There are many stories behind the growth of esports. One of the most interesting takes place in the United States. In 1996, several men came together to form an organization called the E.S.C. (Electronic Sports Council). One of their first acts as a collective was to create the Masters Cup, a bi-annual event that pits the best teams in North America and Europe against one another. The grand prize? A massive cash prize of $250,000 and the prestige that comes with competing in the most prestigious event in esports.
However, the story of the Masters Cup doesn’t end there. The tournament organizers decided to up the ante by adding a secondary tournament format known as the “Bracket”. This was initially met with a lot of skepticism from the esports community. People didn’t understand why they would want to take something that was a best-of-seven series and turn it into a single-elimination tournament. Fortunately for the uninitiated, people who enjoyed betting came up with the idea of turning the Masters Cup into a contest where everyone puts their money where their mouth is. Enter the bracket bet.
The Evolution of Bracket Betting
It was not immediately clear what format would become standard for esports betting. However, over the years, the industry has settled on several different options. Primarily, there are three types of bets that you will encounter:
First Round Betting
First round betting is, as the name suggests, wagering money only on the first round of a multi-round tournament. The upside is that this is one of the simplest and most popular options. The downside is that it gives you very little – if any – insight into how the rest of the tournament will play out. If you’re looking for a clear-cut winner, you’re probably better off skipping this round.
Like first round betting, semi-finals betting is wagering money on the second and third rounds of a multi-round tournament. Unlike first round betting, semi-finals betting gives you the opportunity to analyze the results of the first round and have a clearer picture of how things will unfold in the second and third rounds. The downside is that this option is slightly more complex than the previous one. You have to keep track of results from the previous rounds in order to place the right bet. Although it is more practical, it’s also more complex and therefore, more prone to errors. The upside is that it provides a better return on investment than the first round option since the money on the line is higher.
Finals betting is, essentially, betting money on the final round of a multi-round tournament. The obvious upside is that this is something that everyone can get behind. Everyone has watched at least one championship basketball game where the winning team rallies around its flag wildly celebrating its victory while the losing team stays cool and collected on the bench. It’s a cathartic celebration for both sides, and everyone enjoys watching the intensity ramp up towards the culmination of the season. The downside is that, again, this is something that everyone wants to get behind. People love backing their favorite team so much that fixed matches have emerged as a problem in some territories. It also doesn’t give you much insight into how the tournament is going to unfold. Although it provides the highest payouts, the complexity of placing a correct bet makes it the lowest-yielding option of the three.
The good news for all you new readers is that we’re going to take a quick detour from the history books and jump into the future now. With the help of a robot! Hold on to your butts, because here we go!
Using a Robot to Predict the Next Big Thing in Sports
With the rise of the internet came the invention of automated betting systems. These programs allow us to place bets on any number of competitive matches with the push of a button. This may sound like a dream come true for those who love placing bets and getting a good return on their investment, but it also means that there is a whole world of opportunity for those who know how to use an automated betting platform. One particular company that knows how to provide automated betting platforms for sports fans is called Intralot. Intralot provides automated betting platforms for various sports, including esports.
If we hop over to their website, we can find a wide array of sports, including the chance to place bets on the next big thing in esports, which is… the I Love Money Bracket Challenge. You see, Intralot knows perfectly well what type of sports fan they’re catering to, and they’ve taken advantage of it. For a limited time, they’re offering a 50% bonus up to $100 if you use the code “I LOVE MONEY”. That’s right – $100 in free bets just for showing up!
Before we start laying down some serious cash, let’s check out what else is new at Intralot this year. It’s pretty cool stuff, actually. Besides the I Love Money Bracket Challenge, you can also take a look at their new “Cashless Betting” platform, which makes placing bets as easy as 1-2-3. All you have to do is scan a barcode or type in a URL of a website for which you have account access and hit “Place Bid”. That’s it! No cash needed! This is a godsend for those who feel more comfortable betting online instead of via traditional methods. Not into esports? Don’t worry – Intralot has you covered as well since they also provide betting options for many other sports like golf, tennis, and soccer.
What Is The I Love Money Bracket Challenge?
OK, so maybe we didn’t just talk about Intralot. We’ll come back to them in a bit, but first, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and discuss the I Love Money Bracket Challenge. The I Love Money Bracket Challenge is an annual tournament that pits eight esports teams – four from North America and four from Europe – against one another in a single-elimination style tournament. The winner takes home a grand prize of $100,000, with the runner-up taking home $50,000. The final four teams split the remaining $25,000. The tournament is named after the company that owns Intralot, namely, the I Love Money firm. The purpose of the tournament is to celebrate the fact that – according to the company – esports is a sport that young people around the world are crazy about, especially in the United States and Europe. As the tournament’s website says, “The I Love Money Bracket Challenge is your chance to witness some of the hottest gamers in the world battling it out for entertainment and glory!” We’re not sure who exactly is celebrating what exactly, but we’re sure that it’s someone as the tournament’s website says – “someone that enjoys betting”. The eight-team tournament takes place every year in April, usually following the same format:
- Round 1: Five matches, four games per match
- Round 2: Four matches, three games per match
- Round 3: Three matches, two games per match
- Round 4: Two matches, one game per match
- Round 5: Single-elimination, winner take all
The catch? You have to actually enter the challenge. The company running the tournament, I Love Money, encourages would-be competitors to enter the tournament by saying that there is no cost to participate and that monetary prizes are on the line. This is important because it means that everyone – regardless of whether or not you win – has the opportunity to win money. It also means that, theoretically, anyone could end up taking home the grand prize of $100,000. It’s a great opportunity for someone who doesn’t normally get to participate in the large-scale competition that is esports, but it also means that there is a chance that someone could walk away with the big prize. Naturally, this causes a lot of anxiety in the esports community, who does not want to see their favorite team lose. This is a major reason why the first round of the I Love Money Bracket Challenge is not for the faint of heart. Teams must win at least two of the three games in order to advance to the next round. If they win one game, it’s automatically a loss. No one likes to lose, so this option is certainly not for the faint of heart.