Over the past 12 months, the eSport scene has felt the impact of global travel restrictions and seen a number of tournament cancellations. However, the flexibility to be able to run some events online meant that the consequences were not as catastrophic as was felt in the conventional sports world.
It meant that eSport garnered a new audience of fans who explored it for the first time while they were deprived of their usual sporting entertainment. In particular, however, eSport fell well and truly onto the radar of the sports betting community. Now, sports tournaments are back on the menu, but plenty of people are still consulting the Betsafe esports odds. There are some high profile events scheduled for the months ahead. But which ones will grab the attention of those who like to place a bet or two?
CS:GO PGL Major
CS:GO is the most widely played eSport game, and a firm favorite from a betting perspective. There are several major events lined up for 2021. However, the one that will really attract the sports books and their customers is a CS:GO Major being organized by PGL for October that will have a prize pool of $2 million, a new record for a CS:GO event. The best teams from all over the world will be descending on Stockholm to get involved, and big prizes also tend to attract the sports betting equivalents of high rollers.
Valorant Champions Tour
Less than a year after its release, Valorant is already becoming a power in the eSport world, and it is a game that the sports books have been keen to promote. If you have yet to check it out, Valorant is a five-a-side tactical shooter that is conceptually similar to CS:GO but has clearly taken some gameplay cues from other popular eSport titles. 2021 will see Valorant players involved in a series of regional events that will take place both online and at some live events (Reykjavik has just been confirmed for the last week of May). These will culminate in a two-week Champions event that will be held in November at a venue to be confirmed.
League of Legends Worlds
Of course, sports bettors are still interested in the classics, and the biggest event of the year will undoubtedly be a major draw for gamblers. League of Legends Worlds is an event like no other, a month-long extravaganza of the best players playing the most iconic game for the biggest prizes of them all. Last year, the total prize pot ran to almost $6.5 million, thanks in part to the crowdfunding efforts of the game’s devoted followers. It will be intriguing to see how this year compares, and whether the viewer figures eclipse the 3.8 million who watched the grand finals in 2020.
And the rest
The above three are likely to have the highest profile for eSport betting. However, events like the Dota Pro Circuit and a number of proposed Fortnite events will also attract plenty of wagers. 2021 could be a watershed year, and the sports books will never look quite the same again.