Online gaming and esports has grown in popularity in recent years. It's estimated that there are now 300 million people worldwide, including millions in the UK, who tune in to watch the biggest tournaments where teams of pro gamers compete against one another in League of Legends, Call of Duty, FIFA, Counter Strike and more. Savvy bookmakers are able to identify an opportunity when it presents itself so it is no surprise that gambling industry heavyweights in the UK have jumped on the esports bandwagon. But which are the best esports betting sites? Read on to find out.
Best UK Esports Betting Sites
Esports are one of the fastest-growing segments of the online betting industry attracting people from all walks of life including esport enthusiasts and longtime punters looking for a way to breathe some new life into their activities. Our research indicates the following are the best UK esports betting sites, which includes some of the best new betting sites in the UK. Be sure to sign up today to claim their new customer offers, which include the return of free bets once an account has been created.
Best Esports Betting Sites Reviewed
bet365 is at the forefront of the UK online bookmaking industry. They are renowned for the variety and quality of their sport coverage, the competitive nature of their odds, the attention they pay to rewarding loyal customers and for leading the way in Live Streaming and other important features. That includes esports. bet365 dedicate an entire section of their site and app to esport tournaments from around the world. League of Legends, FIFA ePremier League, Call of Duty and more it's all here with a plethora of innovative markets and In-Play betting. Their Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets is nothing to sneeze at either. An impressive bet365 bonus code will enable new customers to claim this fantastic offer.
Few UK betting sites represent the establishment quite like William Hill. With such a stodgy air about them, you might think they would turn their nose up at esports betting. But you’d be wrong. William Hill have done their esports homework and offer coverage of many of the major esports tournaments from around the world along with Live Streaming of key matchups and Live In-Play betting. If you’re wondering about their Welcome Bonus it's a very respectable Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bet credits.
Like William Hill, Betfred is another well-established UK betting site who recognised the potential of esports early on. Today you can wager on League of Legends, Dota 2, CS: GO, StarCraft 2 and much more. There are not a lot of promos associated with their esports coverage but their Live Streaming and number of In-Play betting options makes up for that. Their Welcome Offer is also a very agreeable Bet £10 Get £40 in bet credits.
BetVictor makes no bones about their support of esports with a link to the latest tournaments prominently displayed at the top of their homepage. We were impressed by the variety of ways you can place an esports bet on BetVictor. We also appreciate that they go the extra mile to help punters by offering a comprehensive explanation of esports and esports gambling in their esports section. Their Bet £10 Get £40 Welcome Offer is a nice bit of frosting on the cake.
From the Welcome Offer of a £30 matched free bet to their extensive selection of esports betting markets Betway established themselves as one of the best UK esports betting websites. LoL, World of Warcraft, Dota 2 and more are all here with competitive odds and a world-class Live Streaming feature that will make your In-Play betting efforts come alive. What earns Betway a spot on our best esports betting sites is that, unlike many of their competitors, they offer boosted odds on many different esports bets.
BetUK is one of the best UK new betting sites that made certain they gave esports pride of place right out of the gate. They put a premium on delivering high-quality Live Streaming and In-Play betting experiences for esport enthusiasts, while covering all the hottest teams from around the world including G2, Cloud 9 and Fnatic. With a nice Bet £10 Get £30 Welcome Offer to boot you could make an argument for BetUK to be considered the best esports betting site.
Virgin Bet is known for their outstanding tennis and football coverage along with their competitive odds, existing customer promos and low minimum deposit amounts. It seems to us that in the near future they will also be recognised for the quality of their esport coverage as well. And deservedly so. They cover all the major LoL, WoW and other tournaments, provide context and background for each and toss in some surprising markets from time to time. Virgin Bet offers new customers the chance to get £20 in free bets from a £10 qualifying bet.
LiveScore Bet offers esports betting on a variety of the most popular titles including first person shooter games like Counter Strike, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games like Dota 2 and League of Legends, and hard-to-categorize games like Rocket League. You’ll also find info on prominent players and an upcoming schedule of events. First-class Live Streaming is the cherry on this particular cake. LiveScore Bet currently has a bet £10 get £20 in free bets welcome offer.
Mr. Play is another new UK betting site that did their homework on esports before they opened for business. They cover all the biggest tournaments, offer an impressive variety of markets and provide Live Streaming on all the best matches as teams from around the globe battle it out for prestige and prize money, not necessarily in that order. New Mr.Play customers can get a £10 free bet token when they sign up and place a £10 bet.
What are Esports?
Esports is a term used to describe competitive, often team-based, gaming at the professional level. Esports take many different forms from first person shooter games like Counter-Strike to the frankly absurd but hugely popular Rocket League, which is essentially cars playing football.
These days esports are a multi-billion pound industry with professional teams and leagues all over the world and tournaments that fill 20,000-seat sports arenas and offer hundreds of thousands of pounds in prize money. And in the interest of providing a bit more context: the top esport gamer in the world last year earned more than £15 million in prize money and endorsements.
The intense interest generated by esports has not escaped the attention of UK betting sites, the best of which each have sections dedicated exclusively to esports betting.
Most Popular Esports Betting Markets
CS: GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, often referred to as CS: GO, is a first-person shooter game and the 4th in the CS series. In the game terrorists and counter-terrorists battle it out for control with terrorists taking hostages and planting bombs and the counter terrorists tasked with freeing the hostages and preventing the bombs from producing carnage. CS: GO tournaments attract huge amounts of attention from gamers and punters alike.
Defense of the Ancients 2 or Dota 2, is an epic role player game that typically consists of teams of 5 players with each assigned to defend a specific point on the map. When a team destroys a structure known as the "Ancient” in another team’s territory they win. The heroes controlled by players each have unique abilities and play can become extremely complex and involved. Understanding how a character’s abilities can impact the overall outcome of the game is the key to successful esports betting on Dota 2.
League of Legends
When League of Legends or LoL was released in 2009 it separated itself from the competition by being free to play at the basic level. This resulted in it catching on quickly and generating immense goodwill from the fanbase. LoL teams consist of 5 players each of whom control Champion characters with their own unique powers and abilities. It's no exaggeration to say that League of Legends is one of the biggest esports in the world and that tournaments attract huge amounts of interest from punters.
What would you get if you combined demolition derby with football? Why you’d get Rocket League of course. This may be the most unlikely wildly popular esport imaginable, but unlikely or not Rocket League tournaments are big business and attract a metric tonne of esports betting action from punters worldwide. The goal of Rocket League is to use your team of cars to move a ball down the pitch and into the opposition’s net. It is the simplest concept in esports which may go some way to explaining the game’s immense popularity.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is one of the best-known multiplayer games and one of the most popular esports on UK betting sites. Its latest iteration - Warzone - pits up to 150 players on a battlefield against one another, with the last individual or team left standing declared the winner. Alliances come and go, strategies morph as the game goes on and a variety of weapons are available to help vanquish your foes. Call of Duty is produced by Infinity Ward and sold by Activision.
As you may be aware FIFA is the governing body of world football. As you may or may not also be aware, FIFA esport tournaments attract almost as much attention as the actual World Cup with players from all over the world competing for hundreds of thousands of pounds in prize money. If you enjoy esports betting in the UK try your hand at FIFA ePremier League.
Developed by Blizzard Entertainment Overwatch sets 32 playable heroes with distinct abilities against one another. Heroes can play 1 of 3 roles: tank, damage or support while battling in 6-person teams. The objective of a given game is to secure control points or safely transport commodities from region to region on a map within a specific time window. Overwatch has enjoyed tremendous success in the Asian market but is making inroads in the UK and elsewhere.
StarCraft 2 is the latest generation of a real-time strategy game set in a sci-fi environment where the Terrans, Zerg and Protoss fight for galactic dominance. StarCraft 2 is the sequel to the highly successful StarCraft originally introduced in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment. Players take on the role of military commanders who must formulate an effective strategy to overcome challenges posed by the 2 other species. To say that StarCraft is popular would be an understatement as it has nearly 20 million units sold and has generated more than £1 billion in revenue for Blizzard.
How to Join Esports Betting Sites
Fortunately, there is nothing complicated or unexpected when it comes to joining an esports betting site. The process is exactly the same as if you were joining an online sportsbook for any other reason. Here are the steps you take:
Decide which esports betting site you want to join.
Open the homepage of their website or download, install and open their mobile app.
Tap the “Join” button at the top of the page. This will open an application form.
Fill in all required information on the form.
Choose a username and password or choose biometric login and follow the prompts.
Tap the box indicating you accept the site’s Terms & Conditions.
Tap “Join Now” or the equivalent button.
Congratulations! You're now a member of one of the best esports betting sites. But in order to get started betting on LoL or WoW you will have to fund your account using one of the bookmaker's accepted payment methods. Just keep in mind that if you want to take advantage of their Welcome Bonus you will probably have to make your first deposit using a debit card.
How We Choose the Best Esports Betting Sites
In order to determine the best esports betting websites we examined a variety of metrics including site design, mobile betting, bonuses, customer care, payment methods, site security and whether or not the site was licensed. Let’s take a closer look at those criteria now.
While plenty of long-time punters have jumped on the esports bandwagon the overwhelming esports audience is young, tech-savvy and lacking in betting experience. For that reason alone it is important that an esports betting site have a clean, simple design with intuitive navigation. It should not take the average visitor more than a few taps to get from the homepage to the esports market they want to wager on. In addition, all information should be logically organized and there should be a minimum number of distracting images or graphics.
20 years ago there were a billion PCs in the world and no smartphones or tablets. Today there are still a billion PCs in the world but there are now more than 5 billion internet-ready smartphones and another billion or so tablets. Any esports betting website worthy of the name must offer both a first-class mobile version of their site, and just as important, a state-of-the-art mobile app that can be downloaded and installed for free. And that mobile app must offer full esports betting coverage, including Live esports betting. You will find some of the best betting apps in our list of the best Esports betting sites.
When we say “bonuses” we’re talking about everything from the Sign-Up bonus for new customers, to standard loyalty bonuses and existing customer promos, as well as promos and bonuses associated with esport activities. If a bookmaker also offers app-only bonuses then all the better.
As we mentioned, most people knowledgeable enough about esports to be able to wager effectively on them are young people who typically have little experience with online bookmakers. As such they tend to need a little more support than veteran punters who know their way around online betting sites like the back of their hand. So we want to see robust customer care in the form of live chat (even if it is with a chatbot), phone and email support. Some aspects of the site's support system should also be available 24/7 since esports tournaments often take place in far-flung parts of the world.
When it comes to UK esports betting it is no longer possible to use a credit card, so we want to see a variety of practical alternatives made available to the esports enthusiast. The more payment and withdrawal options the better including debit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, PaySafeCard and more. If you're a crypto believer be aware that none of the best esports betting sites accept crypto payments. Why? Too volatile. Equally, fast withdrawal betting sites are highly coveted.
Before issuing a license to any online betting site the UKGC subjects that site to intense scrutiny looking at everything from the organization of the site, to whether the bookmaker does enough to promote responsible gambling on the site, and of course they have their tech people put the site's security protocols under a microscope. The bottom line? If the UKGC is satisfied site security is up to speed you can be too. For this reason, only sites licensed by the UKGC appear on our list.
Live Esports Betting
Few sporting endeavours lend themselves so perfectly to Live In-Play Betting as esports. It is as if the activity was designed with In-Play betting in mind. There is one caveat, however, and it's this: In order to give yourself the best chance to profit from live esports betting you need to understand the ebb and flow of the action and be able to anticipate where the teams will stand relative to one another 15 or even 30 minutes (or more) down the line.
For example, let’s say you're watching a pair of teams drafting and banning champions for an upcoming League of Legends match. If you understand the vagaries of character compositions and how banning or picking one champion or another can potentially affect a team’s long-term prospects you can begin to formulate a live betting strategy based on how you anticipate the match to unfold.
If, on the other hand, you know nothing about League of Legends and just place bets willy-nilly based on gut instinct your chances of enjoying a payout on your live bets are slim. In short, as is the case with horse racing or football, if you possess a certain level of knowledge about the esport you're betting on you have a better chance of making live esports betting pay off.
Esports Betting Live Streaming
Live Streaming is essential to the esports betting experience. With talented gamers engaged in feverish online competition, the punter needs to know what is going on and whether momentum is shifting toward or away from a particular player or team. The best way to do that is to monitor the game in real time via Live Streaming. Live Streaming makes In-Play betting, another huge aspect of UK esports betting, possible. Each of the brands listed above are betting sites with live streaming on them.
What to do if you have a gambling problem
We understand that gambling can be fun, but it is important to gamble responsibly. If you're struggling with a gambling problem, please do not hesitate to ask for help. There are people who can help you get on the road to recovery.
Here are some resources that can help you:
- National Gambling Helpline: 0808 8020 133
- GamCare: https://www.gamcare.org.uk/
- GambleAware: https://www.begambleaware.org/
Esports Betting FAQs
What are the Best Esports Betting Sites?
Any of the esports betting sites that we've discussed in this article can be ranked as the best. If you want to bet on esports, opening an account on one of the aforementioned services is a wise place to start. However, as they might differ greatly from site to site, be sure to review the Welcome Offer and payment choices before proceeding.
Is it legal to bet on Esports in the UK?
Yes, it's legal to bet on esports in the UK. Remember, every betting site we profile in this guide is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. Nothing that happens on UKGC licensed sites escapes their attention, and they are quick to swoop in with multi-million-pound fines if they detect unlicensed or otherwise illegal activity. Therefore, if you see that a UKGC licensed betting site offers esports action you can be 100% certain they do so legally.
What is “Skin Betting” in Esports?
"Skins" refers to virtual cosmetic items (such as character clothing etc) that can be bought or traded for during esports matches. On the surface, these items may not seem to have much real-world value, but depending on their rarity some may be considered quite valuable. Skins can be exchanged for credits which can then be used to place bets with any winnings withdrawn not as cash but as skins. Skins gambling has no parallel in traditional sport, is considered low risk and is quite popular with games like DOTA 2, and Counterstrike.
Can you win real money from betting on Esports?
It should go without saying that esports betting offers real money awards. The best esports betting sites allow you to place bets on a variety of markets. You may be able to benefit from the same opportunities as you would from sports like tennis, cricket, football, or any other sport, depending on your luck and level of esports understanding.