Live streaming grew up with live betting on the internet, and the two are now like peanut butter and jelly. A good in-play betting site will offer live streams so that players don’t have to leave the site to watch matches, and a quality live stream helps bettors make quicker and better decisions about live wagers.
Of course, you can always just kick back and enjoy the games, too! Here are the best sites for doing those very things.
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Why These Are the Best Esports Betting Sites with Live Streaming
The esports betting sites we’ve chosen to feature here have a large selection of wagering options and game types that streams are provided for. The streams also tend to be of high quality, with good picture resolution and no more than occasional video freezing and stuttering.
In addition, we also look for betting sites that have a good interface, mobile-friendly wagering and streaming, great odds, and regular promotions that benefit esports bettors.
How Live Streaming on Betting Sites Works
“Live streaming” means that the site offers streaming video of esports matches as they are happening. You can watch the matches while logged into the betting site.
The way most betting sites are handling this is to have a “split screen” view of each match that you access through a special live streaming menu. When you log into the site, you can take a look at the live streaming tab or menu to get a list of what games are currently on.
Clicking or tapping through one of these games takes you to a view of the video of the match on one side of the screen, with tabs to navigate the rest of the site in a frame (or box) on the other side. That way, you can keep up with your wagers and place new bets while still watching the game.
Sites also sometimes have a live chat window available off to the side or bottom of the match video so that you can enjoy some conversation with other online bettors as you would in a sportsbook.
The live stream will generally start very shortly before the actual action begins, often just a minute or two beforehand. Betting sites usually don’t broadcast pre-game shows or analysis, so if watching those is part of your esports betting strategy (or just something you like to do for fun), you’ll have to get that part of the match from somewhere outside of the site.
Not all sites have their live streaming options under an obvious “live stream” tab. For example, some sites we’ve seen have these matches located under “What’s On TV” or somewhere in their “In-Play” section. We try to select sites that make the process as straightforward as possible, but it does require a little poking around at times.
What Do You Need for Live Streaming?
Since live streaming involves video, it does require a little bit more hardware “oomph” than your average betting site. Fortunately, the requirements for esports betting still tend to be quite modest.
As far as hardware goes, live streaming is possible on everything from a smartphone to a computer. The computer requirements are much easier to cover – if it’s running Windows 2000 or XP at minimum, it’s probably going to be able to handle live streaming.
That’s most of the computers made in the past 20 years or so. The two more important factors are your web browser and your internet connection. You will need a fairly recent web browser for live streaming to work, and usually one of the “big names” (such as Firefox or Edge).
As far as internet connection speed goes, a usual minimum requirement is a download speed of 512 Kbps. For reference, that’s about 1/3 as fast as the standard unremarkable DSL internet connection and is considered to be at the low end of acceptable home broadband speeds. So if you have even a halfway decent DSL or cable connection, you’re probably good to go.
Smartphone and tablet live streaming will require hardware that is a bit more recent, but it doesn’t have to be the absolute latest and greatest. If you have an Android or Apple iOS phone or tablet made in the last two years or so, you’re probably good to go.
Older devices may also work provided they are capable of running Android 4 or iOS 8 at minimum. Of course, the newer the version of your operating system, the better off you will be.
Popular Sources of Live Esports Streams
One of the great things about esports is that much of the coverage is provided for free through various publicly accessible streaming sites. That means that betting sites have no legal concerns when incorporating these streams into their own sites, allowing them to cover a wide range of matches.
Some of the biggest names in the esports streaming game include the following.
Though the biggest name in streaming is actually a platform tailored more to individual streamers than match coverage, it’s so huge that it often ends up being the default location for streams of major esports contests. Twitch is the official home of Overwatch League and is usually one of the live viewing options for major tournaments like The International.
Though it’s sometimes thought of as a more anything-goes competitor to YouTube, Dailymotion’s “games” segment is a rising star in esports broadcasting. It’s the exclusive home of a few tourneys such as the Electronic Sports World Cup and the ASUS ROG tournaments.
Streaming game platform Steam is one of the sources of coverage for The International 2018 as well as other major tournaments hosted by parent company Valve, who is the publisher of Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2. It’s a bit unwieldy to get it running on a betting site, but the upcoming Steam.tv may expand possibilities for rebroadcasting.
YouTube Gaming Live
YouTube’s game streaming segment has a handful of exclusives (such as the Esports Championship Series) as well as live coverage of major events such as the League of Legends League Championship Series (LCS).
Smashcast is the result of the merger of the popular Hitbox.tv and Azubu streaming services. It’s the smallest of the major streaming sites that does live coverage, but it is frequently an option for major tournaments, as it tends to provide very fast streams.
The Benefits of Betting on Esports at a Live Streaming Site
The convenience of watching a match without having to leave the betting site to track and place wagers is a pretty sweet perk all by itself. That’s hardly the only benefit to placing your esports wagers at a live streaming site, however.
One big benefit is the ability to quickly place live (aka “in-play”) wagers during a match. These are wagers that are offered throughout the match based on what has already happened to that point. Now, there is one big caveat to live betting using a live stream; the stream is usually behind the actual play by at least five to ten seconds even if the quality and speed are excellent.
That means bettors at the actual match or watching live television have an advantage that must be kept in mind, but live streaming sites are still suitable for in-play wagers placed during intermissions or advertising breaks.
Finally, if you just feel like kicking back and watching a few different matches, a betting site can make for a convenient central hub from which to do so! It’s better than an in-person sportsbook in that the game you want is always front and center, you don’t have to worry about not hearing the audio, and you won’t have inebriated patrons or stinky cigarillo smokers ruining your good time.
Can You Watch Live Streams at a Betting Site Without Wagering?
The rules on this vary greatly from site to site.
A lot of betting sites require you to have a wager on a match or at least have money in your account to watch traditional sports. Esports are kind of a special case, however. Sites tend to be looser with esports streams given that they’re often simply piggybacking on a free stream from a service like Twitch. If the betting site isn’t paying for bandwidth or data, then they don’t have much reason to keep you from the stream.
Do expect some sites to have prerequisites to watch their streams, however. For example, you may be asked to place a small wager (often as little as $1) on that particular match to be given access to the stream.
Or access to streams may be limited to players who have placed a wager of some sort within the last 24 hours. At some sites, you simply need to have at least a little money in your account to be given access – it doesn’t matter if you actually wager it or not.
As always, check the terms and conditions page for each esports betting site you visit to see what their current rules are.
What Esports Matches Can I Expect to Be Streamed?
Major matches that are on free platforms like Twitch are extremely likely to be streamed. It’s easy for betting sites to incorporate this into their platform and doesn’t really cost them anything.
The one place where you might get tripped up is if a TV network has scooped up exclusive rights to broadcast a particular match. For example, ESPN struck a deal to televise the Overwatch League Grand Finals in 2018. The betting site may or may not be able to stream a television broadcast; it depends on the applicable laws and if there is some sort of alternative official web stream available.
Esports Betting Sites with Live Streaming: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together
While it’s not absolutely critical for a great esports betting site to always have live streams, the experience is so much nicer when they do. Our favorite esports betting sites with live streams bring the action right to you no matter where you are.