Betting on eSports: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: a quick introduction

The gaming industry is one on the biggest entertainment industries in the world and recently bookmakers have opened their markets so you can bet on these global games.

And Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is by far the most popular online game to play and bet on right now!

If you’re new to online gaming and online betting then this guide will take you through exactly what Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is, and how you can bet on the action.

There are on average 400,000 players of CS:GO, with monthly peaks that can reach a staggering 750,000. So there is always a game to follow on your computer — and even bet on!

This guide will introduce newcomers to exactly what CS:GO is, and how people play it. You’ll also get a breakdown of how to bet on CS:GO and eSports in general.

If you are new to the world of eSports or betting on eSports, feel free to continue reading and get to learn what it is all about.


What is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, often abbreviated to CS:GO, is a first person shooter game that is played by two teams consisting of five players each. One team plays the terrorist team whose goal it is to plant a bomb in one of the bomb sites before the round timer expires. The goal of the second team, the counter-terrorists, is to eliminate the terrorists or defuse the bomb in time, should the terrorists manage to plant it.

This format sounds incredibly straightforward — almost like a sport where two teams compete against each other. But because each side requires different strategies to complete their objectives, CS:GO can be an enthralling game to play and follow online, let alone bet on.

Teams also have to either protect or free hostages, depending on which side they are on. Teams must work together in order to avoid individual players being ‘killed’ during a round. Therefore, large strategies and intricate tactics develop over time, with the best players competing professionally for CS:GO teams.

Games are played on ‘Maps’, which are generated landscapes that differ every time a new game begins. It means players need to learn how to quickly understand terrain and vantage points in the new map.

Every round that is won counts as a point and a CS:GO Map is typically played in a best-of-30 format, meaning that the first team to reach 16 points will win the Map. After 15 rounds the teams switch positions, which means both teams get an equal chance of winning a Map. A game can be played over multiple Maps and is mostly best-of-three or best-of-one.

What are CS:GO weapons?

What makes CS:GO unique is the economy system of buying weapons and items to complete the team objectives, as money is not unlimited and based on the individual and the team performance throughout the game. This means that every round can be a complete different round and teams often string together round wins, as the other team might have to save up.

So for example, a team may decide to not ‘spend money’ on new weapons, in order to save up for more powerful weapons at a later round. This is of course a risky strategy as the team is therefore more likely to lose the earlier rounds. And remember, if you lose too many rounds then you lose the Map and possible the game!

CS:GO weapons include pistols like the USP-S and Desert Eagle, submachine guns like the Mag-7 and rifles like the AK47. Players can also use grenades and knives when combating their opponents. And they can of course purchase gear such as Kevlar Vests and Defuse Kits, in order to protect themselves.

Competitive CS:GO

Competitive CS:GO tournaments are being organised throughout the year and can be played in a lot of different formats, from a league system with play-offs to a single elimination tournament with qualifiers.

Even though the game is mainly played online, the major tournaments with the biggest prize pools are being played offline and are often held in big sports and entertainment venues such as the Barclays Center in New York (home of the Brooklyn Nets) and London’s Wembley Arena.

There is an increasing number of eSport leagues of which CS:GO is a central game. The ESL Pro League stages CS:GO matches in North America and Europe, with over 20 teams competing on a regular basis. Fans can live stream CS:GO and watch all the action, while also betting on the outcome of matches.

The CS:GO Major Championships is also growing in reputation. Here, teams qualify through their own regional qualifying campaigns — called Minors — to earn the chance of battling it out for glory on the world stage. Teams that did well in the previous CS:GO Major Championships are also invited into the upcoming tournament.

Gamers who compete for these teams can be paid big money, with huge cash prizes up for grabs. And the sheer number of leagues around the world means there is always a CS:GO match to watch and bet on!

Betting on CS:GO with Unibet

Betting on CS:GO has witnessed increased popularity not only because of the ever-growing eSports industry but also because it is a relatively new market, which means players can find good value in bets by preparing well. Upsets are not uncommon in CS:GO, which makes it the perfect sport for the occasional punter looking to make a high profit out of a small stake.

Gambit Esports, for example, managed to surprise everyone by taking down everyone at the the PGL Major in Krakow in 2017, even though they were priced at odds of 50/1 to win at the start of the competition.

The most popular CS:GO betting markets are the outright winner odds and match odds. In outright winner betting, you simply bet on which team you think will be the champion of a tournament. It’s an easy way tote on CS:GO and follow a team through the tournament. This is particularly popular for major tournaments such as the CS:GO Major Championships, where teams compete for a purse of £850,000 or more.

Match betting is more specific but is the same idea as outright winner betting. Here, you simply bet on the team you think will win the particular match. So for example, North could be facing SK Gaming in a CS:GO match. You could back North to win the whole match and you’d win your bet if that happened.

You can also bet on individual rounds — called Map Betting — in CS:GO, with the odds likely to change per round as the match develops. Indeed, we also offer handicap betting on eSports such as CS:GO. This is when one team is a heavy favourite against the other, so a handicap is placed on the market in order to even out the odds.

For example, GamerLegion are playing Avangar, with the latter favourites to win. The handicap market offers a price on underdogs GamerLegion to win with a +2.5 handicap. That means GamerLegion have a virtual 2.5-Map lead on Avangar before the match starts. Avangar would therefore have to win by three Maps or more for you to lose your bet.

You can also bet on correct scores in CS:GO, although this can be very tricky. After all, in a 30-round game the likelihood of predicting the correct score is slim. Therefore, you can also bet on Over/Under markets in CS:GO. This is when you bet on the match lasting a certain number of rounds. For example, you could bet on a match lasting +22.5 rounds. If a 23rd round is played, you win your bet.

Follow CS:GO with Unibet

CS:GO games can be followed easily, as most events can be followed on popular streaming sites such as Twitch or are even offered in-play on Unibet. Our dedicated sportsbook team make sure live odds are changing all the time to reflect the latest development within CS:GO matches. Therefore, you can be sure to have the most up-to-date information before making your bets.

Bet on Counter Strike: Global Offensive