Betting on the outcome of esports might seem strange to a lot of sports fans who live in India.
But esports betting is on the rise, both in India and around the world, with more and more people getting interested in placing these kinds of wagers. Interest in esports has spiked over the course of the last couple of years.
A large range of esports are available to bet on and this is becoming big business in the industry. A lot of experts believe esports betting is the future, with many of the top online sports betting sites in India offering esports betting markets in a bid to ensure they are not left behind by rivals.
Those who have never placed a bet on esports markets might be unsure about how to get started, though. After all, there is a lot of jargon around esports that may be hard to understand.
Our complete guide to esports betting from India has all the information, so read on for more.
Esports might seem as if they are brand new, but that is not actually the case. Esports refers to any type of competitive gaming in the world and these events have been run for a long time.
The rise of new technology has seen esports explode into the spotlight in recent years, however. With users able to tune in and watch live esports on a mobile device, this has introduced them to a whole new market. Esports are particularly popular with young people, many of whom prefer to watch the live esports action than watch a game in the Indian Premier League, for example.
Esports action tends to be fast and furious and it can be very exciting to watch as a result. Just as with other sports such as cricket, football and kabaddi, people bet on esports for various reasons. One of them could be just to try to make some money, while other people might opt to place esports bets to make whatever event is ongoing a bit more interesting and fun to watch.
Betting on esports works in basically the same way as placing wagers on any real-life sport. There will be a range of ante-post markets to bet on before a tournament or ahead of a match getting underway. Different markets are offered for each of the big esports and we will go over some of the betting options that are available in a little more detail later on in this full guide.
Users can also bet live in-play on a lot of the top esports tournaments that are held around the world. With live esports streaming offered by some of the best betting sites in India, it is easier than ever to place a bet on the big game of the day then tune in to watch all the action live.
Esports betting had a sharp rise in popularity when most real-life sports were on pause as a result of the coronavirus crisis, which led to the postponement of the IPL in the middle of the tournament in 2021. But esports betting is here to stay - so what are the top esports bookies?
People in India who want to bet on esports have plenty of good options to pick from, with new bookies offering esports markets all the time. But here are the top ten esports bookies in India:
Long considered among India's best online betting sites, Betway India has a strong focus on esports.
CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2 are among the top esports available to bet on here.
Betway - sponsors of Premier League club West Ham - is regulated internationally by the Malta Gaming Authority. It is therefore considered to be a very safe and secure choice for esports betting.
Although the name of this Indian sports betting site suggests that it has a very strong focus on cricket, esports fans will find a lot of markets to pick from if they sign up for a 10Cric account. 10Cric also offers one of the best betting apps in India and is available for free on iOS and Android.
Esports like Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Dota 2 and League of Legends are available to bet on.
The most famous esports tournaments on the planet like the Overwatch OWL, the League of Legends Championship Series and the Call of Duty World League are all offered at 10Cric.
Research also shows that the 10Cric esports betting odds tend to be among the best in India.
One of the world's biggest and best betting brands, Bet365 is great for esports in India too.
Live streaming is one of the key selling points of Bet365 India with lots of different options offered.
Bet365 also has a greater range of esports to bet on than many other leading Indian sites.
The depth of esports betting markets is also very good at Bet365, so there is a lot of choices.
Other benefits of joining Bet365 to bet on esports in India include that the site hosts a page where there are news stories about the top esports available to read.
Previously known mainly as an online casino site, a rebrand to Purewin means it is now a top sports betting option in India.
A lot of the most important esports are included on its sportsbook as well.
Purewin's esports betting offering includes most of the top esports events and competitions.
Those who sign up to bet on esports at Purewin can also access a range of top casino games.
But the site's increasing focus on esports shows the direction that Purewin is heading towards.
Esports betting has a prominent position at Parimatch India, showing how much it is valued.
Parimatch is a European betting brand that is focusing hard on India right now.
As part of its growth in India, Parimatch is ensuring it is a top online betting site for esports.
Joining Parimatch will allow Indian customers to place wagers on esports like CS:GO and King of Glory. Ante-post and live in-play esports betting is offered at Parimatch.
Major events for Dota 2 and League of Legends are among the options at Parimatch.
Regarded as a top option for esports betting in India, 22Bet is safe and legal in the country.
Counter-Strike and League of Legends esports betting markets are available on the 22Bet sportsbook and it is also possible to bet on competitive games in Tekken and FIFA as well.
Other benefits of 22Bet include that it is included in a small number of kabaddi betting sites.
Being able to deposit in cryptocurrency to place esports bets at 22Bet is a tick in the box too.
UPI, Paytm and NetBanking are among the other top options for esports betting deposits here.
Fast and safe deposits and withdrawals are promised to esports betting fans at Casumo India. The Casumo sportsbook is relatively new but has made esports a key part of its offering.
Casumo customers are able to bet on esports like Overwatch and Rainbow 6 as well as the most important esports like Dota 2, CS:GO and League of Legends. Live in-play esports betting is available at Casumo in India, as well as ante-post markets.
Casumo is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, ensuring it is legal to use. This esports betting site also stresses it follows Indian laws and regulations.
One of the good things about esports betting at Comeon! India is the site that has a guide for new users. This is ideal as many people might be unsure about how to go about betting on esports.
Like a lot of the other top esports betting sites in India, Comeon! has a wealth of options. As well as all the main esports events people would expect, a deep sportsbook site has plenty of other markets to pick from as well.
With a live casino site to boot, there is close to the whole package provided by Comeon!
Global betting brand Unibet claims to have more than 16 million customers around the world. With a growing presence in India, Unibet is a safe and secure place to bet on esports online.
Unibet's esports betting offering included more than 200 options at the time of writing, which is a lot more than some other major esports betting sites in India have available to pick from.
Joining Unibet means Indian users can place wagers on everything like CS:GO and Dota 2 with both ante-post and live in-play esports betting markets offered on this sportsbook.
Another online casino to be branching out into esports betting is LeoVegas. This European betting brand has been focusing more on India and other developing markets of late.
LeoVegas is also known for having a strong mobile betting offering, which is good news for a lot of Indian esports fans who might well prefer to be able to place their wagers on a handheld device.
At LeoVegas, users get the chance to bet live in-play on a lot of major esports events. Ante-post markets for esports such as CS:GO, Overwatch, Dota 2 and Rainbow 6 are available here.
When we review all of the best esports betting sites in India, these are the key areas we assess:
Gambling laws in India are a source of confusion with a lot of people in the country unsure of how they work and whether or not it is legal to bet on sports or even esports.
Ensuring an esports betting site is legal to use is the first thing we check. Sites should be licensed and regulated to assure users they are safe to use. Security standards such as using SSL encryption to protect the financial transactions customers make should be used as well.
While a lot of Indian betting sites now offer esports events and markets to bet on, they do not all have the same breadth of offering. Just as some betting sites in India may have a lot more IPL markets than others, the same is true in esports betting. For those who are keen to bet on esports, the range of events and markets available is key.
Many sports fans in India who like to have a bet will have benefited from promotions in the past. Esports promotions are starting to be offered by India's leading online betting sites in order to try to encourage people to sign up and start placing bets on esports.
Examples of esports promotions that might be offered include the chance to earn esports free bets, which can be used to try to make a profit on whatever events and markets are offered.
Indians will want to make sure they get good value from their esports bets. This is why checking out whether or not high esports odds are offered is one of the most important things that we examine when we review the best esports betting sites. Some sites might be strong for odds on certain esports and weaker on others, so this is crucial to look at.
One of the best advances in technology in the last few years has been the widespread availability of live sports streams at India's top online betting sites. It is therefore not a surprise to see that live esports streams are also on the agenda for a lot of operators.
With esports broadcast rights a lot cheaper to purchase than those for sports such as cricket, it is easy for the best online betting sites in India to add live esports streams to their offering. Being able to tune into live esports streams is very important for people who want to bet live in-play.
Most Indians who bet on sports want to be able to do so via a wide range of different devices. After all, being able to bet via mobile devices is now seen as totally normal.
The leading esports betting sites in India, therefore, make sure that they have a mobile site that works just as well as their main desktop site, which is for those using a standard computer. In a lot of cases, operators are now creating their own esports betting apps that can be downloaded for iOS and Android devices such as smartphones and tablets to make mobile betting easier.
Indians will want to make sure they do not break the country's strict rules surrounding currency conversion. Being able to bet in rupees is therefore important.
Esports betting sites in India also need to offer a range of Indian payment methods so that people have a good choice of options to pick from when making a deposit.
New esports events are being launched all the time, which gives people more options when it comes to esports betting. But here are the most popular esports to bet on in India right now:
The sequel to Defense of the Ancients, DotA 2 is arguably the top esport to bet on. The multiplayer online battle arena itself is an offshoot of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and a variety of professional leagues and tournaments are now available to bet on for Dota 2 fans. The top esports event in Dota 2 is The International, which has a massive prize pool for players.
Interest in competitive FIFA shot up when professional football leagues around the world had to be paused due to the coronavirus crisis. Many top players like Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold even took part in esports events on FIFA during that time. The EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series is a top esports event here and there is also a FIFA World Cup.
This multiplayer first-person shooter is a leading esport to bet on in India and in various countries around the world. Standing for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, CSGO was released all the way back in 2012 but remains extremely popular. The Global Offensive professional scene includes a range of top teams but Astralis is the most successful CSGO team of all time.
Easy to pick up and play but devilishly hard to master, Rocket League has developed from humble beginnings into one of the world's most entertaining esports. A cross between a driving game and a football simulation, Rocket League first came out in the summer of 2015 but continues to go from strength to strength as interest in esports betting grows fast.
One of the most successful video game series of all time, Call of Duty is now also one of the most popular esports to bet on in India. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the first COD game to be used in esports with the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops II now used. A 12-team Call of Duty League was created by Activision to capitalise on the rise in esports.
For a lot of people, when they think of esports it is League of Legends that first comes to mind. League of Legends - or LoL for short - was first released in 2009 but more than a decade later it is still phenomenally popular all over the planet. The annual League of Legends World Championship is one of the most important esports events on the calendar. In 2019, more than 100 million people tuned in to watch the live League of Legends action.
This military science fiction real-time strategy game first came out more than 20 years ago but is still one of the top esports to this day as it continues to win a lot of new fans. Widely regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time, StarCraft is part of the annual World Cyber Games with millions of dollars in prize money awarded to players over the years.
Epic's online video game has been a huge smash hit and is one of the most popular titles in the world, with young people especially keen on playing Fortnite with their friends. The Fortnite World Cup is now one of the top esports events around, with an American teenager playing under the name Bugha becoming a household name when he took home the top prize of $3,000,000 when he came out on top in the inaugural Fortnite solo finals back in 2019.
Even though the game only came out in 2020, Valorant quickly became a top esport. The free-to-play first-person hero shooter has a range of excellent esports events such as the VALORANT Champions Tour, with regional qualifying competitions held around the world.
A team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game released by Blizzard in 2016, Overwatch has millions of players across the globe, including in India. Overwatch Atlantic Showdown was the first big esports event for this game, while there was another spike in interest when the Overwatch World Cup was held. Now there is the Overwatch League which sees a series of permanent, city-based teams face off against each other on a regular basis.
Blizzard's online collectable card game Hearthstone has a devoted esports audience who love to tune in to events such as its official World Championship, which has previously featured a massive prize pool of up to $1 million. In 2020, Kenta "Glory" Sato received $200,000 after coming in first place at the Hearthstone World Championship event.
Inspired by Tom Clancy's 1998 novel Rainbow Six, this video game franchise has a history dating back more than 20 years. Top players from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America now face off in the competitive scene of Rainbow Six Siege regularly.
A type of battle royale game similar to Fortnite, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds - known as PUBG for short - is a leading esports title. TSM, Fnatic and Team Secret are among the big names in the world of esports that have teams that compete in competitive PUBG events.
Fans of American football and the NFL in India often love to play Madden and the video game has a growing esports scene as well. With a $1 million prize pool put up by EA, the Madden NFL 22 Championship Series is set to be one of the main esports events of the year.
Basketball title NBA 2K has seen the National Basketball Association team up with the game studio Take-Two Interactive to create the NBA 2K League, which was launched in 2018 in NYC. Sometimes referred to as NBA2KL or simply 2K League, it sees players representing many of the 30 NBA teams taking each other on in virtual basketball contests for big prizes.
Up there with Call of Duty as one of the most famous video game series in history, Halo now has a growing esports scene. This military science fiction media franchise dates back to 2001 and the Halo Championship Series, which was created and maintained by 343 Industries, is the game's main official esports league right now. Teams like FaZe Clan and Fnatic take part.
Another type of free-to-play battle royale-hero shooter game similar to Fortnite is Apex Legends, which was released by EA in 2019. The Apex Legends Global Series was launched in December 2019 and has since become one of the major esports events to bet on.
As well as there being a lot of esports to bet on in India, people who want to get involved with esports betting also need to know about the different types of esports betting options offered. Outright tournament bets are possible but specific esports betting markets include these:
Unique to esports markets in India is the concept of skins betting. First popular on CS:GO but quickly spreading to other top esports titles, skins betting involves users having to use virtual goods, currencies and other in-game items as their stake instead of real cash.
A lot of Indians love to play fantasy sports such as the Fantasy Premier League game which millions of football fans around the world play every single year. Fantasy betting is also popular in esports, with players putting together their team in the hope they can earn as many points as possible to ensure they come out on top in a particular esports event.
A lot of leading esports such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive see teams trying to win a map as part of a match in a major tournament. It, therefore, stands to reason that map winner betting markets would be offered on Indian betting sites, giving users a chance to make a potential profit by gambling on the outcome of a map.
For games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it is also often possible to bet on whether it will be necessary for a map to go into overtime in order for a winner to be found.
In games such as first-person shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, first blood is one of the most popular esports betting markets that are offered in India. First blood involves users trying to guess which team will win the first map during an esports match.
Exactly what the name of this type of esports betting market suggests, users who browse winning team markets just have to guess which team will come out celebrating. Due to their simplicity, winning team esports betting markets are among the most popular.
As with other leading sports, there are plenty of opportunities for handicap betting with a lot of the major esports in India. When a handicap betting market is offered, this effectively means a team or a player will be given a headstart in the scoring. As an example, a team offered at -1 in the handicap betting for an esports event will have to win by at least two in order for the wager to be a winner. While handicap betting can be confusing, it is very useful for esports events and matches where one of the teams or players is a big favourite to win.
For many top esports, it is also possible to bet on the number of rounds a match takes. It is usually the case that matches take place in a best of format, which can be compared to a sport like tennis where a player has to win either three or five sets to be the winner. If a user thinks the match will be over in just three rounds, they can opt to bet on this esports market.
Esports is an umbrella term that refers to all types of competitive gaming, which might sound like a new idea but has actually been around for decades. Examples of the top esports that are available to bet on in India these days include Dota 2, FIFA, CS:GO and League of Legends.
Esports betting simply refers to people placing wagers on the outcome of tournaments or specific matches, just as they do with other real-life sports such as cricket. A range of esports betting markets are available on many of the top online sports betting sites in India nowadays.
Lots of India's leading online sports betting sites offer the chance for their users to bet on esports. Indeed, those sports betting sites that do not yet provide esports betting markets for their customers are in grave danger of being left behind by their rivals if they do not act fast.
Indians have plenty of choices when it comes to the best esports betting sites in the country, with many top operators available. Some of the best esports betting sites in India include the likes of Betway, 10Cric, Bet365, 22Bet, Parimatch, Unibet and Comeon! while some sites best known as online casinos - like Casumo, LeoVegas and Purewin - also offer esports betting as well.
Yes, as there are no specific laws against this, betting on esports is legal in India. Users might want to make sure that the esports betting site they opt for is fully licensed and regulated, while they will also need to offer the chance to bet in rupees so that customers do not break laws.
Naturally, the internet is full of places where it is possible to watch esports with streaming sites like Twitch, as well as YouTube, among the best options for tuning into the live-action.
However, for a lot of Indians, the best way to watch esports will be via live esports streams which are now becoming more widely available on the websites of the best online bookmakers in the country.