LOL Betting Odds Analysis: Outright Markets

There are many differences between betting on regular sports and esports, but one thing that tends to stick out the most is the sense of the immediate when it comes to betting on the latter. If, for example, you were to think about betting on LoL, you likely picture match-up between two teams and not the outright market for a tournament.

A similar mindset can be found among regular sports fans, but many take a long-term view of betting. Consider how easy it is to find outright odds for the Super Bowl. Sure, fans will bet on every game week, and live betting in-play is popular, but there is also a sense of excitement for fans when picking their picks for success at the start of the long season.

Outright betting on esports is available, of course, and that’s going to be the subject we deal with here. However, by and large, it’s not always easy to find outright betting markets for esports. Let’s put it this way: This website recommends several different esports betting partners, but how many of those offer odds for the LoL World Championship? One of the biggest events in esports and the highlight of the year for LoL fans, and it’s difficult to find outright betting markets. Now, if you took a regular sportsbook and couldn’t find odds for the Super Bowl or FIFA World Cup, you would judge it as a poor operator.

T1 leads the way in Summer Playoff Odds

None of this is intended to criticise esports betting sites; instead, it is to look at how esports is somewhat different from regular sports betting in that respect.

As we mentioned, outright markets do exist. Below, for example, is a table showing the outright odds for the 2020 LCK Summer Playoffs (888sport provides the betting data):

Team* Winner 2 Places**
T1 11/10 2/5
DragonX 7/2 Evens
Gen.G 7/2 Evens
DAMWON Gaming 10/1 7/2
KT Rolster 10/1 7/2
Afreeca Freecs 33/1 14/1

*top six teams only **bet is settled if the team finishes as winner or runner-up.

The reason that we mention the Summer Playoffs as an example here is that, as you are probably aware, the format has changed across the LoL season. The Summer Playoffs have replaced the old system of determining entry to the Worlds based on Championship Points and Regional Qualifer. Why is that important? Because it gives a better focal point to the end of the regional season.

Summer Playoffs represent a more attractive format

Indeed, this new format is more in line with traditional sports playoffs. Just like the NBA, where the regions are split into Eastern and Western Conferences, we have an endpoint for teams in the LCK, LCS, etc. It seems to this author that LoL still has to iron out some of the wrinkles in this format; some of the playoff systems are highly complicated. Still, on the whole, it makes for a more exciting betting event. A bettor can be confident that T1 or DAMWON, or whomever their favourite team might be, will be going at full throttle to win that Summer Playoff title as it represents the main route to the Worlds. There is no fallback like Championship Points.

It might take a while, but this move by LoL, as well as other marketing moves in esports to give teams regional identities, will ensure that there is a greater focus on outright betting. It might not replace the thrills of betting in-play on your favourite esports team, but there are some attractive elements to betting long-term on your favourite team. Expect more opportunities to do so in the future.