What do you need to know, when betting on CS:GO?
Forgive us for the rhythmic opening question. Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is an FPS (first person shooter) title first released in 2012.
It is one of the top tier esports titles, one of those which continues to command the top prize pools, audiences and viewerships.
Of the ‘Big Three’ esports titles right now too, it’s undoubtedly the simplest for a newcomer to understand.
Some of the reasons for this game’s incredible popularity range from its social element, to the fact it taps into various human instincts such as the desire to survive, our fight or flight responses, and the need to form teams and conquer.
It’s truly an adrenaline-filled game in every sense. If you play, you’ll be on either a team of terrorists team or the counter-terror team and the objective will be to wipe the other team out, period.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, CS:GO is also one of the most popular games for esports bettors to have a punt on.
The 4 step process to betting on CS:GO
(1) Find a site which offers ample CS:GO markets
It might sound like stating the obvious, especially with the recent explosion in bookmakers offering esports markets in some form, but plenty still do not offer a lot of esports options, CS:GO included.
The likes of Betway and bet365 offer amongst the stronger esports options of the well-known bookies, whilst an ever-increasing number of emerging esports focused online bookmakers are cropping up. Unikrn is the longest running and most established of these. You can check through some of the top operators, and see who offers what, at Esportsbets24.com.
Whilst some of these more niche websites are particularly focused and only allow betting on esports, there are plenty of sites which offer both sports betting and esports options, which means if you ultimately find this isn’t for you, you’ll still be able to have a flutter on the football, golf or whatever other ‘more traditional’ competition takes your fancy.
(2) Register an account on Twitch, watch CS:GO. Watch a lot of CS:GO.
Twitch is the platform upon which most esports fans will spectate. Whilst the likes of Facebook and YouTube are signing some exclusive deals, Twitch continues to reign supreme. As such, head over there and register an account if you’ve not already.
You’ll then be able to subscribe to certain channels and get to know your CS:GO, before you bet on it.
For the Valve title in particular, we recommend subscribing to ESL’s CS:GO channel and ELEAGUE when it’s showing CS:GO. In terms of players / streamers, n0thing, a former pro for Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses amongst others, is worth a watch. HLTV deserves a mention here too.
It’s also worthwhile heading over to YouTube who (at the time of writing) have the exclusive rights to FACEIT’s ECS, which offers some regular top notch CS:GO action. There is also the exclusive Facebook arrangement for ESL Pro League and ESL One to make a note of, which was signed at the start of 2018.
In short, there are a lot of tournaments and competitions in CS:GO. We’ll repeat that for emphasis. There are a lot of tournaments and competitions in CS:GO. As such, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on what’s going on, and when it’s on.
After watching some Counterstrike, you’ll quickly establish that the game has different ‘maps’. Take the time to get to know these, and don’t assume that just because a team has a stellar record on one map, they will perform the same on another.
From time to time, Valve changes up things in the map pool in competitive CS:GO. We got a taste of this recently when the classic map Dust2 was brought back into the active pool Historically, French teams such as EnVyUs, Na’Vi and G2 are known for performing well on this map in particular.
With that said, the full map rotation currently looks as follows: Cache, Dust2, Mirage, Inferno, Nuke, Train, Overpass. My advice here is to see if you can find other teams that have maps that they favour. This can eventually give you an advantage, especially when betting live.
(3) Place your bets based on form and evidence
There’s a place for intuition in all forms of betting, and it would be wrong to say that we can’t just get a feeling for what’s going to happen next. However, this usually comes with years of experience based on the vast troves of data you’ve stored in your subconscious mind.
To begin with, it’s much smarter to have solid evidence as a reason for betting. For example, you can look at a team’s historical performances, whether or not it has a solid and established lineup, or whether there have been roster changes which’ll mean some players have moved on or recently been replaced. Roster changes are important to take note of. These will all affect a given team’s performance.
One concrete example is to observe the competitive scene and look for significant changes. A dominating team can’t stay number one forever, we’ve seen this repeatedly with the era of Ninjas in Pyjamas, Fnatic and SK Gaming.
When a once unstoppable team drops in form, or opponents catch-up, bookmakers are often slow on bringing this into consideration when deciding the odds. This gives you an excellent opportunity to place money on an ‘underdog’, which might have a greater chance of winning than the odds tell you.
Finally, make a pros and cons column and test different strategies in the laboratory of your mind. Once you’ve found the best one, stick with it at all costs and try not to be swayed (at least too much) by emotion.
(4) Understanding the CS:GO specific betting markets
First pistol round. First kill / blood. There are naturally a number of game specific markets for CS:GO betting, these being two of them.
Here is the downlow on a few to watch out for and get to understand:-
Match Winner 2-Way – this is a commonly known betting type, you simply place your money on the team you believe will come out on top in a match.
To Win Outright – Bet on a team to win an entire tournament. For this option there are usually two or three teams that are considered favourites’ heading to an event.
First Kill – First kill, or first blood is a specific betting market for certain esports titles. Predicting which team to get the first kill is, of course, a bit tricky, as it is hard to predict. It is, however, a fun market that adds an element of excitement to a match.
First Pistol Round – Do you know of any teams who often win pistols rounds? Then you could make some bucks betting on this market. Some teams have known pistols gods, like Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg and Dennis “dennis” Edman in Ninjas in Pyjamas. Another player that has made a name for himself when it comes to pistol rounds is the Bosnian superstar Nikola “NiKo” Kovac currently playing for FaZe Clan.
There are others too such as map betting, top fragger and more.
Important to remember
As you can see, getting started with betting on esports is a piece of cake. It’s just like betting on any other competition. However, it takes a lot of effort to find success; the key is to always do your research before placing any bet.
Before we draw this article to a close, please take the time to memorise these tips.
- Gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose. You never know what’s going to happen. Even all-star lineups get rekt sometimes.
- Have a reason for making a bet. Don’t just randomly pick a team. Try to write out your justification and see if there are any flaws or things you haven’t thought of.
- Take the time to learn about CS:GO. You can spectate, but it would be even better if you played yourself. This will give you better insight into how the game works, and hopefully mean you enjoy it all the more. Betting should be a fun activity after all, once the fun stops, make sure you do too.
And there you have it. Good luck with betting on CS:GO. May the odds be forever in your favour!