Anybody can bet on esports, but winning is a different matter. In a sport where multiple games are happening globally almost every week of the year, keeping track of accurate stats and results for making informed decisions when you bet can be an absolute nightmare. This guide aims to help you make informed decisions before you wager your hard earned money on the next esports tournament. We’re looking at specialising, stats, betting against the public and, for the more mathematically minded, the RPI system of probability calculation. So read, learn and win!
First thing’s first, you’re never going to be an expert on all esports at the same time. It seems incredibly obvious, but concentrating your efforts on one esport will significantly improve your performance. This guide is all about gaining as much information as you can before you bet intelligently, but you can’t do that across 6 different esports. Think about your favourite esport or one you think you have the best understanding of and start focusing your research on it.
Know Your Teams
In any sports book style gambling, information is everything. Having accurate statistical information and results at your fingertips is the difference between a big win and a depressing loss. Before betting on any esports team, it is vital that you research them and their opponent thoroughly. You should be looking at:
- Win/Loss Record
- Recent Form
- Previous record against this opponent
- Previous record against similarly ranked opponents
- Game Specific Stats (e.g. team net worth, towers, kills)
It seems obvious, but a lot of punters will simply bet on the strength of a famous name. This is a great way to lose a lot of money. It’s important to be rational and objective every time you place a bet on any sport or esport.
Best Esports Stats Sites
As Esports is still an emerging industry, the information we need to make sound bets is still a little bit scattered and difficult to get hold of. Here are our four favourite stats sites for the Big Four esports.
League Of Legends Stats
OP.GG and BEST.GG are, for our money, the best League of Legends stats sites around. OP has been around for a few years now and boasts an incredible 21 million users. They focus on match-based stats, including Match results, Champion analytics and Global Leaderboards. This is great for getting an idea of a team or player’s recent form and making forecasts on their performance against similarly skilled opponents. BEST is a brand new sites which focuses on team-based information. They give individual bios and stats for each team member, as well as giving detailed info on almost every metric of gameplay. These two sites are the shining stars of the esports betting market as far as we’re concerned and will definitely give you an edge in your LoL betting.
Best Dota2 Stats Sites
Despite the size of the sport, good Dota2 stats aren’t the easiest thing to come across. esportlivescore is a great cross-sport site which provides decent data sets across all the major esports. For Dota2 betters, it gives information on wins/losses, kills, team net worth, towers and barracks, with a small page allocated to the records of each team. It gives a solid starting point for your research before placing a bet.
Best CS:GO Stats Sites
Finding good stats for CS:GO can be a little confusing, as several major site focus mainly on the stats of amateurs who link their steam accounts to the sites to track their performance. Our favourite site for CS:GO pro gaming data is Gosugamers, which also offers stats on other esports. While it lacks detailed information from each round, it provides past encounters, round results, winrate, streaks and recent form. It also gives individual player perfomance data and the number of teams covered is phenomenal.
Best StarCraft II Stats Sites
Starcraft is also a bit of a weird one. A lot of sites are in Korean and many of the English language ones offer a very poor user experience. Luckily, the WCS do offer a site giving some info on the major players in the game and a few stats to help us along the way. They give data on current standings, win/loss records, win streaks and recent matches. They also offer comprehensive player bios and up to date articles about the world of SCII, both of which help you to get into the mindset of the players.
People often fail to bet with their brain, but that can give you a great leading edge when betting on esports. Big and popular teams and players attract a huge following purely based on their name and fame; this leads betting sites to adjust their odds to match public opinion.
The advantage to us is that it means the opposition of the famous team often get great odds. Think of teams like Ninjas in Pyjamas from CS:GO. They have a huge fanbase and a big name based on their performance years ago, but they’re far from a dead cert in any game these days. Just check the stats on the right. If you’ve done the correct research, betting against these famous teams will give you a greater return. It’s been used for decades in other sports and it works just as well with esports.
Betting Using Rating Percentage Index
If you’re into esports in the first place, there’s a decent chance that you, like us, enjoy a bit of maths now and again. If so, you’re in luck, as you’ll be able to learn the Rating Percentage Index, the best method to work out realistic rankings of teams based on the stats you pick up from the sites listed above. RPI is used a lot in the US to rank college basketball, football and baseball teams, so why not apply it to esports?
How The Rating Percentage Index Works for Esports
To calculate RPI, you need 3 pieces of information – the team’s winning percentage, opponent’s winning percentage and the opponent’s opponent’s winning percentage. This sounds like a lot of work, but if you use the sites listed above, you can do this yourself, limiting it to the last 10 game or so.
The basic formula is as follows:
RPI = (WP * 0.25) + (OWP * 0.50) + (OOWP * 0.25)
The result will be a decimal, which you can compare with the opponent to work out the probability of a win.
Let’s look at a very simple example:
We want to bet on a match between Luminosity and SK Gaming on CS:GO, so we go to Gosugamers and use their winrate stats to calculate our RPI data.
Let’s say it’s February, so we’ll take the Feb winrate to use in our equation. Gosu saves us a job, as we now have two of the pieces of info we need without having to work it out ourselves. We think SK is going to win, but we need to work out the OOP, i.e. the average of the winrates of Luminosity’s opponents.
In Feb, Luminosity played Complexity and Team Liquid.CS. So we find their winrates for the same month and average them out. Liquid had a 67% winrate, Complexity had a 13% winrate, so it averages out at 0.4000.
We have all the data we need, let’s put it into the equation and work out the likelihood of an SK win:
(91*0.25) + (50*0.50) + (40*0.25) = 0.575
Do the same for the opponent and compare to work out which team you should bet on.
The system has a number of flaws, most notably the heavy bias towards opponent win percentage, but with enough data added into the equation, it should give you a great tool to advise your betting.
It can also be used with the Kelly Criterion formula to calculate competitive edges. We’ll discuss thi in a future article.
Never Chase Losses
After all those numbers, our last piece of advice is one of the oldest in the book – don’t chase your losses. If you’re on a losing streak, the worst thing you can do is panic and fire out rash bets with higher stakes in an effort to recoup your losses. At times like these, it pays to reduce betting amounts and continue to make rational informed decisions until you get back onto a hot streak.
As with any sport, esports are a level playing field. Everyone has the same chance of winning, that’s why it’s a gamble. That being said, we hope the resources and advice we’ve provided here will give you a competitive advantage in your esports betting. Good luck!