Counter Strike is a highly competitive game originally created by Minh Le and Jess Cliffe. It originally started off as a modification for the game Half-Life, which was a smash hit and it really revolutionised the gaming industry in the early 2000s. Fast-forward to today and we have Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, a game created by Valve and is now a standalone game, rather than a mod. Over the years, Counter-Strike or CS has grown tremendously and has become a very popular eSport. CS is a game where two opposing teams are pitted against each other in primarily 5v5 matchups. The two sides are known as the Terrorists (T) and the Counter-Terrorists (CT).
The game in this aspect is a 30-round matchup between these sides (15 rounds as each side) and the first team to hit 16 rounds (ex. 16-5) wins the match. If in the rare occasion both teams end up hitting 15-15, it usually goes into overtime. However, the way overtime is played out is dependent on what service you use. If you are simply playing the built-in matchmaking, the game will just end at 15-15 and will be counted as a tie. In other 3rd party services, it will go into overtime with different rulesets.
The game in general, is fairly easy to pick up and get used to, but in order to master it, you must spend thousands of hours learning different strategies, maps along with practicing the guns themselves. The main guns that most veterans use in the game are the AK-47 (T side), M4A4/M4A1-S (CT side) and the AWP (available on both sides).
The feature of skins in CS:GO is purely a cosmetic feature designed to make your guns look better. They range from various ‘grades’ starting from Consumer Grade skins that usually go for roughly $0.03-$0.10 Covert Grade skins/knives that can go for up to thousands of dollars! Yep, you heard right, THOUSANDS!
There is also a community market where you can sell your skins for money available on Steam to buy other skins that you like or other games if you so choose. There is also a trading aspect in the game which allows users to trade one skin for another if both people agree. Skins are overall a huge part in CS:GO nowadays and the game most likely wouldn’t have survived if they weren’t added to the game.
Tournaments and the idea of eSports have almost always been a large part of Counter-Strike’s history as a game and as an eSport. From the beginning, there were tournaments from various organizations such as the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) and DreamHack (DH). The prize pools were fairly small comparing to today’s pools, but back then it was phenomenal. From the year 2000 to 2001, the prize pools were averaging roughly $15,000 dollars. That really doesn’t sound like a lot, but the moment December 5th, 2001 came along, this all changed.
The first $150,000 prize pool was introduced for Counter-Strike and people were ecstatic. In reality, this was the event that really changed the way people viewed Counter-Strike: After CPL Winter 2001, prize pools had a new standard to follow and allowed for the growth of the emerging eSport that was Counter-Strike. Going into 2002, there were changes that were already being felt. More and more tournaments were created, larger prize pools felt more normal as time went on. The game was growing to say the least. From 2003 forward, many more organizers started coming up such as ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup), WCG (World Cyber Games), whilst still retaining the older organizations such as DH and CPL.
The later years featured more of the same; Larger prize pools, more teams and a much larger viewership rate. However, the one thing that really changed the way people viewed the tournaments besides these changes was the location of the events themselves. Seeing a $100,000 prize pool felt increasingly normal, so the enthusiasts such as myself needed something new.
The organizations who made the events decided to try out different locations that are different from nations such as Germany, South Korea, France, Sweden, etc. In 2005, many more nations have been popping up in terms of events such as Turkey, China, Brazil, Spain, etc, while still managing to keep the older countries in a place of power.
As CS:S (Counter-Strike:Source) started to take a take on the scene that its predecessor has created, a new organization had emerged. CGS (Championship Gaming Series) created the first tournament to be aired on actual television. However, there was one thing that really bugged people, and that was how they chose to air CS:S rather than the game that was being shown throughout the game’s history. Nevertheless, it also made for the largest prize pools in history. While $100,000 pools were still great and all, CGS managed to push out an insane $477,500 for each year that it aired. Besides these feats, a newer, more professional organization launched.
The first IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) tournament had been revealed to take place on March 15th, 2007. It was the first of its kind and managed to boast a $122,420 prize pool being paid out to a total of 24 teams. The years pushing closer to today had increasing amounts of organizations, players, teams, prize pools, sponsors and viewership rates.
Fast forward to the middle of 2012, and we have a game that has really come a long way and has finally been put to rest. A new game has come along to take it’s place and that game is CS:GO (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive). As starting off seemingly brand new, the game felt as if we were in 2001 all over again. This all changed towards the end of 2013 as Valve had created the very first ‘major’ featuring a prize pool of $250,000. Everything felt like it was back on track and we were well on our way to furthering the success of the original Counter-Strike. 2013 basically was a repeat of 2012 but with 3 majors now instead of the 1 that we had in December.
The year 2015 was indeed a milestone in terms of everything relating to the eSport itself. Having over 30 total tournaments and having over two-thirds of those events featuring $100,000 or more in terms of prize pools made 2015 one of the most innovative, profitable and insane years for Counter-Strike.
However, 2016 is looking expand on these feats seeing as how we have returned to the television to broadcast games with companies such as ELeague boasting a total of $2,400,000 (over the course of 2 seasons) and Valve increasing the prize pools of the majors to a total $1,000,000, quadrupling the total amount from previous years. Having tournaments featuring prize pools of $100,000 simply feels old and bland. From this point forward, we simply just have to wait and see what is in store for the eSport itself and if it will continue to grow immensely heading into 2017.
Betting on professional matches has always been a huge part of CS:GO and it would be best if we give passionate CS:GO players such as yourself some professional tips on betting. If you’re new, these tips will also help you guys get started, so don’t feel left out! Betting on any sort of sport requires skill and knowledge about the game and the teams involved. There are many factors as to what you need to do in order to be successful at betting.
First of all, you must obviously be familiar with the game that you want to place your bets on. If you don’t know the game very well, it might be a wise idea to play the game and become knowledgeable on the game itself along with the eSports aspect of the game. After you have completed this step, get to know the scene itself. Basically what you want to do is become familiar with the teams involved and learn different concepts such as ‘form’, ‘ranking’, etc. Make sure to look at what they have previously achieved online and on LAN in terms of tournaments. If they seem to be up to par with their recent results, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on them as they may make you money with the bets you place on said team.
Another tip that is really helpful is to become familiar with odds. Odds are in essence an indicator to see how much you would make if you bet on a certain team. In most cases, it shows how much you will make for every dollar you put on the team.
For example, if there are two teams who are facing each other in a match (Cloud9 / Natus Vincere) and the odds are 7.5 to 1.2, then you would make $7.50 for every dollar you put on Cloud9. If you were to place the bet on Natus Vincere however, you would make a total of $1.20 for every dollar you put on the team. This make Natus Vincere the leading team in this scenario, but putting a small bet on Cloud9 may make you insane amounts of profit.
In a case like this, you have to think: Do I want to for a risky bet, safe bet, or skip in general? There are three total option that you have to choose from. One of them is putting a small/medium bet on Cloud9 to maximize the amount of profit possible. This falls under a case of a risky bet due to Cloud9 not having a high chance of winning because of the odds, but if they do end up winning, you make a lot more money.
If you want to play it safe, you place a medium/large bet on Natus Vincere because they are the clear favourites in this matchup. Another style of betting is not betting at all. If a match seems too risky, it may be the best idea simply to skip the match and wait for a better opportunity to pounce on a match to make money. Follow these tips and you should be able to become king/queen of the betting scene in eSports.
Keep shooting & fragging!