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Guide to Esports Tournament Betting

Major esports competitions are being contested around the world almost every month. In our online guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about esports tournament betting.

For many years, we’ve been dedicated to identifying and researching the best betting sites for esports tournament betting. As a leading authority in the industry, we know that betting on the outcomes of esports tournaments and competitions is becoming more popular by the minute.

Just as the best esports players are profiting from esports tournament betting, keen fans and punters are also reaping the cash rewards. These esports tournaments and competitions are where you’ll find the top tier of every esports gaming title, which feature prize pools of up to $25 million.

Read on as our team of experts share all the details about the most prominent esports tournaments, understanding betting odds, how and where to watch esports tournaments, and much more.

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Esports Tournaments Explained

Video game culture has evolved dramatically in recent years. And esports is one of these exciting developments. Thanks to esports betting, players and teams now have several opportunities to rake in millions of dollars.

Fans of esports support teams from all over the world. Popular organisations and groups such as Fnatic and Team Liquid have a roster of esports athletes that are paid exceptionally well. The objective of these teams is to win high-profile esports tournaments for titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Hearthstone, Starcraft, and Overwatch. It’s a serious business, and one that has proven remarkably profitable for the most successful teams.

Although teams take part in competitions and leagues on a near-weekly basis, the main goal of every player is to make it to the top of the ranks. In the same way that traditional sports have contests that are much more prestigious than others, several esports tournaments and competitions are more notable than the rest.

These tournaments attract hundreds, thousands (and often millions!) of spectators. These are either viewed via popular streaming services such as Twitch.tv or by purchasing tickets to the live event, which takes place inside an esports tournament arena.

With the rising popularity of these competitions and the major prize pools on offer, we’re noticing that the number of fans who are interested in esports tournament betting continues to grow – and fast. Players can now safely wager real money on the outcomes of individual games and tournaments.

Read on below for more information about the biggest esports tournaments to bet on.

The Biggest Esports Tournaments to Bet On

Just as the sporting world stops to watch the FIFA World Cup, The Super Bowl or the NBA Finals, those who love watching esports never miss any of the major esports tournaments. Educated fans are not only enjoying all the action as it takes place but are also profiting from their gaming knowledge and experience by betting on esports tournaments.

Here are just a few of the major esports tournaments and competitions that are played around the world today:

The International

The International (TI) is the top-level Dota 2 tournament and sees teams battle it out for a monster grand prize that has totalled more than $25M in recent years.

The tournament is considered the global leader of esports tournament prize pools and has helped major teams cash-in on millions at a time. Teams such as Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, LGD Gaming and Fnatic frequently compete at The International. Keen fans of each team engage in esports tournament betting every time the tournament takes place, which is around August.

League of Legends World Championship

Held annually between October and November, the League of Legends World Championship ranks as one of the biggest esports tournaments that’s played on a global stage.

Teams compete in this international event to break through the round-robin group stage. After this, they will hopefully enter the single-elimination bracket stage – a format that is similar to how the winner of the FIFA World Cup is decided.

The League of Legends World Championship sees more than 60 million viewers tuning in to watch the tournament each year. Because League of Legends boasts a large number of viewers and avid fans, it has been a prime target for those interested in esports tournament betting.

Intel Extreme Masters

While other tournaments are limited to individual titles such as League of Legends and Dota 2, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) is a series of exclusive tournaments that feature some of the best, most competitive titles played around the world today.

Games such as Starcraft II, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone and Quake Live are contested at the IEM events as part of the Electronic Sports League (ESL). The IEM is a popular choice for fans who want to get started in esports tournament betting due to the massive variety of betting options.

Overwatch World Cup

The Overwatch World Cup (OWWC) is relatively new compared to the rest of the major tournaments listed here. However, it has quickly become one of the most discussed esports tournaments in the world, especially for fans of esports tournament betting.

China, South Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries compete against each other in a single-elimination bracket format to decide the winner of the $500k prize pool. The OWWC happens each year in November.

Where to Watch Esports Tournaments

Fans of esports will argue that there is no more fabulous spectacle than when a team fight breaks out in a MOBA game such as League of Legends or Dota 2, or when two squads go head-to-head in the final rounds of Counter-Strike, Call of Duty or Overwatch.

If you’re yet to experience the thrilling nature of esports tournaments, here’s a couple of ways to watch these events live and free.


Twitch.tv is considered the home of gaming. Casual gamers stream gameplay on the platform and people can quickly and easily watch their favourite games being played. However, on a more professional level, fans can also watch teams go head-to-head in competitive leagues and tournaments on the streaming service.

League of Legends games, Fortnite competitions and a wide range of other esports like CS:GO rounds are broadcasted live around the world on Twitch. If you wish to get started with live esports tournament betting, Twitch is a must-have bookmark on your desktop or mobile browser so that you can watch all the action unfold.

YouTube Gaming

If Twitch isn’t broadcasting a major esports tournament, then the event is probably being streamed on a popular rival platform. One such platform is Google’s own YouTube Gaming.

When it comes to streaming esports tournaments and competitions, Google has jumped on board with the rise of video gaming. In fact, in recent years, Google has been pushing YouTube Gaming as the next big thing.

Mostly, however, YouTube Gaming is a place where you’ll find casual titles being played more than any other. Games such as Minecraft and Fortnite are played here, but you’ll also be able to watch world-class tournaments such as the League of Legends World Championship or the Intel Extreme Masters at YouTube Gaming.

ESPN, BBC and Traditional Broadcasting

The rise of esports has also seen traditional broadcasters get involved recently. ESPN is investing heavily in the esports scene, and BBC is also streaming esports games live around the world. This makes both ESPN and BBC great options for those seeking live esports tournament betting or for viewers who want to watch all of the action.

Esports Betting Sites

Another way to easily stream and watch esports tournaments is to create an account with any of our highest-rated esports betting sites. These sites now give users the ability to stream esports games and competitions on desktop or mobile. One bonus of watching via this method is that you are able to place live esports bets on tournaments from the same screen and interface.

A Guide to Esports Betting Odds for Tournaments

Before you begin betting on esports tournaments, you’ll want to know how betting odds work. When you log in to your chosen esports betting site, you’ll find a range of esports tournament odds and betting odds listed next to every selection.

These odds reflect the potential return that can be gained from a winning wager on that selection, and they can be shown in many ways depending on your location and/or preference.

Decimal Odds

One popular way of displaying odds on esports betting sites is the decimal odds format. These odds are displayed in decimal format (such as 1.60 or 3.20), and this figure represents the money that can be earned from a wager of any size.

To determine what a $100 bet on Team Liquid to defeat Fnatic in a game of League of Legends will give you in return, you’ll need to calculate the potential return using the decimal odds listed next to both teams. If Team Liquid’s odds to win are listed as 1.80, a winning $100 wager on Team Liquid will return $180 in total and $80 of profit. Likewise, a $100 bet on Fnatic at odds of 2.20 will return $220 and a profit of $120. This indicates that Fnatic is the “underdog” in this betting market and that they are a “riskier” bet.

It’s important to note that risk is tied with potential reward when betting on esports. Therefore, betting on an underdog to score an upset victory may have a smaller likelihood of succeeding, but it will pay a much larger amount than betting on the team that is expected to win.

Fractional Odds

Another example of esports tournament odds that you may encounter online are fractional odds. In another game, Evil Geniuses may have odds of 1/2 and Gambit Esports’ odds may be 2/1. Evil Geniuses are the betting favourite of the two teams, and Gambit Esports are the underdog.

The above example shows that a $100 bet on Evil Geniuses will return 1/2 of the wager as profit, meaning that the successful bettor will earn $50 profit and have a total of $150 returned to them. If betting on Gambit Esports, the winning bettor will be returned a total of $300 and profit of $200 (2/1 on the original wager of $100).

By understanding the potential returns of esports tournament odds, you’ll have more success when it comes to esports tournament betting.

Where to Bet on Esports Tournaments

Now that you’re up-to-date with the latest and greatest esports tournaments and how to interpret betting odds, you’re left with just one task – how to choose an esports betting site where you can safely bet on esports tournaments. Fortunately, you’re in the right place.

Our expert team has reviewed all the different esports betting sites and tested them for security standards, trustworthiness, interface, betting options, odds and value.

We’ve also ensured that each of the options shown on our list of best esports betting sites offers outstanding value for bettors who are interested in esports tournament betting. These sites have brilliant esports tournament odds. They also feature a wide range of betting options for all major esports tournaments, as well as several minor ones.

We recommend betting with our highest-rated esports betting site:

Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding esports tournament betting:

Frequently Asked Questions


Which is the largest prize pool in esports?

The largest prize pool in esports belongs to “The International.” This world-class Dota 2 tournament is the only esports competition in the world today to offer grand prizes of $10M and upward consistently. In recent years, the total prize pool has neared $30M, and many expect this figure to continue to rise.

Where are esports tournaments and leagues held?

Esports tournaments and leagues are held all over the world. Dota 2’s “The International” was held in Seattle, in the United States, for many years. The organisers now host the tournament in other locations, including Vancouver and Canada. More recently, it was also held in Shanghai, China. The Intel Extreme Masters tournament is held in Katowice, Poland, every year. Other major tournaments are often held in areas of the United States, and countries in Asia and Europe.

Can I watch esports tournaments for free?

The vast majority of esports tournaments are broadcasted around the world for fans to watch live and free online. If you’re unable to attend the live event and pay for the ticket to experience an esports tournament in person, you can sit back on the couch and watch the games unfold on Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming, ESPN, or even a free stream on Facebook.

Can I bet on esports tournaments for free?

Creating an esports betting account is free and easy. Sign up to any of our highest-rated esports betting sites listed above and start wagering real money on the outcomes of all games and tournaments. Some of the sites listed above have great promotions and offers that will allow new users to attempt to cash-in on free bets and offers.