[toc]SkyBet continues to expand and maintain an established esports offering, while Pinnacle struggles to keep up with the depth of markets available from competitors.
Betway has an intriguing ante-post offering, while several other bookmakers continue to lack depth in their esports options. Here’s the weekly round-up of what’s going on at esports bookmakers as well as what’s happening on the events side.
The bookies and what they’re offering
Pinnacle has odds on the majority of the action, as we’ve come to expect from one of the few esports-orientated bookmakers on the market.
It sticks to the main three esports, Dota, League of Legends and CS: GO, and offers match-betting, as well as handicap match-betting and Race to [X] Kills. Again, we are yet to see Pinnacle offer certain markets, such as Roshan and Dragons, which Betway and SkyBet are offering regularly now.
SkyBet may not have some of the smaller fixtures in the biggest esports, but what it does have is depth in its markets.
As per usual, we see the same markets from SkyBet; it offers up to 26 markets in League of Legends and a more limited, but still substantial, amount in Dota. It also offers an in-play betting service, but with the fast-moving nature of esports the markets tend to be extremely limited and frozen.
Betway has carried on from last week in its Dota offering. Whereas SkyBet offers 11 markets, Betway offers a staggering 30 markets for the games in Manila this week.
It is trying to build an in-play betting system, but the inherent nature of esports seems to be holding back everyone who is set to trial it. There are too many small things that can change a game, so unlike traditional sports, the games can be very unpredictable and hazardous for bookmakers.
This week sees Bet365 really expanding its Dota offering. While its ante-post has traditionally been solid, it has markets not seen elsewhere, such as the “Team to Destroy the First Barracks” and “Team to Destroy the First Tower.”
Plus, its impressive offering on League from last week has continued. CS:GO, Call of Duty and Starcraft are also in the offering but remain limited in markets.
Ladbrokes, PaddyPower and Coral
Ladbrokes is offering its typical match-betting on most esports, including the mobile esport Vainglory. It offers handicap match-betting and map-betting on certain matches, but they’re few and far between.
PaddyPower has Starcraft, League and Call of Duty as it looks to expand the range of esports covered rather than its depth of market. As per usual, Coral is offering nothing.
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 Korean League, which showcases some of the strongest teams and strongest talent in the world, continues this week, as well as the European LCS.
Later in the week, the Chinese League resumes and some of the strongest North American teams will also compete. With some great games last week, the scene is gearing up toward a huge summer event.
Some of the top names in Starcraft will fight it out in GSL Season 2, and the Starcraft scene, with three or four matches on the docket, has a relatively busy week by its standards.
The regular leagues continue with top teams competing against each other in ELEAGUE, and some of the lower-tier teams competing in both Operation Kinguin and the Razer Rising Stars League.
The qualifiers for ESL Cologne, one of the best events on the CS:GO calendar, also continue with top teams looking to secure their place.
The Manila Major is in full swing. There have been shocks and upsets galore with Evil Geniuses (the International 5 champions) and Team Secret (the Shanghai Major champions) both eliminated in joint last place.
There should be some exceptional action for Dota fans, and with the Grand Final not until Sunday, there’s plenty more to come.
Heroes of the Storm
There’s very little HotS to report on this week as the scene takes a small break.
The world’s favourite card game has fixtures in the HCT EU playoffs and mid-season Team Story this week as some of the top players compete for places in future tournaments.
The Overwatch hype train is picking up steam. The top teams are constantly scrimming and teams like Cloud 9, Reunited, Luminosity and Team Liquid are all starting to play regular fixtures.
The competitive mode is going to hit public servers toward the end of this month and then we would expect the scene to really gain momentum. At the moment, there are just weekly tournaments, but surely big tournaments are just around the corner.