The European esports market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, and as more and more people got into gaming, this trend has continued to grow rapidly over the past few years. In fact, many of the most popular gaming websites are based right here in Europe.
If you’re interested in betting on esports in Europe and are unsure how to do it, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about betting on European esports, from top sites to popular games to how you can place winning bets. Let’s get started.
Full List Of The Best European Esports Betting Sites
Although Europe has some sort of unity, it is by no means a single body, and because of that, it can be tricky to find esports betting sites that are trustworthy and accepted by most European nations. In addition, each country has its own rules and regulations for online betting, making it practically impossible for any esports betting website to operate in all of Europe.
There are sports betting sites that operate in most European countries, like William Hill and Bet365, but in most cases, you will find restrictions here and there. Some European countries, like Estonia, are very strict regarding online gambling, and very few online betting sites are allowed to operate there.
Below you will find a list of esports bookmakers that offer high-quality services in most European countries and operate legally.
Online Esports Betting In Europe
Europe is the leader in sports betting online, holding more than 40% of the global market share. But when it comes to esports betting, Europeans are only starting to get used to the idea since, until recently, the regulations on online betting were very strict in most countries.
The total revenue generated from online gambling in Europe was approximately €14bn, with esports making up only 0.5% of this amount. Although the number doesn’t seem significant, esports betting is still a rising trend that has just begun its first steps. Even if Europe is a highly prosperous continent, this new form of entertainment hasn’t become mainstream yet.
Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are the leaders in online gambling, with more than 55 percent of their gambling industry’s revenue coming from online sportsbooks. The UK has one of the most credible gambling licenses in the world, issued by the UK Gambling Commission, and 69% of the population describes themselves as gamers.
The Most Popular Esports In Europe
Europe is the birthplace of numerous esports organizations, and some of the most popular esports teams have their headquarters on this continent. However, even though Europeans enjoy a wide variety of esports, the preferences of the majority of the population are pretty clear, with a handful of esports games receiving most of the attention.
Some of the most popular esports in Europe are Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite, Valorant, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and FIFA. These esports titles take the lion’s share of viewership, and according to studies, more than 40 million Europeans watch esports at least once per week. With all the popular esports teams in Europe and the global competitions organized there, it is understandable why the numbers are increasing.
One of Europe’s most notable major esports organizations is Team Liquid, which was formed in 2022 in the Netherlands. What started as a small organization quickly became a household name in the esports world, fielding successful rosters across multiple esports titles, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2.
Another big esports brand hailing from Europe is OG, mostly known for its Dota 2 team, which won back-to-back Dota 2 The International titles in 2018 and 2019. Its original roster featured Dota 2 legends in Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, the latter being the highest-paid esports player in the world.
While talking about prominent esports figures from Europe, we cannot forget to mention Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, a Swedish Counter-Strike professional that was a part of the legendary Ninjas in Pyjamas roster, winning multiple high-tier CS:GO tournaments and achieving the status of an international star in the gaming community.
Thanks to the region’s well-developed esports scene, you can find successful players in every European country, featuring a brutal and competitive environment that helps develop younger talent.
Future of Esports Betting In Europe
Any online sportsbook that underestimates the future of esports betting in Europe is bound to fail in this ever-changing ecosystem. There are strong indicators that esports betting will explode in the coming years following the rise of the esports industry, and some of the biggest online bookmakers have already included an esports section (e.x. Pinnacle) to try and attract esports bettors.
A lot of esport titles are still relatively small, but their potential is huge. One such example is Valorant, which is still considered a new esports title, with only 21% market penetration but an upside potential of 62%. On the other hand, CS:GO is the king of esports betting, with 53% of the total money placed on esports going to this game.
It is not an understatement to say that esports betting is starting to become one of Europe’s newest and most exciting hobbies, and according to recent stats, this is only the beginning.
How To Choose The Best Esports Betting Sites In Europe?
With over 700 million inhabitants and 44 countries, Europe can be a literal maze when it comes to choosing the best esports bookmakers. So if you are confused between all the different sportsbooks that offer esports betting options, we will give you some basic tips on how to recognize a solid esports betting site.
First, since we are talking about the whole of Europe, you have to make sure that the online sportsbook that interests you accepts players from your region. Usually, if they don’t, you will not be able to access the website in the first place.
Still, there are many cases where you can browse the pages normally and even open an account, only to find out that you cannot deposit money or place an esports bet. So it’s better to avoid online betting sites that don’t clarify the countries they operate in.
Key features of the best esports betting sites are a wide variety of esports betting options. We are not talking only about in-play betting but also different esports betting markets.
Betting on video games is always more fun when there are a lot of different bets to choose from, especially for bigger matches like the finals of international events. If you only see the money line and nothing more, you should consider a different online gambling site.
Another important aspect of every respectable bookmaker is a good esports betting odds offer. You should always compare the odds with multiple online sportsbooks to ensure you are getting the best offer.
This is the primary way that betting sites make money; they give specific odds that don’t correspond accurately to the reality of the game. But sharp bookmakers can help you find the correct odds.
The last thing you can do to distinguish the best esports betting sites is to look at what payment methods they offer. There should always be multiple options, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies.
Esports betting sites might also give you the option to deposit with your in-game skins. However, if you see online bookmakers that offer limited payment options, you should reconsider before you join.
How To Sign Up At A European Esports Betting Site
As you have seen, Europe can be a bit confusing for choosing the best esports betting sites, but thankfully after you make your decision, you can have an account up and running in a matter of minutes. Even though the process can vary depending on your country, the basic steps will be the same.
To sign up at a European esports betting site, you just have to do the following.
- Go to the website you have chosen.
- Press the sign up/ join/ register box on the top right of the website.
- Fill in the fields with the requested information.
- Add a promo code, many of which you can find on our Discord channel.
- You are done!
As you can see, it will not take you long to create your account and start placing esports bets. The only thing missing before you do so is adding money to your account, which we will discuss in the next section.
Payment Methods At European Esports Betting Sites
If you have chosen a good online betting site, you will have a lot of options to choose from when it is time to make a payment. Many payment methods are popular throughout the different countries of Europe, with the most popular being credit/debit cards.
If you value speed and accessibility, then credit/debit cards are the best way for you to make a payment. Everyone has a credit or debit card they regularly use, and most online sportsbooks accept the most popular companies like VISA, Maestro, MasterCard, Diner’s Club, and others. But be aware that some countries like the UK do not allow paying with a credit card.
Other popular payment options for esports betting sites are PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Neosurf, Klarna, Google Pay, Sofort, Cryptocurrencies, and more. Since you can choose many different gambling sites, you can rest assured that you’ll find one that offers your preferred payment method.
One of the best payment methods overall is e-wallets, which aloof you to make financial transactions without including your personal information. The transfers are completed as fast as bank cards, and the deposit and withdrawal limits are usually very flexible. Thanks to the rise of e-wallets in Europe, you can expect to find these payment options on most bookmakers.
Mobile Esports Betting & Betting Apps In Europe
Since esports betting is a new form of entertainment with a younger audience than traditional sports betting, the betting method has evolved. More and more esports bettors prefer to bet through their mobile phones rather than sitting in front of a computer screen, and it’s estimated that in a few years, more than 60% of all online gambling will be done through mobile phones.
The best way to place esports bets through your mobile phone is by downloading and installing a betting application. Multiple websites already have excellent mobile apps like Bet365 and Luckbox, and it seems that any betting site that doesn’t have one is developing it.
Even if no mobile betting app is available, you can still use your mobile browser to access any esports bookmaker. It appears that this is the way most European bettors are using for now since most of the traffic on big sportsbooks comes from mobile phones.
Europe Esports Live Betting & Live Streaming
One interesting metric is how many people prefer in-play betting over pre-match. Live betting has been responsible for the biggest share of the revenue of European gambling sites for many years, but that is starting to change. In 2020, pre-match betting overtook in-play betting for sports.
For esports, the numbers are still in favor of live betting due to the accessibility of live streams. Any good esports bookmakers will host a live stream of esports matches and offer live betting markets that can excite even the most reserved players. Live betting can be profitable, but you need to be knowledgeable about the games you are betting on to win your bets consistently.
There is a problem with live streams in Europe, though, as there are so many languages spoken on the continent that the live broadcasts are usually only in English. Local options exist for some of the biggest countries like Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Russia, but everyone else will have to settle with English streams.
How To Make A Winning Bet?
Getting the advantage over a sportsbook is a feat that very few people can consistently do, and entire books have been written about the various methods you can use.
Even though consistently making winning bets is very tough, we are going to give you some basic instructions that will help you find bets that can help you come out ahead.
Place the safest bets. In esports betting, not all bets are equally safe. Usually, Over/ Under bets are some of the safest options you can choose, although not the most lucrative.
Do your research. Many bookmakers try to make money by giving you significantly lower odds than the correct ones. Compare the odds with other betting sites to ensure you are getting a good deal.
Place bets as close as possible to the start of the match. This is when you should get the highest liquidity and the most accurate odds since most of the information about the esports markets is considered.
Is It Legal To Bet On Esports In Europe?
It is impossible to give a single answer to this question since every country in Europe has its own rules and regulations regarding online betting. However, in most cases, it is legal to bet on esports in Europe since the legal responsibility is on the online sportsbook.
Even though Europe has a very active esports community, regulations are still lagging behind. In most cases, there are no special mentions of esports at all when it comes to gambling, and the regulations are the same as for any other online betting product. So, in the end, all that matters is whether a country allows for online gambling or not.
In most European nations, online gambling is not permitted except for offshore operators. This is the loophole that many companies use, so they can offer their services. They just do so “outside” the country. So even though it is not technically legal for sportsbooks to offer esports betting, they still do so.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that it is easy to offer offshore betting services in a country in Europe. Most of them have strict restrictions on who can operate a sportsbook legally, and on top of that, many countries demand to see a license issued by their government (or another member state of the EU if applicable) to protect bettors from fraudulent betting sites.
The Difference Between Virtual Betting and Esports Betting
Many people that are not familiar with esports betting confuse it with virtual betting. They might sound similar in theory since both of them include a virtual arena of some sort, but in reality, they are completely different.
Virtual betting is placing bets on virtual sports that are generated by an algorithm. This means that behind the competing teams, the only thing that matters for the outcome of a game is what the computer is programmed to do.
On the other hand, esports is played by real people, creating a more unpredictable result. In reality, esports is much closer to traditional sports than virtual games.
Another key difference between esports betting and virtual betting is that the odds given by a bookie are guaranteed to work in their favor. Of course, the same is true for esports, but contrary to virtual betting, in esports, you can win against the bookie. With virtual betting, it is mathematically guaranteed that if you bet for long enough, you will lose money.
Virtual betting is similar to most casino games. So don’t be tempted to think that you can win because you cannot.
Best Esports Betting Site Bonuses
Making a profit while betting is extremely difficult, and any gambler should be ready to take any opportunity that might give him an advantage. Such opportunities are the various bonuses esports betting sites will give to the player to keep him motivated through his betting journey.
The most common bonus that you will find in almost any bookmaker is the welcome bonus. This promotion is usually a first deposit bonus up to a specific amount.
For example, if a bookie offers a 100% deposit bonus up to $100, it means that if you deposit $50, you will get another $50 as an extra amount. An attractive welcome bonus often convinces someone to join a gambling site, which is reasonable as they’re the easiest and best way to get something extra for your money.
One of the best esports betting bonuses is free bets. They are as simple as it gets. If you take part in a promotion, you might get a bet courtesy of the sportsbook.
Usually, the free bet is somewhere between the range of $5 to $10, and there are specific bets that you can use it for. It feels really satisfying to win a bet with money that isn’t yours.
Another very good promotion is bet insurance. As the name suggests, you can place a bet that is insured, but under specific requirements. Insurance can be in different forms, but the most common one is that you will get back your money if you lose the bet. Simple, but always useful.
All these bonuses might sound like free money, but there is a fine print that you need to be aware of. Most of the time, any extra money you earn, thanks to promotion, has rollover requirements, meaning that you must bet the total bonus amount several times. Usually, the higher the bonus amount, the higher the rollover requirement as well.
Even though Europe is split into different countries with their own rules and regulations conserving online betting, it is still a pole of attraction for many esports bookmakers due to the relative economic prosperity of the continent and the rapidly evolving esports ecosystem.
More and more gambling sites are getting licenses to operate in Europe, and there is a steep increase in esports bettors, thanks partially to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the services provided by betting sites are betting more refined to accommodate esports gamblers, and there can be no doubt that the industry has a bright future ahead of it.
You can find some general information regarding Europe and the esports betting world of this continent, condensed in a few bullets below.
- The biggest cities in Europe are Istanbul, Moscow, Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Athens.
- In Europe one of the most spoken languages is English, but German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian are all very popular.
- The most used currencies in Europe are the EURO and the Pound Sterling.
- The most popular online payment methods that are available in Europe are credit/debit cards and e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller.
- Some of the most popular esports on the continent are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, FIFA, and Fortnite.
- The most popular esports players in Europe are Johan “N0tail” Sundstein (Dota 2), Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg (CS:GO), and Rasmus “caPs” Winther (LOL).
- The most popular esports competitions in Europe are the ESL One, the League of Legends World Championship, The International, and the ESL Intel Extrem Masters (IEM).
- Europe is home to some of the biggest earners in esports history.
- There are more than 20 different gambling licenses in Europe.
- More than 50% of the betting volumes go on CS:GO.
- The first The International was held in Cologne.
If you are living in Europe and you are wondering if it is the right time to start betting on esports, the short answer would be “yes”. Esports, in general, are on the rise, and you will find a wide range of bookmakers that can satisfy your esports betting needs. If you have already tried sports betting but it is too plain for you, the exciting world of esports is waiting for you.
Don’t hesitate to create an account in some of the best European esports betting sites and get the entertainment of a lifetime.
What is the best betting site for esports?
The best esports betting site is Pinnacle. Although it can be down to personal preference, Pinnacle can give you an unforgettable experience, and very few websites can compare with it. In addition, placing esports bets is very easy, and you will get some of the most accurate odds in the esports betting world.
Where can I bet on sports in Europe?
There are multiple excellent websites like William Hill, Unibet, and Betway that have esports betting markets in Europe. These sportsbooks operate legally in many countries of Europe, and they are renowned for the safety standards they provide to their users.
Can you bet on esports in Germany?
Yes, you can bet on esports in Germany. The country is famous for its esports betting scene, and a very strong esports betting ecosystem. Websites like Stake, GG.Bet and DuelBits are renowned for their esports betting services, and millions of users have trusted these websites with their money.
Does Bet365 have esports betting?
Yes, Bet365 has esports betting. As the biggest betting site in the world, it would be very uncommon if it didn’t try to tap into the hottest gambling sensation that esports has become. You can find esports markets for all kinds of games like Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends.
Is betting on esports legal?
Yes, betting on esports is legal in any country in Europe. As a bettor, you don’t have anything to be afraid of, and you can place any esports bet you want on legal online bookmakers.