The Counter-Strike franchise is a timeless classic spawned from the bowels of the 90s. A game’s modification gone viral, today’s heir of the original game, CS: GO, remains one of the mainstays of eSports, transcending generations and nationalities. It’s a product that has become synonymous with what it means to play professional competitive e-sports, but also what it means to want to aspire to a career of a pro. Admittedly, the game is under a lot of competition from the numerous titles that have come to dominate the FPS genre, but none has quite the intricate market that CS: GO boast. In the following lines, we examine several verticals of CS: GO betting.
Top CS:GO Betting Sites
First things first, as they say. The popularity of the game has quickly earned it a distinct place with many bookmakers both endemic and non-endemic. It’s difficult to image eSports betting without CS: GO as one of the most prominent markets. We have sifted through the throngs of websites out there offering forms of CS: GO, and focused on only those that accept money wagers, which is the main vertical. You wonder what other verticals there are and we will address shortly. In the meanwhile, take a look at our top picks for CS: GO bookies.
|Betting Site||Bonus info||Visit|
|1||100% match up to €200|
T&Cs Apply. +18.
|2||€5 no deposit bonus and €30 Free Bet|
T&Cs Apply. +18.
Although the websites we list here accept wagers only in FIAT currencies, albeit cryptocurrency may also be a possibility, ArcaneBet is a benchmark setter which distinguishes with its unique skinpay and Skinwallet features, that allow you to deposit with in-game goods. To sum it all up, CS: GO offers three main verticals to bet on:
- Fiat/Cryptocurrency wagering – Present on most eSports and traditional bookies
- Skin Betting – A rather clandestine vertical in general with skins serving as currency in match betting, ackpot, roulettes, and others*
- Fantasy Betting – Another whimsical choice, which adds a bit of excitement to the betting experience**
*Skin Betting is considered a sort of illegal betting vertical.
**Fantasy Betting is another trending phenomenon that has enjoyed some popularity in the U.S. However, local regulator spats still make it rather difficult for full-blown DFS CS: GO betting.
General Guide on How to Bet – The Verticals
To bet on CS: GO, you need to understand the verticals. As we have clarified before, there are several options when it comes to putting a wager on the outcome of a CS:GO match, and while some may argue that all three verticals exist with other games as well, none other than Valve’s timeless classic has managed to spawn such vast enterprises that have to do with wagering around itself. Now, if you want to skip to the actual betting guide, you may just glide over the next sections, but we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the possible markets lest you run into one and be seduced to bet on something that may bring little return in any form.
The Mainstay Market – Betting with Currency
The betting currency has the only drawback to have and sort out local regulations. But once a bookie has been cleared to carry out its operations in the country that’s sanctioning the move, you are pretty much safe. All you have to win moving forward is how to get the games straight. In most cases, you will have the most common type of bets to pick from.
You may pick from you Map Winners and Match Winners. Large events will have running bets open for tournament/event winner as well. In general, when betting with currency, we recommend that you hew closer to match winners as they have the highest ROI for punters. A similar approach has already been tested for mainstream sport, and it’s been proven to work.
The Frills – Skins
We could go at length about this vertical, but we will sketch it out. Skins are in-game frills that don’t influence the outcome of the game. However, creating a unique avatar with the fancy and dashing look is also something gamers appreciate. As a result, the market for skins started reaching unprecedented highs back in 2016. Shortly after, Valve started shutting down skin trading platforms amid legal complications for the developer.
Just to garner a glimpse of what the market promised, serious sports betting analysts conducted a report putting the value of the skin betting market at several billion dollars of net worth by 2022. However, the legal buffeting that ensued has been enough to relegate this segment to a no-no. While you may still deposit skins at some websites, only a very few pass a conditional stamp of approval. ArcaneBet is a clear exception from the pack.
DFS – A True Game of Skill
Popular as Daily Fantasy Sports, this sort of wagering was popular and gaining traction. Originating in the U.S. it was quickly faced with rather stern measures that effectively banned the only two operators that allowed this form of gaming. While it’s highly entertaining and we would argue based on skill, it’s still considered a form of gambling, and European bookies haven’t been exactly adopting it en masse yet.
Making a Headway on Competitive CS: GO Betting – The Map Layout
Whether a player or an aspiring betting pro, knowledge of the maps is instrumental. Not so much because there’s a particular advantage that a team derives by playing one position or another, but because there are trends. So, even though any hypothetical map advantage can only be theorised, there’s strong evidence that suggests that on a certain map, the outcomes are bound to lean a certain way.
So, according to data we have been able to scoop from Steam, we came up with some pretty interesting results. The majority of maps are roughly the same percentage ratio. However, De_aztec, vertigo and dust are all maps where the Terrorists are at a severe disadvantage.
Of course, the said maps don’t feature in competitive play, bar Dust’s heir, Dust 2, but then the percentage is roughly the same, albeit the Counter-Terrorists still have a 2% leeway ahead of their nefarious brothers.
What’s the point, then? Now, the majority of maps have already been balanced. Whenever a new one is introduced, you ought to remember that you may expect slightly different results than what you have been accustomed to. Metrics will be questionable and some fine-tuning will be adjusted. Even then, this is an unlikely scenario, as tournament hosts are well aware of any such discrepancies that may occur.
Gauging the Players & Teams
An important aspect of determining the outcome of a match between two teams is to look in the reams of available data. CS: GO certainly has a number of new squads that have been put together specifically to dismantle a particular leader. And this happens in eSports as often as you may imagine. That’s why you should learn how to keep your ear to the ground and divulge the rumbling as the onslaught of a determined underdog. In other words, new teams showing great performance may be worth considering more seriously.
CS: GO allows for the rich perusal of all teams. Not only are they vastly available on platforms such as Twitch, but Reddit is another platform which often turns out to be a trove of information. Statistical websites have been set up to offer you a more in-depth insight down to the bare bones of any hypothetical scenario.
The best gauge by far is to compare the rosters and teams. Make sure to account for any significant changes in team compositions, the particular win rate of every team at a given map as well as the overall standing of the team against the other squad. With a bit of prescience and by exercising caution, you will certainly end up managing to add to your bankroll rather than vainly spend money.
The Special Wagers, Are They Worth It?
As we have mentioned before, the only type of special bets we strongly root for is Daily Fantasy E-sports. However, this is off the table. If you ever venture to choose bets that are outside the mainstream, you may most commonly run into pistol rounds bets, total kills wagers, and first blood predictions.
When we say that a specific wager is out of the mainstream, we don’t necessarily mean that it is a bad option for you as a gamer to explore. However, it may quickly turn into a game of diminishing returns, as the chances to get these specifics fiddly bets are rather against you. Still, with a few strokes of luck and careful number-crunching, you may reap a solid return on your investment. However, this is up to you to decide upon.
The Motley Bunch of CS:GO Events
Pinpointing the CS:GO events that transpire around the globe is a rather daunting task, but if it’s any relief, the focus is mostly on Europe and North America, although tournament hosting organizations have been running well-established events across Asia and, of course, Australia. No, CS:GO, doesn’t have its International, but DreamHack and ESL have been running events for well over one decade now.
ESL One is the bread and butter of all CS:GO competitions. An unspecified number of events will run around the year pitting a varying number of contenders. The number of entrants varies between 8 and 16 participating teams based on the event you are signing up for. Squads compete for points across all competitions and qualify for a final, usually held at the end of the year.
The ESL Pro League
The ESL Pro League too begins in September and then finishes in December. The European and North American legs command respectable prize pools to the tune of $100,000 and the finals manage to stake as much as $750,000. These sums are subject to change, and again, as the interest in certain events ebbs and flows, so do the metrics. The teams here are between 12 and 16 per group and they always end up with 16 contending squads for the finals.
DreamHack is a huge event with tradition held in Sweden. Started as a gaming festival, it quickly transitioned to be a competitive eSports event. While it takes place only once a year, you will be pleased to know that it offers $250,000 in cash money and drags significant CS: GO action with some of the world’s finest teams competing here. DreamHack has strong ties in Sweden and is above all else a social pow-wow that brings people who love games closer together. The teams that compete, though, create a very tempting opportunity for you to explore the betting options.
Tournament host organization FACEIT has decided to continue running the Minor & Major CS: GO tournaments it has for 3 years now. The 2018 edition is about to kick off with a series of minor events, all leading up to the big showdown in September when $1,000,000 will go in the way of the winner. You still have time to catch up on who will win the Minors and adjust any future bets you may attempt based on that.
Scared to Miss Out?
If you are too concerned about missing out on the action, a quick examination of the following table will help you find out what betting markets will be open until the end of 2018. We recommend that you always opt for one of our recommended websites as they have undergone our rigorous vetting process. Remember that these events will vary from year to year. However, you will be able to track them easily through a website such as Liquipedia. When we were compiling the guide for you, we’ve noticed that there may be slight date discrepancies.
A Look at the Guide Itself
CS: GO is a timeless classic and for the most part, the information you will ever need to make a well informed decision is already out there. Slight patch changes may on occasion influence your bets, but overall, the game remains an unshakeable leader. What you need to focus on to be a successful gamer is gaining as much knowledge as you can, and possibly supplement it with your own hands-on gaming experience. Thankfully, CS: GO has a very mild learning curve and it seldom proves too difficult for anyone to become aware of the competitive scene’s composition and trending teams. Hopefully, with our aid, you have become a little more aware of the points that determine the outcome of your bets in CS: GO.