eSports is on everyone’s lips and eSports betting is also becoming increasingly popular in Germany. This is because such electronic sports, which are basically games played on a PC or console in competition with other players, involve professional competition in a computer game against each other. With the growing popularity of eSports, the offer of eSports betting is also increasing every day. eSports betting works the same way as classic sports betting, such as soccer. In this article, you will find out what you need to consider, whether eSports betting is even allowed in Germany and why eSports betting is so popular.
Is it possible to bet on eSports?
eSports is a trend that is unstoppable. Depending on the computer or console game, players can compete individually or in teams. Participants compete against each other in competitions, which are usually organized in leagues or tournaments. The events are then broadcast live over the Internet. These games are watched live by millions of viewers at the same time. eSports has long since ceased to be just a hobby for nerds and has become a highly professional billion-dollar industry.
In total, over 500 million viewers follow eSports events around the world. Tournaments in the game DOTA 2 have paid out prize money of over 60 million US dollars. The tournaments, teams and players are sponsored by major brands such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, BMW and many more. Korea is considered the home of eSports. There, eSports players are celebrated as superstars and the games are even broadcast on television.
The competitions are not (only) held from a home computer. On the contrary, offline events are really big events. You can then place bets on these events and the individual matches at eSports bookmakers. The games are broadcast on big screens and there is a huge fan base in the event hall.
Money rules the roost here, too. The best players earn over half a million dollars a year. Even some tennis or soccer pros have to go to great lengths to break into these regions. The best tournaments promise a prize pool of several million dollars. Some major events are watched on the Internet by over five million viewers. This means a lot of potential for players and bookmakers.
In Germany, eSports betting still occupies more of a niche, but the situation is changing noticeably. No wonder, because eSports betting is fun, offers variety (compared to classic sports betting), often good odds and many other advantages. Not only players and organizers have been trying to anchor eSports as an official Olympic discipline for some time, but sports betting providers have also long since recognized that professional competition is comparable to other sports such as soccer.
In eSports betting, there is even the advantage that, unlike soccer, the luck factor plays little or no role in the competition. While in soccer a weaker team can score a surprise victory with an opponent’s red card or an opponent’s own goal, the fixed rules in games like Dota 2 or LoL leave little room for such lucky shots. The motto here is: the best team wins.
Is it illegal to bet on eSports in Germany?
A question that comes up again and again in connection with eSports: is eSports betting or even sports betting legal in Germany? There is now a clear answer to this: yes, at least with the right providers.
Because in October 2020, an unexpected agreement was reached in Germany in the dispute over the legalization of online gambling. Because before the agreement, online providers could not offer legal gambling throughout Germany via licenses. Sites that offered online gambling in Germany were without a license, i.e. illegal. Because in October 2020, an unexpected agreement was reached in Germany in the dispute over the legalization of online gambling. Because before the agreement, online providers could not offer legal gambling throughout Germany via licenses. Sites that offered online gambling in Germany were without a license, i.e. illegal.
Due to this unregulated black market, the new State Gambling Treaty came into force in July 2021. Since providers always operated from abroad, combating this black market was previously difficult or even impossible. With the new treaty, this should change in the future.
With this new treaty, providers can apply for a license and thus legalize their online services.
The agreement states, “The Intergovernmental Agreement, therefore, contains neither a general ban nor a direct authorization, for example, for betting on ‘eSports’ events. Rather, the authority proceeds within the framework of the betting approval procedure under Section 21.” Since 28 providers have already licensed online sports betting, there are now enough providers for eSports betting.
In Germany, it is not a criminal offence to bet on eSports.
Which games can you bet on?
As with classic sports, there are “disciplines” in eSports that get a lot of attention. When it comes to eSports betting, these are the four major titles:
- League of Legends (LoL)
- Counter-Strike CS: GO
- Dota 2
In addition, there are eSports games like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Rocket League that are frequently found at bookmakers. Games like FIFA or Fortnite are at least as popular among gambling enthusiasts.
CS:GO eSports betting in Germany
Counter-Strike is not only one of the most popular PC games, eSports related events can also be found in the program of almost every online betting provider. The game is a so-called online tactical shooter, where two teams of mainly 5 players compete against each other. The most popular mode, Defusion Mode, involves one team (Terrorists) planting a bomb (or alternatively holding a hostage) while another team (Counter-Terrorists) tries to defuse it (or free the hostages). The winner is the team that either achieves the goal or eliminates all opponents.