Esports is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global entertainment industry and bookmakers have responded to demand by offering an ever expanding variety of esports betting markets.
And one game is at the forefront of that betting revolution. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the highest profile esport, particularly in Europe and North America. With millions of players and spectators around the world, it’s not hard to see why bookmakers are scrambling to offer as many CS:GO betting opportunities as possible.
CS:GO betting has been growing in popularity for a number of reasons. It has the advantage of being the top First Person Shooter (FPS) game in the esports field, and this genre has an enduring popularity amongst gamers. The fact that upsets are not uncommon in CS:GO, also means that it has appeal to punters who are looking for big wins for relatively small stakes.
And there’s no shortage of games to bet on. Competitive CS:GO tournaments are run all year round and can be played in a variety of formats, from leagues to single player tournaments. While the game is played primarily online, many of the main tournaments with the largest prize pools are played at high profile and prestigious venues such as the Barclays Center and the Wembley Arena.
There is a bewildering variety of CS:GO tournaments to bet on. The ESL Pro League stages CS:GO games on both sides of the Atlantic, featuring some of the world’s top teams, and giving fans the chance to stream games while also betting on the outcome.
Also growing in popularity is the CS:GO Global Championships. This gives teams the chance to qualify through their own national qualifying campaigns, called Minors, to take part in the CS:GO Major Championships. These are lucrative, popular events, with huge prizes on offer and bookmakers are keen to offer a wide choice of betting market for these events.
Betting on CS:GO
The most popular markets for CS:GO bets are the traditional options of outright tournament winner and match winner. Since most esports fans are happy to debate which is the best CS:GO team, picking the winner of a tournament is a natural extension. The top teams in CS:GO are well known, along with their strengths and weaknesses, and these markets are often a good place to start betting.
Match betting is the other main CS:GO market, as it has a simple appeal. Unlike some sports, there are no draws in CS:GO, so it is a clear choice between Team A and Team B. These markets are where it really pays to be up to date on team news, form and the head to head records of the various teams. The majority of money bet on CS:GO is wagered in the match betting markets.
The complexity and subtleties of CS:GO also mean that there are a range of other specialist markets, many of them focused on maps. For instance, you can bet on which team will win a single round, or bet in the map handicap markets, which assign a handicap to the stronger team. These markets are popular for matches that see a strong favorite take on an outsider.
You can also bet on the correct score in a match, although this is a volatile type of betting as teams will be focused on winning the overall match rather than achieving a certain score. And another rapidly growing form of CS:GO betting is the Over/Under markets, which give you the chance to bet on a range of stats, such as the total number of rounds in a match.
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