What on Earth are eSports?
I don’t like to make any assumptions when it comes to going out on a mission. I made that mistake before and I ended up stranded on the Randor planet after being chased by flying mudgoblins off to the west of the Milky Way. So, I’m going to assume that you don’t know anything about eSports – and just humour me if you do.
Basically, eSports are sports that are played electronically. In layman’s terms, they’re videogames, played competitively and to an elite level. While that may still seem like an alien concept to some, they are massively popular, spawning events of hundreds of thousands of people with prize money in the millions. The level of skill, prestige and popularity rival that of any ‘traditional’ sport.
Of course, just as referring to all the different planets as “planet” wouldn’t sufficiently explain the complex nuances and differences between them, it’s important to understand that eSports are one of many. Popular examples include League of Legends, Fortnight, FIFA, Street Fighter, Counter Strike, DOTA 2, Starcraft 2 and many, many more. Who knows what titles will rocket to prominence in the future.
Even from that brief list though, you can see the incredible amount of variety that’s available. You’ve got fighting, strategy, sports and first-person shooter games all being represented. They’re just as distinct as football is to boxing, or ice hockey is to long-distance running. Esports aren’t just cutting-edge: they’re skillful, fascinating disciplines with as few limits as the night sky. Great eSports bonuses should represent that fact.
Two Key Promotional Dimensions to Finding eSports Offers
Before we get into what makes the best eSports bonus, it’s important for me to address one of the most common misunderstandings when it comes to eSports promotions. Much like looking into the darkness of space, looking into a promotional page can occasionally appear rather barren when it comes to eSports bonuses.
Now, that’s not always the case – you can sometimes find promotions or even a whole page dedicated to eSports bonuses specifically. But, you may look around and see all the stars lit with mentions of football, horse racing and other traditional options instead. Don’t worry though. There’s no need to get your jetpack into a tailspin. This usually actually just comes down to how bookmakers like to present their promotions. Some go for specific bonuses for different sports – and that’s where you will see eSports bonuses specifically advertised.
However, if an operator decides to go with the alternative dimension, then they likely prefer to keep their sports promotions general. That is, the same rules apply to all and they’re available across most sports, usually including eSports unless it’s otherwise specified. That means that there’s a whole bunch of eSports bonuses which are advertised generally, but still have just as big an impact. Be sure to check out both possible promotional presentations to avoid missing out.
Checking in With Mission Control: A Quest For Quality Terms and Conditions in eSports Bonuses
So, what exactly makes a best eSports bonus candidate what it is? The atoms that form greatness in the world of eSport promotions stem largely from the terms and conditions. This is where you look beyond the view of the naked eye of the promotional title and immediate promise, and head deeper to the observatory for more details. They represent the actual practical reality of any bonus, its true quality, and whether it’s worth your while.
The terms themselves are made up of many different parts. Here, I’m going to set my laser beams to focus on 10 of the most important considerations when assessing eSports bonuses. This is what I look for when it comes to analysing eSport promotions, and – if you care to check them out – what you should look for as well.
1. Qualification Requirements
This is what you have to do in order to get the bonus in the first place. You may simply need to register, or deposit funds: those would be most common. There may be more in-depth requirements for some VIP or prize draws, and while some may be convoluted, others can be creative and engaging, so it’s not always a bad thing.
2. Wagering Requirements
Generally associated with free bets, wagering requirements tell you how much you have to wager before you’re eligible to withdraw winnings you have received from your bonus. There’s arguably no term more important when it comes to finding the best eSports bonus, because this could mean the difference between getting rewarded for betting normally and needing to spend a fortune the size of the moon.
3. Game Availability
I discussed this earlier but I’ll be more specific here: promotions are often tied to certain games or markets. Esports aren’t quite as commonly available to use on promotions as some sports (like football for UK users) but general sports promotions should include them. Often only restricted sports or markets will be listed, with the rest being open. You can always ask customer service if there is any confusion about a promotion’s game availability.
4. Time Limits
There are actually several time limits to consider for an eSports bonus. In the case of a bonus for new customers, there’s usually a cut-off from registration. In addition, I’ve found time limits common on both using bonuses and in adhering to the withdrawal requirements (such as wagering requirements). This can fundamentally change whether those requirements are practical, and therefore, impact the quality of the bonus.
5. Promotional Cut-Off Date
And that’s not the only time consideration. Often – very often in fact – the bonus itself will only be set to be available between certain dates. This is especially true if it’s event-focused, such as on a big eSports tournament, for example. That means if there’s a promotion you think looks especially cosmic, then you may want to make sure you hop on that rocket before it takes off.
6. Cash Out Policy
This is a funny one because cash out – where you end your bet early for reduced wins or losses to mitigate risk – is a bonus on its own. It’s also an important term for other promotions, as often, bonuses will be voided if used on a bet where you have cashed out. This is almost universally the case in my experience.
7. Geographical Restrictions
My guide here – I’m told by mission control – is on a tiny island on the planet earth called the United Kingdom. It’s rather a grand name for such a humble spot. Because of that, you’ll need to know that any eSports bonus you’re interested in is available in your country. The good news is that eSports appeared to be every bit as globally available as traditional sports in my research.
8. One Promotion Per Person Rule
This one is a constant, like gravity, across sports promotions. Basically, you only get a single bonus for each person. So common is this rule that I don’t consider it a factor in my considerations for the finest eSports bonuses. This extends beyond your normal atmosphere too, often including email, home and ip addresses as being singularly accepted.
9. Minimum Odds
Nice and simple here: this refers to the minimum odds you need for both your qualifying bet and for use of the promotion itself. Again, this tends to be the same across eSports and traditional sports.
10. Minimum Bet
This is the same as above but this time with the minimum you’re able to bet to utilise your bonus. Obviously, the lower this number is, the more humanoids will be able to enjoy this bonus. There might also be a maximum bet or a maximum bonus amount, which sets the parameters for the kind of customer that bonus is aimed at.
A Cosmic Blueprint: What Kind of eSports Promotions Are Available?
Ok, so I’ve taken you through what you need to know about the various elements of the best eSports bonus options generally, and – like with aliens – why there’s often more out there than you think. However, I’ve not yet discussed the type of promotions you can actually expect from the finest eSports promotions out there.
Do keep in mind that the only real limitation is the imagination and generosity of the bookmaker and there’s plenty of room for creativity, even between promotions of a similar type. That said, some promotions are more likely to crop up than others and my list of 10 common examples should provide you with the co-ordinates your satellite needs to start transmitting.
While some bonus types are more common as part of a welcome offer, like free bets, it’s important to note that any kind of bonus can be considered a welcome bonus as long as it’s solely available to those who have recently signed up to the site. How soon? Well that’s why I mentioned time limits before. Do note eSports fans, this will usually be a general promotion so may not mention eSports specifically. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not available as a market.
This is the other end of the wormhole when it comes to promotional types. VIP programs are bonuses which aim to reward for the loyalty of long-term users. This usually rewards players for general use of the site, so all sports, including eSports, should be relevant. Reward tiers can offer all kinds of bonuses including free bets, cash back, and personalised promotions. I’ve even seen the odd holiday offered.
Often when you see a bonus which is specifically aimed at eSports fans, it’s in conjunction with a specific event that has all the galaxy talking. Any promotion that is solely for that event has the potential to be extra generous, as bookmakers are more in a giving mood when a bonus is naturally very time limited.
You’ll often get free bets as a reward for your deposits and they’re frequently part of welcome bonuses. Essentially, this allows you to bet on your favourite sports markets, for free. Your winnings, however, will likely be subject to some form of wagering requirement – and that very much dictates the quality of the bonus.
No Deposit Free Bets
This is exactly the same as before except this time, no deposit is needed to get your free bets. Almost always, a welcome bonus, registration and a relevant promo code can act as activation tools. This is the perfect way to moon-bounce your way towards a new operator risk free, even if the amount offered is generally not meteoric.
Some operators put this in with the rest of their promotional pages, and some don’t. I suppose it’s a matter of debate as to whether it’s now a regular enough feature to not be advertised. But there’s no doubt that what it provides is a huge bonus for customers. Cash back gives you the ability to check out your wager before a market ends and take a portion of your winnings, or cut your losses depending on how things are going. It changes the game like hyperdrive changed space travel.
News and Tips
Another non typical bonus that I really enjoyed was the many amazing news and tips articles that I found on some eSports betting sites. This really gave me great information that helped me make smarter bets. Plus, it provides valuable information if you’re new to the world of eSports betting.
Not all of the best eSports bonus offers need to be rocket science. Bet boosts provide you with better odds on selected markets. Some even let you pick the markets yourself, meaning there’s double the opportunity to utilise this on eSports.
People don’t often associate eSports with accumulators but they can be used as part of multiple bets on many sites. This also means you can use all the great promotions that are utilised on accumulators. One of my favourites is acca insurance. This is where you get your stake back if you lose your acca by a single leg. It might not take the sting completely out of losing, but it’s better than getting left behind on Pluto.
This can also be an acca promotion or a more general one. Essentially, this is any type of bonus where you get any percentage back of your deposit or (more commonly) your losses. Again, this is about lessening the hit of a bad result, and though that may make it initially less appealing, I think these kinds of bonus are among the most valuable.
Seeing Through Time and Space: The Power of Live Streaming on eSports
One thing that might not appear on promotional pages so much nowadays – like the moon, its majesty has become expected – is live streaming. But to this captain’s eyes, there’s few greater bonuses of any kind than being able to watch and bet on your favourite sports as they happen from anywhere on the planet. I’ve seen ships the sizes of skyscrapers fire through the air like paper planes, and still this technology amazes me.
Better still, it’s especially prominent for eSports because there aren’t the same issues as there are with other sports when it comes to things like TV deals or licensing issues. The only sport that, based on my research, matches eSports on live streaming would be horse racing, so that’s some incredibly elite company. You could certainly make the case that this is the best eSports bonus when it comes to enjoyment.
The Promotional Motions Through Cyberspace
Remember, whatever you decide is the right sort of promotion for you, that all bonuses are subject to change. Bonus pages are like an ever-expanding universe, consistently getting better and better. That said, a constant supply of new promotions can also mean that some old ones must go, change and adapt. Sunrise, Sunset.
I always try to make sure that everything here when it comes to any kind of bookmaker, any kind of market and any kind of bonus is as up to date as my ship. However, as promotions can change at a moment’s notice, I must advise that you always double check all terms and conditions for yourself just so you don’t feel left out of orbit if you miss out.
Captain’s Log: The Start of a Cosmic eSports Journey
Wow, that was quite the adventure – definitely one worth talking about on the big space core nights out. Before I leave you, filled with knowledge and ready to rocket off towards your favourite eSports promotions, I have one last final thought. Despite the immense popularity of eSports, they’re only just getting started. Really, we’re talking a couple of decades of them being properly a part of the betting scene. Time may be relative, but it doesn’t take Einstein to know that’s nothing compared to some traditional options.
In the future, I expect not only more of the same great promotions, but also more which really take advantage of the markets and nuances which make eSports unique. Right now, the promotional selection for the best eSports bonus is great, but soon, it could take our expectations to the moon and back.