Video games have never been more popular in the Philippines, with an estimated 32 million gamers residing in the country today. The rise of PC bangs and eSports in the country gives Filipino gamers the opportunity to play video games as a job, and in 2018, the country established its first eSports franchise league known as “The Nationals,” which started play in 2019 and is broadcast on ESPN5.
In addition, betting on eSports is becoming more popular with up to an estimated ₱1.3 trillion (US $26 billion) to be wagered on eSports worldwide each year by 2022. If you’re a Philippines gamer or fan of eSports, then there’s no better time than right now to get in on eSports betting action.
Is betting on eSports legal in the Philippines?
Yes, residents of the Philippines who are at least 18 years of age are allowed to place wagers on eSports at online licensed offshore sportsbooks, land-based casinos, and MegaSportsWorld outlets.
The websites below allow all Philippine citizens to bet on eSports leagues and tournaments in the country and eSports leagues and tournaments from around the world. Each of these online sportsbooks is 100% legal, safe, and guaranteed to payout on winning bets.
Best Site For Betting On eSports In Philippines
Betonline Sportsbook And Casino
Philippine players looking to bet on their favorite eSport games should check out the betting lines provided by BetOnline. BetOnline is one of the most trusted eSports betting sites available to Philippine residents. In addition to eSport betting, BetOnline offers other services including casino games, poker, traditional sports betting, live dealer casino games, and more. With multiple banking options including cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, eSport bettors should give BetOnline a close look. To top it all off, new Philippine players can claim a 50% bonus up to $1,000 just for signing up!
Can I bet on eSports at casinos?
Yes, but betting lines and odds on eSports leagues and eSports tournaments are very limited, with only MegaSportsWorld and the Winford Hotel & Casino currently offering a few eSports betting odds. Still, as the pastime gets more popular, we expect these venues to yield more options.
Fortunately, the legal online casinos mentioned above also have betting odds for multiple eSports games and leagues, and account holders can bet online or with a mobile device for upcoming or live events. In fact, offshore sites like these are the only way for Filipino bettors to wager on eSports online, saving them a trip to local brick-and-mortar retailers and giving them many more gaming markets to choose from.
The Nationals eSports League
The Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP) in 2018 announced the launch of The Nationals, the first ever eSports franchise league in the Philippines, which began play in 2019. The league is broadcast on ESPN5, and these three video games were selected for the inaugural season:
- Dota 2 – PC Gaming
- Mobile Legends – Mobile Gaming
- Tekken 7 – Console Gaming
Road to the Nationals eSports Tournament
In 2018, Philippine gamers competed in the Road to the Nationals to determine who would qualify for The Nationals 2019 season and who would become a professional gamer.
Dota 2, Mobile Legends, and Tekken 7 gamers competed from August to October in the elimination rounds to determine the final 8 teams for each video game title.
On October 26-28, 2018, the 8 best teams from Dota 2, Mobile Legends, and Tekken 7 then competed at the ESGS 2018 (Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit) to decide who would qualify for The Nationals. The event took place at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Road to the Nationals 2018 Results
- Dota 2: Sterling Global Dragons
- Tekken 7: Andreij Albar (PBE|Doujin)
The Nationals eSports Teams
As of mid-2020, these are the five teams that make up The Nationals Philippine eSports league:
- Bren Epro
- HF Emperors
- PLDT-Smart Omega
- Cignal Ultra
- Suha-XCTN Punishers
NBA 2K League
The NBA 2K League is the first eSports product owned by an American professional sports league (NBA), and it is extremely popular from both a spectator and bettor standpoint in the Philippines. Unfortunately, like the NBA it's modeled after, the 2020 NBA 2K League season was delayed from its March 24 tip-off and formally got underway on May 5 via remote tournament play.
Luckily, while online PH sportsbooks offer NBA 2K League betting, they also offer NBA 2K sims, which use the same game engine and statistics backbone developed by Take-Two Interactive but apply them to fully simulated events with no human player component. You can learn more about wagering on virtual sports at our Philippine Virtual Sports Betting page, and you can bet on virtual sports and sports sims right now!
Philippines Online eSports Betting FAQs
Q: What eSports can I bet on?
A: Here is a list of some of the most popular eSports that have daily betting lines available on leagues and tournaments happening around the world from the previously mentioned online sportsbooks:
- CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
- Dota 2
- LoL (League of Legends)
- Heroes of the Storm
- King of Glory
- StarCraft Broodwar
- Rocket League
- Rainbow Six Siege
Q: Is it legal to bet money on eSports?
A: Yes. A resident of the Philippines who is age 18 and older can bet on both eSports and traditional sports.
Q: Is it safe to bet money online on eSports?
Yes, if you choose to sign up to one of the online sportsbooks mentioned at the top of this page. Each of these betting websites has been thoroughly tested by our team, and we can ensure each one is legal, safe, offers multiple betting lines on eSports, and pays out winning bets on time and in full.
Q: How is betting on eSports different from regular sports?
A: When it comes to betting, there isn’t too much difference between the two since ultimately, any bet requires you to pick the correct outcome to win money. The lines for eSports will be tailored to the specific events, tournaments, and matches.
Q: Are Virtual Sports the same as eSports?
A: No, virtual sports are computer simulations of sports games, while eSports are competitions with real players driving the games' outcomes.