If you’re anywhere under the age of 40, there’s a very good chance you’ve spent many a weekend indoors with friends playing FIFA. Since its first incarnation in 1993, the highly addictive and competitive game has turned casual players into diehard soccer fans. What started as a basic soccer simulator has steadily evolved to include new features, game modes and hyper-real graphics.
But the biggest change to the game so far has been the addition of online play in 2001 with gamers able to compete against one another from anywhere in the world. Next came the rise of Esports YouTube and Twitch streamers, and soon after that—competitive leagues and betting sites for games like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer. Fast forward to today, and there are multi-million-dollar tournaments and e-leagues which attract nearly as many fans as those in the real world!
Keep reading for an introduction to Esports soccer and get answers to all your questions around the biggest tournaments, popular betting markets, where to watch live matches, and the best online betting sites to get your money down.
What Is Esports Soccer?
One of an increasing number of Esports played competitively, Esports soccer involves two gamers controlling opposing teams of players in a single match or tournament. The rules are almost identical to professional soccer but there are some differences in how the games play out.
First of all, e-soccer matches are overseen by a virtual referee and the game clock is sped up so they last about 20 minutes rather than the usual 90 minutes. Another contrast is that Esports soccer players build their own squads which can consist of both active and retired players from across the globe.
Which Esports Soccer Should I Bet On?
FIFA, made by the EA Sports franchise, is by far the oldest and most established Esports soccer game around and hosts the FIFA eWorld Cup every year. Pro Evolution Soccer (aka PES) by Konami also has a big following among Esports players and punters alike. PES stage the eFootball Pro Tournament which is exclusive to professional Esports players that belong to and represent real-world clubs.
So the answer to the question of which is the best Esports soccer game for betting comes down to your game and tournament preference. When betting on any Esports soccer, you might find it more intriguing if you’ve played that particular game yourself. My guess is that it’s FIFA so why not give that a try first!
But terms of betting markets, your options are pretty much the same across the board regardless of which soccer tournament you’ve got your eye on. Later, we’ll get into some popular Esports soccer markets and betting tips to help you along.
Why Bet On Esports Soccer
Let’s be honest, we can’t all be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, so many of us prefer to watch and bet on sports than put on our boots. But if you’re tired of professional leagues dominated by the same old teams, why not combine your love of sports betting with the growing Esports soccer scene? From exhibition games to the FIFA eWorld Cup, Esports soccer betting offers a completely new way to bet on games which is just as fun if not better than the real thing!
Outside of major tournaments, there are plenty more Esports soccer games to bet on, often as many as five per month. What’s more, on many online betting sites you can review results and statistics from previous matches and tournaments to help inform your bets. One of the biggest advantages of betting on Esports over traditional soccer is that you’re counting on the talents of one individual player, the gamer. This means there are fewer variables than betting on an entire team which all need to gel together for a positive result.
Esports Soccer Leagues
In recent years, traditional football leagues and teams have started investing in Esports by signing players to their clubs, sponsoring and even training them. These Esports soccer leagues have a lot in common with their on-the-field equivalents, not quite in terms of their salaries just yet, but in their names at least.
Here are a few popular Esports soccer leagues:
- ePL (England)
- eMLS (North America)
- La Liga eSports (Spain)
- eBundesliga (Germany)
- eLigue 1 (France)
- eDivisie (Netherlands)
- a-League (Australia)
Esports Soccer Tournaments
Like in traditional leagues, the Esports soccer season consists of different events and qualifiers which often take place over many months. Let’s take a look at some key tournaments you can bet on:
FUT Champions Cup
The FUT Champions Cup is a qualifier for the FIFA Global Series, where The top 20 professional FIFA players from the USA, Europe, Middle East & Africa all compete for a chance to be the best in their region. The higher the position occupied by a player in the FIFA Global Series Rankings, the more likely they’ll progress to other tournaments and events throughout the season.
FIFA eWorld Cup
Players who have earned enough Global Series Points are eligible to compete on the biggest stage of Esports soccer, the FIFA eWorld Cup. In the Global Series Playoffs, 64 players compete to earn a spot in the FIFA eWorld Cup with 32 players progressing to the finals, much like in the traditional tournament we know and love.
Esports Soccer Betting Markets
While there aren’t 300 markets per game available like in the traditional English Premier League, there’s a lot more than you might expect in Esports soccer. Especially when you consider how new Esports soccer betting is compared to traditional leagues. There are European bookmakers that even offer in-play betting on e-soccer leagues!
Some popular e-soccer markets include:
- Match Result
- Half-Time/Full-Time Result
- Correct Score
- Over/Under Total Goals
- Goal Handicaps
- Both Teams To Score (Yes/No)
- First Team To Score
- Last Team To Score
How To Place An Esports Soccer Bet
The process for placing a bet on an e-soccer match is very similar to betting on a traditional soccer match.
Here’s how to place your bet:
- Go to an online betting site which offers Esports soccer like Betway.
- Locate the Esports tab on the main sports menu or use the search tool and look for ‘PES’ or ‘FIFA’.
- Click the match of your choice to see the full range of betting markets available.
- Look through the relevant categories such as Main Markets, Handicap Markets and Goal Markets to find your selection.
- Click the odds of your preferred selection/s.
- Go to your Bet Slip, enter your stake and click Submit/Place Bet.
- Find an online betting site or streaming service such as Youtube or Twitch where you can watch the game!
Esports Soccer Betting Odds
Like with any form of sports betting, you should have a basic understanding of how odds work before risking any money on a game. The odds you get at online bookies for Esports soccer are similar to what you’ll find in a traditional match with a few small differences. For example, although e-games are considerably shorter in real time, the scoring is generally higher than in traditional leagues.
So a popular market like Over 2.5 goals might be shorter odds in an e-soccer match than you’re used to seeing. Similarly, Both Teams To Score (No) will also usually be a bigger price as players in Esports leagues tend to focus less on defence.
Like with betting on sports, odds can vary across betting sites so always remember to shop around and see which online bookie is offering the best odds for the selection you wish to take.
Esports Soccer Betting Tips
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because Esports are virtual that real-world trends don’t apply. But just like you wouldn’t bet on a weekend EPL game you know nothing about, you also shouldn’t bet on an e-soccer match without knowing a bit about the players, their e-gaming history and recent form. It’s always wise to focus on players and leagues that you’re familiar with.
We recommend spending a good amount of time watching Esports soccer players and trying to identify their strengths or weaknesses. If that’s too time-consuming then it’s always a good start to take a deep dive into results and statistics from previous matches for clues as to what you can expect from different e-soccer players.
Here are some basic tips and strategies for betting on e-soccer…
Analyse Different Players: Make a note of things like where players have placed in recent tournaments and how they’ve fared head-to-head against competitors. But, also look deeper into factors such as the preferred platform (PS4, Xbox One or PC) of various players.
Narrow Your Focus: Become a specialist in a certain region or league to help you to place more informed bets. The more specifics you know, the better your chances of finding poorly-set odds and beating the bookie. You’ll want to focus on a single league but even better if you can become an expert on one particular betting market where the posted odds might be consistently incorrect.
Don’t Bet On Every Game: Anyone who’s ever bet on sports will know it’s always more fun when you’ve got some skin in the game. But don’t give in to the temptation of betting on every game just because you’ve got a Saturday afternoon free. Rather wait until your research tells you a team is over or undervalued. You’ll be a more successful bettor if you practice restraint and pick your battles wisely.
Don’t Ignore The Smaller Tournaments: The more people that an Esports event attracts, the more accurate the odds will be. It’s always thrilling to bet on bigger tournaments like the FIFA eWorld Cup but lesser-known ones have more potential for surprises, and hence you’ll find more betting value.
Keep Tabs On Players: If you knew that your favourite real-life football team were missing some key players, you probably wouldn’t back them. In the same way, Esports players who have just left their clan or are coming back after a long absence might underperform. Anything that might be a distraction has the potential to affect players and is valuable information you can use in your betting.
Where To Bet On Esports Soccer
Now that you’re more comfortable with the basics of betting on Esports soccer, let’s help you find the best bookies to get your money down. While games like FIFA and PES are hugely popular, they still don’t have the following of CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends which have tournaments almost daily.
During the build-up to major events like the FIFA eWorld Cup, however, there are usually more matches going on. To place your e-soccer bets, head on over to Sportingbet, Supabets, Sunbet or Playa Bets. But for the best in e-soccer markets, we’ve found Betway to be the most reliable, and they have great odds too. You can check out our List of SA Betting sites for more bookmakers.
Where To Watch Esports Soccer
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