Welcome to our Counter-Strike: Global Offensive betting guide. This article will cover the basics of CS:GO, how the game is played, its competitive structure, as well as an overview of betting on CS:GO. Furthermore, in this article, you’ll find an overview of the game’s top teams and its most important esports tournaments.
Before you go ahead and learn how to bet on CS:GO, it’s important to place your bets at a reputable bookmaker that will treat you as a valued customer throughout your betting experience.
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a sportsbook besides its reputation, such as its ease of use, the level of their customer service, and the quality of their markets and odds. We’ve taken all of these factors into consideration in order to present you with the best of the best, so you won’t have to worry about anything else but which team to bet on. Below, you’ll find the most consistent and reliable CS:GO bookmakers that offer a streamlined and worry-free betting experience.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive, multiplayer FPS (first-person shooter) game developed by Valve Corporation. Global Offensive is the latest of 4 installments in the Counter-Strike series, the first of which was released back in 1999. The game became a global hit soon after its release, dominating the esports scene throughout the 2000s and eventually growing to become one of the most instantly-recognizable video games of all time.
It’s been nearly two decades since Counter Strike’s initial release, but the game has consistently maintained its strong stature throughout the years. Global Offensive came out in 2012, right when esports started hitting meaningful strides among the mainstream. Thanks to the game’s huge fan base, as well as financial backing by Valve, it wasn’t long before CS:GO esports became a thing.
You may be wondering how Counter-Strike has remained such a strong force in the gaming world amidst a flurry of flamboyant first-person shooters in the modern world. And the answer may lie in the question itself. CS:GO is simplicity at its finest.
Thanks to the game’s great visual clarity due to its simple graphics and concise textures, players get immediate and clear feedback on their actions via their mouse and keyboard. It is a game that requires great mechanical skill with no skill ceiling in sight, but also a healthy dose of mental capabilities in order to out-wit your opponents. In essence, CS:GO is a brutal contest of raw skills, reaction times, and coordination. There are no special powers, no flashy upgrades, mega-powerful weapons, or anything of the sort. You either kill or be killed, whether or not you’re trying to attack/defend a bomb site or simply eliminate all of your opponents.
This is why CS:GO attracts the most competitive of gamers and why it has retained such a wide audience for so long.
A competitive CS:GO match is played between 2 teams of 5 players each – Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. Both teams share the same win condition at all times: kill everyone on the opposing team to win the round.
However, the Terrorists also come equipped with a bomb. The bomb is interchanged between players at the start of each round, but they can also pass it around at will. The Terrorists’ objective is to plant the bomb at any of the designated bomb sites, of which there’s usually two. If they protect it until it explodes, they’ve won the round. To prevent this, the Counter-Terrorists can attempt to defuse the bomb before it blows up, thus ending the round in their favor.
CS:GO matches are played on various maps such as de_inferno, de_nuke, de_dust2, and de_mirage. Each map features a different size, layout, and sometimes objectives, adding variety to the game. In a competitive setting, each map is played over 30 rounds, potentially going into overtime with an extra 6 rounds should the score read 15:15 at the end of the map.
The biggest difference-maker in CS:GO is the weapons arsenal at your disposal. Each player starts equipped with a knife, basic gun, and $800 to his name. More money is earned by killing players and winning rounds, allowing the purchase of better weapons. The CS:GO shop contains weapons (pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, rifles, machine guns), gear (Kevlar vest, helmet, bomb defusal kit), and grenades (Molotov, decoy, HE grenade, flashbang, smoke), each coming at varying prices.
It goes without saying that a professional CS:GO team must be strongly organized and work together as a cohesive unit in order to achieve their objective. This is why players have different roles that suit their strengths within a team. To a newcomer’s eye, there may not be an apparent distinction in each player’s function in a match, but as your knowledge of the game grows, you’ll begin to recognize each role’s significance and what they bring to their team.
The entry-fragger is the first one in. He is the boldest, bravest, and usually most accurate player on the team. His primary goal is to get that crucial first kill for his team and give them an instantaneous advantage.
The entry-fragger must have strong communication skills to quickly converge information to his teammates about what he’s seeing so that they have a shot of scoring a quick counter-frag should the entry-fragger go down. Due to the high-risk nature of his role, the entry-fragger is usually the first player to go down, which is why it’s preferred that he possesses a fierce “never-give-up” mentality.
The secondary entry-fragger, also known as the playmaker, is the first player to follow up on the information relayed by the entry-fragger. The playmaker is the guy who will almost certainly score a counter-frag should the entry-fragger go down, which is why they usually last the round.
The shot-caller is the captain and leader of the team. He must have great map knowledge, the ability to predict rotations, good overview of the current economy of the match, and strong decision-making skills to be able to call the right shots in the fast-paced dynamics of a CS:GO match.
AWPers are your snipers. They are patient players with extremely quick reaction times and shot accuracy. Communication skills and map knowledge are necessities for this role. The AWPers don’t tend to sit around in one spot all game, however, as they must be able to adapt on the fly and come in aggressive when the situation calls for it.
If you are just getting into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive betting, below you will find a useful overview of the most common bet types in CS:GO and what they mean.
Betting on the winner is pretty self-explanatory. You place your stake, and should it come out right, you get your stake back plus money on top based on the odds you staked on. Betting on winners is usually recommended when there’s a clear favorite, which is why you’ll usually encounter low odds for this bet, but it can complement a profitable low-risk low-reward strategy.
In CS:GO, you are able to bet on tournament winners and match winners, but also individual map winners, as competitive matches are usually played in a best-of-3-maps format.
Due to the best-of-3 nature of competitive CS:GO matches, you are usually able to bet on the correct score of maps. If you are highly certain of one team’s favorite status, by betting on a correct score of 2:0, you would get higher odds than outright betting on the match winner. Similarly, if you feel an underdog team has what it takes to steal one map away from the favorites, betting a correct score of 2:1 would usually net you even higher returns, but at an obviously higher risk.
Another way to take advantage of what team you perceive to be the strong favorite in a match is handicap betting. By placing a -1.5 handicap bet on the favorite, you are essentially betting that your team will win 2:0 in maps. Another example is placing a +1.5 handicap bet on the underdog, essentially meaning that the underdog must win at least one map.
This is another bet tied to the number of maps in a competitive match. Placing an Over/Under is betting on the number of maps to be played. As an example, placing an over 2.5 maps bet means you’re betting the match will be played over 3 maps. You should usually bet “Over” when two teams of similar skill meet and “Under” when there’s a strong favorite playing against weaker opposition.
A lot of bookmakers feature different combined bets you can pounce on should you feel the opportunity is right. Combined bet examples include the ones below:
Map Winner and Total Rounds
This is betting on which team will win the map and Over/Under on the total rounds to be played within a map, or the number of maps within a match.
Map X Winning Martin
This one is betting on the winning margin in terms of rounds at the end of a map, regardless of which team wins.
The bet types listed above are common among most other sports across bookmakers, but CS:GO paves the way for plenty of special betting opportunities that are unique to the game.
A lot of the bets are tied to the different weapons in CS:GO, such as whether or not a certain map will have a knife kill, grenade kill, or Molotov kill. You can also stake on specific bets such as the following:
…and many more! CS:GO is already interesting as a spectator’s sport, but if you possess enough knowledge of the game, these special betting opportunities will allow you to utilize that knowledge and come out ahead of everyone else in terms of betting, even the bookies at times. After all, the odds are determined by fellow human beings who are passionate about the game just like any other fan.
This paragraph is dedicated to the best professional CS:GO teams. The CS:GO landscape is an ever-shifting one, as players shuffle around and teams change in power all the time, which is why this list will be updated over the time to reflect the current changes.
Roster: dev1ce, gla1ve, Magisk, Xyp9x, dupreeh
Astralis has been on an absolute roll in recent times, winning 3 highly-coveted LAN trophies (Dreamhack Marseille, EPL S7 Finals, ECS S5 Finals) and generally being a force in every other event they participated in. Astralis has not only won most of the competitions they partook in, but they did so in convincing style, rarely dropping a map in the process. They’ve been consistently beating the best teams for a while, so much so that we may already be living in the Astralis era.
Roster: s1mple, electronic, flamie, Edward, Zeus
Na’Vi has been a prominent force on the CS:GO scene ever since its inception, showing remarkable consistency throughout the years. However, recent past sees Na’Vi as a top team that’s not quite among the elite. Following their three consecutive trophies at ESL One Cologne, StarSeries S5, and CS:GO Asia Championship, that perspective is starting to shift. Na’Vi once again looks like an elite team that can consistently rival those at the top. If they maintain their consistency, they will be Astralis’ main rivals for the status of best professional team in CS:GO.
Roster: olofmeister, NiKo, GuardiaN, karrigan, cromen, rain
FaZe has shown remarkable results in recent times, placing 1st at ESL One Belo Horizonte, top 4 at ESL Cologne, ECS S5 Finals, EPL S7 finals, and most impressively – 1st place at IEM XIII Sydney, a monumental trophy for the team, as they beat Astralis in the best-of-5 final to claim the title.
What’s even more impressive about FaZe’s recent success is the fact that they’ve had to use numerous stand-ins at the tournaments they’ve participated in due to olof’s absence. After olof’s return, however, there’s no telling how FaZe will perform, which is why we place them well below Astralis and Na’Vi for now.
The CS:GO scene is vibrant with a plethora of tournaments held throughout the year and held by various organizers. The most important tournaments are the ones sponsored by Valve, called the Majors and Minors. There are 4 majors in a year, all of which boast a fantastic $1,000,000 prize pool, whereas the minors come with a $50,000 prize pool, but they are much more frequently held and are usually reserved for the lower-ranked teams looking to break through. All majors and minors are played in a LAN environment across locations such as Columbus, Atlanta, Krakow, and Boston, each presenting a unique environment and an excellent spectating experience.
Notable CS:GO leagues include the Intel Extreme Masters, which has been running for 8 seasons now. There is also the famous ESL Pro League, which hosts LAN finals at various locations around the globe, such as Sydney, Cologne, New York, Stockholm, and so forth. ESL tournaments usually come with a prize pool close to a million, with $250,000 reserved for the winner. In the CIS CS:GO sub-scene, the StarSeries league is king, running for years across multiple games – not only CS:GO. The league regularly hosts some of the world’s top teams for a prize pool of $300,000.
Across the whole CS:GO competitive season, there are more than 200 tournaments played out and more than $10,000,000 in prize money distributed among teams, meaning that as a CS:GO fan, you’ll almost always be spoiled for choice and entertainment.
Full information on all previous, on-going, and upcoming CS:GO tournaments can be found on Liquidpedia’s extremely detailed CS:GO page.
Counter-Strike is an iconic game for many reasons. Its latest iteration, CS:GO, boasts multiple fronts of entertainment. You can be a CS:GO fan in the form of a player, spectator, bettor, or all of the above. It’s a game that’s easy to pick up by watching or playing, but it’s deeply intricate with a limitless skill ceiling.
In case you’re planning on having a bet on some of the many upcoming CS:GO tournaments, we’ll remind you to have a look at our recommendations of tried and tested sportsbooks.