League of Legends Betting Guide
League of Legends is the most popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game in the world and one of the most exciting esports to bet on.
League of Legends (LoL) betting is featured on both online sportsbooks and fantasy sports platforms. The only state that has so far opened up betting on LoL at legal US online sportsbooks is New Jersey, but several states are considering including esports under their sports betting legislation.
Here’s a look at where and how to bet on LoL or play Fantasy LoL successfully.
Best LoL Fantasy sites
League of Legends is super popular among esports enthusiasts overseas but US bookmakers have only begun to offer it under special circumstances. Your best bet currently is to play Fantasy LoL games and contests via our top DFS provider:
Fantasy League of Legends
Laws on Fantasy esports are more lax. That’s why DraftKings and FanDuel can boast about offering a legal avenue to Fantasy League of Legends to most US citizens.
Essentially, you can set up an account and pursue your LoL fantasy aspirations in all but seven US states. Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Arizona and Hawaii are currently the holdouts, but things could change. It is most likely that fantasy esports will be legal nationwide far sooner than classic sports betting.
To play Fantasy esports you need to be at least 18 years of age.
$400k Fantasy LoL Championship
Esports Fantasy games are growing in volume on the big fantasy sports platforms, particularly DraftKings and FanDuel. In fact, DraftKings recently announced a $400,000 guaranteed LoL Fantasy Championship to be played out later this year (2020).
Fantasy LoL is played similarly to standard daily fantasy sports. Users build teams of 7 players (each valued at a different price) within a salary cap. Only four players can be selected from any one LoL team.
Points are accumulated by players as the LoL match plays out. The winner of the contest is the team that accumulates the most points.
Check the standard Fantasy LoL scoring template at DraftKings below. Bonus points are awarded for teams that win series early.
If you’re interested in checking out the Fantasy LoL lineup on FanDuel, including its $50k Saturday Nexus Tournaments, create a new account and access our 2 free entries bonus here:
Where can I bet LoL online in the US?
Sports betting is still a work in progress in the US and there is far from a nationwide consensus. Some states have legalized League of Legends betting while others are in the process of passing the needed laws that would allow for it.
So far, League of Legends fans have only been able to now place legal LoL bets at:
Other states have allowed for betting on specific esports events and are considering expanding their current gambling legislation to allow for general esports betting:
Sports betting in Tennessee is live with Michigan and Virginia to follow.
If you live in (or near) a state where League of Legends betting is legal, you need to be at least 21 years old to place a bet.
Download LoL betting apps
Unlike traditional sports, which are played mostly outdoors and at large venues, esports are usually played online. Even though the most important League of Legends tournaments are played in brick-and-mortar venues and even stadiums, they are also broadcast online.
This explains why so many people find it convenient to bet while they are in front of their PC and watching free live streams on either Twitch, Mixer, YouTube or Facebook Gaming.
Downloading and installing LoL betting apps on smartphones and tablets will further enhance convenience, as they allow you to bet on the go. Wherever you go, you can use the apps to bet on LoL matches and even lock in on exclusive mobile bonuses.
With most bookmakers, you can bet from your phone straight in a web browser but it’s better to download the full app. Since the apps are free, install quickly, and require minimal resources, they are worth considering.
Download the DraftKings or FanDuel apps for future LoL betting right here:
- Get the DraftKings app and claim your $50 free here
- Get the FanDuel app and claim your up to $1,000 risk-free bet
How does LoL betting work?
Betting on League of Legends isn’t any different from betting on other sports or video game competitions. What makes it special is the intricacies of the game, which reward those who have an in-depth knowledge of LoL game play. This is particularly true for live betting, as you need to take advantage of fleeting opportunities and an ever-changing balance of power.
Essentially, there are two ways to bet on LoL:
There are significantly more betting markets for the former.
Betting on LoL match and series winners
The most straightforward League of Legends bet is on the winning team at the end of the match or a series.
In the European LEC and North American LCS, teams play a single match during the regular season and a best-of-three in the playoffs. The Chinese LPL and South Korean LCK require a best-of-three series to determine the winner of each round.
This means that you can bet on the winning team as well as the margin of victory, so handicap bets come into play. In the same category of pregame LoL bets are bets on the outright winners of major tournaments.
At select bookmakers overseas (such as Bet365), you can bet on the final placement of a team, as well as a duel between top contenders. In the later stages of the competitions, series are usually played in a best-of-five format. This is when the best odds are available to those who anticipate crushing victories.
Bet on LoL number of kills
Similar to standard NFL betting, where you get to bet on the number of touchdowns scored by each team, in League of Legends betting you can put money on:
- Number of kills by each team.
- Total kills at the end of a match.
- Kills scored by individual players.
The outcomes on any of these bets only depend on how successfully you predict kills scored. It makes no difference if the team wins or loses; the bet is only settled based on the kills scored.
Betting on in-game LoL objectives
By far the most exciting form of League of Legends betting is on key in-game objectives. The most important ones are:
- First blood
- First dragon
- First tower
- First baron
- First inhibitor
There are plenty of statistics available online that detail the percentages recorded throughout the regular season for each team. Having said this, each game is different, and some teams tend to perform better against specific components, so there’s a lot of information to take in.
When you bet on first blood, you try to predict the team that scores the first kill of the match.
Aggressive teams perform better, although there’s a lot of risk involved in betting on the outcome of such plays at low levels. Even when there’s a significant discrepancy in skill between the teams involved, the odds offered by bookmakers on first blood are not that lopsided.
Betting on first dragon or first tower poses a unique challenge. That’s because towers are destroyed faster when teams claim the herald, which is the opposite objective from the dragon.
Essentially, players often trade one of these objectives for the other, so it rarely happens for the same team to claim both targets. Only when there’s a huge discrepancy in skill does it make sense to bet on the same team to accomplish both goals.
The odds on the first baron and the first inhibitor are usually much lower when you bet on the better team. That’s because these are late-game objectives that can only be secured after most of the game has played out. At select bookmakers, it is even possible to bet on the total numbers of inhibitors destroyed and barons killed. It frequently happens that two or more inhibitors are destroyed during a base siege, but it’s rare to have two barons killed in the same match.
Note: A special in-game objective that we like in particular to bet on is the total number of towers destroyed. Not all bookmakers offer this market, but when it’s available, it should definitely be considered regardless of the match.
The line is set at 12.5, and the worst-case scenario is to get even odds on 13 or more towers to be destroyed. Each team has 11 towers in total, and most of them come down for the losing squad, so the latter only has to destroy two or three for the bet to be a winner.
Major LoL contests and top teams
There are League of Legends betting opportunities throughout the year as the major regions have matches scheduled from January to October. In addition to the domestic championships, you can also bet on the aforementioned international tournaments: the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship in November.
Traditionally, European teams have performed better at the MSI, while Chinese and South Korean squads have dominated at Worlds with an iron fist. SK Telecom has won the most world championships, but the back-to-back winners are Chinese FunPlus Phoenix and Invictus Gaming.
Approved series for LoL Betting on DraftKings in Colorado and West Virginia in 2020 include:
- LCS Spring
- LEC Spring
- LCK Spring
- LEC Summer
- LCS Summer
- LCK Summer
- World Championship
The Chinese top-flight has produced the last two world champions. It is also the main supplier of League of Legends betting options. That’s because it has the most teams — 17 in 2020 — and its series are played in a best-of-three format.
FunPlus Phoenix and Invictus Gaming are naturally the strongest teams, followed at some distance by Edward Gaming, Royal Never Give Up and Top Esports.
South Korean LCK
There are only 10 teams in the LCK, but their matches are some of the most appreciated by those who cherish strategy and tactics. Fewer kills are scored and teams rarely allow opponents to claw their way back into the game.
SKT and Gen.G are the strongest South Korean teams, but they have powerful rivals in Dragon X and Damwon Gaming.
European League of Legends draws the largest crowds, and betting on LEC matches is always a treat. There used to be a gap separating G2 Esports from the pack, with only Fnatic posing a serious threat to Europe’s finest.
In 2020, things evened out, and there are now several teams capable of challenging the ones that have dominated the league in recent years.
North American LCS
Widely regarded as the weakest of the four main regions, the North American LCS is arguably the most entertaining to watch. Team Liquid used to be the best team in the region for many years, after picking up the banner from Team SoloMid.
Cloud9 has emerged as an unstoppable force, and is not only the team to beat in the LCS, but also North America’s best hope at the Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds.
Most recent LoL results
- FunPlus Phoenix defeats G2 to win the Worlds in 2019.
- Griffin wins the LCK in 2019 ahead of SKT.
- Cloud9 ends Team Liquid’s dominance in the LCS Spring Split 2020.
- G2 Esports wins the Midseason Invitational in 2019.
- Europe wins the Rift Rivals in 2019.
LoL betting tips
League of Legends betting is surprisingly straightforward, but in order to be successful you need to know a few things. Whether you play the game or not, these three tips should be remembered to boost the odds of winning and maximize your profits.
- Weaker teams cover the spread in the LPL: The Chinese flagship division has teams competing in best-of-three series. Unlike LCK, which has fewer teams and is generally a less forgiving division, LPL matches are often explosive. If the odds are high enough, take a leap of faith with underdogs to cover the spread, as they frequently do.
- Bet on the total number of dragons and inhibitors destroyed: Regardless of the match, except for the most lopsided games, bet on the over markets. The lines are set for 4.5 for dragons and 1.5 for inhibitors, with odds around 1/2 with most bookmakers. They don’t look like much, but these bets are a winner in more than two out of three cases.
- Bet on more than 12.5 towers destroyed: This is an excellent bet regardless of league and teams involved. Even the weakest teams usually destroy two or three towers, and this could well be enough for the bet to win. The best part is that the odds always exceed even value and can sometimes climb as high as 3/2.
How to make a deposit for LoL betting
Whether you choose to bet on League of Legends in the traditional fashion or play fantasy games, you need to set up an account. The difference is that you sign up with a sportsbook if you live in a state where it is legal to bet online on esports. On the other hand, if you live in one of the many states where fantasy esports are legal, DraftKings and FanDuel are the best choices.
Before you can make a deposit you need to complete the registration process, which doesn’t take more than a few minutes. As a new member you submit a valid email address and a password to sign up for an account. All players must share some basic information such as your complete name, address and phone number.
You also have to confirm that you are of legal age before you can choose one of the payment methods available to load your account with cash and claim bonuses if available.
Is LoL betting safe and fair?
As long as you choose a licensed and regulated bookmaker, you can rest assured that your money is in good hands. Regarding the safety and fairness of League of Legends betting, there is nothing to worry about. The four main regions as well as the two international tournaments are under a lot of scrutiny, and the highest security standards are maintained.
Observers watch every move made by players and coaches to make sure that nobody is cutting corners. So far there have been no allegations of match fixing or other issues that are known to have plagued traditional sports.
A brief history of League of Legends
League of Legends was developed in 2009 by Riot Games, based on the popular Warcraft III mod DotA, and it quickly became an esports phenomenon.
Colorful and easy to learn yet difficult to master, League of Legends has successfully passed the test of time. With over a decade of existence, the game has changed through numerous patches and updates.
Over 80 million fans from all over the globe play it casually, and a widely expanding group of bettors choose to place bets on pro players during the world’s largest esports tournaments. That’s a guaranteed way of making any competitive match more exciting.
At leading sportsbooks, you can bet on the outright winner, match winner or the number of kills, as well as several in-game objectives.
Throughout the year, the best teams in the world compete in four major regions and many smaller ones. The Chinese LPL, the South Korean LCK, the European LEC and the North American LCS are the most important championships. Twice a year, the top-performing teams from these regions lock horns in the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship in November.
International tournaments are the most exciting for the fans and bettors alike, as they reflect the balance of power. Surprising results and unpredictable series make both traditional esports betting and fantasy League of Legends more exciting.
The last two League of Legends world champions are both Chinese teams; FunPlus Phoenix won in 2019 and Invictus Gaming prevailed in 2018. On both occasions, they defeated the top European teams, Fnatic and G2 Esports, in lopsided finals.
Overall, the most successful League of Legends team in history is SKT, a South Korean behemoth that hopes to return to the spotlight in 2020.
LoL betting FAQ
Online sportsbooks that offer LoL betting need to be licensed to lawfully provide US players with online esports betting options. The license that allows them to operate is issued by individual states as online sports betting is not yet legalized on a federal level.
You have to be at least 21 years old to sign up for an account at a legal online sportsbook and bet on LoL. By comparison, in Europe if you are 18 or older you can bet on sports and esports.
PayPal is one of the most popular e-wallets, and it is accepted at many online sportsbooks, including those that offer LoL betting. When this is not an option, players can switch to other electronic wallets, such as Skrill or Neteller, or they can deposit by credit card.
League of Legends is the most popular MOBA, so it naturally appeals to a broad audience. There are tens of thousands of avid bettors and many casual players.
Many players have carried their teams to victory in key matches of major competitions. Chinese players are fast rising and quickly closing the gap, but the best LoL player of all time is SKT’s Faker.