With the rise of professional gaming teams being sponsored by hardware companies and viewership being in the millions, E-sports are becoming ever more important. Many people have always loved to wager money on their favorite sports teams – this is true in the case of E-sports too, where the circumstances are often very similar to regular sports. There are lively competitive scenes around many video games, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is among the most popular games. With both online and LAN events happening around the world, and the emergence of skin-trading and betting sites, CSGO fans have ample opportunities to wager their in-game skins or real money on their favorite teams.
The First Steps
Just like regular sports betting, the first step is always to be in the know about the game’s rules and the participating players and teams. Assuming you are already a CSGO player, you should have some grasp on how the game works, what makes individual players or teams better than others, and on how various situations and maps can affect players. Generally speaking, the higher your own skill level is, the higher your ability to spot skillful gameplay and differentiate between playstyles is as an observer.
This is very important, as you should never just bet blindly when there are many ways to ascertain your winnings. You could just study statistics of the teams and individual players and so on, but that is only one part of the job – in addition to this, watching the live matches and getting to know the participants will give insight into smaller details which might not be noticeable in raw stats.
Also, since CSGO is mostly an online game, the type of match being played is very important. There are two kinds of competitions – online like those organized by ESEA, and LAN like the IEM Katowice events. The former is prone to server-related issues, disconnections, the players being DDoSed by cybercriminals, cheating and so on, since every participant plays from their home. Contrast to this is the LAN event, where teams meet up in person and play in a local, professionally organized environment, where apart from local technical difficulties and roster changes, nothing else can influence the outcome of a match.
Learning the scene will take a while, so you should start with small amounts of money, like a few dollars at most per bet. As you grow more confident in predicting results, you can increase your bets, but you should never go all in. And you should understand that sometimes you will win, other times you will lose – this is just the nature of sports betting, which applies to CS:GO too.
How to bet on CSGO?
There are two main methods of betting on CSGO matches. The first one is simple – betting real money on regular sports betting sites; some of these feature E-Sports events, and you can bet simply on who will win that specific match. These sites put up Odds on the teams; these numbers generally define the betting shop’s opinion about how likely is that team to win. Numbers closer to 1.00 mean more certainty of winning; higher odds like 3.76 mean that team is very unlikely to win – very important, this is according to the analysis done by that specific betting shop! An advantage of regular betting sites is that depositing and cashing out are very simple and done without any hassle.
The second method of betting involves using your Steam inventory to wager on matches. Remember those crates and skins you get while playing CSGO on Steam? On sites like CSGOLounge and several others, you can bet using your accumulated skins to wager on matches, using the skins in place of regular money. All of these skins have monetary values attached to them – you can view these values by viewing each individual item’s Steam Marketplace price. Skin betting websites use these ever-changing values to determine what each one of them is worth.
You might already have some items from playing the game; use these as a starting point in your inventory. Think about how much money are you willing to invest into betting, because you will surely need to fill out your inventory with some more items. The difference here between betting on regular sites and CS:GO skin sites is that instead of directly using real money to bet, you use your initial deposit to purchase skins and keys in a certain total value.
You should focus more on quantity, than quality; having 10 skins worth $0.25 is better than one $2.5 skin, because by using the former quantity, you will be able to fine-tune your bets by $0.25 increments, and also more chances to come back if you lose some bets. If your initial deposit is a bit larger, like $20 or so, you could buy some keys worth $1 or $2.50; these have the advantage of being fixed-price unlike skins which often have fluctuating values.
There are several sites which focus on skin and key betting. One prime example is CSGOLounge, where players can make trades and wager their skins on upcoming professional matches. After registering on the site and linking your Steam account via their API, you will be able to use the site’s features. Please be aware that the odds and percentages on this site are NOT made by analysts and professional bookmakers – instead, they simply denote the ratio of people betting on the teams.
For example, if a Fnatic vs iBuyPower match stands on 32% – 68%, that means 68% of the bet values were placed on iBuyPower. Odds numbers are also present here, they are just the site managers’ guesses, but these may influence people in placing their bets. Another thing to watch out for is swaying – that is, when people manipulate the displayed odds and percentages by betting on the team they deem to be weak, then changing their bets at the last minute, effectively baiting less experienced bettors to wager on the weaker team. This is where actually knowing the teams and doing research comes in – you have to form your own opinion and do your own research instead of relying on the displayed numbers.
Alright, so you managed to place a few bets and eventually come out above your initial deposit. Now you can either trade the skins you got for higher-valued ones if you are aiming for a certain skin to use in-game, or you could cash out for Steam wallet cash or real money. In the latter case, you can use a marketplace site like OPSkins or BitSkins to cash out on PayPal or direct wire transfer; these sites act as middle-men, and take about 5% to 10% cut. If you sell the skins on the Steam Marketplace, then you can use Steam wallet to buy new skins or make your next few game purchases a bit cheaper.