The bookies and what they’re offering
Pinnacle have odds on the majority of the action, as we would come to expect from one of the few esports bookmakers out on the market.
Pinnacle sticks to the main three esports in Dota, League of Legends and CS:GO, offering match-betting as well as handicap match-betting and Race to [X] Kills. There is little to no sign of Pinnacle expanding its offerings into the finer aspects of each esport just yet.
There also seems to be no sign-up bonus for the Pinnacle site.
SkyBet continue to lead the way with even more markets now available. In its League of Legends offering not only has the site got markets on “First to Slay Baron,” it also has odds on “Both teams to Slay Baron” and have added over/under lines on Dragons, Inhibitors, Kills and Towers, which are intriguing prospects.
The offerings on CS:GO and Dota are not yet that comprehensive, but with the progress that SkyBet (in partnership with Bet Genius) are making, it may not be long before the company comfortably eclipses most bookmakers with its offerings.
SkyBet does not run a dedicated esports portal, so the sign-up offers remain applicable whether betting on traditional sports or esports. If a customer bets £5, they will receive two £10 bet tokens with which to dabble.
The offerings at Betway have receded since its Manila Major offerings for Dota. For the qualifiers there are limited markets available for punters, and the same applies for the CS:GO games to be played this week.
The site has, however, ramped up its social media coverage as it looks to fully engage with the esports community. Its dedicated portal still holds the £30 free bet offer for new customers where the first deposit up to £30 will be matched with a free bet, so there’s certainly incentive to go with them.
Bet365 again remains strong on the esports front with plenty of different markets and ever-increasing depth.
Again, the detail is not as encompassing as it could be, but all of the major esports fixtures are covered and the site’s ante-post betting continues to be the best in the business. As with SkyBet, its portal is not separate for esports so the sign-up offers remain constant.
Bet365 offers a 100 percent bonus on deposits up to £50, so there is certainly value to be had.
Ladbrokes, PaddyPower and Coral
Ladbrokes is offering its typical match betting on most esports, including Overwatch this week, which many bookmakers are not offering. Additionally it is offering some fun markets on Fifa 17, such as cover star and markets related to Ultimate Team.
Although it is not strictly esports related, Ladbrokes is certainly paying a lot more attention to the scene than before. The sites is offering handicap match-betting and map-betting on certain matches, but it’s few and far between.
PaddyPower has ante-post betting for a good few events now, which makes a pleasant change to the normally sparse offering.
There’s even some movement on the Coral side of things (believe it or not), as the site has reintroduced its esports section. There’s still nothing in it, but at least you can now click it from the menu.
What’s on this week in esports?
There’s plenty of action for esports fans across multiple platforms this week. Here’s a glance:
League of Legends
We again have a mixture of European and Asian action in the League of Legends scene. The European, Korean and North American splits continue with top teams facing off regularly.
For those who want to follow the lesser teams in League of Legends, the Challenger Series continues as well.
There’s very little going on in StarCraft this week and thus there’s not a huge amount to bet on.
The weekend saw Wembley Arena in London host the LAN finals of ECS Season 1 where French squad G2 destroyed world number one Luminosity to take home the grand prize of $250,000.
ELEAGUE and Operation Kinguin continue this week, so the plethora of great CS:GO action we’ve seen in the last few weeks is not over just yet.
The Manila Major is done and dusted and the build-up to Valve’s flagship event, The International, is well underway. The qualifiers will be done by the end of the week so there’s plenty of action for a fan to peruse this week.
Heroes of the Storm
There’s very little HotS, but the fixtures that will be played are taking place in Power League.
The world’s favourite card game has fixtures all week as qualifying for the third Truesilver Championship continues.
There are huge amounts of Overwatch tournaments taking place now, although they tend to be small in size.
Competitive play is set to be introduced into the normal game this week and that may see even more interest heading toward Overwatch. It actually displaced League of Legends as Korea’s most-played game last week, something that very, very rarely happens.