Esports Betting Outlook: The International Is Upon Us, With A Smattering Of Smaller Tournaments Too

Written By Matt Perry on August 1, 2016 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]The biggest fortnight in esports is ahead of us as The International begins in earnest, and of course dominates the esports betting market.

It’s not all about Dota 2, though, as many smaller events are also taking place in the world of esports this week.

What have the esports bookmakers got?


The esports betting offer at Betway still stands strong, with a wealth of outrights and match bets available on The International.

A new blog post, detailing the run-up to the big event and how this affects betting lines, is a pretty in-depth look at the world of esports; this kind of editorial is something we’d typically expect to find for major, mainstream sports so it’s a nice addition.

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“We’re making betting better,” says SkyBet on an esports banner. With its CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2 markets offering dozens of bets per match it’s hard to argue the claim.

Naturally, Dota 2 is the go-to game to bet on at the moment, but League and CS:GO fans will still find a fair share of esports betting action at Skybet.


Esports specialists Unikrn have a diverse range of esports bets, as one would expect. Lined up alongside the usual suspects is a list including Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone 2 and World of Tanks.

Each has a range of betting options, and we’re optimistic for a continuing strong and varied series of bets here.


The current market at Bet365 remains reasonable, though newcomers may not think so. That’s owing to the absence of major events outside The International in the next week (see below), which makes Bet365’s esports page appear somewhat scantily-clad right now.


The first to jump on the esports betting bandwagon, Pinnacle now appear crushed beneath those who jumped on after them. The site’s betting options are solid, but there’s still little innovation and it is in danger of being severely outpaced by rival bookmakers.

PaddyPower, Coral and Ladbrokes

We’ve yet to see any changes in these three in recent weeks.

PaddyPower still have the usual repertoire of options, and we’re still waiting on some more unique options from the site á la its prize pool market last week. Ladbrokes are more of the same, and rumours of Coral joining the esports world appear as yet unfounded.

The week in esports events

Some tournaments wrap up, some kick off, and above them all looms The International and its over $18 million prize pool.

Dota 2

The group stage of TI6 begins this week, with a record-breaking prize pool awaiting the top 16 finishers.

The group stage takes place from August 3 through August 5 ahead of the Main Event at Key Arena in Seattle next week. The first place prize is a massive $8,373,183 with the top 16 guaranteed at least $95,150 for their efforts.

League of Legends

The regular season of the 2016 Summer Split has come to an end, which means a break in League of Legends action for the moment.


Virtus Pro emerged victorious over Fnatic in the inaugural EGLEAGUE final, taking home a hefty $390,000 first prize after a 16-10, 16-8 victory.

With that wrapped up, it’s a quiet week on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive front.

Heroes of the Storm

A beach battle kicked off Season 3 of the Heroes of the Storm Super League in Seoul, Korea.

The best-of-seven grand final will see two teams qualify for the Spring Championship, but only one will collect the league’s $58,000 first prize.


In Starcraft 2 news, the Global Starcraft II League Season 2 has 60 players competing for a first prize of $33,840. The group stages are just wrapping up ahead of the round of 32 this week.


The latest big game to explode onto the scene has yet to find a firm foothold in the realm of major international events as of yet. With the momentum Overwatch has, though, don’t be surprised to see it take off.

Hearthstone 2

Hearthstone Team Story 2 is wrapping up its second half in China, with the top four advancing to the playoffs and contesting a $190,000 prize pool.

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