- SK Gaming won ESL Season 6 and remains the top-ranked team in CS:GO. As runners up, FaZe will have another shot at success this week at the ECS Season 4 Finals.
- The DOTA Summit Series is back with DOTA Summit 8. The prize pool is triple that of last year.
- In League of Legends, LoL Pro League win the 2017 All-Star Cup, while Uzi takes first place in the 1v1 arena.
Where to bet on esports
Dota 2 and CS:GO are center stage this week, with DOTA Summit 8 and the ECS finals. Here’s a run down of all the best esports betting sites.
Despite being one of the quieter weeks in the year, Bet365 still has a large choice of esports and betting markets available. Besides the larger tournaments, the site has also gone out of its way to include smaller events such as the CS:GO OZ Cup and the Stream.me Gauntlet.
Pinnacle has really gone to town on its CS:GO fixtures this week. In total, there are ten different CS:GO tournaments on offer at this award-winning bookmaker. Pinnacle’s low margins make for some of the best odds in the industry and with a healthy choice of esports to choose from, what’s not to like?
There aren’t as many tournaments available at SkyBet, but all the big events are covered. If you’re a fan of accumulators, you can use their esports accumulator section to put together a huge bet for this week’s events. You can find this by clicking on “Build An Accumulator” in your betslip.
Betspawn has practically every available tournament on offer besides the StarCraft II IEM PyeonChang this week, although it is just the qualifying stage at the moment. The Betspawn site makes it easy to browse through your favorite esports, find stats about your chosen teams and choose from a great range of betting markets for each game.
The team at Betway is big fans of CS:GO, and this week it is proving it with a special promotion. Have a risk-free bet for your first bet at the ECS Season 4 finals this week up to £10. Check the terms and conditions before taking part, as terms may differ depending on your place of residence. Besides CS:GO, there’s also a bunch of LoL, Dota 2, StarCraft II and Overwatch odds on offer.
Esports available at GG.bet this week are King of Glory, CS:GO and Dota 2. It’s clear that it is another esports betting site with a big focus on CS:GO. However, it still works hard to bring a large variety of bet types for the other esports listed on their site. As an example, there are over 42 bet types for one single King of Glory match.
Unikrn is still going ahead with its free-bet refund offers for the major esport tournaments. This week, the site is offering a bunch of free-bet refunds on matches such as Cloud9 vs. Astralis. Get your money back as a free bet if you back a team to win, but they fail to win after being six rounds clear. Be smart and always check terms before taking part in any promotion.
Overwatch, Dota 2 and CS:GO are on offer at Unibet this week. Considering it is primarily a traditional sports bookmaker, Unibet has opted to only include certain tournaments from the esports they have available. For example with CS:GO, they have chosen to just publish markets for CEVO and the ECS Finals.[show-table name=betway]
Esports events this week
While it isn’t the busiest of weeks in the esports calendar, there are still some huge events going on. Dota 2 and CS:GO will largely take up most of the stage.
League of Legends
If you’re a League of Legends fan, then you will have almost certainly been aware of the 2017 LoL All Stars that took place last week. Hosted in Los Angeles, some of the world’s best players came together to play in a “dream-team” style tournament that pitted the biggest LoL leagues against each other.
Alongside this, there was also a 1v1 tournament which gave fans a chance to see how their favorite players could hold their ground on their own. Uzi came out on top of the 1v1 tournament after an intense 2-1 best-of-three against Bjergsen. Over in the main event, LoL Pro League took home the trophy after defeating the LMS Allstars 3-2.
This week in LoL, the main attraction is the LVP Superliga. This tournament is available for betting at most esports betting sites mentioned above. Expect to see some carnage in the next few days as Giants Only The Brave (1.010 Bet365) go up against heavy underdogs Movistar Riders (15.0 Bet365).
Los Angeles will host Dota Summit 8 this week through Sunday. There’s $300,000 in prize money and 300 pro circuit points up for grabs. Nine teams from around the world will compete, with big names such as LGD Gaming, OG and Evil Geniuses all taking part.
The group stage will split the teams into three groups of three. Virtus Pro took first place at DOTA Summit 7 last year, although the prize pool was only a third of this year’s event. Virtus came up against Team Secret in the grand final, who will not be attending the tournament this year following its direct invite in the previous year.
It’s one busy week in the world of CS:GO. There’s a whole host of smaller tournaments going on, but here are some of the best bits.
SK Gaming was crowned champions of ESL Pro League Season 6 on Sunday in a best-of-five against FaZe. Having won the first map on Inferno, FaZe seemed confident going into the second map on Overpass. Unfortunately for FaZe, SK Gaming began to dominate after half time and took the map 16-11. Although FaZe kept pushing until the very end, both remaining maps (Mirage & Train) were won by SK Gaming, which took the first prize share of $750,000. After a stunning season and with no signs of slowing down, Coldzera (SK Gaming) won HLTV’s MVP award for the tournament.
Just as ESL Pro League came to a close last week, ECS Season 4 will hold its grand final this weekend. Held in Cancun, Mexico, there is another $750,000 up for grabs and eight teams with a shot at taking home the trophy. Runners up of last week’s ESL Pro League finals, FaZe will have another shot at victory as it shares the Group B stage with Astralis, Cloud9 and Liquid. Over in Group A, Fnatic, Luminosity, Mousesports and OpTic are all within reach of winning one of the largest events in the CS:GO calendar.
Alongside the big names this week are plenty of lower-tier CS:GO tournaments such as CEVO Main Season 13 and the DaddySkins Western League. Both of these tournaments and many more are available to bet on at the sites mentioned above.
Some of the world’s biggest esports events are taking place this week, attracting the attention of millions of fans and bettors alike.
- The League of Legends World Championship is soon to begin its second week of the group stage.
- Eight teams remain in the $1,000,000 CS:GO ELEAGUE Premier 2017.
- Dota 2 is back with an incredibly busy schedule of world-class tournaments.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) continues to evolve as certain teams show their strength in the competitive world.
Where to bet on esports
The next few weeks will be among the busiest in the year for esports betting. With this much extra money floating about, the bookies will be begging for your business. Make the most of the value odds and offers while they last.
The UK-based book has shown no sign of slowing down its esports offerings in recent weeks. Bet365 continuously has been among the top bookmakers for esports betting and it seems it will stay that way for some time. This is largely due to its huge range of esports markets available and frequently being the first betting site to publish them.
It’s clear that PUBG is creating a buzz right now, and Bet365 is fully aware. The site has offered odds on every major PUBG tournament yet, despite the game still being in beta mode.
Clearly huge fans of CS:GO, Betway is part way through another massive sponsorship deal with ESL Pro League. As its official betting partner, Betway is likely to add some special bets to matches throughout the tournament. It’s also offering cash out on ESL Pro League games, should you wish to bag an early profit or ditch your bet at the last minute.
Outside of CS:GO, Betway has a healthy selection of LoL, Dota and StarCraft 2 odds to browse through.
Yet again, SkyBet has almost identical odds and events to Betway. As its site offers no other esports-specific promotions, Sky is unlikely to appeal to many die-hard esports fans.
Despite this, it’s always worth opening an account with SkyBet to make the most out of their welcome offer and keep an eye on the live odds.
After a dry spell in recent weeks, Pinnacle is back at it with a nice amount of esports to play with. CS:GO, Dota, Warcraft, Starcraft and LoL are available to bet on with some of the best odds in the industry due to its incredibly low margins.
Pinnacle is definitely worth having an account with and snapping up high odds while they last. Don’t be put off by the lack of welcome bonus, their odds certainly make up for it.
Despite one of the biggest esports events of the year taking place this week (LoL Worlds), Unikrn listed its odds for late. This is disappointing for a betting that solely focuses on esports events.
CS:GO odds were up early, and more markets for other esports came late as well. Couple that with some very generous free bet offers and this makes it a fantastic choice for CS:GO bettors.
Betspawn has a lot going for it. Not only does the site look great, but it continues to be packed with tons of esports events and generous odds.
This week, you’ll find odds for CS:GO, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm and Warcraft. Its odds for LoL Worlds came online a bit later, as well.
GG.bet has been busy with its PUBG Shroud odds for some weeks now, but that seems to have come to an end. The esports-only betting site now has odds for LoL, CS:GO, Dota and Starcraft.
Unibet has continued its theme of publishing odds for the big three esports this week (CS:GO, LoL and Dota). Although this doesn’t seem much, it deserves some credit for listing LoL Worlds odds before some esports-only sites.
This week in esports events
League of Legends
The group stage of the LoL Worlds has been full of action after starting last week. So far, each team has played three maps to prove their worth and move onto the quarterfinals.
The competition has been extremely tough this year, as always. This is even more so for the teams such as Cloud9 who have fought their way into the group stages after surviving the all-new play-in stage that was added to this year’s event.
- Over in Group A, SK Telecom leads the way with a score of 3-0, while EDward Gaming sit at the bottom of the group with 0-3.
- Group B sees another 3-0 lead by Longzhu Gaming with Fnatic in last place with 0-3.
- Playing on its home turf, Royal Never Give Up holds first place in Group C with a 3-0 lead with 1907 Fenerbahçe clinging to last place at 0-3.
- Although it’s still early days, Group D seems to be sitting on a knife edge with Team SoloMid, Team WE and Misfits all joint first place, with Flash Wolves failing to win a map on a score of 0-3.
Immortals and GIGABYTE Marines will play first on Wednesday to continue the group stage. As frustrating as it is to be knocked out at this stage of the tournament, any team that fails to survive will receive well over $20,000 in prize money for their troubles.
With $1 million to play for, the CS:GO ELEAGUE Premier of 2017 continues Tuesday. Eight teams remain in the fight to become champions of the event, which is one of the largest CS:GO events of the year in terms of prize money and quality of teams attending.
After SK Gaming’s dramatic exit against Heroic, it’s now a much more open tournament for smaller teams to push through. Having said that, FaZe is quite rightly favored to win at odds of 3.50 (Bet365) with Astralis a close second at 4.50.
The grand final will take place this Friday (the 13th). Despite the unlucky date, there will certainly be one team lucky enough to take the trophy and $500,000 in prize money.
Dota 2 is back with another huge season of tournaments.
Starting things off in style, the SL i-League begins on Thursday with $300,000 and 300 Pro Circuit Points up for grabs.
PGL will shortly follow in the following week but most Dota fans are eyeing the first major of the reason, ESL One Hamburg 2017. Eight teams will be competing for a million dollars and 1,500 Pro Circuit Points. The tournament will run Oct. 26-29.
The Auzum Premier League has caught the eye of a few bookmakers in recent weeks, mostly notably Bet365, who was among the first (and only) bookies to price the event up.
Gorilla Core e-Sports sits in first place with 222 points and 80 kills, whilst PENTA occupies second place with 194 points and 64 kills. Clearly taking a different approach to the game, No Loot Gaming holds on in third place with 192 points despite only having 33 kills between them. They seem to be proving a point that there are other ways of dominating the PUBG world besides aggressive play.
The tournament will have undoubtedly had plenty of teething problems due to the game being far from releasable. Fans of the game have been experiencing server problems on an almost daily basis alongside a number of glitches, some of which are quite comical. Despite the problems, the PUBG fanbase is ever-growing and the development team is actively working on making the game “esports ready.”
The Federal Trade Commission settled its case with two men who used social media to improperly direct traffic to a CS:GO betting platform.
The FTC and the CSGOLotto case
Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell have settled with the FTC after having been accused of using their sizable social media presences to direct new users to CSGO Lotto, a skin betting platform in which both Martin and Cassell had undisclosed stakes.
The settlement requires Martin and Cassell to abide strict guidelines in how they represent any products and services in the future.
More from the FTC:
“Consumers need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts,” said FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen in a press release. “This action, the FTC’s first against individual influencers, should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.”
Social media fame used to improperly advertise
Martin and Cassell’s prominence coincided with the growth and elevation of a gambling marketplace specific to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s in-game goods. These digital goods, generally in the form of colorful weapon skins, can be traded between users.
As the CS:GO player base expanded, so too did the opportunities to gamble with in-game skins and their real-world value. Martin and Cassell seized on the opportunity, backing the CSGO Lotto gambling platform, designed specifically to encourage skin gambling.
The pair then took to their popular YouTube channels to create videos in which they gambled, and won, through their own platform. These videos would sometimes come with titles promising viewers the means to quickly earn thousands of dollars.
Neither Martin nor Cassell properly disclosed their involvement with CSGO Lotto during their promotion of the service. That promotion crept across multiple social media outlets and generated millions of views.
Not long after the pair were outed as being involved with CSGOLotto, the betting platform shut down. But that wasn’t the end of things.
The FTC gets involved
The Federal Trade Commission’s mission is to protect domestic consumers in the United States. As such, it opened an investigation into Martin and Cassell’s activities.
That investigation led to this week’s settlement. It dictated that the pair must clearly disclose any material connections with products and services they endorse. Also, they may not misrepresent their independence from any such product or service.
The entire episode has highlighted just how much power social media influencers wield in the nascent esports industry. That influence is particularly powerful when it comes to activities such as gambling. The very nature and legality of gambing in and around esports is still developing. This involvement from the FTC, which marks the first time the FTC has ever acted against individual social media influencers, is likely a sign of things to come.
As the industry continues to grow and the importance of esports betting grows along with it, watchdog agencies such as the FTC will increasingly make their presence felt.
More from the FTC
The FTC went into great detail about its issues with what Martin and Cassell did:
Martin is the company’s president and Cassell is its vice president. As alleged in the complaint, each posted YouTube videos of themselves gambling on their website and encouraging others to use the service. Martin’s videos had titles such as, “HOW TO WIN $13,000 IN 5 MINUTES (CS-GO Betting)” and “$24,000 COIN FLIP (HUGE CSGO BETTING!) + Giveaway.”
Cassell posted videos with titles such as “INSANE KNIFE BETS! (CS:GO Betting),” and “ALL OR NOTHING! (CS:GO Betting).” In all, Cassell’s videos promoting the CSGO Lotto website were viewed more than 5.7 million times. Martin and Cassell allegedly also promoted the site on Twitter without adequately disclosing their connection to CSGO Lotto.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Martin, Cassell, and their company also had an “influencer program” and paid other gaming influencers between $2,500 and $55,000 to promote the CSGO Lotto website to their social media circles, while prohibiting them from saying anything negative about the site.
The decision follows the official establishment of a new set of guidelines by the ESIC. The ESIC determined new standardized lengths for bans resulting from a variety of offenses. Those included cheating and the fixing of results of professional matches upon which fans had placed bets.
With this new alignment, DreamHack will be unbanning players guilty of match-fixing whose bans were implemented prior to February 15, 2015. This most notably includes former players for North American team iBUYPOWER.
iBUYPOWER bans shocked the esports world
iBUYPOWER established itself as one of the premier teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with its play in 2014. The North American squad collected two ESEA titles. It beat some of Europe’s biggest teams, including Titan and Virtus Pro along the way.
For some time, iBUYPOWER was the only American team to win a premier CS:GO event with Europe’s best squads in attendance.
But the Counter-Strike world was rocked by the revelation that iBUYPOWER players had fixed the result of a domestic game. The match was against the former NetcodeGuides.com team for the promise of a financial windfall.
All persons associated with the infraction were banned. That included four of five iBUYPOWER players. It was a huge blow to CSGO in America and put fans’ and bettors’ confidence in doubt.
Effects of the bans
While iBUYPOWER was the biggest of the teams found guilty of match-fixing, they weren’t alone.
The series of discoveries made and the ensuing bans emphasized the vulnerabilities of an unregulated CS:GO betting market and a loose competitive structure without unified rules.
And given the widespread nature of esports betting in CS:GO and the importance the practice carries in driving player and spectator interest, it was no surprise when tournament organizers began cracking down.
There was much debate regarding the appropriate length for bans based on serious infractions, match-fixing included. It was generally agreed in ESIC’s work that a serious response was required to discourage the practice. It would also give bettors confidence that all professional gamers were being legitimately contested.
But clemency was often floated for early offenders like the iBUYPOWER players.
With this decision, those players banned prior to February 15, 2015 will now have a chance to resume their professional careers through most of the competitive CS:GO calendar.
being unbanned from DH changes a lot. Almost everything is available to play in atm besides ECS, ELeague and Majors basically.
— Sam M (@GODaZeD) September 7, 2017
Developer Valve has continued to uphold its own bans, as have some other tournament organizers like ELEAGUE. But there should be more than enough leagues and tournaments to sustain a full-time team even without Valve’s majors.
There’s little question that we’ll soon see the former iBUYPOWER players back in action as a team. The question that does remain is which organization will see fit to step forward and fly their banner over a group of players whose actions had such an impact on CS:GO and its community.
ESL One New York kicks off this week in CS:GO, following a controversial grand final of DreamHack Open Montreal and an unexpected winner of the ESG Tour Mykonos.
Rocket League grabs the bookies’ attention again and there’s plenty of LoL, Dota 2 and StarCraft II action.
Where to bet on esports
Betting sites are getting more competitive every week as interest in esports betting picks up. You’re in the perfect spot to take advantage of some excellent offers and value odds while the big bookmakers push to get their esports odds in front of the most punters.
As sponsors of ESG Tour Mykonos, Betway had a lot to offer for the event. That included some exclusive odds that no other esports betting site had listed.
Never being ones to sit back, the team at Betway has gone ahead and added more special bets for ESL One New York, which is taking place later in the week. Some of the available betting markets include “Player Headshot %” and “Any Map To Finish 16-0.”
Elsewhere on the site, they’ve also listed odds for the Rocket League — Mock It ECS.
The list of esports markets at Bet365 seems to be getting bigger every week. Not only does the site have practically every CS:GO tournament in existence listed, but it’s also got a ton of odds for Dota 2, League of Legends, Rocket League, StarCraft 2 and even King of Glory.
Although Bet365 frequently has some of the best value odds, its new-customer offer is one of the best available being offered by any major bookmaker.
Unfortunately SkyBet hasn’t got the best of selections so far this week. At present, they have odds available for LoL, CS:GO, Rocket League, Dota 2 and StarCraft II.
As always, their in-play odds seem to be full of value, so definitely check by if you’re betting live on any esports they have available.
Pinnacle’s choice of CS:GO tournaments to list is interesting, to say the least. Perhaps the book hasn’t yet got round to it, but currently there are no odds for ESL One New York or ELEAGUE, but there are odds listed for the Esports Balkan League and World Cyber Arena.
Considering Pinnacle has the lowest margins on its odds, it would be great to see more tournaments listed. It does have a nice choice for other esports however, with odds for Dota 2, LoL, Rocket League, StarCraft and Warcraft 3.
For an esports-only betting site, Unikrn seems to be lacking in esports. Despite a section for Rocket League, there are no odds yet listed for the Mock IT ECS event taking place this week.
Instead, there are markets available for Dota 2, LoL and CS:GO. To give credit where it’s due, Unikrn does have plenty of CS:GO tournaments to choose from.
Betspawn seems to be another site that is slow to publish betting markets but when they do, they are well worth the wait. The odds are often some of the best in the industry, particularly with the big three esports (CS:GO, Dota 2 and LoL).
Completely unique to GG.bet, the site is continuing on with its special bet series for Shrouds PUBG streams. You’ll be able to bet on his total kill amount and his final position in each game plus potentially many other betting markets.
It’s great to see innovative betting markets such as this with a game that has picked up so much traction in recent months. It’s easy to forget that the game still hasn’t actually been released.
Unibet has odds listed for the big three esports this week (CS:GO, Dota 2 and LoL). The site does seem to have its priorities in order though, as it hasn’t missed out on tournaments such as ESL One New York, which some other sites have been slow to release odds for.
This week in esports events
Some of the world’s best CS:GO teams will begin fighting for their share of the $250,000 prize pool at ESL One New York 2017 this Friday.
There’s a total of eight teams taking part in the event, consisting of two qualifiers (Cloud9 and EnVyUs) and six invited teams (Astralis, FaZe, Liquid, Natus Vincere, SK and Virtus.pro).
It was an action-packed weekend for CS:GO tournaments with both DreamHack Open Montreal 2017 and ESG Mykonos 2017 taking place simultaneously.
Over in Greece, it was Mousesports who managed to take down Liquid in an epic best-of-five grand final, with a close score of 3-2. Eight teams competed in the event with a total prize pool of $235,000, $117,500 of which went to the winner.
Mousesports was anything but favorites to win the event, with teams such as SK and Virtus.pro being knocked out in the playoffs.
The Danish squad of North continued to impress fans in Montreal after its performance at Malmö. After a controversial grand final, North beat Immortals 2-0 at DreamHack Open Montreal 2017. Taking home first place and $50,000, this was North’s first win at any DreamHack event.
Sources suggest that three-fifths of the Immortals squad had overslept their alarms after taking a nap in between games. After delaying the match slightly, the tournament rules state that the first map should be forfeited. According to a statement from DreamHack:
“Immortals was informed that if they were not ready by 3:45PM – 15 minutes after scheduled start time – then they would forfeit the first map, in accordance with our rulebook.”
Winners of DreamHack Malmö, G2 advanced to the ELEAGUE Premier playoffs after beating Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) 2-0 on Cobblestone and Inferno. FaZe also beat Na’Vi to advance to the playoffs.
The tournament will continue this Friday with North vs Fnatic and Mousesports vs Immortals, before winners, elimination and group-decider matches take place later that evening.
League of Legends
League of Legends Champions Korea Spring will continue on Tuesday with Bbq OLIVERS playing CJ Entus and Ever8 Winners taking on KongDoo Monster.
Over in the World Championships, South Korea is looking strong to dominate again, with SK Telecom T1 favored to win the 2017 event and Longzhu a close second. SK Telecom T1 won the event in 2016 and took home a tidy prize of $2,680,000.
The Perfect World Minor has been announced this week, with qualifiers starting late September. The main event will take place Nov. 19-26 with ten teams in total, seven of which will have to qualify for their place. The $300,000 event will be run in partnership with PGL and Faceit.
Four more teams have secured their place in the SL i-League Invitational after surviving the open qualifiers which ended on Sunday. Team Phoenix, Blue Pikachu, SFT esports and Braveheart will now have a chance to play in the regional qualifiers which take place from Sept. 11-17.
The Minor itself will be played in Kiev Oct. 12-15.
There’s lots of Afreeca Starleague games to feast your eyes on this week, starting with Eff0rt vs. Lazy and Mind vs. Rush on Tuesday morning. Plenty of bookmakers have odds for these games, should you want to put your money where your mouth is.
Bookmakers such as Bet365 have gone out of their way to offer odds on the Rocket League Mock-It ECS event taking place this week. Whilst ONETRICKPONY is in first place in the EU standings, THE MUFFIN MEN are dominating North America with a perfect 14-0 record.
The deal also covers integrity for PvPRO matches.
PvPRO + Sportradar
The agreement “focuses in on audiovisual streaming rights for the global betting market, plus data distribution rights for the betting as well as non-betting ecosystems,” according to a press release from the companies.
To protect all PvPRO’s competitions, Sportradar’s Integrity Services will monitor betting patterns from all relevant bookmakers and operators around the world in order to identify suspicious betting activity. (Sportradar is one of the founding members of the Esports Integrity Coalition, or ESIC.)
The deal also includes the use of Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System, to ensure there is no betting-related manipulation occurring on PvRO competitions.
Esports betting remains a part of the equation
As the esports industry as a whole grows, so too does the esports betting marketplace. Official partnerships in the data acquisition and provision markets have the potential to provide fans and bettors alike with more and better information around the world’s biggest competitions.
In announcing the move, PvPRO also emphasized its concern with integrity and the proper use of data provided. Attention was drawn to Sportradar’s link to the ESIC, which has partnered with betting regulators across Europe. It recently made waves with its recommendations for suspensions for match-fixing and cheating offenses.
PvPRO launching global tour
Fans won’t have to wait long to see the partnership in action. PvPRO will implement Sportradar’s services throughout the Electronic Sports Global Tour, beginning Thursday at ESG Tour Mykonos in Greece.
PvPRO CEO Stamos Venios gave a statement expressing optimism on the partnership:
“To really kick off the tour in style and with a statement of professional intent, we also wanted to bring on board the number one specialists in esports data, betting streams and integrity. Securing Sportradar’s support and expertise was really important to the credibility and distribution of the Tour and as we start this journey, we could not be happier to have Sportradar at our side.”
ESG Tour Mykonos will feature eight of the world’s best CS:GO teams squaring off, including SK Gaming, Virtus Pro, Team Liquid, and defending champion Gambit Esports.
It will be the second tournament for Gambit since the team parted ways with captain Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko. The first, DreamHack Masters Malmo, resulted in a top-four finish. Gambit enters as likely favorites along with Brazil’s SK Gaming, and the two teams are likely to cross paths early after drawing into the same group.
The ESL Pro League announced Betway as an official partner to one of the world’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions.
The sponsorship will span the duration of the upcoming ESL Pro League season. It begins in August and climaxes at a live final in Odense, Denmark, on Dec. 5.
ESL Pro League gets live odds from Betway
Betway is a global online gambling company serving a number of sports betting markets, including esports betting. Betway previously worked with ESL in sponsoring ESL One Cologne, a $250,000 CS:GO tournament held in July.
At that event, Betway contributed live esports betting odds to ESL’s streaming broadcast. That gave bettors an unprecedented look at shifting odds for CS:GO betting during the event as part of the produced viewing experience. Betway has confirmed that this practice will continue through the ESL Pro League. That enables interested bettors to keep up with the odds on matches they’re following.
“Our experience sponsoring ESL One Cologne was a huge success, and the feedback we received from our first-of-its-kind live odds feeds into the broadcast has inspired us to increase our involvement across tournaments and teams in the coming months and years,” said Anthony Werkman, director of marketing and operations for Betway.
The world’s top CS:GO teams set to compete
The ESL Pro League features a $1 million prize pool. Twenty-eight teams evenly split between North America and Europe will battle it out to determine the 12 finalists who will compete in the finals in Odense. Each team will play 26 matches by season’s end, ensuring that only those who rigorously prove themselves the best will advance.
Returning champion G2 Esports comes into the competition flying somewhat under the radar given the impact of roster changes on other top teams following the conclusion of the PGL Major. Fellow European sides FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere will be debuting newly rebuilt rosters. Across the pond, top American squad Cloud9 will be bringing its own revamped roster in hopes of booking a return trip to the event’s grand final.
Other top teams such as Astralis, Fnatic and Team Liquid are also seeking a piece of the prize pool.
The group stages are over at the Dota 2 International 7 with the main event teams confirmed. The main event will be full of top tier games until the grand final this Saturday.
In CS:GO, the Gfinity Elite Series plows on ahead of ESL One: New York starting next week.
Longzhu IM and KT Rolster remain joint leaders of The League of Legends Champions Korea, 3 points ahead of SKT T1 and Samsung G.
Where to bet on esports
They’ve also been offering a tonne of live markets if you’re a fan of betting in-play. They frequently stream live coverage of events for live betting right from their website which can be very helpful as it’s usually much faster than alternative sources. You’ll need to be logged in with a funded account to view the streams.
They have released even more special bet markets, where you can find all kinds of odds that are exclusive to Betway. They also have esports-specific free bets and odds boosts.
This week’s boost features Liquid, EG, Team Secret, Empire and OG all to win at odds of 7.00 (6/1).
SkyBet don’t seem to be running any special offers or odds boosts for their esports markets at this moment in time. Their odds can be quite competitive though, especially in live markets. They’re definitely worth keeping an eye on!
Interestingly, they don’t have odds listed for the CS:GO Gfinity Elite Series tournament, but they do list markets for the Skinhub CS:GO Championship despite the prize pool being 10x smaller.
If you’re looking for a site with very competitive odds, especially for pre-match betting, then Pinnacle should be high on the list. Although they are another site to forget about the CS:GO Gfinity Elite Series, it’s nice to see they have included odds for Warcraft 3 – Neo Star League.
As an exclusively esports betting site, I would expect to see plenty more odds available for the smaller esports but perhaps there isn’t much going on right now. They do have all the big events listed and boast some competitive odds though, alongside a very appealing welcome offer.
Similar story to Unikrn this week with Betspawn, although Betspawn have slightly better odds at times.
It’s certainly worth comparing the two if you have a keen eye for finding the best prices when betting on the International 7 this week.
GG.bet are certain to attract esports fans who are accustomed to the old skin betting sites. They are actually a hybrid of the two as they accept both cash and skins as payment options.
GG.bet have embedded Twitch streams into their live betting pages so that you can watch the stream and bet, all from the same page.
So long as you can forgive Unibet for incorrectly labeling esports “E-Sports”, they’re another esports betting site worth keeping an eye on. Perhaps they will bring out some esports-specific promotions or odds boosts in the future to make their esports offerings a little more appealing.
The week in esports events
Group stages are over at the Dota 2 International 7. Fnatic and HellRaisers are first to be eliminated as the bottom teams in each group. LGD.Forever Young claim top spot overall as leaders of Group B with Team Liquid leaders of Group A.
The main event begin today with Liquid versus Invictus Gaming up first. The remaining 16 teams will play in a double-elimination format throughout the week, leading up to the Bo5 grand final on Saturday.
First prize winners will take home over $10m USD – 44 percent of the total prize pool out of the total pool that sits at almost $24m.
The Gfinity Elite Series continues with EnVyUs Academy currently leading with 15 points, four ahead of fellow Europeans Epsilon. Hosted in London, England, the tournament has attracted nationwide coverage after being aired live on BBC Three.
Most of top tier teams will be warming up ahead of ESL One: New York which starts next week on Aug. 14 with a prize pool of over $200,000 USD.
League of Legends
Longzhu IM and KT Rolster keep hold of their tied top spot in the LoL Champions Korea. Both teams sit on 39 points each ahead of SKT T1 and Samsung G. The total prize pool for the event is ₩ 270,000,000 KRW with ₩ 100,000,000 going to 1st place.
In other LoL news, FWtw and Raise are joint pole position in the LoL Master Series Summer Split.
Byul and HerO face each other at the beginning of the week in the world of Starcraft as part of the StarLeague.
This week, the prize pool for The International 7 in August topped $20.7 million, which puts this year’s edition ahead of 2016’s record-breaking tournament.
It’s official: This will be the world’s richest esports event.
Where to bet on esports
Betway can’t compete with some of the biggest sites when we compare the number of bets available. But for esports betting fans there’s no better place to go for in-depth analysis, blogs, and targeted promotions.
The only site on this list that caters specifically to esports, rather than simply doing well in terms of accommodating players, Unikrn continues to offer a solid selection of bets covering the major esports and tournaments.
Bet365 is another site that, for the simple volume of markets on esports betting, towers above most of its competitors. The site’s sports betting expertise and customer service also serves it well in providing a great experience to players.
Pinnacle remains lagging behind in usability and game coverage, but highly competitive with esports betting odds and promotions. This keeps the site well in the top five esports betting sites without too much effort.
The week in esports events
Let’s take a look at the week that was and upcoming esports betting opportunities.
The biggest esports tournament currently taking place is the PGL Major Kraków, which is giving $1 million to the world’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players in Poland. After that, we have to wait until August and DreamHack Masters.
There is no Dota 2 action in major events taking place until August, but of course that action is massive in the shape of the largest esports tournament in history. At the time of writing, The International 7 is just about overtaking its last incarnation.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a constant presence in the world of esports betting sites due to the plethora of splits and playoffs and other tournaments that seem to be constantly ongoing.
Last week in WCS Valencia, Elazer took home the gold to Poland after Neeb’s back-to-back wins in Austin and Sweden. This week, StarCraft players head to Germany for the HomeStory Cup XV.
The new platform “provides real-time data driven predictions” and will improve the way that data and statistics will increase engagement with ECS fans.
Alongside the new platform, ECS will use the Genius Sports’ eSports Bet Monitoring System to monitor betting markets in real-time.
This will decrease the risks of match-fixing and alert the organizers to any unusual patterns in the betting market. The enhanced level of match integrity will encourage more betting operators to add ECS to the list of events they cover.
Esports betting bookmakers will benefit from the enhanced integrity
The benefits of the new system will extend beyond the fans to the bookmakers offering esports betting on ECS tournaments. Genius explained:
“The platform transforms in-game data into split-second predictive outcomes and performance assessments of teams and players. Simultaneously, fan engagement and betting activity are measured across a vast array of bookmakers, providing the data visibility required to identify suspicious patterns in wagering liquidity, a critical measure for the prevention of match-fixing.”
Last year’s Grand Finals of the ECS took place at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley. The largest esports prize pool ever offered in the UK was up for grabs there.
The $3.5 million prize pool not only attracted a large audience. It also spurred betting operators such as Pinnacle to offer wagers on the event.
The enhanced integrity measures should ensure that the 2017 Grand Final draws a much larger betting handle.
Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke said:
“We are incredibly excited to partner with FACEIT and ECS with our ground-breaking eSports technology to help increase fan engagement, as well as help ensure players and fans are treated to a fair and transparent game, and ECS league representatives are equipped with information and tools necessary to maintain a clean, honest and exhilarating contest.”
League organizers are aware of the need for more esports integrity measures
The issue of esports integrity really came to the fore in 2016. Several organizing or governing bodies launched, with the issue high on their agenda.
The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) places integrity at the center of its objectives. But the World eSports Association and World eSports Council also recognize the importance of ensuring match fairness.
ESL was one of the first major esports tournament organizers to adopt a technical solution to match integrity.
In October 2015, it signed a deal with Sportradar. That agreement provides data and gives access to Sportradar’s eSports Fraud Detection System.
Last July, Genius Sports’ Head of Esports Moritz Maurer explained that the average prize pool for many esports competitions is tiny in comparison to the total amount of money wagered on the event.
“We see this as very problematic for competitions that have a very small or even no monetary prize pool and the participating teams are often newly formed rosters. The betting volume in comparison with the incentive to win the entire tournament is at a concerning ratio.”
The FACEIT, ECS deal with Genius is a significant step in implementing a solution that addresses these concerns.
Chief Business Officer and Co-founder of FACEIT Michele Attisani commented:
“Integrity has always been the core value for FACEIT and ECS. We are very aware of the challenges all leagues face as the industry grows and we felt this was a logical next step to safeguard our fans and stakeholders. Genius Sports is the trusted and go-to platform for all major sports leagues, their unrivalled experience in this sector alongside the newly developed technology specifically designed for CS:GO makes them an integral partner for ECS as the league continues to grow.”
The deal has potential to extend to other esports leagues
As more tournaments recognize the need for technical solutions to match integrity, it seems inevitable that the market will grow.
Genius Sports has data and integrity solutions in use in traditional sports including English Premier League and Italian LaLiga soccer. It has built a strong base in esports.
Given the stunning growth trajectory of esports, Genius Sports is well poised to enjoy the trend.