Despite being released almost eight years ago, Counter Strike Global Offensive (or CS:GO for short) is one of the most popular online games for gamers and Esports fans alike.
An average of 400,000 monthly players, and regular peaks of up to 750,000, means there’s always a game to watch, play and bet on.
The game’s multiplayer features and various gameplay modes provide a wide range of CS GO betting markets for sportsbooks providing Counter Strike odds.
Like a gamers version of the FA Cup, upsets and giant killings are common, making it always worth a flutter. For example, Gambit Esports , winners of the PGL Major in 2017, were pre-tournament outsiders at 50/1
What is Counter Strike?
The first edition of the Counter Strike series was released in 2000 by prolific game producers, Valve, although keen observers will date its beginnings back to the hugely successful Counter Strike modification for Half-Life (Another worldwide phenomenon from the same developers), which was released in 1999.
The series’ fourth and most recent edition, Counter Strike Global Offensive was released in 2012 to global fanfare and has gained a populous community of players across North and South America as well as Europe and Asia.
Counter Strike Esports tournaments are divided into two categories; LAN (Local Area Network), where players meet up and compete over the same internet network, and Online.
CS:GO LAN tournaments can be categorised into four categories, local, regional, international and major.
An increasing number of online sportsbooks now offer Counter Strike betting odds on regular online matches which usually occur daily. However, International and Major tournaments are where there is big money to be won by both gamers and bettors.
These high stakes contests are typically competed in by teams of players from all over the world but winners usually come from Esports organisations with infrastructures including marketing teams, managers, sponsors and even mental coaches.
One such organisation, last year’s winners of Games Clash Masters, Illuminar, took home the top prize of $50,000 while the remaining $50,000 was shared out between the other seven competitors.
This year’s only scheduled Major, ESL One, will be held in Rio de Janeiro in November, with a prize pool of $2,000,000. Worldwide qualification starts later this month, so before betting it’s important to get yourself clued up on Counter Strike tips, as well as teams and their form.
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How is CS: GO Played?
Counter Strike Global Offensive is a multiplayer, first-person shooter in which players can choose from a wide range of maps including a zoo, an abbey, a canal, a nuclear power plant and even a biomedical research centre.
While each of the nine game modes has its variations, the general premise of the game is made up of two opposing teams, terrorists and counter terrorists, who compete in various missions such as planting and defusing bombs and capturing or saving hostages.
Players are rewarded with in-game currency based on criteria such as number of kills, time without being killed, assisting team mates and completing objectives. This currency can then be spent on upgrades for future games.
Games are usually divided into a number of rounds, with the winners being the team with the most rounds won at the end of the match.
International and Major tournaments are usually played in competitive mode, a 45 minute battle between two teams of five players each. As you can imagine, such a plethora of gaming options means lots of Counter Strike betting possibilities!
Major Tournaments & Leagues
Counter-Strike’s legendary Esports status means that tournaments are held regularly in locations around the world.
Here are some examples of the biggest ones and their organisers…
The most famous of all CS:GO tournaments, ESL One is generally held twice a year. Last year’s two locations were New York and Cologne and featured prize pools of £160,000 and £240,000 respectively.
ESL Pro League
From the same organisers, but in league form, these competitions are run across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. Winning teams of the continental competition pocket the lionshare of the £50,000 prize pot, while the best players qualify for the season finals, where prize pools can reach £500,000.
These tournaments are held seasonally across the world and online. Last year’s winners FaZe Clan took home £240,000.
While some sportsbooks cover one-off online matches, the biggest sportsbooks generally only offer Counter Strike betting odds for the biggest tournaments.
Here are some upcoming CS GO events for you to get your teeth into…
Blast Premier Spring Finals
Originally scheduled to take place in Moscow, the Blast Premier Spring Finals tournament will now be held online. Nevertheless, a prize pool of £400,000 ensures a high level of competition when it kicks off on June 15.
DreamHack Masters Spring 2020: Europe
The European edition of the DreamHack Masters tournament will begin on May 19 and feature the best players on the continent competing for £130,000.
ESL One:Rio 2020
Another tournament affected by the global pandemic, ESL One:Rio has been pushed back from May to November. The £1.6 million prize pot and the fact it’s this year’s only major mean stakes will be high.
Counter Strike Betting Markets & bet types
Counter Strike betting odds can be found on a wide range of markets such as:
- Outright Winner: The CS: GO betting choice of most Esports bettors, outright winner odds, allows fans to bet on the team they think will win a given tournament. This is the easiest and most popular way to bet on major tournaments, where teams compete for a cash prize averaging at around $250,000.
- Match Winner: This is another popular market where you simply put your money on the team you think will win a single match.
- Map Betting: In this market, you can bet on individual rounds of a match. Odds change for each round, depending on which map is being used and teams previous form on each map.
- Correct Score: Similar to sports like football, a lot of sportsbooks also offer Counter Strike odds for correct score betting. However, the correct score can be quite difficult to predict, especially as games can contain as many as 30 rounds.
- Over/Under: This is where you can bet on the number of rounds a match will last. For example, if you bet on “Over 24.5 rounds”, you’ll win your bet if the game reaches a 25th round.
Where to bet on CS:GO
The popularity of Esports betting means you can now get Counter Strike odds from a wide range of sportsbooks. Here are some of the best places to bet on Esports:
- Betway Esports: Already popular in the sports betting world, Betway has now entered the Esports market. They offer a wide range of CS: GO betting markets such as outright winner of regional, international and major tournaments as well as match winners, and map betting.
- Buffbet: A new name in the Esports market, Buffbet offers CS: GO odds on the typical markets like outright and match winner as well as in-game odds on round winner and total rounds. They also offer a 100% first deposit bonus up to £100 and you can also watch matches via the live stream links on their website.
- Lootbet: Lootbet matches Buffbet’s offer of a 100% first deposit bonus up to £100, while also offering in-game betting options for matches worldwide. Their covered leagues include; ESL Pro League 11, ESL Spain Masters, eFire North American Master league as well as their own tournament, LOOT.BET, which is now in its sixth season.
- Unibet: A familiar name in the betting world, Unibet offers CS: GO betting odds on outright winner and match winner (with handicaps), as well as map betting, kills and objectives.
Tips & Strategies on Betting on CS:GO
As with all types of betting it’s important to be informed before blowing your entire month’s wages on a hopeful punt. Like in football, or any other sport, the importance of the match can sometimes affect how seriously a team takes it, and in turn, the result.
Watch for Team News
In the same way that Premier League football teams sometimes use smaller competitions and friendlies to test out young players, CS: GO teams often use smaller tournaments and one off games to blood new talent.
Some sportsbooks will take advantage of users’ lack of knowledge of this by offering Counter Strike tips painting one team as a clear favourite, even though they may not have their best players playing.
With the above in mind, be sure to always research the type of match or tournament being played before betting. The more prestigious the tournament, the more likely it is that teams we’ll use their strongest players.
On the topic of players, it’s also important to pay attention to Esports organisations and how they develop their teams. The competitive nature of Counter Strike Esports means that teams are always adding and removing players in order to achieve success.
Be sure to keep an eye on the latest team developments to ensure you maximise value in your CS GO betting. After all, the last thing you want is to place your money on the previous year’s winners of a tournament, only to find out that they’ve lost their best player to one of their rivals.
Lastly, always try to stay up to date with both team and player form. Even if a player has won a previous edition of a tournament, he might not be a good bet if his form has been poor since then.
Conversely, a player making his tournament debut could be a good outside bet if his form has been good going into it.
Following these tips should stop you committing classic newbie errors!
Where to watch Counter Strike
The global appeal of Counter Strike Global Offensive means that you can now watch matches live on a variety of platforms. The most popular of these is Twitch.TV which you can access via your phone or laptop.
Twitch provides live CS: GO streams of matches and viewers can also interact with each other via the chat box. As expected, you can also view matches on YouTube, as well as popular gaming platform, Steam.