What is CS: GO?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a 5 vs. 5 tactical shooter released by Valve Software in 2012. The game’s lineage goes back to 1999 when the original Counter-Strike was a fan-made game mode for Valve’s own title Half-Life. Due to its age, Counter-Strike is one of the most prestigious esports in the world. Betting on CS: GO is more popular than ever, thanks to its bustling, competitive circuit.
The two squads are assigned to teams called Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists before the match begins. The Terrorists’ goal is to plant a timebomb at one of two bomb sites on the map. The Counter-Terrorists job is to prevent the bomb from being planted or defuse it once it’s ticking. A game of CS: GO is played first-to-16. After 15 rounds, the teams swap sides. Matches are usually best-of-three or best-of-five games.
Each player can also buy weapons and armor using money that they’ve earned in previous rounds. Kills, bomb plants, and round victories all grant varying amounts of money, which can be saved for later. When teams switch sides, their money resets.
Bettors look to Counter-Strike for a few reasons. As one of the “Big Three” alongside Dota 2 and League of Legends, CS: GO is one of the most popular esports in the world. There’s big competitive scenes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and new tournaments seem to happen every weekend. CS: GO is also very approachable compared to the MOBAs mentioned earlier. If you want a historic esport that’s easy to watch but exciting, CS: GO is the esport for you.
Betting on CS: GO
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive bettors will be glad to learn that CS: GO has both a first-party and third-party circuit. Valve sponsors a globetrotting series of biannual tournaments called Majors. Companies like BLAST Pro, Electronic Sports League, and StarLadder fill in the gaps, often featuring equal production value and only barely-smaller prize pools.
When you find your first tournament to wager on, here are the options to keep in mind.
This is the most straightforward bet available. Pick which team you believe will win a given match and see your CS:GO knowledge comes through.
Matches in Counter-Strike are either best-of-two, best-of-three, or best-of-five. This option lets you pick which team will win and by how many games. You can bet on a landslide or a close call. In addition to the score, you can also bet on the exact number of rounds or maps that will be played overall.
Draw No Bet
Due to those best-of-two series, which are usually played in group stages, draws are completely possible in Counter-Strike. Draw No Bets will allow you avoid the risk of losing on a 1-1 series. If the match ends in a tie, your bet is returned.
Pistol Round Winner
Squads play the first round of each half on a very limited budget, unable to buy anything besides pistols, armor, and some utility grenades. You can bet on the outcome of both the first and the second “pistol round.”
Since Counter-Strike is played to 16 round wins, there’s a lot of space for handicap bets. Round handicaps apply bonus rounds to one team, letting you shift the odds away or towards your favorite team. A round handicap of -2.50 rounds on Team A means they need to beat Team B by at least 16-13.
If you want a bigger scope for your handicap bet, you can also add bonus maps to a team’s overall performance. A -1.50 map handicap means Team A will need to clean sweep Team B in a best-of-three series.
Once you’ve found the tournament you want to bet on, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that Counter-Strike teams play multiple matches on the same day, so new matchups can appear on a sportsbook and then play out in a matter of hours. This means non-stop betting opportunities, but it might be unusual for traditional sports bettors.
The second is that you don’t have to be a Counter-Strike encyclopedia to start enjoying the game. The core premise is so simple that it can be taken at face value. The advanced tactics used in every game are broken down by the excellent commentators at CS: GO’s highest level.
Once you’ve found the live stream of a Counter-Strike tournament, you might be surprised by how similar things look to traditional sports. There are usually multiple analysts discussing the match in question with a separate booth for commentators. Offline events might even show sweeping views of the roaring crowd.
Why Should I Bet on CS:GO?
There are many esports out there to bet on, but Counter-Strike has a few advantages. The basic concept of two vaguely-militaristic groups engaging in gunfights is one you’ve already seen countless times in action movies. Counter-Strike esports let you see those dramatic scenes play out live with real people in control. There aren’t any lives at stake, but millions in prize money can bring out a similar level of tension.
Counter-Strike’s heritage is also a significant reason why it's the world’s biggest shooter esport. The game has more than two decades of competitive play. Some of the biggest stars have been playing with each other for that entire time, so there are tons of rivalries between teams and individual players. The game can be exciting without all of the histories, but knowing the storylines can make a fun tournament even better.
Understanding the Odds
The odds for CS:GO betting are similar to other sports. If you want to place a €100 bet on your favorite team to win the game, you can calculate your potential winnings by multiplying that €100 by the odds. If your team is put at 2.2 odds, you’ll win €220!
Remember those different betting types we mentioned earlier? You can add many of those conditions to matchups bets, tweaking the odds until they’re just right. Putting a handicap on your own team can give you a higher return while removing a few rounds from their opponents will lower it. Make sure to double-check how the odds change as you customize your wager.
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