A Brief Introduction
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the fourth installment, and most recent update, to one of the longest tenured and globally popular games ever developed. Its inception dates back over 15 years and is the direct result of the vision from Vietnamese-Canadian computer game developer, Minh “Gooseman” Le. Counter-Strike started out as a solo project by Le, who previously had developed the Navy SEALs mod for the original Quake platform. Le’s vision was to create a game that was as realistic to modern warfare as possible, including state of the art weapon models, ammo conservation, and critical damage from headshots.
Le’s focus on what would eventually become known as Counter-Strike was preceded by his introduction to longtime project webmaster and co-creator, Jesse Cliffe. Jesse Cliffe’s main contribution was to gate the feedback from community responses on each iteration of their beta patches. Counter-Strike’s initial popularity can be directly linked to this interaction with the Counter-Strike community and their development team. “We didn’t actually make any of the levels for Counter-Strike; all of the levels were made by the community. They would make levels and submit them to us, and we would review them.” Le said. “We would choose which ones we liked and include those in the next version we released. So basically that is how the game was developed. It was me, my partner Cliffe, and the community. It was kind of like crowd development.”
After the fourth beta release of Counter-Strike, Valve began to assist with the development and modification process. Once Le sat down with the upper management of Valve and discussed his vision of the game, Valve decided it was time to purchase the rights to Counter-Strike and subsequently hired both Le and Cliffe to head up the project. Over the years, Valve has released various iterations of the game. Counter-Strike 1.6 was one of the first games to launch on the new Steam platform (after the WON servers were shutdown). Rogue Entertainment was contracted to make Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (CS:CZ). Meanwhile, Le started working on a new iteration of Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Source (CS:S). While CS: Source was widely more popular than CS: CZ, a large portion of the player based remained on the original platform, CS: 1.6.
CS: GO was released in 2012 and has been the most popular update so far. The sustainability of the game can be attributed to its large player base, custom content created by 3rd parties, and its competitive scene. “Counter-Strike is more something for the esports scene, and that’s why it’s distinctly different to Call of Duty and Battlefield 4. I think there will always be a place for CS, because people appreciate that skill-based gameplay. They really want the game to focus more on what their skills are.” Le said. Sixteen years and 25 million copies later, Counter-Strike continues to be one of the most popular First-Person Shooter games.
Betting on Counter-Strike
There are a multitude of ways to bet on Counter-Strike. Regardless of what avenue you use to bet on Counter-Strike (with real money, virtual currency, or skins betting), making smart bets is the number one goal. If you’re new to the competitive scene of Counter-Strike, the research required to make consistent and valuable bets can feel overwhelming. The first step would be to analyze the current competitive teams and formulate your own opinion on how a team performs against the competition. Most teams will stream on services such as Twitch.tv, and previous ESL competitions can be found on YouTube. General practice is to evaluate the competition, formulate an opinion on a matchup, and pick a valued bet that you feel confident in making.
Like any sports, upsets happen. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to bet on teams that have an 80% or higher win rate. A $20 bet would only net a $4 payout, all at the chance of losing your $20 for essentially a low bet. Finding a high bet, or where the odds are closer to 60-70%, are considered valuable bets. Medium bets, or where the competition has odds of 50-60% per team of winning, is also important to look at. Essentially the teams are even in competition, but if the bettor has done their homework, they may find subtle difference that would incline them to pick the winning team. It’s important to make bets on games you have an ample amount of information about (I strongly recommend not betting on games that you can find no information on). Once you start betting just because everyone else is can lead to problems. Always make informative bets.
Develop an Edge
Whether you’re using a sportsbook to bet on Counter-Strike with real currency or just betting with skins on Unikrn or CS:GO Lounge, always check out the odds on multiple sources. CS:GO Lounge has their own odds, which takes into account the community feedback on who they expect to win. Don’t use the odds as real time data, but they’re good to take into consideration when looking at other bookie odds. Always check out other people’s opinions as well. Reddit and Facebook have thriving communities that go into detail on each team and popular opinions on who will win. HLTV also has current rankings, team information, streams, replays, stats, and a plethora of other information that can be used to make informative bets. ESEA also has player feedback reports and a community dedicated to just discussing the professional competition.
Making your Bet
Alright, so now let’s walk through a theoretical bet. Going into a competitive tournament, the first thing you want to do is look for valuable bets. We’ve outlined what high, medium, and low bet values are, so now we want to look for one of those medium-high bets that will return a maximum profit. Generally I don’t want to all-in one matchup, so if I’m looking to spend $20 I’ll bet on 2-3 matchups. This would be a theoretical bet:
In matchup 1, fnatic has a 75% chance of winning over Cloud9. I feel confident in fnatic winning, so I bet $16 with a payout of $4.
In matchup 2, TSM has an 85% chance of winning against Titan. I know Titan has historically played decent against TSM in the past, and they have a slight chance of getting the upset. I bet $2 on Titan with a potential payout of $10.
The most likely outcome is that I win the bet for matchup 1 and lose the bet on the second matchup. The end result is I come out even on the day. However, if I win matchup 2, then I end the day up $14.
As always, have fun with betting. While a select few make it into a career, the majority of people are just casual bettors. Unless you’ve had years of experience, make smaller bets until you have full confidence in your skills.