2020 Guide to Esports

For decades video games have been evolving to a point where they're as entertaining to watch as live sports. As more people from around the world invest in these games, the esports betting market continues to grow. Though it may be one of the newest sports to bet on, it's undoubtedly one of the most entertaining. 

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In this article, we'll go over the details of esports. We'll give NJ gambling enthusiasts an idea about how and where they can get in on the action. With an idea of the basics, you can reap all of the winning potentials from this up-and-comer.

What is Esports?

Esports is the world of competitive video gaming. This newly widespread international phenomenon is bringing in millions of fans and even billions of dollars. 

The action is fast-paced and consists of heated multiplayer games. The competitions and tournaments are played between professional players who fight for themselves or together with a team. These gamers are incredibly organized and have significant fan bases. 

What are the Esports Games?

There are several popular esport games and typically these games are played in an organized manner. There are millions of fans from around the world who tune into the competition online or on TV. The competitions attract nearly as many fans as traditional sporting events.

Some of the most popular franchises that you can bet on include the following:

  • Counter-strike: Global Offensive
  • Call of Duty: League of Legends
  • NBA 2K
  • FIFA
  • Overwatch
  • Fortnite
  • Hearthstone
  • Dota 2
  • Smite
  • Starcraft 
  • Rocket League

This list is not comprehensive but should give potential bettors an idea of the betting market. 

Types of Games

There are several popular esport games, and they're typically shooter, sports, or real-strategy games. 


The shooter game genre is one of the most popular in the industry. These games are some of the earliest to have tournaments and professional players. 

First-Person Shooters (FPS) like CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, and Call of Duty are some of the well-known franchises in this genre. FPS games revolve around weapon-based combat, and the action is seen through the eyes of the gamer. Some of these games take a realistic approach, while others are more cinematic. 

Some of these games focus entirely on combat, squads, and multiplayer competition. When you bet on FPS games, you can wager on many betting possibilities; who you think will win the match, pistol round, first and second map, or even who will get the most headshots.


Sports games are fairly straightforward and allow players to take control of players, teams, and franchises to play their own games and seasons. 

Madden and FIFA are some of the most popular games in the genre. Like in real life, the winner is whoever wins the match. Like sports betting, you can wager on the winner, several events happening in a particular game, or player propositions.


Other games include strategy-based games such as League of Legends. In this game, players attempt to outsmart the opponent and destroy their base or complete any particular round's objective. Bets can be made on the winner of each game, how long they may take to win, or how many points they will win by.

Popular Esport games

The most popular esports games are featured in tournaments around the world. Wagering strategies for these games include betting on the outcome of a match or tournament and outright betting. You can also wager on the winner of individual groups or nations who are competing.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS) is one of the oldest esports games. This classic FPS title has an extensive and diverse fan base from around the world. There are knockout championships as well as tournaments. 


Another first-person shooter, Overwatch, pits the players against each other to either attack or defend control points across a map for a limited time.

Dota 2

This is a multiplayer game that takes play in a battle arena. This Defence of the Ancients sequel is a viral strategy game.


Valorant is an upcoming tactical shooter multiplayer video game. This straight-up 5v5 shooter action is one of the highly anticipated titles in the industry. It's expected to be released in the summer of 2020.

Another extremely popular Esport is League of Legends. The biggest esports tournament is the Riot Games: League of World Championships. This tournament includes 24 teams from 14 different countries.

Fortnite has become one of the most popular games in the world. The Fortnite World Cup is one of if not the most looked-forward-to event in 2020 when it comes to Esports. Not only is it highly entertaining, but it's also incredibly lucrative. The 2019 tournament had a prize pool of a whopping $100 million.

The official name for the Dota 2 annual world championships is called The International. As Dota 2 is another of the most played games of this year, it has a considerable number of participants. Last year the winner took home $15 million for their victory.

Betting on Esports

When it comes to betting on Esports, there are a lot of things to consider. Whenever you're betting on any sport or event, you want to make sure that the operation is legal and the odds are in your favor. 

Esports Odds

Esports odds are presented in a similar manner as other sports odds. There are pre-game betting options as well as a range of in-game live betting action. You can find live streaming offered from a lot of NJ's top sportsbooks.

Is Esports Betting/Gambling Legal in New Jersey?

As of 2019, esports betting is officially legal in the state of New Jersey. Since this is a recent development for the state, sportsbooks have only taken action on one event. The tournament covered is the League of Legends World Championship Final. 

According to the legislation, wagering is legal on all esports events as long as they don't involve high school students or a majority of players under 18 years old. Bettors can gamble on college-level teams that aren't based in New Jersey.

Where is Esports Betting Legal?

You can bet legally on esports in the following states: Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, New York, New Mexico, Montana, Mississippi, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Delaware, Arkansas, and Washington.

How does Esports Betting Work?

In many ways, esports betting is similar to its traditional sports counterpart. The most common type of bet is placed on the team that you believe will win the match-up. You can also participate in betting on the handicap, double chance, and correct score.

Unlike traditional sports, you can bet on who will win a specific map or chapter of a game. You can also place a bet on any team winning at least one map.  

Watching Esports in New Jersey

When it comes to following the action in New Jersey, there are a few different options available to you. 

Where to Watch Esports

The most popular place to watch esports is on the live-streaming platform Twitch. This streaming service offers various coverage of tournaments while also daily matches between games. 

How to Watch Esports

You can watch esports either on esports tv or on Twitch. If you have an account on Twitch, you can get in on year-round action and heated tournaments. Many of the top NJ sports betting operators will also stream matches.

What Channel is Esports On?

The number one Esports channel is Esports tv though you can also find tournaments on ESPN.

How to Make Money Betting on Esports

The esports industry is booming, and the potential to tap into the cash flow is massive. Prize pools from tournaments are growing every year, and industry leaders are attracting sponsors from across the board. While video games were once seen as a hobby, they're now a lucrative career move. 

How to Invest in Esports

If you want to become the renaissance-man of eGaming, consider investing in the market. 

Top Esports companies on the stock market include;

  • Activision Blizzard
  • Tencent Holdings
  • Take-Two Interactive
  • Electronic Arts
  • Huya

How do Esports Teams and Organizations Make Money?

Esports income varies from company to company. However, most of them make 70-80% of their revenue from advertising and sponsors. The rest of the profit comes from media rights, merchandise, and ticket sales.

The Esports Industry

As we've mentioned in this article, the esports market is growing at a rapid pace. According to Business Insider, the market is on track to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023. While it's only been around for a few decades, this sector is immensely innovative and lucrative.

When did Esports Become Popular?

Esports started to become popular in the late 2000s. Thanks to the universal nature of the internet in this time, online gaming became more accessible around the globe. 

One of the most significant factors boosting the industry was the launch of Twitch in 2011. This global streaming platform attracted new fans and players from all over. 

How much is the Esports Industry Worth?

In 2019 the global esports industry surpassed $1 billion in revenue. 

Who owns Esports?

There are various participants in the esports markets, all with an invested interest in its success. Cloud9 is the most valuable of these companies, with a net worth of $310 million. 

What are the Major Esports Companies?

Other popular esports companies include Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, and Echo Fox.

Who's Investing in Esports?

People around the world are jumping onto the esports bandwagon in hopes of profit. Some of the most notable names investing in esports include the St Louis Cardinals, the New York Yankees, and Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant's business associate.

Esports in Numbers

The best way to see the sheer recent success of the esports industry is to look at the statistics. 

How Many People Watch Esports?

As of late 2019, Forbes clocked the esports viewership at 433 million, that number is expected to exceed a half a billion by the year 2021.

What are the Most Significant Esports Events?

The most anticipated esports events are the Fortnite World Cup, League of Legends World Championship, the International, and Call of Duty World League.

Richest Esports Organizations

The top three organizations in esports are Cloud9, Team SoloMid, and Team Liquid. Jack and Paulie Etienne own Cloud9, which is worth $310 million. Team Solomid is worth $250 million and is owned by Andy Dihn. Team Liquid from aXiomatic, Team Liquid is worth $200 million and growing fast.

Highest Earning Players

The current highest-earning Esports players are:

  • Johan Sundstein - $6,898,191.79
  • Jesse Vainikka - $6,470,000.02
  • Ana - $6,000,411.96

History of Esports

While we've only recently witnessed the impressive growth of the esports industry, the first event was in the mid 20th century. 

When did Esports Start?

The 1950s laid the foundation for modern-day esports. It wasn't until the 1990s that improvements in technology made video games available to the masses.

When was Esports Created/ How long has Esports Been Around?

The first official video competition was held in October of 1972.

Who Invented Esports?

The first game that led to payment was Starcraft. Activision-Blizzard created this game, and the company is now widely recognized as the founders of this industry.

When was the First Tournament?

Esports initially started in 1972 with a tournament at Stanford University where players competed in the video game, Spacewar. The grand prize was a year-long subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine.


Is esports a sport or not?

The official answer is still up for debate. Some organizations consider it sport due to the competitive nature of the games.

What does the E in esports mean?

The E in Esports stands for 'Electronic.' 

How do you spell esports?

According to the AP style guide, the correct spelling is "esports."

What is the biggest esports gambling win?

A 23-year-old man once won over $1 million in a Counter-Strike tournament. He did this through an accumulator bet, picking which players will make the most kills in every match.

Is esports legal in New Jersey?

Yes, esports is legal in the state of New Jersey. 

Where can I legally bet on esports?

In New Jersey, you can legally wager on Esports at Fanduel, FOX Bet, or DraftKings.

What esports team does Shaq own?

Shaq co-owns NRG esports.

What does NRG stand for?

NRG is a short form of the word "energy."

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