What is esports all about?

At its heart, esports is just competitive video gaming, but to its fans it is so much more. The same emotion, drive, skill and satisfaction from watching more traditional sports; often people new to esports don’t really ‘get’ it until they watch and see the passion and electric atmosphere that resonates from within the arenas and from the fans inside them. That’s what esports is about - it’s about being the same nerd you always were, but embracing it and seeing some of the best nerds in the world duking it out on stage. Plenty of esports fans were once skeptics too, but it’s never too late to be converted - Rick Fox, former NBA superstar, helped start his own organisation, Echo Fox, and has since began to love everything esports can bring to a hyper-competitive sportsman like him, after witnessing first hand how passionate the fans - including his own son - were.

The beginnings of Esports Betting

Esports is huge. There were always doubts over how well it would translate to the mainstream, but video games have slowly but surely become less of an outcast thing and more of a common pastime. With that, more people become interested in esports, and they get hooked. That’s not just theory - esports has been growing since its inception and esports betting shows no sign of letting up either. In 2016, the amount bet on esports was around $5.5m (according to a report from NJGames.org), and is expected to be over double that in 2020. With so much on offer, there’s never been a better time to beat the bookies for smart punters, and if you put in the time, watch and listen to tips and guides, that could be you.

Betting and esports have always gone hand-in-hand; originally a small but dedicated fanbase with bookies who weren’t quite as wise to the ins and outs of the games they offered odds on made it a lucrative avenue for people who loved esports or knew how to research. Nowadays, everyone has tips and there are plenty of guides around the internet on how to make your own money on esports betting. Much like traditional sports, watching a game you’ve bet on is a new rush, and one that makes even the most mundane game an exhilarating duel. Even at small amounts, betting on a game does make it more interesting and turns you into a real fan, if you’re not already, of the team you’ve bet on.

At first esports was an unruly mess, and betting on esports was no better. Every betting site was a coin flip, a dodgy looking site that allowed you to bet with ‘skins’ - in-game cosmetics - and a lot of this was down to the fact that the general esports community had a lot of underage bettors. There were no esports betting guides on which sites were cool and esports betting tips were nowhere to be found. Nowadays, if you want to bet on esports, everything is a bit more regulated. There are loads of expert bettors if you need tips, lots of betting site aggregators if you need a guide, and all kinds of sportsbooks offering odds on esports; but of course if you want the best odds on esports, you have to go to esports specialists.

That’s where we come in - we offer the best odds on a wide variety of esports. CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends are the big three, but Overwatch, Call of Duty, NBA2k, Fortnite, Hearthstone, HOTS, Rainbow Six, Rocket League and Starcraft 2 are all available to bet on at Thunderpick. We’re always looking for more esports to add to the list, too, so let us know what the next big thing is!

If you prefer a more traditional style of betting, you can see our odds in the combo betting section for any esport and try and beat us on our own odds, combining bets to make more and more money - but at Thunderpick we also offer Parimutuel betting, often known as Pool betting, where you bet against other bettors. You don’t even have to take our odds! If you think the public has it wrong, you can take a large cut of the winnings by selecting the winner in any match-up. If you think they have it right, you can take a smaller cut of a larger pool of winnings. It’s that simple. We offer odds on a massive variety of games you won’t see elsewhere and our odds are as good as you’ll see on any esports betting site - because you can bet against other real people, and not us! Thunderpick offer something for everyone; no matter how you want to bet you can find the perfect odds for all esports bets.

A guide to betting on esports

Esports betting is a favourite of successful bettors because there are esports games every day, and all the research is easily available. For example, if you want to find out about a team in CS:GO, HLTV and stayinpit.gg give you all the information you need to start betting a bit more wisely. With games from every esport happening nearly every day, if you know your stuff it can be quite lucrative.

If you’re new to esports, or betting, don’t worry! Everyone has to start somewhere. Whilst everyone has their own opinion and following an expert’s esports betting tips might get you a few wins, if you want to be successful long term you should really learn about the game you want to bet on! You don’t have to be a pro at games to be pro at betting on games, but knowing the ins and outs of the game can’t hurt, right? Play some League, pop some heads on CS:GO, get absolutely destroyed on Dota 2 (seriously, that game is tough) and make sure you learn how the game works. All three of them are free to play, so you’re not cutting into your potential winnings on doing this ‘research’, and as research goes, playing games is about as good as it gets. Learn the basic strategy, how games are won and lost, and what separates the good players from the bad. With that knowledge you can form a basic blueprint on how you think the game is played - and don’t worry, everyone has different ideas.

Once you’ve got the basics of the game down, you can do some research into the teams and tournaments you’re going to bet on. The internet is amazing and holds all of the information you need to get started or want to learn more. Look at previous tournaments, form, match-ups - all of that can be handy in deciding which teams you think can upset the pack, or hold off every challenger to their throne. The more you watch, and the more you bet, the more you’ll learn and know and be able to spot where the odds are wrong. Watch, bet, play - you’ll be a esports betting expert in no time.

Understanding the odds

If you want to start betting, you have to understand the odds and different types of esport bets. Every bet has a number attached to it, that represents the odds. 1.5 odds means for every €1 you bet, you will get €1.50 back if it wins, or a 50% profit. You can also combo bet, sometimes known as a parlay or accumulator, where you bet on three or more things happening (for example, you could bet on every favourite for five matches) and the odds are multiplied together. This is a cool way of making more money for slightly more risk. If you think three 1.5 odd bets are going to come in, you can combo them for 237.5% profit rather than 150% as three separate bets.

You can always bet on the Match Winner - which is as simple as it sounds. You pick the winner, we’ll pay you the winnings. Picking the Correct Score in a best of three or five series is a way for you to not only look like Nostradamus, but also to make good profit if your predictions are good. Handicap Bets are similar, but not as precise - if you think Team B will get at least two maps in a best of five, you can bet on Team B +1.5 - which means you will win the bet even if Team B win the series. Similarly, you can bet Team A -1.5 if you think they will win 3-0 or 3-1.

In best of one matches, you can often bet on a Handicap for the only map - in CS:GO it is a round handicap (bet on Team A to win by 5 rounds or more, for example). In League of Legends, we sometimes offer odds on which team will slay Baron Nashor, a huge neutral objective. It’s worth looking through the odds available to find something you’d like to bet on if you’re not comfortable just choosing a winner.

Our offer

No matter what game, no matter what market you want to bet on, Thunderpick has you covered. With the widest variety of esports available for betting on the internet, you can pick and choose which games you’re interested in and earn some money from your knowledge. We offer a welcome bonus for new customers too - up to €500 FREE - with an extra 5% on anything you deposit. No hidden turnovers, just 5% extra, when you use the code WELCOME before making your first deposit. You can bet in advance if you’d like, but Thunderpick also offer esports live betting - if you’re watching the game live and you see the comeback coming, get on those improved odds!