The burgeoning world of eSports continues to grow and there are a whole host of top tier events this summer. Before getting involved in Betfair's markets for eSports, have a read of the five things to watch...
"When considering backing a team ante-post, it often pays dividends to go with proven winners. The pressure of playing on a stage in front of thousands of fans is not to be underestimated."
1) Head to Head records can be misleading
Looking at statistics such as 'last five head-to-head match-ups' is often pointless. In a lot of eSports, teams chop and change their playing staff (fairly) often and thus it may not be the same five players competing against the same five players. Make sure you do your research.
2) If the game is online, be cautious
While the finals of any event are held on stage at a venue, qualifiers are often held online. Take Brazilian Dota team SG, for example. They've shown on the global stage that they can compete with some of the world's best. You may well think they have the edge in an online game but due to their location and tournament rules they end up playing with a significant disadvantage due to competing on North American servers.
3) 'Gameplay patches' (software updates) can create a level playing field
This is something huge to consider. When there's a significant gameplay patch in any of the big titles, it takes teams a little while to adapt and figure the changes out. As a result, some of the "better" teams may be more liable to slip up and there may be more value in the underdog.
4) Experience is often key
When considering backing a team ante-post, it often pays dividends to go with proven winners. The pressure of playing on a stage in front of thousands of fans is not to be underestimated. Some players will let nerves get to them and their performance will be heavily impacted. It's not often you see a big outsider winning a whole tournament in esports.
5) Keep an eye out for side markets
When backing a big favourite in an eSports match there's often little to no value. A big sum would need to be staked to make any sort of palpable return. If you're extremely confident, value is available by backing a correct score or over/under maps line instead.
For all the latest markets on eSports, head to the Exchange
Key Events this summer
League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational
We’re currently in the midst of this event (runs until May 21). The tournament’s being played out in Brazil and is arguably the biggest tournament other than the World Championships for the League scene.
We’re heading into the playoffs and finals, with Korean juggernaut and multiple world champions SK Telecom T1 still looking incredibly strong and favourites to take the title. Flash Wolves, Team WE and G2 Esports are the remaining three teams looking to prove that they’re not just there to make up the numbers. It would take a brave man to bet against three time world champion Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and co, however.
The Dota 2 action continues to come thick and fast and tournaments are more important than ever. Solid performance at tournaments means even more as each and every roster looks to secure an invite to Valve’s flagship tournament (last year hosting a $21million prize-pool).
There’s no small matter of $250,000 on the line in the Mall of Asia Arena as the Manila Masters gets underway at the end of May. Record breaking OG will likely be the favourite but the likes of Team Secret, Newbee, Evil Geniuses and Invictus Gaming will be looking to show that they can still mix it with the best. Add to that the Filipino surprise package Clutch Gamers and Team NP’s revitalised roster and it should be a truly intriguing affair. The format’s yet to be revealed but the winner will take home a mighty $125,000.
The Epicenter Moscow in early June which promises to be among the highlights of the Dota summer. If the previous iteration is anything to go by, the production should be scintillating, crowd electric and Dota 2 exceptional. With $500,000 on the line it’s an even bigger tournament. Will home favourites Virtus.pro be able to go one better and defeat OG who ended their run in Kiev? Will Team Liquid be able to fulfil their undoubted potential?