Best bookmaker for esports betting

9 July 2019

Leading tipster site Betting Expert compares bookmakers’ esports offerings, exploring their markets, odds and in-play options to determine the best in the UK.

Esports betting has become hugely popular in recent years. Most of the top bookmakers in the United Kingdom now offer bettors the opportunity to place bets on a range of esports odds and markets. These cover a variety of tournaments, both domestic and international.

We researched the offerings of the top bookies in the UK between June 3 and June 12 to determine the best bookmakers for esports.

We first looked at each bookie to see whether esports betting was offered, before considering how many leagues and tournaments were covered, the number of markets available and whether or not in-play betting was a possibility.

We also compared prices on specific competitions to determine the best bookmaker for esports odds.

For our review, we looked at 25 of the most popular bookmakers available online for UK customers. These are displayed in the table below.

We found esports odds and markets available at most of the bookmakers listed above. However, disappointingly, six of these operators do not currently offer markets, and so we excluded them from further analysis. The bookmakers in question were:

  • Winner Sports
  • Titanbet
  • Genting Bet
  • Boylesports
  • Sportingbet
  • Matchbook

We expect, however, that esports betting will become available at these bookmakers at some point in the future.

Top bookmakers overall

Our top three best bookmakers for esports betting in the UK were Betway in first place, Energy Bet in second and Sky Bet in third. Bet At Home and bet365 made up the rest of our top five.

Betway, Energy Bet and Sky Bet all 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 compared the odds available for the CS:GO ESEA MDL match between Bad News Bears and ex-Zone. We found competitive odds, with little difference between the prices at Betway compared with the best odds we could find.

There were 10 separate markets available at Betway for this match, beaten only by Energy Bet with 18. We also found seven other Counter-Strike events available to bet on at Betway, the same number as at Sky Bet and LeoVegas, just short of BetVictor’s total of eight.

There was no live streaming available on the specific match we researched, but in-play betting was a possibility. Betway was also one of only two bookmakers to offer exclusive esports offers, along with Unibet.

We were also impressed with second-placed Energy Bet. Energy Bet offered odds and markets on fewer tournaments than many in our bookmaker comparison, but made up for this when we compared the odds for Bad News Bears v. ex-Zone.

Energy Bet also offered more markets on this game than any other bookmaker tested.

At third-placed Sky Bet, there were eight esports leagues available to bet on, just one short on 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
For 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 that the following bookmakers offered odds on the most number of leagues:

  • 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 11 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 margin
On 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. For this match, we found that the following bookmakers applied the least amount of commission.

  • Betfair
  • Paddy Power
  • Betfred
  • Sky Bet
  • Energy Bet
  • Bet365

Betfair and Paddy Power shared top place here, charging commission of 6.44%.

Conclusion
In general terms, the biggest number of CS events and odds was found at BetVictor. However, for our best bookmaker for esports betting review, we’ve taken many other aspects into consideration.

Live streaming for Bad News Bears v. ex-Zone was only available at Bet At Home. All of the bookmakers we researched did offer in-play odds.

Offering esports promotions and bonus opportunities can increase bookies’ appeal to players, however we found that only two bookmakers offered esports-specific bonuses. These were Betway and Unibet.

At first glance it may seem a surprise to see Betway in the top spot, but it has invested heavily in esports and was the first UK-based bookmaker to directly invest in an esports team.

Similarly, Energy Bet and Bet At Home may, at first, also seem surprising names to feature in our top five, but both appear to be underrated operators, at least in this area. Indeed, Bet At Home was the only bookmaker to offer live streaming on the particular esports event we researched.

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