA 2K ● Overwatch ● PUBG ● R6 ● Rocket League ● SCII ● SMITE ● WCIII ● SFV
LOWEST BOOKMAKER MARGINOn some esports events, commission is also a factor for players. We analysed how much commission each bookmaker charged to determine the lowest margins for esports betting. We return to our example of the CS:GO ESEA MDL game between Bad News Bears and ex-Zone. We found that the following bookmakers applied the least amount of commission on the game: ● Betfair ● Paddy Power ● Betfred ● Sky Bet ● Energy Bet ● Bet365 Betfair and Paddy Power shared top place here, charging commission of 6.44%.
CONCLUSIONIn general terms, the largest number of Counter-Strike events and odds were on offer at BetVictor. However, for our esports betting review, we took many other aspects into consideration. Live streaming for the Bad News Bears vs. ex-Zone game was only available at Bet-At-Home, but all of the bookmakers we researched offered in-play odds. Meanwhile, though including esports promotions and bonus opportunities can increase bookies’ appeal to players, we found only two bookmakers offering esports-specific bonuses. These were Betway and Unibet. At first glance it may seem a surprise to see Betway take top spot, but the company has invested heavily in esports and was the first UK-based bookmaker to directly invest in an esports team. Similarly, the top-five placings of Energy Bet and Bet-At-Home may have caused a few raised eyebrows, but both appear to be underrated operators, at least in this area.
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