[toc]This weekend saw the culmination of a big week of esports competition, as Katowice, Poland, hosted the Intel Extreme Masters. We’ve detailed the results below, with new StarCraft and CS:GO champions crowned. Now it’s a quiet week ahead, but the action will be explosive in April.
Where to bet on esports
SkyBet’s dedication to covering the myriad of League of Legends events is commendable, and it’s opened early markets on Dota 2 and CS:GO tournaments as well. It is consistently on top of the esports betting game, and this week is no exception.
So long as League of Legends continues to dominate the esports fixture list, Bet365 will continue to dominate the esports betting outlook. There really is very little competition to be had when it comes to in-depth League of Legends markets, with only Bet365 and SkyBet standing ahead of the crowd here.
Pinnacle is massively overdue a compliment from us, and this week it is getting it. We’ve criticized its esports betting side of things before, but with its 5 millionth bet taken and a new esports trader interview uploaded, Pinnacle is undeniably still a big player in the esports gambling world.
The esports betting specialists at Unikrn have found it niche a little this week, offering many markets on a few of the smaller tournaments. In a word of League and Legends Splits and Kiev Major bets, it’s a refreshing change.
Betway’s revamp has regressed, with its esports page taking on the old format after the new website launched last week. On the bright side, it has an exclusive offer to win a Ninjas in Pyjamas signed jersey, and we like that sort of catering to esports betting fans.
Again, Ladbrokes doesn’t have the best esports betting markets in the industry this week. However, it remains the champions of year-on-year improvement considering it offered virtually nothing for most of 2016. Now we hope to see week-on-week improvement.
There are few games and few markets from PaddyPower when it comes to esports, which is a trend it has been following for a few months now.
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The week in esports events
With precious little taking place this week, let’s review the past week of esports events that saw plenty of virtual bloodshed in Katowice.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive portion of IEM Katowice saw FaZe Clan stomped 3-1 by Astralis despite winning the first best-of-five match. A fifth match proved unnecessary as Astralis scored three consecutive wins to take home $104,000. Next up is the StarLadder iLeague in Kiev.
StarCraft veterans joined their CS:GO counterparts in Poland and in the end TY defeated Stats 4-3 in a best-of-seven matchup, winning the IEM title and $100,300. Our next major StarCraft event outside of Korea will be in Austin, Texas, at the DreamHack Open.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm fans also had their eyes on Katowice, though in this instance it was for the Global Championship Western Clash. Team Dignitas bested Fnatic after 13 consecutive games. In a few weeks, we’ll turn to Shanghai for the eastern edition.
We’ve no Dota 2 events lined up until April, but oh what an April it shall be! Firstly, the Dota 2 Asia Championships in Shanghai awards $500,000 in prize money, but then the Kiev Major dwarfs even this with a monstrous $3 million prize pool.
League of Legends
We’re still making our way through the various Spring Split matchups on the calendar ahead of the championship clashes, with most of the events wrapping up within the next few weeks when we’ll have definitive line-ups.
Image: Katowice arena; credit: Agnieszka Fierek / Shutterstock.com