History of Overwatch
Overwatch was not originally developed with any intention to become an esports title. But, its unprecedented look and unique playstyle differentiate it from other established FPS esports games such as Call of Duty and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That, paired with engaging and exciting gameplay and a great competitive landscape, quickly gained traction amongst the competitive community.
The idea of a hero team-based shooter came about following Blizzard's decision to cancel their MMORPG game Titan in 2013. However, but it was not until November 2014, when Blizzard publicly announced Overwatch as the upcoming game title.
The Overwatch beta release date was set for October 2015, when it was available on all three platforms, with the open Overwatch beta taking place in early May.
Overwatch was officially released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, and Xbox on May 24, 2016. It has since amassed a huge following, with reports showing Overwatch boasts a player base of over 50 million players as of 2020.
Overwatch is a 6 vs. 6 Hero team-based first-person shooter, with an emphasis on completing game objectives rather than securing kills. However, kills can help with completing objectives faster and more efficiently.
Each game is played in a best-of-five (Bo5) format. It features two teams of six players, who face off on one of the 21 available maps. Each map is designed around a specific game mode. Each player plays as one of the 32+ characters (Heroes), each with a unique skillset, playstyle, and abilities. The Heroes are further divided into one of the four roles: Support, Tank, Defense, or Offense.
The competitive Overwatch is played in four game modes. These are: Assault, Escort, Control, and Hybrid, which combines elements of all three modes into one.
Assault: the objective of the game is for the team on offense to capture two points on the map before the timer expires. At the same time, the defending team must do all in their power to prevent them.
Escort: It's a "push the cart" game mode, where the attacking team has to escort the payload through the checkpoints while fending off the defending team, who have to prevent the attackers from reaching the final point.
Control: The objective of Control is the same for both teams - capture a specific point in the center of the map and hold it as long as possible. Each second awards the teams with points, with the first team to reach 100 wins the game.
Hybrid: Combines Assault and Escort modes. In this game mode, the attacking team must first capture the point on the map, then escort the payload to the final point. The defending team, on the other side, must prevent the attackers from achieving that goal.
How to bet on Overwatch - Basics
Betting on Overwatch works a lot like betting on any other esports title or traditional sport. This means that a basic understanding of betting odds and bet types will go a long way on your journey in which you will learn how to bet on Overwatch. However, there are a few small differences in Overwatch betting, namely when it comes to totals and spread betting.
Overwatch bet types
Here we will look at the most common bet types in Overwatch and how do they work.
How to Bet on Overwatch Moneyline
As the most basic bet type, moneyline (or outright bet/ match winner) needs no special introduction to anyone with basic knowledge about betting. With a moneyline bet, you predict which of the two teams will win the match.
The odds here will rarely have both teams priced at the same odds. Instead, one team will have shorter odds than the other, which will indicate which of the two sides is the favorite and which is the underdog or the less-likely team to win.
As an example, we can look at a match between London Spitfire and Guangzhou Charge.
|London Spitfire||+175 (2.75)|
|Guangzhou Charge||-250 (1.40)|
In this match, the odds offered on Guangzhou Charge are significantly lower, meaning they're the favorites to win the match. If you were to place a $250 wager on Guangzhou Charge to win, you would earn $100. A $100 bet on London Spitfire would earn you $175.
Another way to look at the odds (at the decimal format) reveals a $100 bet on Guangzhou Charge would earn you $40, while a $100 bet on London Spitfire will net you $175.
How to Bet on Overwatch Map winner
Each match in the Overwatch League is played in a first-to-three (or bets-of-five) maps series. This means that the team which wins three maps first, wins the match. With this format, there are potentially up to five maps played in every clash. Thus allowing Overwatch bettors to explore the map winner market.
With the map winner bet type, you're essentially predicting which team will win a certain map. Unlike how it is in DOTA 2 and League of Legends, where the map and the game type remains the same, Overwatch has four different game modes in Assault, Control Hybrid and Escort, in addition to 21 unique maps.
Each game mode is played differently, while each map has its unique features, which results in some teams performing better on certain maps and game modes than others.
Using this bet type will demand a lot of knowledge about the teams, players, game modes and the metagame. But will also prove to be very profitable for those who have the information needed to place the bet.
How to Bet on Overwatch Spread
Besides map bet type, spread betting is one of the most attractive bet types in matches which feature two less evenly matched teams, where one is clearly superior to the other. With spread betting, you are leveling the playing field between the teams by awarding the underdog team with points or taking away points from the favorites.
The most common form of spread betting in Overwatch is spread betting on maps, where you will come across +/-1.5 map bets, with some bookmakers also offering +/-2.5 map spread.
As an example, we will look at a match between London Spitfire and Guangzhou Charge, who are playing in a Bo5 match.
|London Spitfire||+1.5 maps||-120 (1.80)|
|Guangzhou Charge||-1.5 maps||-110 (1.91)|
Since London Spitfire is entering the match as the underdog, you are offered a bet where you will add 1.5 maps to their final score. This means that if the final score shows Guangzhou Charge winning 3-2, your bet would win since Spitfire would have a higher final tally after adding the 1.5 maps (3.5-3).
In other words, with a +1.5 spread bet, you are predicting that the underdogs will win at least two maps. If you were to bet on Guangzhou Charge at -1.5 maps, however, you would be predicting Charge will win the match with at least two maps to spare. The same concept applies with a +/-2.5 map spread.
How to Bet on Overwatch Totals
While other esports titles offer totals (or Over/under) bets on several elements of the game, by far the most common element when it comes to totals betting in Overwatch is maps played.
Similarly to the spread betting, where you are predicting whether one team will win a certain amount of games, with totals bet type, you will be predicting whether the combined total maps played will exceed a predetermined amount. Since most matches are played as Bo5, the total lines are set at either Over/Under 3.5 or 4.5.
By betting on:
|Under 3.5||You are predicting one team will win the match 3-0, thus without losing a single map.|
|Over 3.5||You are predicting that the losing team will win at least one map, meaning they can lose either 1-3 or 2-3.|
|Under 4.5||You are predicting that the winning team will not lose more than one map, or in other words, that they will win the match either 3-0 or 3-1.|
|Over 4.5||You are predicting the series will go the distance, or in other words, that the match will end with the final score showing 3-2 - no matter which team wins.|
How to Bet on Overwatch Futures
Overwatch Futures betting, is in a way similar to Moneyline/outright betting, only here, you are not predicting the result of a single match, but instead a result of a future event, such as team winning a tournament or league championship.
Odds on these long-term bets are very volatile as they tend to change drastically over time - based on the team's performance throughout the season or the tournament. This, however, also means that betting on a team early can get you significantly higher odds than those offered on the team at the time when the event starts.
How to Bet on Overwatch Props
Overwatch Proposition bets or prop bets are the most specific in-game bets that any Overwatch bettors can make. Due to its nature, which relates to a very specific event in the game, prop bets are very rarely offered by the bookmakers and also rarely used by the bettors.
Generally, Props bets are to be avoided, since most of them relate to an event that has a 50/50 chance of happening, essentially making them a gamble.
Where to bet on Overwatch
Most online sportsbooks will be offering odds on any Overwatch match, so if you're looking to place a bet on Overwatch World Cup or any other match played in either Overwatch League or Contenders, you will have no difficulties finding a bookmaker who will accept your bets.
Most bookmakers accross different states will offer Moneyline or spread betting on all OWL fixtures; however, if you're looking for more specific proposition bets, you will need to do a bit more searching to find a bookmaker that will offer you that option on your state, for example latest Pennsylvania sports betting news.
No matter what kind of bets you're looking to place, you should always search for bookies that offer the best prices and have a user-friendly interface. Some of the best bookmakers for Overwatch betting include Bet365, and Betway.
Overwatch Betting strategies and tips
Now what we have covered everything there is to know to get you started on learning how to bet on Overwatch, we have prepared some final tips and tricks that will help you approach Overwatch betting the right way.
Take into account the travel times
Just like teams in any traditional sport, some Overwatch teams have to travel long distances, to other cities and countries, to compete against their opponents, since the Overwatch League is played at homestand series.
While Blizzard's decision to implement this format has helped make the Overwatch league feel like traditional team sports, the constant traveling teams have to endure affects player's performances.
Some Korean OWL teams have to travel 10-plus hours to arrive in the USA (and vice versa), which takes a toll on the players' ability to compete to the best of their abilities. Any bettor should take note of that and act accordingly when placing bets.
Follow the game's metagame
Advice than can be used in any esports title, however, when it comes to Overwatch, it is far more important to be knowledgeable of the metagame, since a single game update can turn the whole competitive play upside down.
One such occurrence happened in Stage four of the 2019 OWL season when Overwatch meta changed drastically, and, as a result, many top teams failed to perform, whereas teams that struggled throughout the season started to shine. At that time, many bettors cashed in big simply because they followed the meta and knew about the weaknesses of the teams.
It doesn't take a lot to learn the basics of Overwatch. But by playing the game yourself, you will get a firm grasp of the game's basics in no time. Additionally, by playing the game yourself, you will also get a strong understanding of the meta. This, as we have mentioned, will give you an edge when placing your bets.