League of Legends is one of the biggest competitive online video games in the world and easily one of the most popular esports titles in the scene. In response to its popularity, many online sportsbooks started offering betting markets for it, creating a very healthy betting environment for anyone who wants to bet on LoL.
But while betting on League of Legends is easily accessible, you have to know a few things about the game and how to bet on it before placing your first wager. In this League of Legends betting guide, we will cover everything you need to know about League of Legends betting and how to succeed at it.
What Is League of Legends? – Gameplay Basics
League of Legends is a fast-paced online video game in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre. Released by Riot Games in 2009, it has quickly become a global hit and is nowadays played by over 150 million active players.
Like any other MOBA game, League of Legends is played by two teams of five players, each of whom “summons” and operates one of +175 playable characters, also named “Champions”. Each champion has its own unique set of skills and abilities which dictate its role within the game, creating an environment where the players have to cooperate and find the right synergy to defeat the opponents.
The game’s main goal is to destroy the opponent’s main building, also known as the “Nexus”, which is located on the opposite side of the map. To get there, players need to fight off waves of computer-controlled minions and defensive structures (towers) while gaining additional benefits and buffs by defeating neutral monsters spread across the map.
The game itself is pretty simple to understand, but it falls into the category of games that are “easy to learn, hard to master”. Offering an extremely high skill ceiling, speed, and intensity of Real-time Strategy (RTS) and elements of role-playing (RPG) games, League of Legends offers the right blend of ingredients to create an exciting and fun game to watch, play, and bet on.
Riot Games Common Key Terms
To better understand League of Legends, you should probably play it, but it never hurts to learn some commonly used terms that represent an essential part of the game.
- Champions: playable characters players pick before the game begins and take control over during the game. League of Legends has over 175 playable characters as of 2022, each with unique skills and abilities and different roles they take over inside the League of Legends match.
- Minion(s): also known as “creeps” are little mindless, computer-controlled soldiers that fight alongside their team. Minions automatically run down each lane and push towards the opponent’s base but need your help to fight through the opponent’s minion waves and towers.
- Nexus: a big building located in your (and opponent’s) base, which you must destroy to win the game. The Nexus is located on the opposite side of the map and is heavily fortified by waves of minions and four tiers of defensive towers.
- Gold: The primary in-game currency which you collect by killing minions, opponents, neutral objectives, and jungle monsters. With gold, you can buy in-game items which strengthen your champion and give you unique abilities and buffs.
- Drakes and Baron Nashor: neutral monsters that spawn on the map and earn teams extra experience, gold, and unique buffs.
- First Blood: as the name suggests, “first blood” is an event indicating the first kill of the game, which gives 100 bonus gold to the kill bounty and 50 gold to the assist bounty.
- Wards: deployable units that remove the fog of war over the surrounding area and give the team that places them vision over the area of the map. There are two types of wards – a Totem ward which provides vision, and a Control ward, which not only gives sight to the surrounding area but also reveals and disables the opponent’s wards.
- Gank: a surprise attack on an enemy champion, often coordinated and executed by the jungler or a roaming laner.
League of Legends Roles
League of Legends is a team game featuring two groups of five players who join forces and compete against the opponent’s team. And just like in sports, each player on the team takes over a specific role, which dictates his responsibilities in the competitive matches, and to some degree which champions he should play.
- Top Laner: Typically played by tank or bruiser champions, the top laner can either play the role of team fight initiator, a tank, or a bruiser carry.
- Mid Laner: Mid laners usually play mages or assassin champions and are one of the most important roles in the game and often referred to as the hearth of the team due to it playing in a lane that is the closest to all other parts of the map.
- Jungler: Junglers do not play in a lane, but instead move in the jungle where they slay neutral monsters for gold and experience. Unlike other roles, jungler’s main goal is to help other laners and secure neutral objectives in Drakes and Baron.
- Bottom Lane (ADC): traditionally playing ranged champions (or marksmen), ADC is the primary carry of the team and a role in which the team funnels gold to help it reach the late-game power spike sooner.
- Support: As the name would suggest, support players’ main goal is to support their ADC, with whom they play together in the bottom lane. Supports can either be engagers or enchanters, who dish out shields and heals to their teammates.
How Do You Bet On League of Legends?
League of Legends betting might sound like a daunting task for those who have never done it; it really isn’t much different from betting on any other esports or sports. So if you have a basic understanding of how betting works, you’re on a good path to learning how to bet on LoL.
Before placing your first bet on LoL, you must find a sportsbook that will offer you League of Legends odds and betting markets. Luckily, that’s not hard to do since most online sportsbooks offer League of Legends markets. Still, while finding a place to bet on LoL is simple, you have to know a thing or two about how LoL odds work, what you can bet on, which bets are available to you, and ultimately what you need to do to set yourself up for success.
The Best League of Legends Betting Sites
The first and most important step of your betting journey is to find and register on a solid esports betting site. Since many sportsbooks cover esports, it might be a bit trickier to find a solid betting site, but as long as you know what to look for, the whole process is pretty streamlined.
A solid esports betting site needs to first and foremost comply with the online gambling regulations, but it must also have competitive League of Legends odds and enough betting markets, so you can bet on whatever you wish. There are many online betting sites that check those marks, some of which include:
Other features a good sportsbook will have include generous betting bonuses and promotions, and a solid live betting section, with in-play betting odds and live streaming options. Although not all available sportsbooks will offer you all that, many great esports betting sites check those marks.
What Can You Bet On LoL?
Most League of Legends betting is done with real money on regulated, licensed, and legal sportsbooks. However, while real money betting is by far the most popular way to bet on LoL, some esports betting sites also offer skin betting, which is technically the same thing, but not quite.
Unlike real money betting, where you place League of Legends bets with money, skin betting sites offer you an option to bet on LoL matches with in-game skins. Since LoL skins and in-game items are untradeable, there is no such thing as LoL skin betting, albeit you can still bet with skins on LoL.
To do so, you must visit a skin betting site and deposit using either Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Dota 2 skins and in-game items. That is because, unlike LoL skins, Dota 2 and CS:GO items are tradeable and can be exchanged for real money or skin betting site currency, which you can then use to bet on LoL.
League of Legends Betting Bonuses
Almost every betting site will have some sort of betting bonuses and promotions available, and while this is by no means the most important feature a bookie can have, bonuses and promotions are still the best and easiest way for you to get a bit more value for your money.
The offers will come in many shapes and sizes, including free bets, deposit bonuses, acca boosts, no deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, free bet bonuses, and special promotions for major LoL tournaments.
Although almost all betting sites will have bonuses and promotions for their customers, not all will offer League of Legends offers. So make sure that you check whether the sportsbook you’re using has any esports-specific bonuses ready, granted most will, at least for major LoL events such as LoL World Championship and the Mid-Season Invitational.
Note that the bonuses available to you will differ depending on the bookmaker you’re using and your location. However, welcome bonuses are generally available on all sportsbooks, so at the very least, you should be able to take advantage of that promotion.
League of Legends Betting Odds
If you want to bet on LoL, you need to understand what LoL odds mean, what they represent, and how to read them. That all might sound complex, but it really isn’t. The main thing to know about LoL odds is that they represent the likelihood of a certain event occurring or the implied probability of a specific event happening.
To calculate the implied probability (or team’s perceived chances of winning), which is essentially the conversion of betting odds into a percentage, you need to follow a simple formula:
(1/decimal odds) *100 = implied probability
So if a team is priced at 5.50 to win the next match, its implied probability of winning the game is (1/5.50) * 100 = 18.1%.
Understanding League of Legends odds and how to calculate implied probability from betting odds is key to assessing value in betting markets and is an essential skill set any esports bettor must have. But besides that, you should also understand how to read the three different odds formats – Fractional, Decimal, and American odds.
Fractional odds are written as a fraction (3/1) and indicate the ratio of the profit won to the stake. At 3/1, you need to risk $1 to win $3, while at 4/5, you need to risk 5$ to win 4$.
Decimal odds are shown as a decimal number, which is the amount a winning bet would collect per $1 bet. So at 3.00, you can expect to earn $3 for every $1 staked.
American odds are centered around winning or wagering $100 are shown as either positive (+250) or negative (-150) numbers. The positive/negative signs indicate which team is priced as the favorite (-150) and which is priced as an underdog (+250).
If you’re betting on a favorite at -150, you need to stake $150 to win $100. Meanwhile, if you’re betting on an underdog team at +250, you can expect to earn $250 in profit per $100 stake.
League of Legends Bet Types
Once you understand what LoL odds mean and how to read them, you’re on the right path to learning how to bet on League of Legends. But there is still one more thing you need to understand – which bet types are available to you.
Admittedly, most of the best types you’ll come across while betting on LoL are very similar to the ones you’ll find betting on sports. So if you have a rudimentary understanding of the basic bets, then you’re set.
Moneyline is the simplest and most straightforward bet you can make on an LoL match. It’s a straightforward prediction of which team will win the next match – it doesn’t matter how long the match takes or how the team wins; the only thing that matters is the final outcome.
Also referred to as “spread bets,” handicap bets involve giving one team a virtual advantage or deficit in the form of betting lines, in a bid to level the playing field between two unevenly matched teams. Most commonly in LoL, the handicaps (or betting line) will be either kills or maps won – for example, the map handicap on the favorite team will be -1.5 maps.
Totals, also known as over/under, is a wager on whether a specific statistic in a LoL game will be higher or lower than the quoted value by the bookmakers. Most commonly, you will use this bet type to bet on match duration, the total number of kills, and maps played in a match.
Outright bets (or Futures bets) are wagers you can make on a player or a team to be the overall winner of a competition or a event. Examples include betting on which team will win the League of Legends World Championship.
Proposition bets are special side bets made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of a specific event in the game that is not directly related to the game’s final result. Prop bets can be anything bookmakers make them, but some of the most popular in LoL include which team will score the first blood, destroy the first turret, or whether there will be a Pentakill in a match.
League of Legends Live Betting
Live betting is an alternative and exciting way you can approach betting on League of Legends. Although in-play betting requires a bit more knowledge of the game and is not for everyone, it adds another layer of excitement to your LoL betting journey.
Unlike pre-match betting, where you place your wagers ahead of time, with live betting, you’re placing bets on the LoL matches as they happen. That can be a bit more challenging since you need to recognize what’s happening in the game and make split-second decisions on what to bet on. However, if you’re confident in your ability to follow the action and recognize events before they happen, then live betting might be for you.
To try in-play betting, you only need one thing – a gambling site that offers in-play betting markets and preferably live streams of the LoL matches. Due to LoL’s popularity, most bookmakers will have live markets and streaming options, so as long as you pick between reputable and well-known betting sites, you should be set to try out one of the most exciting and engaging way to bet on LoL.
Best League of Legends Events To Bet On
League of Legends has a very healthy and quite large competitive scene, comprised of 12 League of Legends leagues across all regions of the world. Moreover, the LoL competitive ecosystem also includes international tournaments, albeit far fewer than Dota 2, CS:GO, and other prominent esports titles.
Even though Riot Games could have done a much better job hosting more international events, you can rest assured that there will be more than enough competitive matches for you to bet on and plenty of betting opportunities to take advantage of. Yet out of all competitions, only a few stand out as the most popular among the LoL betting community, including:
- League of Legends Championship Series (LCS)
- League of Legends European Championship (LEC)
- League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK)
- League of Legends Pro League (LPL)
- Mid-Season Invitational (MSI)
- League of Legends World Championship
Besides the four major regional leagues and the two international events, the League of Legends scene also includes minor regions and a plethora of academy leagues and second-division tournaments, including European Masters (EUM).
How To Bet On LoL – Betting Strategies
Understanding how to bet on LoL involves recognizing differences between LoL and other esports and to some degree also, sports. Since this is a 5v5 game, each player’s performance matters a lot more, and the wide variety of champions players can pick from only adds to the already volatile nature of the game.
Due to all the variables, it is not easy to be a successful LoL bettor; however, with the right approach and the right tools, anyone can succeed in betting on LoL. Here we will share some simple tips and tricks that will help you on your LoL betting journey.
Familiarize yourself with the game. It’s an obvious tip but one that many new esports bettors overlook. You have to know a thing or two about the game, the players, and the teams before you can place bets with confidence, and it helps if you’re familiar with how the game is played, especially if you plan to bet in-play.
Follow the game meta. League of Legends is an ever-evolving game that can look much different in a couple of months compared to how it does now, namely due to the changes in meta i.e. the optimal way to play the game. As game developers introduce changes to LoL, they make certain champions and items stronger/weaker, which can drastically impact the competitive scene and strength of teams and players.
So if you want to make educated bets on LoL, it’s extremely important for bettors to follow the game’s current state and consider the meta changes when making your predictions.
Try in-play betting. Although live betting on LoL is mostly reserved for the most experienced LoL bettors, it can be highly lucrative if done right. Once you are confident in your knowledge of the game and your ability to identify what’s happening in the game, live betting could be an entertaining option for you to add another layer of excitement to your LoL betting journey.
League of Legends Betting FAQ
How do you bet on League of Legends?
To wager on LoL, you need to first find a betting website that offers LoL odds and betting options, create an account, make your first deposit and place your bets. The whole process is very straightforward, and finding a site where you’ll be able to bet on LoL is simple as well, mainly because all sportsbooks cover League of Legends.
How do I bet on esports?
Betting on esports is very similar to betting on sports, so if you understand the basics of how betting works, you’re already halfway there. Still, you have to learn how to read different betting types and familiarize yourself with the game you want to wager on.
Is LoL betting legal?
Yes, LoL betting is completely legal, as long as you are old enough to wager and are using legal, licensed, and regulated online betting sites. However, you should know that betting on esports is not allowed in some countries, so make sure you check your local laws first.
Is League of Legends popular?
League of Legends is one of the most popular online video games in the world, boasting over 150 million active players. It is also one of the largest and most-developed esports titles with a developed competitive scene, hosting numerous regional leagues and international tournaments over the year.
Which are the best LoL betting sites?
There is no clear best LoL betting site, but many bookmakers can offer you the best esports odds for League of Legends betting, enough markets, and betting options, including GG.Bet and Pinnacle.