Introduction to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports Betting

Monday, May 14, 2018 12:48 PM UTC

Monday, May. 14, 2018 12:48 PM UTC

It's becoming clear that betting on eSports is becoming a booming business. So, here at SBR we will start to cover that genre weekly. Here's our first article: an introduction to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive!

Welcome to an Introduction of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive! It is the most recent iteration in a franchise of multiplayer first-person shooter games and the most popular among eSports enthusiasts. What follows will be a basic overview of the objective of the game as well as how to place a wager on a match.

CSGO involves two teams of five players competing to win 16 rounds in a particular map. One team begins on the "terrorist" side, with the objective of planting and detonating an explosive or eliminating the "counter-terrorist" side. The CT's are tasked with either defusing the explosive (if planted) or eliminating the 5 T's. After the first 15 rounds, the two teams switch sides and now have the opposite objective until one team reaches 16 rounds. At 15-15 teams enter overtime and play two 3-round halves. The first team to win 4 rounds in one overtime wins the map.

Each map must be won by 2 rounds or more. Matches will feature either a best of 1, best of 3, or best of 5 map series (Bo5 are rare). When I speak to colleagues and friends unfamiliar with CSGO, I compare the scoring format to tennis. One round is comparable to one service game, one set is comparable to one map.

Counter-Strike differs from other FPS games in one crucial way; the economy. Teams will have a significant advantage in their weaponry and ability to win rounds with a strong economy. There is a lot to speak of in relation to the meta of how to manage ones finances in CounterStrike, but it has very little impact unless someone is interested in live-betting a match. So in lieu of going into great detail about this, here is a table summarizing the financial rewards:

Why Should I Bet on a Video Game?

Some sports bettors look to wager only on matches they wish to watch, which is understandable. Yet, I have seen many people bet every game on NFL Sunday regardless of the value or edge! There are many of us who are looking to maintain consistent profit year round. CSGO is similar to tennis in this respect; there are matches being played 24/7 365 days a year. With the same 50 teams continuously being featured it is much easier to keep track of roster changes, form, and momentum than waiting 4-6 months for the start of a new season with significantly different players.

Having betting knowledge in one video game pertains only to that game and it is possible to become an expert in that niche. If you are an NFL expert would it be easier for you to wager on football year round or transfer your football knowledge to spring training? Another benefit of getting into eSports is the sheer number of upsets and juicy underdogs. The game is highly momentum based, in both individual maps and tournament runs. A "hot" underdog might be given "plus" odds for an entire tournament, but you will rarely see that in traditional sports.

Tournament Structure

All matches either take place online or offline, with the biggest and most lucrative tournaments being hosted live in an arena or stadium. These take place over 5-7 days and have prize pools consisting of $100k to $1 million. The initial stages of a tournament are usually a Bo1 during the group stage; allowing for many upsets. Teams that qualify for playoffs will then play Bo3's for the duration of the tournament. It is essential that these rosters have a great balance tactically, including team chemistry, on a variety of maps. The competitive scene features a pool of 7 maps that vary considerably in their layout and advantages. Individual teams also favor particular maps. It is important to be aware of how teams are playing on individual maps early on in a tournament to have greater insight moving into playoffs.

CS:GO Betting Markets

Many online sportsbooks now offer all the essential markets for cappers interested in CSGO betting. The most important and common:

  • Match Moneyline = which team will win the match (Bo1,3)
  • Match Handicap (-1.5/+1.5) = the favorite to win by two maps or the underdog will win at least one map
  • Total Maps (over 2.5/ under 2.5) = either each team wins a map or one team wins 2-0
  • Map 1/2/3 Moneyline = bet on a team to win a particular map
  • Map Handicap (-2.5/+2.5 or greater) = similar to basketball, team must cover the number of rounds. if wager is +5.5, my team would need a minimum of 11 rounds on particular map
  • Total Rounds (over 26.5 / under 26.5) = bet that both teams will get a minimum of 11 rounds or that one team will win by 6 rounds or more

These are the 6 markets that are essential to have available if interested in betting CSGO.


It is even more important to line shop in CSGO betting when compared with traditional betting. It is not uncommon to see a 30 - 50 cent price difference between books, or favorites at one book offered as 20-cent underdogs at another! As mentioned earlier, many A-rated sportsbooks featured on SBR have the necessary markets to start building that eSports bankroll. There are three big tournaments over the next two weeks. Tournament previews to come!

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