Sports Betting vs Esport Betting: Key Similarities and Differences

Sports betting and Esport betting are two of the most interchangeably used phrases in the online gaming world, all thanks to their similarity for the most part. But how different are they from each other? Continue reading to learn about all that.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely altered our way of life and affected many industries. Particularly largely been affected has been physical sports, with governments around the world imposing curfews and lockdowns due to the need for social distancing. And just like any negative occurrence, it is always to look at the positive side of things as the pandemic has led to the explosion of esports betting as it moved into the online format. Although it may have once stood as a subset in the entire sporting culture, esports has outgrown this shell to an entire industry on its own, with the pandemic further accelerating its adoption. True to this, a report published by PR News Wire in 2020 projected the global market value of Esports betting to exceed the $207B mark by 2027. 

Whilst it has provided many gamblers a new and exciting way to bet, esports betting can feel somewhat different. In this article, we’re going to put sports betting vs esports betting head-to-head to pick out the similarities that they share, as well as their differences?

But first…

Sports betting Vs. ESports: Definition

Simply put, sports betting is a form of gambling activity, whereby gamblers bet on the outcome of a sporting event. A win in sports betting is generated by correctly predicting the outcome of the game based on the odds provided by the bookmakers. The frequency of sports betting varies by culture, with the most popular games in this niche being soccer, American football, basketball, hockey, baseball, boxing, track cycling, auto racing, and MMA showdowns. And with the proliferation of mobile devices and apps around the world, the sports betting gospel continues spreading to different countries.

eSports betting, on the other hand, is similar to its sports betting counterpart, with the only difference being that the wagers are placed on the outcomes of computer video games being played by different teams. To actualize the idea of eSports betting, video game developers have been producing games on a global scale,  which allows different professionals and teams to come together to compete for a prize.

Some of the most popular games currently gaining traction among the eSports gambling community include Call of Duty, Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. For a more comprehensive list, visit

Sports betting Vs. ESports: Legality

The legality of betting these two sectors vary from country to country. In the United States, for example,  very few states have laws regulating both esports betting and sports betting. The situation is replicated in Australia, where gambling is regulated at the regional level. Either way, the lacuna at the federal level in terms of regulating gambling means that gamblers in these two countries are not prohibited from playing at offshore sites.

Sports betting Vs. ESports: Gaming Formats

Typically, the traditional sports tournaments are based on a league-based format, which gives teams an opportunity to earn a spot in the playoffs. Still, this league form allows the team franchises to make better profits, and at the same time keep their leagues interesting for the fans.

esports, on the other hand, employs robust competitions with multiple titles including CS: GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, and so much more. In the past, esports tournaments used a mixture of league and knockout formats, with the double-elimination GSL format being employed in CS: GO and Dota 2 tournaments. More recently, the Call of Duty and Overwatch League used a league system, although there are several titles, which introduces a fresh twist to the leagues.

Sports betting Vs. ESports: Bet Types

Traditional sports bets are typically limited to a few handicaps and Money Line bets. Still, you can only bet on the total score, the number of goals, and baskets. As a result of these limited betting methods, players have limited options to make more. However, the variety of betting options in esports gives players a chance to earn higher profits, depending on how well-timed and researched the bets are. In a game like CS: GO, there are smaller handicap bets available including handicaps, round handicaps, bomb plant handicaps, and defuse handicaps, just to mention a few. 

Another key difference between the two is that you don’t have to know how to play the game in sports betting. Betting on eSports, however, is pegged on how well you understand the games being played. As such, it is important to master and play the games before wagering on them. Knowing the ins and outs of an eSport game could make all the difference between having a winning wager and a losing one. In fact, eSports players have always emphasized the importance of constantly playing to remain competitive and so should do the same as a gambler. 

Sports Betting VS Esport Betting: Final Thoughts

If you’re a gambler whose fidelity lies exclusively on traditional sports, it is possible to assume that sports betting and esports betting are the same. However, this is not the case because sports betting vs esports betting they’re completely different animals. The primary difference between sports betting and esports betting is the fact that punters don’t need to have in-depth knowledge of how to play the game to place bets.

Esports betting, on the other hand, requires well-timed research and a thorough understanding of the game. Gamblers betting on esports competitions must fish and analyze useful game statistics of the game including the form of team members and head-to-head results from previous meetings. And although it still does involve a certain level of chance, players remain in complete control of their betting. Either way, both esports and sports betting can be fun and profitable, although it’s always important to gamble responsibly by wagering on games that accentuate your gambling bankroll.


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