A Comprehensive Guide to Every Category of eSports

Interested in diving into the wide world of eSports, but not sure where to begin? There are dozens of exciting games you can bet on in a wide range of categories, so there truly is something for everyone!

A screen grab from Super Smash Bros. where you can see Pikachu just getting their butt handed to them!

Betting on eSports can be overwhelming if you are a newcomer, especially if you are not a gamer yourself. You might not know a MOBA from an RTS or a first person shooter from a third person shooter.

This guide is going to give you a breakdown of the different types of eSports games. Our focus here is not going to be on delving deep into any one individual game, but rather to give you a broad overview of everything out there on which you can wager.

We are going to introduce you to the following categories of eSports:

  • Fighting games
  • Sports games
  • Digital Collectible Card Games (DCCGs)
  • Racing games
  • First person shooter (FPS) games
  • Third person shooter games
  • Real time strategy (RTS) games
  • Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games

Where to Bet on eSports

Looking for where you can start betting on eSports right now? We have already put together a guide to top recommended online sportsbooks for eSports here. In that post, you also can learn more about some of the most popular eSports games.

Every Category of eSports Explained

With that out of the way, let’s press on to the explanations of the different types of eSports games you can bet on.

Fighting Games

Okay, you know you’re in trouble when your opponent brings this bad boy out!

Fighting games have also been referred to as “versus fighting games.” They have the following characteristics:

  • Can be 2D or 3D
  • Usually matches are one individual player against another
  • Sometimes matches may have teams fighting
  • There are many player characters to choose from. Each comes with different abilities
  • Attacks can involve single moves or combine multiple ones
  • Themes are usually related to martial arts
  • Unlike many other categories of eSports, fighting games often are played on consoles

You will discover that the eSports scene for fighting games is unique compared to that for most other games.

The reason for this largely has to do with the whole console vs. PC issue. Console players are just a different bunch.

The very roots of eSports actually can be traced back to competitive gaming among players of fighting games.

While the phrases “competitive gaming” and “eSports” may be used interchangeably, more often than not, the phrase “competitive gaming” refers to fighting games played professionally in particular.

Examples of popular fighting games you can bet on include:

  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Mortal Kombat series
  • Tekken series
  • Street Fighter series
  • Killer Instinct
  • Marvel vs. Capcom

Why You Will Love Betting on Fighting Games

Fighting games are a blast to watch in part because of how tightly focused they are. Rather than trying to pay attention to what is going on across a large map, you just have all the action taking place in one spot on the screen, usually with just two players. That means you also do not have to worry about trying to handicap entire teams or fields of players. Often, just looking up head-to-head data for the competitors will be sufficient to give you the data for your analysis.

Nevertheless, this should not cause you to think that fighting games are overly simplistic. The sheer variety of characters, abilities and combos makes for exciting and diverse strategic play.

Sports Games

Next up, we have a category that traditional sports bettors are going to love: sports video games.

As their name suggests, these games simulate sports virtually. They can be either realistic or arcade-style.

They may also be somewhere in between. Usually, they are based on sports that are played in real life, but there are some exceptions.

Rocket League, for example, is classified as a sports sim game. But it involves playing soccer with cars, which is obviously not a thing in real life.

If you want a more realistic soccer experience, then it is better to stick with a series like FIFA.

Here are some examples of sports games that are popular as eSports:

  • FIFA
  • Madden
  • NBA 2K
  • Pro Evolution Soccer
  • Rocket League

With series that are based on real-life leagues, you can expect a new game each year. When that game comes out, it will mirror the real-life season as much as possible. That way, you are able to experience an up-to-date simulation that is parallel to what is happening in real life.

So, the teams you are playing in each year’s game are not arbitrarily put together; they are actually the same as the real-life teams. They have the same players, and those players stats are based on how they have been performing in reality.

Why You Will Love Betting on Sports Games

As a veteran of traditional sports betting who is just dipping your toe into the waters of eSports, it absolutely makes sense to make sports sim games your starting point. Here are the reasons why:

  • You know the rules of the game inside and out
  • If you follow and bet on real-life basketball, for example, you will instantly understand what is going on in a match of NBA 2K. The learning curve is very small as a result, even if you are not a gamer and have never played sports sim games yourself.

  • The real-life knowledge you have of the teams and players can help you when you are betting on sports sim games
  • Obviously, it does not tell you which eSports player will win matches, but it gives you a better understanding of the virtual pieces they are playing with.

  • Never underestimate what you can learn about real life sports from sports sim games
    While they are not the same, of course, they are often designed to be as realistic as possible. Given that, if you are in the process of trying to learn about a real sport in order to wager on it more successfully, betting on the sim game as well might actually help you learn about the rules, teams, etc.

Let’s imagine, for example, that you have only just started following and betting on real life soccer. You are now also becoming interested in the FIFA game series.

If you bet on both the real sport and the eSport, think how much more rapidly you will learn. In fact, we recommend you also start playing the FIFA games yourself. You will be amazed by how soon you become an expert in both the virtual and real versions of the sport.

Digital Collectible Card Games (DCCGs)

You can buy this Magic: The Gathering card for yourself if you have an extra $22,999 laying around.
No, that’s not a typo!

Another type of eSport you will encounter often is what is called a “digital collectible card game,” or “DCCG” for short. Another name for this type of game is “online collectible card game,” or “OCCG.” These terms may be used interchangeably.

You probably are familiar with old-fashioned collectible card games that use physical decks, like Magic: The Gathering, right? Imagine the same concept digitally, and you have a DCCG.

DCCGs actually have been around since the 1990s. But they were not very well known back then. The rise of eSports has really brought them to the fore.

These are the most popular DCCG eSports on which to bet:

  • Hearthstone
  • Magic: The Gathering Arena
  • Shadowverse

Why You Will Love Betting on DCCGs

DCCGs offer the same intense tactical gameplay as old-fashioned CCGs, plus some variations in play only made possible thanks to the digital medium.

One interesting thing about Hearthstone in particular is that it is fast-paced. This is not true for the majority of traditional CCGs. In fact, a game of Hearthstone only takes a few minutes to complete.

Why does this matter for you as a bettor? Because it means that you can find lots of action for Hearthstone, and you can sometimes wager on events in the near future and find out the results of your wagers quickly.

Plus, it may make Hearthstone a good fit if you want to play the eSport you are betting on to learn more about it, but you do not have a lot of time to invest.

Racing Games

If you are attracted to betting on sports sim games, but you specifically want to bet on simulated racing, then you will love racing eSports.

In these games, players race around virtual tracks, which may or may not be based on those in real life.

As with other sports sim games, racing games can either be extremely realistic, arcade-style, or anywhere in between.

These are some of the most popular racing games for eSports:

  • iRacing
  • F1
  • Project CARS
  • rFactor 2
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Kart Rider
  • Trackmania

Why You Will Love Betting on Racing Games

You will find betting on racing games exciting for the same reason you will love wagering on sports simulator games. It is your chance to take what you know from real life racing and apply it to betting on an eSport.

And once again, similarly, you may be surprised by what you learn about real life racing from betting on and playing racing simulator games.

By now you may be salivating while thinking of betting on eSports. Why not check out BetOnline where you can take advantage of a 20% Rebate on your eSports bets!
Not feeling BetOnline? Take a look at “Best Sites to Bet on LoL, CS:GO, StarCraft 2 and More“!

First Person Shooter (FPS) Games

Now we are going to get into the biggest categories of eSports where you will find most of the betting action. One of those is first person shooter games, abbreviated “FPS” games.

The name of this category explains exactly what it is. It is a shooting game played from a first person point of view. That means that what each player sees on their screen is what they would see if the camera were placed where their character’s eyes are. They cannot see behind their head or peek around corners.

FPS games are played on a large variety of maps (enclosed game environments where matches take place) and feature quite a few different game modes. Here are some popular game modes for FPS eSports:

  • Team deathmatch (TDM)
  • Deathmatch (DM)
  • Battle Royale
  • Capture the flag (CTF)
  • Free-for-all (FFA)

That is not an exhaustive list.

Here are some of the most popular first person shooter games played as eSports:

  • Counter-Strike (especially Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO))
  • Call of Duty
  • Battlefield
  • Halo
  • Unreal Tournament
  • Apex Legends
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Valorant
  • Quake
  • Doom

As you can see, this is quite a big selection, and there may even be other FPS eSports you run into now and again that do not appear here.

Looking for some other popular eSports shooters that do not appear in this list? Scroll down to the next section, where you will probably find them in our list of third person shooter games.

We have put together some guides to betting on some of these FPS games. Find out how and where to bet on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and check out how to wager on Call of Duty. We will be adding more guides as we go along.

Why You Will Love Betting on FPS Games

First person shooter games are a blast to bet on. You will enjoy discovering new maps and weapons in games that feature frequent new releases (like Call of Duty, which generally includes a new installment every year).

The tactical approaches that players may take as teams and individuals can vary widely, and it is fun to see how they will adapt as they transition between different maps and modes.

Also, the vast majority of video game types do not feature a first person perspective. That means that whether you are watching them or playing them, you are always at a distance from the action.

But when you watch and bet on first person shooters, you get to see what it is like through the eyes of the players.

So, let’s say you are betting live in-play on an FPS game. As you watch the action unfold, you will feel almost as if you are right there in the midst of it all yourself. This can add to the suspense, and sometimes may also give you a different perspective (literally and figuratively) on the action. That perspective might influence how you bet.

Not all shooters played as eSports are FPS games, even though the majority of them are. Some games are third person shooters instead.

That means that the camera is not positioned where the character’s eyes would be. Instead, it floats behind each character, offering an over-the-shoulder view of combat.

So, there is some slight separation from the action, but that separation changes how the game is played. Players are now able to see behind their characters’ heads, and also check around corners.

If you’ve ever played Fortnite, you know exactly where this is!

These are some examples of eSports third person shooter games:

  • Fortnite
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  • Gears of War
  • Garena Free Fire
  • Splatoon 2

Take note that PUBG can be a first or third person shooter, depending on tournament rules.

Why You Will Love Betting on Third Person Shooter Games

The appeals of betting on third person shooters are very much the same as the appeals of betting on those in first person. But as there are some strategic differences to how matches play out, you may enjoy the variations in the action from what you are used to with FPS games.

Real Time Strategy (RTS) Games

Now let’s talk about another category where you will find some of the most popular eSports games: real time strategy games, often just written as “RTS” games.

RTS games have the following characteristics:

  • Isometric perspective (overhead view)
  • Combat takes place in real time, thus the name “real time strategy”
  • Resource management, building and directing combat units are involved in RTS games
  • Players face off individually against each other, with each player controlling an army and base(s), rather than a team controlling each

So, here is how a typical match in an RTS game might unfold. Let’s say we have two players. At the start of the game, each player will find themselves with some basic units on a map. They will need to each work on building up a base and producing new units for combat.

Over time, they will begin attacking each others’ bases. In real time, they will need to defend their own base, continue assaulting their opponent’s base, and keep building new assets to replace the ones they are losing and increase their firepower. Eventually, one player will successfully obliterate the others’ forces and base, and win the match.

Here are the most prominent RTS games in eSports:

  • StarCraft games
  • Warcraft III
  • Age of Empire games

Why You Will Love Betting on RTS Games

RTS games are fun to watch and bet on because there is so much going on at any given time. You will be amazed by how effective each player is at juggling all of their responsibilities at any given moment. Essentially, each individual needs to handle all of the duties that would normally be shared by a team.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) Games

Let’s talk about one more category of eSports that is a really big deal: multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games.

Since you have already read about RTS games, you have a pretty good idea what a MOBA game is.

As we just mentioned, each player in an RTS game controls all of their units and does the work of an entire team.

MOBA games work more or less the same way, except that there are teams.

Here are some of the most popular MOBA eSports:

No doubt, you recognize some of these names. LoL and Dota 2 both attract a ton of betting.

In fact, we have guides for you to start wagering on both of these eSports. Learn how to bet on League of Legends and how to bet on Dota 2.

This is an image of the Summoners Rift map from League of Legends. If you’re interested in betting on this at all, you’re going to want to become familiar with this!

Why You Will Love Betting on MOBA Games

MOBA games are pretty straightforward and easy to learn, and they tend to be played on just the same few maps over and over again. So, once you have picked up on the basics, it will be relatively easy for you to follow the action and place your bets.

As with fighting games, however, this simplicity hides layers of nuance and complexity since MOBA games feature hundreds of heroes with different abilities for players to choose from, each offering different tactical opportunities.

You also will enjoy the team play aspects of the games. Even though playing a MOBA is very different from playing a physical sport, some aspects of how teams coordinate and mesh together are similar.

Finally, you will appreciate that the popularity of MOBA betting means there is a ton of action available, including numerous props for the most popular games.

General Tips for Betting Successfully on eSports

Now that you are familiar with every major category of eSports, let’s go over a few basic tips to help you bet profitably on them.

Do Your Research

The basic process for planning your bets for eSports is just like the process you use to plan your bets for traditional sports. Create a routine for research where you take a look at statistics, news and social media. Follow teams and players closely and get to know their tactics, strengths and weaknesses. The more data you can gather, the more effective you will be with your analysis.

Watch The Streams

Streaming is huge in eSports, with opportunities around the clock to watch top players as they play competitively or recreationally. The more time you spend watching them, the better you will grasp their strategies and understand their personalities. This information will serve you well when you are planning your bets.

Look up changes

All eSports are subject to change, with developers frequently releasing updates and patches. And with some eSports such as Call of Duty, the changes go much further than that, there may be entirely new games coming out each year!

It is up to you to stay on top of these ongoing changes and how they may affect players and teams.

Play The Games Yourself

Last but not least, we recommend that you play eSports games. A lot of them are 100% free. You do not need much in the way of physical capability in order to participate; if you can use a keyboard and a mouse, you are pretty much good to go. Direct, personal experience of eSports games will give you an edge when it comes to making your predictions.

Bet on eSports Now

Even if you have never watched, played or wagered on eSports before, you now should have a pretty good grasp of what you can bet on. Whether you want to bet on MOBA, RTS, FPS or other types of games, you can find the best odds and promotions by checking out our Online Sportsbook Recommendations. Enjoy!

And You’re Going To Want To Check These Out As Well:

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