Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has established itself as one of the most popular games in the world thanks largely to its immense success as an esport. It is the dominant first-person shooter within the competitive gaming scene and it boasts tens of millions of fans across the globe.
They love the intricate gameplay, the high skill ceiling, the level of strategy it demands and the need for seamless teamwork it encapsulates. Fans enjoy playing CS:GO with their friends, and they also love watching the finest proponents battle it out in massive tournaments.
The CS:GO esports scene is thriving. It is the second most lucrative title for professional gamers, behind only stablemate Dota 2. Big companies are also piling in with enormous sponsorship deals. There is more money floating around the scene than ever before, which allows teams to pay higher salaries and invest more in training complexes and infrastructure. It means that more players are turning pro and the overall level of quality seen at tournaments is on an upward curve.
Wagering on CS:GO
Betting on CS:GO matches and tournaments is also becoming increasingly popular. It can massively boost the excitement you feel when watching the action unfold, as you will be cheering on every frag and willing your team to triumph. It also allows CS:GO aficionados the opportunity to turn their expertise into a profit, and that is just too tempting for many fans to ignore.
The esports betting handle reached $6.7 billion in 2018, it is rising this year and it is forecast to reach $13 billion in 2020. CS:GO is a major driver of that growth. It sits alongside League of Legends and Dota 2 as one of the Big Three in the esports world, and it is probably the biggest title of them all from a betting perspective.
If you take a look at Unikrn’s CS:GO betting odds you will see a huge range of matches to bet on at any time. Unikrn is a site solely dedicated to esports betting, news and tips, set up by VoodooPC founder Rahul Sood, and it has attracted investors including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher, showing just how much excitement there is around esports wagering.
Many of the world’s leading betting sites have taken note and you will find dedicated esports sections within their offerings. CS:GO is a massive part of that and you will find more markets on it than almost any other title.
CS:GO Betting Options
In many ways, it mirrors traditional sports betting. You can bet on a team to win a particular tournament. You might see the world’s number one franchise, Team Liquid, priced at 3.40 to lift the trophy, with Danish powerhouse Astralis at 4.50, Natus Vincere at 6.50 and Team Vitality at 7.00. If you think Astralis can surge to victory and you bet $100 on them pulling it off, you would get a return of $450 if they end up triumphant.
Alternatively, you might fancy 301.00 outsider Luminosity to pull off a colossal upset. A $10 wager at those odds would net you a cool $3,000 profit and you get your stake back too, so your return would be $3,010.00.
The odds compilers at esports betting sites like Unikrn and bookmakers such as Bet365 and William Hill will price up to a CS:GO futures market just like any sporting event. At the start of a particular season, you might see Man City as the favorite to win the Premier League and Sheffield United as the rank outsider. That is a reflection on the deemed level of quality within each club, their history and the money they have invested in talent.
You might also see the LA Clippers as the favorite for the NBA Championship and the once might Cleveland Cavaliers as the 500/1 outsiders. CS:GO futures are just the same, as the odds compilers weight up the respective strengths and weaknesses of each team before pricing up a market.
CS:GO Match Bets
They adopt a similar principle when putting together odds on a particular match. They will look at how historically strong each team is, any head-to-head records between them and also factor in things like fatigue, motivation levels and any big players missing, before assigning a different set of odds to each team.
You can bet on the team you think will prevail, but you are by no means confined to winner betting. If you are unsure who will win, you might like to bet on the total number of rounds on Map 1, for example. You might see odds of 1.83 on over 26.5 rounds or 1.83 on under 26.5 rounds, and you then make a judgment on whether it will be a drawn-out affair or if one team will dominate.
You can bet on exotic markets too, which are also known as proposition bets, abbreviated to prop bets. They include the Map 1 first pistol and second pistol winner.
You can also find handicap markets that skew the odds in different directions. Let’s say Team Liquid is the 1.50 favorite to beat NRG Esports, which is the 2.87 underdog. You might then see Team Liquid -3.5 priced at 1.83 to win the first round. This would require Liquid to win by four or more points, but the payout you would receive is greater. Alternatively, you could opt for NRG +3.5. It would give you a smaller profit, but you would still be paid out if they lost by three or fewer kills.
A New and Exciting Scene
One major difference between esports betting and traditional sports betting is the lack of historical data at the bookmakers’ disposal. The CS:GO scene is new and exciting, and much harder for the odds compilers to get a handle on than football, tennis or baseball. Updates render a lot of historical data useless, as do the frequent roster changes. This puts bettors on a much evener footing with the oddsmakers, making it potentially easier to succeed, provided you are a real CS:GO expert.
You might also find that the wagering limits are a little lower than on traditional sports, but the esports betting scene is growing increasingly mature and it is becoming better at catering to high rollers all the time. Yet you should always remember to practice sensible bankroll management, bet responsibly and never outside of your means, and ultimately to have fun.