Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
If you’re into first-person shooters, you know all about Counter-Strike. The game has been the top FPS game in the Esports scene for the last decade, and it has been immensely popular since the first Counter-Strike game was created back in November 2000. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the most recent game in the series, and CS:GO has been played competitively since its launch in 2012. This is one of the most bet on Esports worldwide due to the number of leagues and tournaments running concurrently, and it is rare that you go a day without seeing CS:GO being played competitively somewhere.
What is CS:GO?
While CS:GO has multiple game types, the only one that is played competitively is Search and Destroy. In Search and Destroy, two teams of five players are split into opposing sides. One team is the Terrorists, and they are looking to detonate a bomb on one of two bomb sites. The other team is the Counter Terrorists, and they are looking to keep the other team from detonating the bomb.
The Terrorists have one minute and 55 seconds to detonate the bomb in order to win the round. For the Counter Terrorists to win the round, they can either defuse the bomb or kill all members of the opposing team. Each game is scheduled for 30 rounds with each team playing 15 rounds as the Counter Terrorists and 15 rounds as the Terrorists. The first team to win 16 rounds wins the game, so a game could end 16-3 in 19 rounds. However, in a twist taken from the basketball court, you must win by two to win the game. That means if a game is tied at 15 rounds apiece, they continually swap sides every round until one of the teams wins by two.
Understanding CS:GO Odds
Types of Bets
The most popular bet in CS:GO is the moneyline bet. With a moneyline bet, you are simply betting on which team will win either the game or the series. Teams only play one game when they square off most of the time, but best-of-three series are becoming increasingly popular. In these series, there is spread betting where you can bet on the favored team -1.5 games or the underdog +1.5 games in the best-of-three series. Best-of-five series are almost exclusively reserved for Grand Finals of major tournaments.
There are two other major types of bets when it comes to betting on CS:GO, round spreads and totals. When you are betting on round spreads, you are betting on a team to win a game by a certain number of rounds or for a team to stay within the margin if they are the underdog. For instance, if Astralis is favored by 3.5 rounds over Natus Vincere, Astralis would need to win by a margin of 16-12 or more to cover the spread. Natus Vincere would cover if they lost by two or three rounds or if they won the game outright.
Betting a total is even simpler. With this type of bet, you are simply betting on the total number of rounds to be played in each game. This number is always in the 20s, and it is typically seen somewhere between 24.5 and 27.5.
How to Bet CS:GO
Since CS:GO is played around the world, there are numerous opportunities to bet on this game. There are always competitions going on, and it is best to focus on a smaller league or competition when you are first dipping your toe in the water. While the limits are not as high as they are for majors, the lines are much softer and easier to beat on a consistent basis.
It is important to check Twitter and other social media outlets before betting on CS:GO. It’s not uncommon to see teams tinker with their roster from one event to the next, and they could bring in a player on a trial basis or replace a veteran with a young up-and-comer. The CS:GO odds shift drastically win a change is announced, as it affects the chemistry teams need to have in this game.
Where do I bet on CS:GO?
Esports are so prevalent these days that you can bet on them at any online sportsbook. Some books will have their own Esports section that is a standalone site, while others will have it in the main sportsbook with the more usual offerings. You will find DotA 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, and other Esports options there as well.
CS:GO Betting and Schedule
There are several CS:GO leagues and dozens of CS:GO tournaments held throughout the course of the year, so it is not hard to find a game to watch or wager on. Developer and publisher Valve has also classified events into different tiers based on the prize money awarded, so you can have an idea of which competitions are the most important.
Majors are the biggest events in CS:GO because they all have a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million. That has been the standard in order to be classified as a major since 2016, and there are typically only two events that classify as majors each year. These also fall under the category of S-Tier Tournaments, and these competitions are where you will find the best teams in the world.
Other S-Tier Tournaments have prize polls of at least $100,000. There are a couple dozen of these events annually, but they are not as big as the majors and sometimes run concurrently. These competitions are sometimes international and sometimes continental in terms of the teams invited. You will see tournaments with a mix of teams from different regions about as often as you see tournaments that are exclusively for teams from either North America, Europe, or Asia, but the general rule of thumb is that international tournaments are a bit more prestigious.
In 2018, Intel added some more cash to the pot when they announced the creation of the Intel Grand Slam. Any team that wins four ESL or DreamHack Masters events in a span of 10 consecutive events will be awarded an additional $1 million by the company and be declared that season’s winner. Astralis won the very first Intel Grand Slam in December 2018, and Team Liquid responded by claiming the $1 million prize in July 2019.