Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a first-person shooter made by Valve Corporation for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. It is the sequel to the much beloved (and still played) 2004 game Counter-Strike: Source. In spite of the multi-platform release,
CS:GO is most popularly thought of as a PC game, particularly for its place as the successor to what many would call the quintessential multiplayer first-person shooter on PC.
The sequel is much more of a graphical update than a major overhaul, since it has maintained much of the same feel that CS:Source had. The series began with the original Counter-Strike, which was created as a mod for Valve Corporation’s also iconic Half-Life. CS:Source was created four years later as a remake of the first game, and CS:GO was finally released in 2012.
Best CSGO Betting Sites
Current odds for real-money CSGO betting sites
How it’s Played
- 1 Best CSGO Betting Sites
- 2 Current odds for real-money CSGO betting sites
- 3 How it’s Played
- 4 How it’s Different from Other FPS
- 5 CS:GO Wagering
- 6 Tournaments and Prize Pools
- 7 Gaining an Edge with CS:GO Wagering
- 8 Latest CS:GO betting news
- Each match has 30 rounds played on a single map, with the first to win 16 rounds taking the match.
- Players switch teams at the 15 round mark.
- The terrorist team is tasked with placing and detonating a bomb at one of two locations, while the counter-terrorist team has to prevent the bomb from being placed, or defuse the bomb if it was. Bombs detonate 35 seconds after they’re set.
- The terrorist team can be seen as the “attackers” while the counter-terrorists can be seen as “defenders,” but this dynamic switches mid-game if a bomb is placed.
- Either team can also win if they are the first to kill all the members of the opposing team, and this is a much more common way for teams to win in a round.
- Many tournaments also feature stages at which the round is won in a best of three format, so the first team to win two of the best-of-30 maps would be the overall victor.
How it’s Different from Other FPS
- Players do not respawn within a round, but only at the start of a new one.
- There are no pre-designated classes, such as “medic” or “assault.”
- Rounds in each match are short, usually two minutes or less.
- Health does not regenerate.
- There are no special in-game rewards for “kill-streaks,” such as an air-strike.
- Players do not aim down the sights of a weapon, instead using only on-screen crosshairs.
- Players buy new weapons at the start of a new round with money they’ve accrued from prior rounds. Money is rewarded for kills. Every player starts only with a default pistol.
- There are no vehicles, such as tanks or jets.
- Players cannot withstand as many bullets as in Call of Duty before dying.
Compared to the entries in other first-person shooter franchises, CS:GO also maintains a certain level of prestige because it was made eight years after the first game. There is something to be said for the ability to rely on a game’s lifespan when considering it as an esport. That the game sticks to its guns, (pun intended) and offers such iterative gameplay makes for a game which can continually evolve in skill level, and evolve in popularity as a result.
The games made in the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises are created annually and often feature some gimmick to try and entice as many purchases as possible. CS:GO is, by contrast, content with featuring the same “Dust II” map that CS:Source had, which people have been playing on for a decade.
Much like Starcraft II, CS:GO will continue to exist for long enough that players will continue to improve, and it is likely that any sequel will maintain much of the same gameplay as the rest of the series.
There are three types of bets a person can make on CS:GO matches with:
- Real money
- Play money
- In-game cosmetic items
Real money / play money betting on CS:GO
Real money gambling is offered by multiple sites, including Pinnacle Sports, betway eSports, and Vulcun. Pinnacle and egb.com offer more traditional styles of betting, such as wagers on the outcomes of games, or future bets on the winner of a tournament.
Vulcun offers fantasy for esports, very much like a fantasy basketball or football team, and these are legal. Players are drafted and their stats in various matches are tallied up to determine an eventual winner. More information is available at their FAQ page.
Cosmetic Items and CS:GO Lounge/Gosugamers
In-game cosmetic items can be wagered on sites like csgolounge.com. These are “weapon skins,” meaning different paint-jobs for your guns, and different types of knives. This is the only way to offer such customization while maintaining gameplay balance. Each of these skins have real money value, sometimes hundreds of dollars.
Items are ranked based on a hierarchy of their quality and rarity. Each bet is made with a certain minimum number of these items, and you receive more items in return for a successful bet. The quality of the rewarded items, and their quantity, is based on the size of your bet and the odds for the match. There are similar sites available for Dota 2 betting.
Another interesting form of gambling with in-game content on lottery sites like CSGOJackpot. The site’s premise is simple:
- Players put up at least $10 worth of items to enter into a randomized, winner-take-all drawing for all the other items players have wagered.
- The site itself gives the dollar values for items, which it bases on SteamAnalyst and its own research.
- Jackpot drawings occur nearly instantly once the site’s 50 item-cap for jackpots has been met.
- Each jackpot’s total worth varies significantly because the cap is based on the number of items.
- Jackpots can often be valued at thousands of dollars.
- Each player’s chances to win are reflected by the total worth of the items they put up. A person who wishes to enter the jackpot must submit at least $10 worth of cosmetic content to enter the jackpot.
One thing to keep in mind about in-game content is that, although in-game items have real-world value, there is a risk involved with the selling them to others for real money because no reliable enough service yet backs this type of transaction. There are websites which offer to enable the sale of the in-game content, but not enough is known about them at the time of this writing to ensure any type of security.
All the money a person earns from the sale of any in-game items via the Steam Market, be it for Dota 2 or CS:GO, can only be used afterwards within the Steam platform itself (and for either the purchase of video games or more in-game cosmetic content). The money from the sale of content goes directly to your “Steam Wallet,” and the funds from it cannot be directly transferred to real world dollars.
Tournaments and Prize Pools
There are numerous tournaments which the best CS:GO teams can enter, with prize pools ranging from a few thousand dollars to $250,000 USD.
The two largest tournaments of 2015 are both run by ESL Gaming: the ESL One Cologne 2015 and the ESL One Katowice 2015. Both tournaments offer the large $250,000 USD prize pools, with $100,000 for the winner. These tournaments are referred to as being “major” tournaments for their relatively larger prize pools, as well as because each is backed by Valve.
The prize pools are lower than Valve’s other esport, Dota 2, but this is because CS:GO is not as easily monetized. Player models cannot be customized too heavily in an FPS without risking the fairness of the game, because twitch mechanics are used. Because of the need to maintain gameplay balance, there are fewer opportunities for cosmetic content to be sold, and less variety of that content, than there is for Valve’s Dota 2.
That the CS:GO tournament prize pool is lower than for Dota 2 doesn’t necessarily reflect on the popularity of those titles as esports, however, because Valve sells content to raise money for their Dota 2 invitational tournament, whereas the equivalent for CS:GO would not be possible.
Gaining an Edge with CS:GO Wagering
The best way to gain an edge is by acquiring as much knowledge about the game as possible. The best ways to learn more about CS:GO include:
- Playing CS:GO, even briefly, to get a hands-on feel for how it works.
- Watching professional gamers stream CS:GO on Twitch, or on their Youtube channels. One good channel to watch is by TheWarOwl, who does tons of CS:GO related content, and does casting and analysis.
- Watching tournaments. A full schedule of them is available on liquipedia.com (as usual). Match results are also available for past tournaments and matches on the same site.
- Playing fantasy leagues for small stakes on Vulcun. Even if you have no interest in fantasy leagues for esports, it is easy to learn about players with a small investment. Vulcun keeps track of great statistics for its users.
Of these methods, the most effective one is watching broadcasts on Youtube, and commentaries done by the players themselves. Casters and players have spent many hours watching CS:GO, and know the players better than anyone else does. Their commentary is invaluable for learning about new players, team histories, tournament history, and map advantages and disadvantages by team.
There is currently no reliable enough esports analytics provider to circumvent the need to spend many hours watching games and listening to professionals to gain a better understanding.
Those bettors who put in the work, however, will find themselves in a position to take advantage of the youth of esports and potentially win a large amount of money.
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