[toc]With 2016 wrapped up and a whole new and exciting year ahead of us, the world of esports betting has never been brighter.
We’ll be kicking off the year with a bang almost immediately, as the World Electronic Sports Games in China will be awarding literally millions of dollars to champions of various esports.
With dozens of major events across many of the most popular games taking place across the year, and many more to be announced, let’s check out the best esports and esports betting sites for 2017.
The best esports betting sites for 2017
Throughout the past year we have consistently rated Betway as one of the top esports betting sites available and they show no sign of stepping down from that podium this year.
They’ve really embraced the world of esports and consistently offer thorough and competitive markets on major and minor events.
UK bookmaker Bet365 have a reputation for quality across the world of sports, and the same is true of their esports offer.
We’ve always been fans of their comprehensive selection of bets, and while they haven’t climbed aboard the bandwagon as thoroughly as Betway have they’re still among the leading operators.
Rounding out our trio of favourite esports betting sites is SkyBet, another site with consistently varied offers and in-depth markets on many of the major events. Like Bet365, there is room for improvement in their non-betting offer, but we can’t fault them for their esports betting selection.
Unikrn are unique in that their speciality is in esports betting.
This, of course, has pros and cons. They often cover many of the smaller tournaments and have a host of niche markets; however, their lines are likely to be a lot tougher to beat as it’s their primary focus.
Ladbrokes are a latecomer to the world of esports betting, until recently operating only a scant and cursory selection of markets. Alas, in the past couple of months they’ve rocketed up in our esteem with many varied offers on numerous games.
Pinnacle were the first major bookmaker to offer esports betting, and while there’s nothing wrong with their markets or prices, they’ve fallen far behind many rivals in terms of extra-curricular content. For example, their articles and schedule pages are often very outdated.
Despite this, they proudly boast the eGR Esports Operator Of The Year award for 2016. It pays to be the first!
Speaking of scant and cursory, PaddyPower have spent the past couple of months somewhat slacking on their esports betting section. Obviously they’re a fantastic sports betting site, but this particular area is assuredly not their forte.
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The world of esports in 2017
We had a fantastic 2016 with many multi-million dollar prize pools and record-breaking events. As the world of esports and esports betting continues to grow in 2017, it’s exciting to see what we have to look forward to.
League of Legends
As one of the big three major esports of the modern day, League of Legends naturally already has a fair few major events scheduled.
The Spring Split, divided between Europe and North America, opens its doors to League of Legends teams throughout January, February and March ahead of the finals in April.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players have had to buy their 2017 calendars early thanks to a packed schedule including many DreamHack $100,000 events, the ELEAGUE Major and a $1 million prize pool in January plus many more events to come throughout the year.
Unsurprisingly, Dota 2 is another esport with a rapidly-filling 2017 schedule of major tournaments. So far the highlight is the Kiev Major in April, with a hefty $3 million up for grabs. All in all, there is already more than $5.1 million in prize money to be won between now and May.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm has a pretty action-packed January already, with the Gold Series Heroes League, the Global Championship Phase 1 and the North American counterpart to the latter all kicking off later this month.
Many times we’ve described StarCraft as the O.G. of the esports betting world, and the game is still going strong heading into 2017. Already we’ve the Global StarCraft II League and the World Electronic Sports Games to look forward to in January.
Overwatch really burst onto the scene in 2016, and if we were doing an awards program here then this game would definitely take home “Best Newcomer” without a doubt. We saw $870,000 won in major events between August and December last year and the game shows no signs of slowing down.
Hearthstone had a fairly quiet end to 2016, and the trend continues with few major events officially announced for the next year. However, this ever-growing market is definitely one to watch.