Betting on esports has never been bigger, largely thanks to the explosive growth of the scene over the last decade. Spearheading the expansion of esports and its betting scene is League of Legends, one of the world's most popular games, quickly emerging as a hit in the betting community.
Betting on League of Legends still has a long way to go to reach the world's biggest betting markets. However, it's heading in the right direction, and it doesn't take a lot to join the growing community of LoL bettors, who quickly figured out that there is money to be made betting on this esports title.
What is League of Legends?
Before you can start betting on League of Legends (LoL), you must first understand what it is, how it is played, and preferably learn some terminology. Of course, the best way to do so is by watching professional games or simply by playing the game yourself; however, it never hurts to start with our esports betting guides.
League of Legends is a Riot Games-owned, team-based strategy Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, where two teams of five players face off to destroy the opponent's base. Each player (also known as a 'summoner') chooses from 150+ champions to control in the battles that take place on the map, known as the Summoner's Rift.
The game is divided into three lanes: top lane, mid lane and bottom lane - and five roles in the top, mid, jungle, support and bot. Each role has its unique responsibilities and tasks they need to complete to help their team achieve the ultimate goal - destroy the opponent's main building (the opposing team’s Nexus).
LoL has over 150 champions for players to choose from, each with a unique toolkit, making them suitable for some roles and less efficient in others. Still, a handful of champions can play all five positions, albeit they are best-suited for only one or two.
Champions are further divided into classes based on their abilities: tank, assassin, marksman, mages, fighters, bruisers, or enchanters.
Each lane (top, mid, bottom) features minions, or NPC-operated creatures, which help your team push towards the enemy's Nexus. Killing the minions' awards the players bonus gold and experience, allowing them to level up and buy items.
Helping the teams in their defense against the enemy are 11 turrets spread across the map. Each lane has two turrets, with one located at the entry into the base and the last two placed right next to the Nexus.
At the start of each lane, there are structures named inhibitors (three in total). If a team destroys the enemy's inhibitor, that lane will start spawning 'super minions,' which are significantly tougher to kill and help your team push towards the enemy's base.
The Summoner's Rift also features neutral monsters in Drake(s), Herald and Baron Nashor. These monsters award the team, which kills them with various buffs and bonuses, to make them stronger and help them achieve the ultimate goal.
Why Bet on League of Legends?
Betting on League of Legends can be highly profitable for those who know how to approach it. The best way to start is by learning the basics of esports betting and start learning about the game.
Betting on a sport/esports that you know nothing about isn't something that can earn you good results in the long run. However, once you get familiar with it, placing a wager can add a layer of excitement to something you're already enjoying watching.
Although betting on LoL can seem daunting for those unfamiliar with this esports title, it can take only a few weeks to know all there is to know about the game. And that is only one of the reasons why anyone should try betting on League of Legends.
Other compelling reasons to play LoL include:
- The fast-paced, heart-pumping adventure.
- The rewards garnered by those bettors who take the time to get familiar with the game
- Excellent in-play opportunities
- Plenty of online data available for free
League of Legends Tournaments and Competitions
Each esports title uses a different competitive system. While Counter-Strike: Global Offensive emphasises international and regional tournaments, League of Legends focuses on regional leagues, which traditionally start and end simultaneously.
There are also two international tournaments in the Mid-Season Invitational and the LoL World Championship. Korea and China are the only two regions with domestic cup tournaments in the KeSPA Cup and Demacia Cup.
The League of Legends competitive ecosystem features 12 regions, each with its league. These leagues are divided into four major and eight minor leagues -- classifications that are primarily used for international tournaments.
Major leagues: LPL (China), LCK (Korea), LEC (Europe), LCS (NA)
Minor leagues: PCS(TW/HK/MO/SEA), CBLOL (Brazil), LCO (Oceania), LCL (CIS), LJL (Japan), LLA (Latin America), TCL (Turkey), VCS (Vietnam)
The regional leagues are played out across two splits - Spring and Summer Split - which traditionally run January-April and June-August, respectively.
International Competitions (MSI, League of Legends World Championship)
The League of Legends competitive scene focuses heavily on regional leagues, which take up most of the year. However, there are also two international tournaments, where the world's best teams come to show what they're capable of and compete to represent their regions.
The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is the first LoL international tournament of the year and takes place following the conclusion of the first split. The MSI welcomes all Spring Split champions across 12 regional leagues, who compete for the title, and an additional LoL Worlds slot for their region.
League of Legends World Championship
The LoL World Championship is the game's premiere event and one of the most significant esports events of the year. It's renowned as the most popular esports tournament globally, the viewership of which has often surpassed some of the most popular events in the sporting world, such as the Super Bowl.
The LoL Worlds welcomes the best teams globally, who compete for the lion's share of a multi-million prize pool, and the eternal glory that comes with hoisting the prestigious trophy, known as the Summoner's Cup.
There are only two domestic cup competitions in the LoL esports scene – the KeSPA Cup and the Demacia Cup, hosted in Korea and China. These tournaments happen at the end of the year, after the LoL World Championship, weeks before the regional leagues start.
How Do I Access LoL Matches?
You can easily access LoL matches via one of many streaming platforms, including Twitch, YouTube or LoL's official website (lolesports.com). All LoL matches are free to watch and accessible to anyone as long as you have an internet connection.
Main League of Legends Bet Types
If you have a basic understanding of how esports betting works, you should have no issues betting on LoL. Even though LoL uses some bet types not seen elsewhere, you can quickly draw parallels with bet types otherwise found in basketball or football betting.
This is the simplest form of betting in LoL. As its name would suggest, you're predicting the winner of the match with this bet, and since there is no possibility of a draw, this is essentially the same as moneyline bets.
If you're familiar with points handicap betting from sports, kill handicap betting on LoL should be easy to understand. Although collecting kills is not the game's primary goal, kill handicap betting is extremely popular.
Usually, the bookmakers will offer negative kill handicaps on teams that are perceived to be stronger, while the opposite holds true for the underdogs. Kill handicap betting is a strong tool since the team's perceived strength doesn't necessarily indicate how many kills they will collect.
As its name would suggest, the over/under kills bet allows you to predict how many kills there will be in the game. This is the same bet type as goals total in football.
With a total time bet in LoL, you're predicting how long the games will last. It is just another form of over/under esports betting in League of Legends.
Other Bet Types (Prop Bets)
The bet types mentioned above are the most popular among LoL bettors, although alternative markets (prop bets) can offer value for those who know where to look. Depending on the bookmaker, you may see several proposition bets, but we will look at only three of the most popular.
With a first blood bet, you're predicting which team will secure the first blood. Due to the volatile nature of the game, it's often challenging to pick out the best bet; however, that shouldn't discourage you from taking a shot with this market when the right opportunity arises.
The first tower (or turret) and first inhibitor bets in LoL use the same concept as the first blood. With it, you're predicting which team will destroy the first turret in the game.
First Dragon/Baron Nashor
By betting on the first Drake or Baron Nashor market, you're predicting which team will kill the first creature. Although "first to x" markets are often volatile, the first Drake is mainly dependent on the performances of the jungler and the team's laners, which offers excellent betting opportunities for skilled LoL bettors.
Tips For Betting On League of Legends
Understanding the different bet types and finding best odds on betting sites is a good starting point. However, it never hurts to brush up on a few tips and tricks that can make your LoL betting endeavour more enjoyable and, ultimately, more profitable.
Understand the Meta
Unlike traditional sports, which haven't changed much throughout their history, League of Legends is an ever-evolving game. While the game's main objective hasn't changed, Riot Games have been introducing minor tweaks to champions, monsters and neutral objectives.
Some updates (patches) are subtle, while others can drastically affect the game and alter the meta. Therefore, keeping up to date with the patches and what they mean for certain players/teams is essential for any LoL bettor.
Find Value Outside of Main Markets
Although backing a team to win is the simplest way of betting on League of Legends, keeping an eye on alternative markets can take you far. One of the best markets to explore is First Kill since the odds are often related to the team's perceived strength instead of taking into account how the teams like to play.
While some teams might be weaker, they could play a more aggressive, early-game oriented style and could earn you a nice payout on the First Blood market.
Each team uses their style of play, which LoL fans can quickly spot while watching the games. These differences are most noticeable when comparing teams from different regions and become very apparent in international events.
Understanding how each region likes to play is essential for betting on international events. For example, you will often see teams who want to play fast and fight early clash with more controlled, slower teams, offering you great betting opportunities with in-play bets or First Blood/Tower/Drake bet types.
Who Can Play League of Legends?
How Many People Bet On League Of Legends?
The exact number is unknown; however, due to its status as one of the most popular esports titles, it's more than fair to assume that LoL is also one of the most popular games among bettors.
Is Betting on League of Legends Legal?
Yes! League of Legends betting is legal as long as you reside in a country where betting is allowed, are of legal betting age, and use one of the bookmakers that operate legally.
Can I Make Money Betting On League of Legends?
You can make money betting on LoL just as quickly as you would on any other esports/sports title. As long as you have the needed knowledge about betting and access to information (which you surely do now that you've read this guide!), you're on an excellent track to start making money with betting on LoL.