In the third volume of the ESI Esports Gambling Report, we’re delving into what we like to call the E-Sports brigade. It’s a look across the rest of the gambling world; a glance at some of the biggest names in the gambling industry who have yet to really make a mark on the burgeoning esports niche.
The debate over “Esports” versus “eSports” rages on across the industry but not once has “E-Sports” been considered the norm. The E-Sports brigade jibe is more tongue-in-cheek than anything as Bet365, one of the top bookies in the space also use “E-Sports” on their list of markets, so it’s a forgivable mistake. Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfair are amongst others to adorn the mystery hyphen.
The idea is definitely there with Ladbrokes, and there’s a decent amount of markets too. It’s just not quite as smooth as we would like it to be. There’s ante-post betting on the NA LCS/LPL Spring Split and a good amount of Match Betting to be had.
There’s little to no depth of markets, however, with just straight up match betting markets to be had on pretty much every game that they’re offering. From previous glances at the Ladbrokes site, they used to offer some quirky markets on FIFA where you could bet on whether or not a player would feature in the Team of the Week/Year.
PP are pretty much as Ladbrokes across the board. They’re covering the main fixtures in esports for match betting, and have a limited ante-post market. It’s slightly odd that in their markets for the League of Legends – Turkish Champions League they offer odds on Map 1 winner and Map 2 winner but no full match betting odds.
Again, there’s not really any depth of market for an esport aficionado to dabble in.
Hills is another giant in the gambling industry. They have a little paragraph before their offering which reads as follows:
“Across the world, e-sports has become increasingly popular as a test of strategy, reflexes & team work, & the best example of this is League of Legends. If LOL betting has you intrigued, there is nowhere better to bet on League of Legends & other top events than William Hill. You will find the very best selection of markets & options in e-sports betting right here.”
Not only would dedicated fans of other esports (take the staggering 1 million concurrent Twitch viewers of the CS:GO ELEAGUE Major final) probably disagree with their statement about League of Legends, they’re most definitely not the best place to bet on League of Legends and other top events.
Their whole offering lacks any substantial depth, with little to no markets other than match betting. Although you may find esports fixtures popping up in the in-play section of their website, iest’s very rare that you’ll be able to get a bet off as the market is so often suspended. Many are finding the esports live betting aspect a tough nut to crack and Hills is another.
The markets on Betfred are fairly insubstantial but there’s still something there. They split their offering into three, with Dota, Counter Strike and League of Legends being listed. Under the Counter Strike category the ELEAGUE Major is still listed (although clicking on it will not take you anywhere) and the matches listed in the other sections are a fair while away.
Should you click on Dota it also won’t bring you anywhere – and the same applies for the LMS Spring Split section under League of Legends. You can already bet outright on the winner of the World Championships in 2017 and they also have a few matches to bet on.
What’s interesting is that despite the apparently disorganised portal and lack of odds on a variety of esports, you can bet on something as intricate as “Map 1 Team to Draw First Blood” which is missing on a lot of sites.
Coral, Stan James and Betfair
There’s no acknowledgement of the existence of competitive computer gaming on Stan James, whilst both Coral and Betfair have dormant spaces where esports odds should live.
For as long as we’ve been monitoring what bookies are doing, Coral has very rarely had anything appear under its esports section – and when they did, it was a random Starcraft II match for some reason. That was quite some months ago, though. The Betfair portal simply reads “There are no available events”.
Esports Insider says: There’s a concerted effort from most, but there’s a long long way to go for any of these names to make it to where the likes of Skybet, Pinnacle, Betway, Unikrn or Bet365 have got with their markets.