Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is a popular team based first person shooter produced by Valve. The game, released in 2012, has stood the test of time and has matured into a very popular esport with many large organizations invested in professional teams. A large betting market has grown around this esport, and we're here to help you figure it out.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is played between two teams of five players. One map is played as a series of rounds, and the first team to secure sixteen round wins is the winner, as long as they win by two rounds or more. If a map score reaches 15-15, normally an overtime round will be played to determine the winner.
Sometimes the series will just involve a single map, but best of two and best of three map series are also popular formats.
One map has two halves of 15 rounds each. One team starts as the Terrorists and the other team is the Counter-Terrorists - roles swap at halftime. The Terrorists want to plant and detonate a bomb at one of two targets on the map - the Counter-Terrorists want to prevent this from happening. The Terrorist team can win the round by detonating the bomb, or by eliminating the Counter-Terrorist team before the bomb is defused. The Counter-Terrorists can win the round by defusing the bomb, or by eliminating the Terrorist team before the bomb is planted.
Players earn money based on their individual and team performance, and can use the money to buy equipment that will help them win future rounds. Money and equipment is reset at the start of each half, including in overtime.
Overtime is generally played as two three-round halves, with first team to win four rounds being declared the winner. If the rounds are split 3-3, then another overtime round is played.
There is a pool of seven maps played competitively, each having different layouts. Professional series typically include a pick and ban phase, where teams pick and ban maps based on their strengths. This determines the map(s) to be played. Some teams are better at certain maps - in a best of three series, you could see the map favourite alternate between maps, as each team secures a map pick in their own favour.
Betting on Counter-Strike
There are a huge number of factors that influence who wins a given series of CSGO. Of course, you can't account for everything, but most experienced bettors will consider the factors below before placing a bet.
Overall Team Strength
When two teams face off, the most important factor to consider is the overall strength each team. Which team has a stronger overall roster? Is either team playing with substitute players? How has each team been playing lately?
If the map picks are known, you should consider how strong each team is on each map picked. If there are multiple maps played, generally each team will have one map that they are stronger on. This needs to be accounted for when betting on who will win each map, as well as on the match winner or match handicap.
LAN vs Online
Larger tournaments will take place in arenas on local area networks (LAN) - other smaller tournaments or qualifiers will be purely online. Some teams play very differently in front of a crowd instead of at their own computer at home. Some can handle the pressure, and others fold. It's important to look at how each team has performed in the past to try to wager how they will match up.
Counter-Terrorist / Terrorist Side Bias
Some maps have a stronger CT/T side bias than others. This is particularly important to account for when betting in play. If one team gets ahead on their CT half, and the map has a T sided bias - then you know this team is in good shape. But if there is instead a strong CT side bias, then it is a bit less impressive that this team is getting a lead - and they may be expected to drop some rounds later on their T side.
Economy is important to consider when betting in play. Economy refers to the money and equipment situation of each team. If one team gets well ahead in economy, they can snowball and win several rounds in a row. By understanding how economy impacts the game, you may be able to find interesting live betting opportunities in the live Map Winner and Rounds Handicap markets.
Past Head-to-Head Series
A team's past performance is generally a strong predictor of how they will perform today. If there are past series between the teams that are playing today, evaluate how these previous match ups played out. This is particularly useful if there are map picks in common. The more recent a past match, the more reflective it should be of the current teams' strengths.
Consider the importance of the map or series that you're looking at. Strong teams tend to play their best at big events - underdogs may have a better shot in online events. Occasionally, due to tournament design, there will be series that do not affect the chances of either team advancing - in this case there is much less incentive for teams to try their hardest, and underdogs have a good shot to win.
Counter-Strike Bets on Midnite
There's quite a variety of events that you can bet on during a Counter-Strike series - here's what you can find at Midnite:
Match Winner is a bet on the overall winner of the series.
Match Handicap is a handicap bet on the number of maps won. It's important to consider the map picks here - often each team will have one map that they are stronger on.
Map Winner is a bet on who will win a specific map in the series. You may notice that the odds vary between maps - if so, it's likely due to map picks.
Correct Score is a bet on the exact correct final score of the series. It's important to consider map picks - if each team gets a map they are strong on, it might come down to who is best on that third and final map.
Pistol Round Winner is a bet on which team will win the pistol round. Each half starts with a pistol round, so there are two pistol rounds per map (excluding overtime).
Rounds Handicap is a handicap bet on the number of rounds won. One team will be given an advantage in order to account for disparity in team strengths. Any overtime played will count.
Total Rounds is a bet on whether or not the total number of rounds played is over or under the specified strike. Bettors will favour the Over when teams are evenly matched, and the Under when one team is a strong favourite.
Total Maps Played is a bet on whether the total number of maps played in the series is over or under the specified strike. In a best of 3, this is a bet on whether or not Map 3 gets played - the Under means some team will win 2-0, and the Over means the third map gets played.
The best source for any CSGO information is HLTV.org. They cover recent news for important roster and meta changes. They provide detailed statistics on nearly every game of professional Counter-Strike. You can use their database to dig into map biases, pistol round performances, and almost anything else you can think of, to help you decipher who will win the next series!
If you want to check out some recommended tips, you can check out specific CSGO tips sites linked here. Midnite is also rated as one of the best CSGO betting sites on there, so be sure to give it a look.