The world of esports features a wide selection of games, but only certain titles rise above the rest. Competitive odds for these popular games are found in various sportsbooks as soon as tournament season rolls out. Once you know which esports games interest you the most, start reading about the top teams, then begin line shopping for the best odds. To help you get started, here are five popular esports games in 2018 you should bet on.
1 | League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is a fast-paced online game that combines elements of role-playing games (RPG) with real-time strategy (RTS.) Two teams compete to destroy the opponent’s Nexus, which is inside of their base. When the Nexus is destroyed, the game ends. Since its release in 2009, LoL has grown into one of the most popular esports games worldwide. This third-person multiplier online battle arena (MOBA) game began as a standalone inspired by the Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients (Dota).
LoL has a highly competitive gameplay, and in 2011, developer Riot Games organized the first League of Legends World Championship Series (LCS). Season 1 was held at DreamHack Summer 2011 in Sweden and had a prize pool of US$100,000. Since then, the cash prize has grown larger. In 2017, the final prize pool was around US$4.9 million.
If you want to start betting on esports games this year, make sure that LoL is one of them. You are sure to find odds surrounding the various teams in online sportsbooks even before the beginning of the World Championship.
2 | Dota 2
Dota 2 is another MOBA game that garners much attention. Released in 2013, the game is an independent sequel to Defense of the Ancients. Premium Dota 2 tournaments have prize pools worth millions of dollars. Valve, the developer, annually holds The International, one of the largest Dota 2 tournaments worldwide. In 2017, The International had a prize pool of nearly US$25 million. You will quickly find stats of the best teams in Dota 2 because it has a large following and online sportsbooks are aware of its popularity. Plus, having a large prize pool can draw in more esports players.
3 | StarCraft II
StarCraft II is an RTS game played in the third person and was released in 2010 by Blizzard Entertainment. In November 2017, the first part of the game trilogy, Wings of Liberty, became free-to-play. But there are still parts of the game that require payment. While StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is free to play, the next parts of the saga, such as Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops, must be purchased to continue playing. While this game does not have as big an audience as LoL or Dota 2, StarCraft II still has an annual World Championship Series. In 2017, WCS Global Finals, held in the US, had a prize pool of US$700,000.
You can still find sportsbooks that allow you to bet on StarCraft II games. Compared with LoL or Dota 2, however, StarCraft II does not offer as many betting options as others do. If you are new to the world of esports betting, wagering on StarCraft II will not overwhelm you.
4 | Overwatch
Overwatch, released in 2016, is one of the newer games on this list. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, this game is a team-based first-person shooter. In only a year, Overwatch became one of the most anticipated games on the esports scene in the US.
When the game launched, Overwatch gained widespread popularity, particularly in South Korea. Part of the game’s success is due to the game’s accessibility and the widespread appeal of the various in-game characters. Besides the cartoonish art style, each character uses different types of weapons and abilities. abilities. This game, combined with a plot and several game modes, stands out because it is one of the first-person shooter (FPS) games that veer away from the typical war and military theme.
Following the success of Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment organized Overwatch League (OWL), the game’s professional esports league. The preseason began in December 2017, and the official season started in January 2018.
As OWL is a relatively new tournament, expect plenty of excitement surrounding the teams. With a game getting this much popularity one year after release, make sure that Overwatch is on your list of esports games included on your list.
5 | Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) was released in 2012 and remains a popular esports game. Last year, the largest prize pool for World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) 2017 (CS: GO Male) was US$1.5 million. Besides the matches, you can also choose custom skins that the players will use in the game. These skins make the players’ weapons look different, and the prices may vary, depending on rarity.
CS: GO is another highly competitive esports game that should be on your radar. Compared with games like LoL and Overwatch, CS: GO is military-themed, with straightforward gameplay mechanics. However, you can still find plenty of sportsbooks offering reasonable odds.
Before, only a few sportsbooks offer odds for a limited number of esports events, such as the LoL World Championship. Now, online bookies are dedicating time and resources to finding the best odds on different competitive games.