Esports Betting The Best Betting Sites for Esport in New Zealand 2023
The seismic emergence of Esports over the last decade has redefined traditional sports betting. In a short period of time, the Esports betting market has exploded. We’ve witnessed competitive gaming tournaments with enormous viewer numbers that are hard to believe and impossible to ignore.
But knowing where to start if you’re new to Esports can be challenging. So we’ve created this guide to help you find the best sports betting markets and bookmakers for this emerging phenomenon.
We’ve picked sites we know are leaders for odds, esports betting and improving your knowledge. So let’s get started…
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Best Rated Esports Betting Sites
Esports Betting Markets
Technology in today’s digital world is always changing. And Esports, a cultural and sporting phenomenon based on technological advancements and PC gaming updates, is no different. To stay up to date in a sports betting market that’s in a constant state of flux, it’s essential to know where to play. So that when it’s time to place your next bet on a major tournament in the Esports world, you’ll be in a position to win big.
But what makes Esports betting such a dynamic and constantly evolving industry? Let’s start with a bit of context about Esports as a whole, and how it’s come to be such a significant market in the betting industry.
What Is Esports?
Electronic sports, or ‘Esports’ as it is commonly known, are competitive video games with league and tournament structures similar to those seen in traditional sports. Gamers compete in Esports either individually or in teams (multiplayer).
The world of Esports, and subsequently Esports betting, is primarily dominated by team sports. While there are single-player titles (FIFA, AOE, Starcraft) that command an industry in itself, they don’t compare in numbers to the influence and popularity of Esports played in a team.
Professional gamers have developed as another class of celebrity in their respective scenes thanks to streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, establishing devoted fan followings that religiously tune into their games or attend them live.
One of the coolest things about the Esports industry is that while names such as “Faker” and “Doublelift” aren’t household names as of yet, Esports teams and their players possess enormous social media followings online and are undoubtedly celebrities in their own right.
Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be mentioning Lionel Messi and Faker in the same sentence.
Players and Streaming
Another factor contributing to the popularity of ESports is streaming, which allows you to watch other people—including professional gamers—play on platforms like Twitch. Today’s gaming culture emphasises both playing games and watching others play.
In 2017, 355 billion (yes, billion) minutes were seen on Twitch, which Amazon owns. Attracting 15 million daily visitors throughout the same year.
According to our own internal polls, a typical gamer spends 25 hours per week playing games while also engaging in 25 hours per week of other online activities, such as viewing streams.
There are many gamers who aren’t classified as professional gamers, who have forged careers for themselves (sometimes quite lucrative) simply by playing games and recording themselves playing games, often with a running commentary or other humourous content. For example, PewdiePie. Once commanding the most subscribed YouTube channel in the world, he carved his fame and fortune by playing games and streaming.
How to Place a bet on Esports
- Pick a esport betting site on our comparison list
- Create your account and deposit
- Place your bet on your preffered Esport team of player
Esports Categories and Games
There are numerous categories of Esports and Esports betting to consider if you’re new to Esports bets. Let’s take a look at each category and some of the most popular games within those categories.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
MOBA are battle arena team-based games, where players compete against each other on a battlefield. Each player is responsible for controlling a single character, who has distinct abilities which improve throughout the game and contribute to the team’s strategy. The objective for each team is to destroy the opposing team’s structure, which is located on the opposite side of the battlefield. The genre is a fusion of role-playing, action games and real-time strategy. Some of the top games include:
League of Legends: This multiplayer online battle arena game was developed by Riot Games. Since its release back in 2009, it’s been free to play and is available for both Windows and macOS. There are two teams of five players who battle it out in combat (player vs. player). Each team occupies and defends its half of the map. Each player is in control of a character who has unique styles of play and abilities.
DOTA 2: This MOBA video game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), designed by Valve. There are two teams of five players, and like League of Legends, each team occupies and defends its own separate base. Each player is also independently in control of their own character (known as a hero) with different styles of play and abilities. The first team to destroy the other team’s ‘Ancient’ structure is the winner.
Smite: Developed in 2014 by Hi-Rez Studios, players control a mythological figure and use their abilities (in team-based combat) against other player-controlled gods and non-player characters. It features multiple tournaments, including an annual million-dollar world championship.
First Person Shooters (FPS)
First-person shooters are another popular action genre you can bet on in the Esports sector. These shooter games focus on weapon-based combat from the first-person perspective. Each player controls their character in a 3D space.
Some of the most popular games include:
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: Counter-Strike is one of the most popular first-person shooter games of all time. It’s also one of the biggest Esports in the world. Developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment, this is the fourth instalment of the game. The game pits two teams against each other in nine different game modes. Known as CS:GO, you can bet on this game via licensed and legal Esports betting sites. Most CS:GO betting sites feature odds for professional video gaming players and big tournaments.
Overwatch: Overwatch is another popular competitive first-person shooter game. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, many betting sites offer options for each match. The game features hero-based combat with two teams. Each team has different objectives, and there is a roster of heroes that players can choose from.
Call of Duty: This is also one of the most popular multiplayer first-person shooter video game franchises. Given its popularity, the game has a passionate following with big money up for grabs in major tournaments. The series was originally set in World War II, but new games in the series have introduced new settings. There are many organised tournaments and gaming leagues worldwide, which you can bet on at Esports betting sites.
Sports simulation games are fantasy sports games where players compete in competitions. Gamers can pick and choose players from current rosters. Games are based on real and past statistics, which are encoded into the game to simulate real-life situations. Compared to other Esports, which don’t typically rely on real-life statistics, there’s more logic required when placing a bet on sports simulators.
Some of the most popular games include:
FIFA: FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) is one of the world’s most popular console games worldwide, and many bookies offer betting markets for FIFA Esports. Betting is available on many of the major Esports leagues around the world, including the Fifa e-World Cup.
Madden: Madden NFL is an American football video game series that is also a popular Esports title. It’s particularly popular in the US but is also gaining a fanbase in countries like New Zealand and the UK. The Madden Championship Series gives players the chance to compete in tournaments to win cash prizes. And allows New Zealand punters to place bets on the tournament outcome.
Rocket League: Rocket League is described as a vehicular soccer/football video game. It has up to eight players in each of the two teams. Players use rocket-powered vehicles to hit the ball into the goal to score points. It offers both single-player and multiplayer modes, locally and online. The latest updates from the developers allowed core rules to be modified and new game models to be added based on basketball and hockey. Many Esports betting sites have odds for professional Rocket League tournaments.
In addition to specific genres, there is a heap of other Esports games in varying categories that you can place an Esports bet. Here are some of the top games:
Fortnite: Fortnite is massive globally, with over 250 million registered users. There are three different game modes that share the same game engine and gameplay. These include Battle Royale, Save the World and Creative. You can bet on Fortnite at many Esports betting sites, which may also offer live vision, promotions, odds streaming etc.
Hearthstone: This online TCG (Trading Card Game) is made and owned by Blizzard Entertainment, which owns other leading games, including Warcraft. The main characters and cards in the game are based on the Warcraft franchise. Players face off in various game modes, with PVP (Player vs Player) being the most common. The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent’s health score to zero while keeping your own health score high. The game is free to play and can be downloaded on Blizzards official Hearth Stone page.
Top 10 companies in Esports categorised by marketshare
|Activision Blizzard Inc.||21,85%|
|Modern Times Group MTG AB||14,15%|
|Electronic Arts Inc.||3,7%|
|Team SoloMid (TSM)||2,1%|
As seen on the picture below Esports money prizes are bigger than some of the old and well known sports:
Esports games tournaments offer massive prize money for players, huge viewership and the ability to win big in Esports betting. Here are some of the biggest Esports tournaments worldwide:
League of Legends World Championship
The League of Legends Worlds Championship is the final event of the League Esports season. The winner becomes the ultimate global League of Legends Champion.
In terms of viewership, the League of Legends World Championship is massive. Watched by almost 4 million viewers, who viewed a total of 139,000,000 hours of competitive action and gameplay. This year’s prize money is expected to be between $2.25 million and $3 million.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships
Those in the Esports betting industry commonly know this tournament as the Majors. The event is sponsored by Valve, the gamer’s developer. Last year’s prize money was US$16.45 million, making it one of the highest cumulative prize pools of the year.
Overview of recent CS:GO Major Winners
|Tournament||Organiser||Host City||Winner Team||Final Result||Prize Pool|
|BLAST Paris Major 2023||BLAST||Paris (France)||Team Vitality||2–0||$1,250,000|
|IEM Rio Major 2022||ESL||Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||Outsiders||2–0||$1,250,000|
|PGL Major Antwerp 2022||PGL||Antwerp (Belgium)||FaZe Clan||2–0||$1,000,000|
|PGL Major Stockholm 2021||PGL||Stockholm (Sweden)||Natus Vincere||2–0||$2,000,000|
|StarLadder Major: Berlin 2019||StarLadder, ImbaTV||Berlin (Germany)||Astralis||2–0||$1,000,000|
|IEM Katowice Major 2019||ESL||Katowice (Poland)||Astralis||2–0||$1,000,000|
|FACEIT Major: London 2018||FACEIT||London (United Kingdom)||Astralis||2–0||$1,000,000|
|ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018||ELEAGUE||Boston (United States)||Cloud9||2–1||$1,000,000|
|PGL Major: Kraków 2017||PGL||Kraków (Poland)||Gambit Esports||2–1||$1,000,000|
DOTA’s The International
When it comes to prize money, DOTA 2’s premier championship event in 2021, known as The International, offered a staggering $40 million.
Fortnite World Cup
The Fortnite World Cup was held in 2019 in New York City. The prize pool was US$30 million across all the competitions.
The Land of Heroes
Gamers8, a Saudi Arabian esports tournament organiser, has recently announced a prize pool of $45 million for this year’s event, ‘The Land of Heroes’. This will be the largest prize pool in history. While the titles for the event haven’t been announced, last year’s tournament featured big titles, including DOTA 2, Fortnite, Rainbox Six Siege, Rocket League, and PUBG Mobile.
Most Popular Esports Players
Here are some of the most popular, well paid and well-respected Esports players around the world:
- n0tail: Johan “n0tail” Sundstein is one of the highest earners when it comes to Esports. Throughout his career playing DOTA 2, he’s won over $7 million in prize money. See what the richest Esports player has used his money on.
- Faker: Known as the best player in the history of League of Legends. Faker has won three World titles, six domestic titles and every international tournament available in League.
- Moon: Moon is considered the greatest Warcraft 3 player ever. Hailing from South Korea, he’s consistently won against some of the best competition worldwide. In 2009 he was rewarded a $500,000 contract with Korean team WeMade FOX, reflecting his immense popularity and global status.
- Jaedong: one of the best players of Starcraft: Brood War. He’s won two MBCGame Starleagues, three OnGameNet Starleagues, and three World Cyber Games titles. He’s also made nine different StarLeague finals.
- Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel: Hailing from the U.S., he’s the highest single earner in Esports history and a true celebrity gamer. Known for playing Quake, he’s won five world championships and secured major sponsorship deals throughout his career.
- Daigo: From Japan, Daigo is one of Esports’ first international stars. He became Japan’s Street Fighter national champion back in 1997. He has played at a consistently high level for over 15 years, winning world championships at Evo in 2009 and 2010.
- f0rest: Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg is one of Sweden’s most valuable CS:GO players. He has over 50 medals to his name and is ranked among one of the most respected players in his game worldwide.
Pros and Cons of Esports BettingEsports betting is here to stay, and is only growing in it's popularity. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider if you're thinking of getting involved in Esports betting:
- Unlike traditional sports, there's always an Esports game available to watch or place a bet on.
- It's incredibly fun to watch (and play!).
- The total prize money for tournaments is growing - fast.
- Esports betting usually gives you competitive odds.
- It can take a lot of research to set the right betting strategy.
- Esports can often be unpredictable, meaning it can be challenging to make a winning bet.
- Sometimes, sites can be poorly regulated, making them unsafe for bettors.
History of Esports
As much as Esports has become a cultural force recently, it’s not exactly the new kid on the block either. Back on October 19, 1972, the first recognised tournament playing video games took place. The contestants played the game Spacewar, with a year’s subscription to Rolling Stone magazine as the grand prize.
But competitive gaming has come a long way since then.
Esports in the 80’s
Fast forward to the 1980s, and the smash hit arcade Space Invaders game was released by Atari. It became the first video game to be played in a tournament on a national level, cementing itself as one of the premier games of the high-score generation.
As the arcade format of the game fostered a gaming generation along with the emergence of home console systems, the trajectory of gaming and the ubiquity of gaming tournaments only grew, creating game formats such as the first-person shooter.
Esports in the 90s/00s
In the 90s, the platform fighting game hit its stride, and Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were seen in gaming tournaments all over. Not to be left behind, PC and console gaming started making waves, with legendary releases such as Starcraft II and Halo steaming into the turn of the century.
It’s a testament to the late 90s and early 2000s that many of these titles are still played in the Esports industry today. With Esports bets placed internationally on Starcraft II tournaments.
Perhaps the key date of the 2000s which signified Esports significance as an industry, was when Halo 2 became the first televised Esports event.
2010 and onwards
The biggest development in the Esports world during this time period was the introduction of Twitch in 2011. This new platform facilitated live streams of Esports gaming, gambling and interaction from fans and stakeholders alike.
League of Legends, one of the most popular titles of all time (if not the most popular), was responsible for making history in 2013 when the World Championship managed to sell out the Staples Centre in Los Angeles within minutes of tickets being announced for sale.
Thanks to both broadcasting and streaming, today we have a global Esports market that is anticipated to increase from $1.44 billion in 2022 to $5.48 billion in 2029. Therefore, Esports betting sites are only expected to grow as the industry continues on its upward trajectory.
Alternatives to Esports Betting
Esports Betting Statistics
The gaming industry as a whole is enormous, and we’re now at a stage where if a game can be played online against other players, it’s most likely going to have an Esports betting site somewhere with betting odds listed.
Esports betting is widely available for many Esports, such as League of Legends, Rocket League, fantasy Esports and many more. It’s no longer just a niche industry for the top Esports. Esports wagering is now something to be found on many betting sites.
This is great news as a punter, as the possibilities are virtually endless. Follow your favourite Esports teams in fantasy Esports betting, or perhaps research some Esports betting tips and apply that knowledge to generate some serious returns. The global esport market size i projected to grow to USD 6.75 billion by 2023.
The table below shows the worldwide Esports market revenue categorised by segment:
|Sponsorships||8737 million USD|
|Media Rights||207 million USD|
|Publisher Fees||130 million USD|
|Merch and Tickets||107 million USD|
|Console and Computer Hardware||53 million USD|
|Streaming||46 million USD|
Eports Revenue by Region
|China||360 million USD|
|USA||243 million USD|
|Europe||205 million USD|
Esports Betting Options
The best bookmakers run their Esports betting sites by ensuring that Esports fans can place Esports bets on a wide range of games. Look for sites that offer similar features to a traditional sports betting site. For example, it offers a comprehensive list of sports betting options and also in-depth information and advice about placing bets. To ensure you’re getting access to the best Esports matches.
If an Esports betting platform has little to no options available, or only focuses on traditional sports, it may be a sign that it is either a website that doesn’t cater to Esports bets or is not a high-quality betting site.
Here are the main betting options available to you when placing an Esports bet:
- Real Money Betting: This is the simplest form of betting and works just like traditional sports betting. You’ll need to choose your market and the match you want to bet on. Then consider how much you want to wager and place your bet.
- Streamer Betting: In Esports betting, you can bet on if you think an individual streamer will win or lose a match. For example, placing a bet on a specific Twitch streamer to beat their opponent on a match they’re streaming.
- Item and Skin Betting: This is when players use the virtual items they’ve either purchased or earned playing a game as a form of gambling currency. It’s often referred to as skins because they’re usually cosmetic features. Players can use these items to bet on Esports competition outcomes. However, be careful, as some of the websites and apps where you can place bets outside the game may be unregulated.
- Social Betting: This type of bet is done with family, friends and online contacts to create a social atmosphere around the game itself, even if you’re not a gamer. You can use money, skins and other items that all wagers agree on. You can use betting sites or bet amongst yourselves, depending on the preference of your wagering group.
- Fantasy Betting: Fantasy Esports gaming lets you pick your squad of players made up of who you think will outperform other player’s teams, during the course of an Esports event.
Similarity With Sports Betting
If you’re already familiar with how leading sportsbooks work (including how to get the best odds and how to carry out live betting), then you’re already on the right track.
You can wager on the Esports odds for which side will win a game on a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game like DOTA, or a first-person shooter like Doom, just like you might wager on the winner of a football game. Because Esports has luckily gotten more professional, you can get to know prominent teams in Esports, such as Fnatic and SK Telecom T1 to boost your betting confidence.
When you bet on Esports, you need to use the odds that the bookie provides. The Esports odds reflect the possibility that a specific event will occur, just like in sports betting.
Therefore, despite the apparent distinctions between traditional sports and Esports, there are many similarities between the two when it comes to betting.
If you find yourself on a betting site placing an Esports bet often, you’ll have probably come across skin gambling, or one of the skin betting sites. It’s a widespread practice in the Esports betting industry.
It refers to using virtual goods you’ll find in-game (such as player skins) as virtual currency, which can be used for traditional gambling processes of betting these virtual goods on the outcome of an Esports match.
While Counter Strike Global Offensive popularised this, it has been seen in use in other popular titles such as FIFA. The appeal of skin betting sites is that often these virtual goods can be exchanged for real-world currency, drawing in countless participants looking to make a quick buck.
Valve, the developer of Counter Strike Global Offensive, has largely condemned this practice as it violates their terms of service. Twitch has also recently announced they were set to ban sponsorships and promotion of skin gambling sites.
Where Should I Place Esports Bets?
As mentioned before, the good thing about Esports betting is that it draws many parallels with regular sports betting sites. However, there are specific features to look for when considering where to place your next Esports bet.
Of course, to begin, we recommend checking out our list of betting sites. We’ve done the research to carefully ensure that every one of the betting sites listed on CasinoCrawlers has passed out quality checks. And is a certified, safe and enjoyable place to bet on Esports.
Licensed and Regulated
Security is an essential criterion when we recommend any Esports sites. One way to ensure this when you bet on Esports at a gambling site is to check the website is licensed by an internationally recognised gaming or betting authority.
As Europe is a hotspot for gambling and casino games, one of the premier institutions that license sports betting sites and casinos is the Malta Gaming Authority. If a betting site has a certification from somewhere like this, recognised and verified, you can be assured that your experience will be safe.
We make sure that a trusted gaming authority has verified every single Esports betting site we list.
Deals and Incentives
When engaging in Esports bettings, always keep an eye out for any deals and bonuses that bookmakers may offer, as these can heighten your experience as an Esports better.
If they offer the following, you’ve got yourself a good deal:
- competitive free bets
- great prize money
- allow you to gamble with currencies such as bitcoin cash (in addition to verified and recognised legal payment methods)
- is licensed and regulated
- promotions are specific to betting on Esports.
So, before you make your first deposit with your chosen payment method, shop around and find if there are any promotions that will serve your needs best.
Best Payment Methods for Esports Betting in New Zealand
Casinocrawlers has listed the safest and most recommended payment methods for Esports betting below:
Best Tips from Esports Betting Experts
If you’re interested in Esports betting, here are some of our top tips:
1. Do Your Research
Like other sports betting, make sure you study the game and the teams before placing any bets. Do your research and understand the game to make an informed betting decision.
Another good idea is actually to play the game you bet on. The more familiar you are with the game, the more you understand the rules, game modes, character classes and other factors that can impact your chances of winning.
2. Watch and Monitor Streamers
Watching the professionals play regularly can help you to understand better the strategies they use to win. It can also help you to study individual players, to determine who to place bets on. Check out platforms like YouTube or Twitch to search for Esports streamers in your chosen game genre.
3. Crowd-Source Information
Esports has a big online community, both in New Zealand and around the world. And unlike betting on professional sports, lots more people have actual experience playing Esports. There are lots of forums where gamers, streamers, bettors and more join to discuss game information, strategies and tips. You can visit these sites, post questions or search for topics or events you’re interested in placing a bet on.
4. Study the Betting Odds
Just like placing a bet on a traditional sports game, it’s important to understand the odds before placing any bets. The odds in Esports betting are similar to how odds work in normal sports betting. Most online sites will provide you with decimal odds to help you work out which team is the favourite, and what your payout is going to be if you place the bet.
Look for high-value bets where possible to boost your chances of winning big. But always consider the risks and try to find the balance between potential wins vs. your losses.
5. Check out Player Lineups
Like a regular match day for a big sporting event, the lineup of players can change. Players can be benched, cut, traded or removed from the lineup for various reasons. To find out the player lineup before placing your bet, you can visit forums or official game websites to find out more information. Changes to lineups can impact how you place your bets.
Also, try to bet before the matchup to access the best odds for Esports betting.
6. Look at the Recent Form
Try not to let emotion get in the way of placing a value bet. For example, sentimental reasons or historical wins. Check out the recent form of the teams. If you haven’t seen any recent teams play, check out stats from past matches to learn about their style of play. For example, if you’re considering betting on the number of kills you think there will be in a match, look at average kills from the teams to help work out a winning bet.
Sometimes you may also need to consider making a bet once the match is underway. This is usually the case if the teams haven’t played each other before. As it’s often more challenging to predict the outcome.
7. Consider Handicap Bets
A handicap bet is a virtual advantage, or disadvantage given to a team by a bookmaker before the start of a game. The aim is to provide bettors with a market that gives equal chances for both teams to win. Handicap bets can be a good strategy in Esports because they can offer better odds. But remember that your chosen team usually needs to perform better than expected for you to win the bet.
8. Choose the Best Esports Betting Site
To help make sure you get the best odds, along with promotions and bonus offers, choose the best Esports betting sites available. We only recommend licensed and regulated sites that offer fair conditions for all bettors. Check out our full list above to get started.
Esports betting FAQ
Is it legal to bet on Esports in NZ?
Yes. It's legal to bet on Esports in New Zealand. The NZ Gambling Act regulates betting and gambling activities from sites that originate within NZ. But it doesn't prevent gamblers from placing bets on reputable and licensed sites from other countries.
Are Esports Betting and Sports Betting the Same?
No - there are some key differences between betting on a real sports match or event and betting on Esports. Firstly, Esports can happen at any time and place, in contrast to sports that occur at specific times and days subject to the individual sporting season. There are also differences in the types of bets available. Esports betting has a bigger betting option. This includes player performance, in-game events and more. While traditional sports betting usually focuses more on the outcomes of matches or tournaments.
How Do I Increase My Chances of Winning?
To help boost your chances of winning a bet on Esports, understand the game and find the time to watch some of the top players. Then develop a strategy for Esports betting. This usually involves analysing the statistics of previous games and learning about the strengths and weaknesses of players and teams. Then you can put together a betting plan that considers the odds, risks and the size of the bet you're willing to make to increase your chances of a win.
What Are the Most Popular Esports Titles in 2023?
There are numerous popular Esports titles available to suit a wide range of tastes and genres. Some of the most popular titles currently include:
- Call Of Duty
- Arena Of Valor
- DOTA 2
- Apex Legends
- Rocket League
- PUBG Mobile
- Rainbow Six Seige
- Counter-Strike: GO
- League Of Legends
- Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Esports Key Market Insights, “https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/esports-market-106820”
CS:GO Majors: Winners, “https://afkgaming.com/csgo/guide/all-csgo-majors-winners-prize-pools-dates-and-more”
Esports statistics, “https://www.demandsage.com/esports-statistics/”
Noah is the senior content editor at CasinoCrawlers and a writer with many iGaming articles under his portfolio. Therefore, he is skilled at writing bonus guidelines, gambling strategies, and casino reviews. During his spare time, he enjoys playing Call of Duty and is a huge rugby fan.Read more about the author