League of Legends Betting Guide
In 2009, Riot Games released League of Legends, unaware of just how massive the game would become. Two years later the game had approximately 15 million players, and the first tournament (known as Season 1 World Championship) was held. While other tournaments have cropped up since, the World Championship remains the top competition for professional esport players, and one that draws a lot of League of Legends betting in our sportsbook. If you’re looking to join the action, you’re in the right spot. We’ll explain everything from the basic gameplay to different betting markets in this comprehensive esports betting guide.
What is League of Legends?
League of Legends is the brain child of Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck, the co-founders and presidents of Riot Games. Both enjoyed playing the video game Defense of the Ancients when they first met and were inspired to develop a similar type of game. What they came up with was a multiplayer online battle arena video game that sets up two teams of “champions” on a map and has them attack the opposing team’s “Nexus.” The team that succeeds in this mission wins. The game is free to play, with revenue coming in the form of in-game transactions, such as digital skins which modify the appearance of a champion.
League of Legends Gameplay Explained
League of Legends is team-oriented. Each team has five characters, known as champions, who have unique strengths. Teams must work together to seek and destroy their opponent’s base, which is referred to as The Nexus. During a session, you’ll encounter many obstacles, including enemy turrets, jungle monsters, and a myriad of possible routes to reach enemy lines.
League of Legends Competitions
League of Legends tournaments are classified as S-Tier, A-Tier, B-Tier or C-Tier. The S-Tier tournaments have the biggest prize pools and see players come from the four major regions. This is where you’ll find the annual LoL World Championship, which had a $2.225 million prize pool in 2022. Almost all S-Tier tournaments are played offline.
The A-Tier tournaments also have good-sized prize pools and draw top-tier teams from around the world. An example of an A-Tier competition would be the NEST 2022, which was played in JinJiang in November for a prize pool of $94,535. The B and C-tier competitions were formerly known as the Minors, as these are less prestigious than the top tiers; this is where many of amateurs will compete. For example, the Intel Arabian Cup 2022 Grand Finals (B-Tier) took place this fall online with a $50,000 prize pool.
How to Bet on League of Legends
Betting on esports has risen in popularity over the years. We’ve seen some very competitive teams experience short reigns, including SK Telecom T1, who won the World Championship in 2013, 2015 and 2016. This year’s World Championship had an unexpected result, with DRX winning after barely making it through to qualify for the tournament.
These tournaments are a hot bed for esports betting. Spreads, moneylines and totals are the most popular League of Legends betting types, so we’ll focus on these three straight bets for now.
Moneyline Betting: League of Legends
Just like with traditional sports, moneyline betting on LoL lets you look at a matchup between two teams and try to pick the winner. Payouts are determined by the odds displayed at the time of your bet. Note: we use American odds in our sportsbook by default, but you can easily switch over to fractional or decimal at your leisure.
Evil Geniuses -170
MAD Lions +150
In this example, Evil Geniuses is a -170 favourite, as you can see by their negative odds. Betting $170 on them would yield a $100 return (bets scale up and down perfectly). A $100 bet on the underdog MAD Lions would net a $150 payout.
Spread Betting: League of Legends
Many League of Legends tournaments, including the World Championship, utilize a best-of-five format, opening the door to spread betting. A spread lets you bet on a team to “cover” the spread by reaching the margin specified. In the case of League of Legends, the favourite would need to win by a minimum number of maps, while the underdog could lose by a maximum number of maps and still cover the spread. We’ll use an example to show how this works.
JD Gaming -1.5 (-110)
Rogue +1.5 (-110)
In this example, JD Gaming is a 1.5-map favourite over Rogue, meaning they’d have to win by at least two maps in order to cover the spread. Winning 3-1 or 3-0 would do it. Rogue, meanwhile, would cover if they lost by one map. Losing 3-2 would earn supporters a payout; as would winning outright.
The odds in the brackets dictate the payouts for the spread bets. Just like we saw with moneyline betting, the negative odds tell you how much you’d need to bet to win $100. In this case, a $110 bet would get you a $100 payout.
Totals Betting: League of Legends
Lots of people like to add totals to their bet slip on top of a spread or moneyline wager. It allows you to bet on the total number of maps going over or under a pre-determined number. If you think that one team is far more dominant than its competitor, you may want to bet the under, whereas two evenly matched teams are more likely to need more maps to settle their round. We’ll use an example to illustrate:
JD Gaming O 3.5 (-110)
Rogue U 3.5 (-110)
In the example above, the total is set at 3.5 maps, so you can bet on the actual total being higher than the prediction (over) or lower (under). The payout is determined by the odds in the brackets.
Now you know all there is to know about League of Legends betting, we’ll see you over there!