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E-Sports: How to play and how to bet on it

What do you need to know about eSports betting? We will talk about the most important examples of bets on Dota 2 and CS:GO.

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Why can't eSports be ignored anymore?

Only sports fans living under a rock do not talk about the active development of eSports in recent years. The sphere is developing very rapidly: new disciplines are emerging, the scale of tournaments is growing, the number of professional players and amateurs is growing steadily, the prizes that rotate in the field of eSports. For example, in 2018, the prize pool of the main Dota 2 tournament called The International was $25,532,177. The biggest cash tournament on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the World Electronic Sports Games. In 2016-2017, $1,500,000 was awarded each.

Interesting fact: a man named Janus Varoufakis, who advised the market for virtual goods Dota 2, now holds the post of Finance Minister of Greece.

Among the popular and titled players, there are many representatives of CIS countries. For example, in Dota 2 one of the best captains is Russian Alexey "Solo" Berezin, who at the beginning of his playing career was caught betting against himself. The sum of his bet was $322. For this, he was suspended from StarLadder tournaments for a year. Since then, the number 322 has served as an analogue of the expression "contract match." Over the next few years, Solo was able to assemble one of the best teams in the world, Virtus.pro, and win several world championships with them.

If betting on something is popular, this direction is diligently followed by all bookmakers. Indeed, eSports betting attracts more and more attention every year. In particular, bets on the matches of Dota 2 and CS:GO are among the most popular. You can even bet on eSports money and skins, but more on that later.

Best bookie for Esports bets

The advantages of betting on esports

The difficulties of bookmakers are the benefit of the players

How do bookmakers put odds on an event? Many criteria and indicators are considered when calculating the line, but one of the most important roles is played by the statistics of teams and players. Hence the important advantage of betting on eSports.

On the professional esports scene, only a few teams retain their line-up for more than at least one year. There are always new mixes of players who have lost teams. Young players make their way to semi-professional leagues and qualifications for major tournaments, where they are found by more experienced e-sportsmen and new teams are formed. This constant stream of newcomers makes collecting statistics for bookmakers simply impossible.

Very often the odds-on favourites against "new" teams are in the area of 1.2. Meanwhile, the newly assembled teams of young guys, having come to the tournament, light up at the sight of a huge audience and the scale of what is happening and can show incredible results.

Unexpected results are not only due to the inspiration of new teams and difficulties in collecting statistics. The fact is that Dota 2 and CS:GO are difficult not only for the player but also for the developer. There are always undisclosed strategies, imbalances in the game, or trying to remove patches, that is, problems with the mechanics of the game. Constant updates are another reason why rookie teams often receive, if not first place, then at least a prize placing, beating those who were considered the clear favourite.

Frequent patches in Dota 2 and CS:GO also often lead to unexpected results. Imagine if before each major soccer tournament a few centimetres changed, for example, the width of the goal or if in baseball the distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate was extended a few inches.

Because of these complexities, eSports betting sites can offer very different odds for the same event. This speaks to the number of shortcomings of bookmakers, which can be a huge benefit to players with sufficient information. 

The convenience of match analysis

Unlike traditional sports, Dota 2 and CS:GO have additional options that can help you make correct match analyses. For example, Dota 2 has a "Dota TV" tool. Going into the game and clicking on the "View" section, you will see a list of games going on at the moment, and at the top are the games of the people with the highest rating (better known as "mmr"). They are, for the most part, professional or well-known players.

Imagine that you put on virtual reality goggles and see a football match through the eyes of Neymar. Here you get the ball, you process it, sharply turn your eyes into the penalty area, you notice Messi from the corner of your eye, pass the ball at him and, looking at him, running around the defender, put your foot under the return pass. And you look first at the trembling net of the goal, and then at the wave of fans standing already at the moment when you were just giving a pass. In Dota, it's possible.

Yes, it is possible just by choosing the option "player's eyes", take your cursor over the edge of the screen and voila: all the movements of the screen, pressing of the buttons and in general all the actions of the player – are now on your monitor. This is not only beautiful, but also very useful: you can analyze the last tournament match ten times through the eyes of all players, and you can look at the training of a particular player in a normal rated match, thus observing the current form of the player and his ability.

All this is supplemented by numerous broadcasts on streaming sites such as twitch, where players broadcast themselves and their screen (again, when compared to soccer, it is the same as Cristiano Ronaldo broadcasting live on Instagram from his training at Juventus).

Live bets

Live bets on Dota 2 and CS:GO games are both a plus and a minus in eSports betting. For now, we will talk about the pros with an example from Dota 2.

Competition in the game begins with the selection of five characters (the so-called "draft"), who will be played by the teams. This stage also includes the prohibition of selecting certain characters. This difficult stage often predetermines the course of the match, a team’s strategy for the game becomes more clear after the draft: whether it wants a tight game or to finish quickly; whether players will gain an advantage in collecting gold, destroying buildings, or want to look for enemies on the map, thereby earning money for themselves while interfering with the enemy.

This is not the same as the conditional pre-match arrangement in soccer- the characters chosen cannot be changed throughout the course of the game. Plus, it is that by properly analyzing the selections and prohibitions (in professional slang "peaks" and "bans"), you can try to draw a conclusion about the outcome and catch very good odds in live.

Successful bets on matches of CS:GO can be made after the process of selecting the maps (peaks and bans). In CS:GO games are played on special landscapes (maps), the list of which is prepared in advance by the organizers. No team can play well on all maps. Everyone has their own strong and weak locations.

It is not enough to turn to statistics but to instead look for constant updates during the match. If Team A is poorly playing on a certain map, but by coincidence won the first few rounds, it is not a fact that Team B will lose the entire match. To win on the map, you need to win at least 16 rounds. The in-game economy has a huge impact (if not the main impact) in CS:GO. For each faction (destroying the enemy), round and bomb players are awarded money. With these funds, participants buy weapons, grenades and armour. When one of the teams loses a round by score, but their money is all right, it makes sense to think they still have a solid chance to win and to not jump to conclusions about the winner of the entire match.

Best bookie for Esports bets

The drawbacks of betting on esports

The rarity of major tournaments

By major tournaments, we will be referring to those whose prize pool is at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars, as well as tournaments in which participation can affect a player’s invitation to the main tournaments of the year from Valve.

Esports seasons look something like this: the main tournament of the year "The International" (something like the Champions League or the World Series) lasts a total of a week. The rest of the year is divided into several major tournaments, organized by such well-known tournament operators as Starladder, DreamHack, ESL and others. The strongest teams participate in these competitions.

Many experienced players believe that emphasis should only be placed on the big tournaments. For example, in the $5,000 tournament, the best teams don't play at full strength. Secondly, some teams participate with an incomplete line-up, taking stand-ins (temporary replacements) instead of their official players. It's sometimes hard to track. At times like these, it's more like a basketball game between Lebron James' friends against Stephon Curry’s’ friends.

In such cases, online leagues come to the rescue, whose seasons of which can last for several months. Often such leagues end in the LAN-finals. But it's a good thing to keep an eye on these leagues.

The need for your own game experience

Of course, you need to really understand the sport you bet on. Cybersports are no exception: to bet on Dota 2 you need knowledge of the matter and about how the game should be played. Well, at the very least it's good to know the current state of affairs. Not everyone can do it. However, any traditional sport also takes a lot of time from those who are engaged in predicting matches seriously.

Lack of live bets on Esports

The pros of live bets on eSports are listed above, but they also have disadvantages. The main drawback of eSports "live" is its poor development. The line is closed shortly after the start of the card, and sometimes even before the last hero or map is selected. More often than not, the line for matches of non-major tournaments is very poorly put together.

Betting on esports skins

Skin determines the appearance of a given object or character. Skins have their own varieties and prices. Up until 2016, it was possible to bet on all Dota 2 things without hindrance, and the same can be said for CS:GO.

As a result, Valve began to clash with sites offering skin bets on their lines. At the moment, these bets and sites are semi-legal. The valve cannot completely prevent users from changing skins. And sites offering such services are not controlled in any way, can take large commissions and close at any time. If you want to bet skins on Dota 2 and CS:GO, then do it at your own risk.

The main types of bets on Dota 2 and CS:GO

Traditionally, bookmakers do not offer a wide variety of bets on eSports in general and on Dota 2 in particular: as a rule, bookmakers are limited to bets on the main outcomes.

Outcomes: P1, X and P2

This bet all depends on the format of the meeting. For the "best of 1" format, nothing changes. But in most cases, teams play "best of 3", or "up to two wins", like, for example, in tennis up to 2 sets. Here the odds are either a dry victory, or victory in at least one map, as well as a total of the maps.

Odds: F (-1.5), F (1.5)

Odds are also considered traditional in eSports lines. Here, by the way, you can sometimes find interesting options: for example, odds on the exact score 2:0 and f (-1,5) can be different, which means that it can be used for its benefit.

Totals: TO or TU

As in the lines for other sports, eSports also have bets on totals. Bookmakers designate them traditionally: "total over" (TO) and "total under" (TU). In eSports, totals are most often the number of cards/frags.

Statistics

Often bookmakers take bets on the outcome of the statistics of one game. This includes "first blood" (first kill), the first 10 kills, total kills and the duration of the map.

Some details about the types of bets on eSports are described in a separate post "Dota 2. A few words about the line."

Pre-match analysis

Analyzing Dota 2 and CS:GO matches is not an easy task. In Dota 2 it is important to know the system of selecting heroes, to know those heroes that the team plays well with, and which characters the team does not like to play against.

Most professional teams have a special person to collect these statistics. All this is easily tracked on dotabuff.com, and there is a great site with information about matches - wiki.teamliquid.net. In CS:GO, you need to know the cards that you choose and strike out at the peak and ban stage. All maps are unique and have their own peculiarities.

Dota 2 and CS:GO Player's Short Dictionary

Map - Dota 2 has one, and CS:GO has several. Most matches consist of a series of maps: up to two or three wins.

The hero is the character of the game that you choose. At official matches, a team can choose from as many as 109 different characters (that's why the game can boast of such tactical variety).

  • A draft is a team's choice of five heroes for one card.
  • The peak is the choice of a particular character or map.
  • Ban is a ban on a particular hero or card.
  • First blood is the "first kill" on the map. Players most often say "frag" or "kill."
  • HP, Hit Points, KP is a unit of measurement of the number of lives (health).
  • MP, Mana points, MP is a unit of measurement of the amount of magical energy (mana).
  • Disablers are most often the heroes of magicians, who have in their set of spells, able to immobilize and completely paralyze the enemy for a while.
  • Support are heroes who are the support for their team. Their spells can increase the overall potential of the team.
  • Damagers are heroes who do the main damage to the team.
  • Tanks - heroes who have a huge supply of health and want to catch the main damage from the enemy.
  • Push or Rush is a quick exit of the team to the chosen point. You can push for both the attacking and for the suffocating side.
  • The place to put a bomb is a plant. Each of the cards has A and B Plant.
  • Eco is an economic round. After the lost round, the team may have little money, which will not be enough for a good purchase. In an eco-round, players either don't buy anything or take a cheap gun.
  • Hae, haeshka is an explosive grenade.
  • Flash, blind - blinding grenade.
  • Smoke is a smoke grenade.
  • Armour protection the character wears.
  • Device - a weapon (automatic, rifle or pistol).
  • Online - for example, online tournaments. These are the tournaments that take place on the Internet.
  • LAN - final is the final part of the tournament, which takes place in a certain place (stadium, gaming club).