You may have heard about eSports, but what video games are the most popular for professional competition and bitcoin betting? Today we tell you all about them and how to get started as an eSports gambler.

esports competition

The 6 Most Popular eSports for Bitcoin Sportsbook Betting

The concept of professional eSports competitions has been around for a surprisingly long time, dating all the way back to arcade game competitions in the 1980s. Only after the advent of high speed internet in the 2000s did the idea really begin to take off, with millions of viewers generating revenue north of a billion dollars for the industry by 2020.

Today, eSports isn’t just an industry, but a way of life and a means of income for many. It is quickly surpassing traditional sporting events in terms of popularity and viewership, especially now that the world has been suffering from the effects of the coronavirus and resulting cancellation of most sporting events.

Much like regular sport athletes, professional eSports players train hard, put in grueling hours, develop essential teamwork skills, and the best ones make livings that are more than comfortable. Also like regular sports, they are carried by a number of bitcoin and crypto sportsbooks, with more titles being added all the time.

The case could be made that cryptocurrency and eSports gambling were made for each other: both are entirely digital in nature and revolutionizing classical perspectives on ways of going about business. Both are being adopted by younger generations and quickly replacing their older counterparts.

Where can I get started betting on eSports?

There are 2 major bitcoin sportsbooks we have in mind for you. Both offer a tremendous selection of eSports competitions and both have proven themselves to be trustworthy and reliable through the years, so you can rest assured that your BTC will always be in good hands.

What are some of the most popular eSports?

While there are probably over 100 game titles which current have some sort of professional competition among them, we have narrowed the list down to the 6 biggest ones. These are the ones you should probably be aware of if you are thinking about dipping your toes into the waters as a bitcoin sportsbook bettor. All of them have different ins and outs to take into consideration, but the first order of getting started is to know a little bit about the games themselves.

Below is a basic description of 6 of the biggest titles which all offer multi-million dollar prize tournaments on a regular basis, along with some of their most popular leagues and competitions. We’ve also included a YouTube video example of each one so you can get a sense of how each game is played (on a professional level).

1. Dota 2

Perhaps the most popular eSports game worldwide, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game which was developed and published by Valve. Approximately 2 million people watched the game’s biggest tournament, known as ‘The International’, in 2019. A follow-up to the original hit title Defense of the Ancients (DotA), Dota 2 is played in a series of matches between 2 teams of 5 players who play in player vs. player combat.

Each of the 10 players controls a different character known as a “hero”, with each hero having a different set of abilities. Each team occupies and defends separate bases on the map. Over the course of each match, players pick up items and collect experience points for their heroes which help them to defeat the heroes of the opposing team. The goal of the match is to be the first team to destroy the other team’s “Ancient”, which is a large structure located somewhere inside the base.

Leagues & Tournaments

  • BTS Pro Series: Americas
  • BTS Pro Series: Southeast Asia
  • China Development League
  • China Pro League
  • DPL-CDA Professional League
  • Sector: Mb
  • WePlay! Pushka League

2. CS:GO

Developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game that is set in the modern day world. Different versions of the Counter-Strike series have been competitively played for the last 20 years, making it one of the longest-running eSports titles. Last year, 1.2 million people watched CS:GO’s biggest tournament, the IEM Katowice Major, with prize pools for professional competitions now regularly exceeding $1 million.

CS:GO is the 4th game in the Counter-Strike series and was initially released 2012. The game poses two teams in armed combat against each other, with one team designated as the Terrorists and the other as the Counter-Terrorists. Both teams are tasked with eliminating the other while also completing separate objectives. The Terrorists, depending on which game mode is being played, must either plant a bomb or defend a group of AI controlled hostages. Accordingly, the Counter-Terrorists must either prevent a bomb from being planted by the Terrorists, defuse the bomb, or rescue the hostages.

Leagues & Tournaments:

  • ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe: Group A
  • ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe: Group B
  • ESL One: Road to Rio – North America
  • ESL One: Road to Rio – South America
  • Flashpoint
  • Kayzr League
  • Svenska Elitserien

3. League of Legends

Developed by Riot Games and first launched in 2009, League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game that was inspired by a modded version of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The 2019 League of Legends World Championship was the most watched eSports event to ever take place, racking up over 100 million unique viewers and peaking at a simultaneous viewership of 44 million. The minimum prize pool for the competition was $2.5 million. Players assume the role of a “champion” in the game, each one possessing unique abilities. Every League of Legends match is distinct, with each champion on both teams beginning with comparatively weak attributes.

Players can increase their strength and other attributes by collecting items and experience throughout the course of the game. Melding a variety of fantasy-based themes, champions encompass a range of responsibilities. 2 teams of champions battle against each other with a goal of destroying their opponent’s “Nexus”, which is a structure that resides in the middle of a base. The base itself is protected by defensive obstacles.

Leagues & Tournaments:

  • Brazilian Challenger Circuit (BRCC)
  • Europe Masters
  • Pro League China (LPL)
  • European Championship (LEC)
  • League Championship Series (LCS)

4. Overwatch

Released in 2016, Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter that was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. One of the newer professional eSports leagues to hit the scene and strike massive popularity, the creation of the Overwatch League was announced shortly after the game’s release date, with its first full season held in 2018. Though it started out with a relatively mild prize pool of $3.5 million, this figure ballooned tremendously over the next 2 years. Overwatch matches consist of  2 teams of 6 players playing against each other, with the general goals of securing and defending points of control or escorting a payload across the map before the set time expires.

At the start, each player selects a “hero” from a roster of over 30 characters. Each hero has their own style of play that is divided into three universal attributes that suit their function. The game was originally launched without a competitive, ranked mode, but this was quickly added, along with map and character expansions over the years. Overwatch is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all-time, and an Overwatch 2 is currently in development.

Leagues & Tournaments:

  • Netease Esports X Tournament
  • Overwatch League (OWL)

5. Starcraft II

By far and away the most popular science fiction eSport game, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a real-time strategy game that was released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2010. The game is centered around three species: Terrans (humans), Zerg (a super species consisting of assimilated life forms), and Protoss (a technologically sophisticated species with immense psychic powers). StarCraft II is played on a professional level in much of the world, with the most active playership being in South Korea.

During its initial years, the game was considered to be the biggest eSport in the world and helped shape the path for eSports competitions to follow. It has experienced something of a decline in recent years but still retains a tremendous amount of popularity. The StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) has been held each year since 2012.

Leagues & Tournaments:

  • ESL Open Cup Americas
  • ESL Open Cup Europe
  • Global Clan Invitational
  • Global StarCraft II League (GSL)
  • StarLeague
  • World Championship Series (WCS)

6. Rainbow Six: Siege

Released in 2015 by Ubisoft, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege is a first person tactical shooter video game. It is one of the few eSports games that had been developed specifically for the purpose of being a professional eSports title. The game is set in the modern era, pitting the Counter-Terrorism Units (CTUs) of different nationalities against one another. Setting it apart from CS:GO or Overwatch, the game requires an immense amount of cooperation between the players on each team and places more importance on environmental destruction.

Team members, known as “operators,” possess different sets of weapons and items. CTUs available for selection include the American Hostage Rescue Team, the British SAS, the German GSG-9, the Russian Spetsnaz and the French GIGN. Each team has four operators per unit that are split between attackers and defenders. Players may also utilize a “Recruit” operator who can select a more flexible variety of equipment at the cost of having an exclusive gadget or the capability to modify their weapon. Players pick any operator from any unit before the round starts, choose their own spawn points and gun attachments.

Leagues & Tournaments:

  • Challenger League – Europe
  • Challenger League – North America
  • G2 Esports
  • Pro League Season – Europe
  • Six Invitational

In future articles we will be sure to cover some of the more unique eSports titles not mentioned above, as well as provide some basic betting strategies, tips, and where these events can be watched. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the above-mentioned games, feel free to let us know in the comment box below, and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as we can.