Esports Betting Outlook: Intel Extreme Masters XI Ready To Roll This Week

Written By Matt Perry on February 27, 2017 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

The Intel Extreme Masters XI begins this week, which means we’ve got a much more active esports betting market. In other words, it’s not just all League of Legends, all the time.

On top of the CS:GOand StarCraft events, we have the Western Clash of the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship to look forward to. All this is taking place in Katowice, Poland, over the coming weeks. Oh, and yes, there is obviously still a ludicrous amount of League of Legends action.

Where to bet on esports


Big news from Betway this week, as it has an all-new website. Its makeover hasn’t compromised its esports betting offer, though. In fact, it’s now easier than ever to navigate its markets and find the esports bet you’re looking for.


SkyBet, for all its strength, could probably use a similar makeover. Don’t get us wrong, it’s easily and consistently one of the top three esports betting sites around. However, its sheer abundance of bets actually makes the site a little tough to navigate.


Bet365 continues to have one of the strongest esports betting offers on the market, again thanks largely to a huge selection of League of Legends markets. Bet365 really excels at offering a range of bets, and this is a skill it has taken to CS:GO and Dota 2 as well.


British bookmaker Ladbrokes has continued to impress when it comes to esports betting, with decent coverage and easily the best year-on-year improvement. In 2016, it barely acknowledged esports existed. Now, it’s looking quite competitive.


On the other hand, Pinnacle have yet to re-rise to its former glory. Pinnacle did, after all, kick off this whole esports betting bonanza. It has improved since late 2016, though, and we’re certainly all rooting for the book to get back on top.


Last week, and indeed for the past month or so, PaddyPower has had virtually nothing to offer anyone who wanted to bet on esports. This week, it has had a proverbial kick in the butt and added several markets to its page.


Unikrn is looking surprisingly weak this week. It has a fine number of bets, but very few niche markets. Considering this is their thing, one would hope for a little more than just outright bets from the esports specialists.

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The week in esports events

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the immediate future for the world of esports betting:

League of Legends

We’re coming to the end of some of the ongoing League of Legends events now, with end dates of late February and early March scattered throughout the hectic schedule. Many more are ongoing into March and April, though, so expect continuing League action for the foreseeable future.


As with many esports, the Intel Extreme Masters XI is the next port of call for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fans. The game heads to Katowice, Poland, where the best of the best will battle for a $250,000 prize pool.


Another group of esports pros heading to Poland is the StarCraft crowd, who will also be competing for a cool $250,000 in Katowice at the IEM XI.

Dota 2

The StarLadder i-League saw a triumphant return to form for Team Liquid, having missed the Boston Major and looking at the business end of a convoluted European qualification for the Kiev Major. However, their victory against VGJ has likely netted the team a place for April’s $3 million event.

Heroes of the Storm

This week, the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship heads to the live arena. First up, Katowice plays host to the Western Clash; in two weeks time, Shanghai will be the site of the Eastern Clash.


We’re more than halfway through the Overwatch APEX Season 2 now, and we’ll post no spoilers. The action concludes in the first week of April, when the $178,000 prize pool will be doled out.


The Hearthstone Winter Championship will take place over three days in Nassau, Bahamas, at the end of this month (though it’s not winter there, either) with $250,000 up for grabs.

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