E-Sports has attracted a legion of new fans – if potentially only temporarily – among punters during the coronavirus sporting apocalypse. As the world’s most prominent codes and competitions have gone into indefinite shutdown, e-Sports has pivoted to an online format, and gamers are among the most competitively active ‘athletes’ on the planet.
At the forefront of the influx of video gaming coverage and e-Sports betting has been Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
CS:GO is a multiplayer first-person shooter game, released in 2012; it’s the fourth in the Counter-Strike series. Two teams – the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists – square off to complete their respective objectives, namely planting a bomb or rescuing hostages. Matches are played over a best-of-three-maps format.
These are the CS:GO leagues and teams you need to know about before aiming your cursor at Sportsbet’s e-Sports odds.
CS:GO ESL Pro League
Season 11 of the CS:GO ESL Pro League was scheduled to get underway in Malta, but the coronavirus pandemic meant it was changed to an online format, with teams split into European and North American divisions.
The six-team North American league kicked off on 26 March and has proved incredibly tight and hard-fought so far. After five matches apiece, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and FURIA Esports had won three games, while MIBR, Swole Patrol and 100 Thieves had won two.
Although 100 Thieves is an American organisation, their five-strong team includes three Australians: Aaron Ward (AZR), Justin Savage (jks) and Jay Tregillgas (Liazz), as well as New Zealander Sean Kaiwai (Gratisfaction).
The European division is made up of 18 teams, who were split into three groups. The top two finishers from each group after the stage 1 round-robin progressed to stage 2.
Danish team Astralis won the last three CS:GO Major Championships heading into 2020 and are the second-ranked team in the world. Astralis cruised through stage 1 of the ESL Pro League with a 4–1 record, but are on the ropes after losing their opening two matches of stage 2.
World number one–ranked Natus Vincere, a Ukrainian outfit, have won their opening two stage 2 fixtures, as have Germany’s mousesports and Swedish–British team Fnatic.
There’s a host of high-stakes CS:GO ESL Pro League matches on the docket in the North American and European divisions before both competitions move into their respective play-offs.
CS:GO Esports Championship Series
Originally scheduled to be held in Stockholm before being moved entirely to Los Angeles and then eventually online, the inaugural CS:GO Esports Championship Series Flashpoint 1 season boasts a mouth-watering prize pool of US$1 million.
Twelve teams have been battling it out for the bounty – eight permanent member teams and four qualifiers, split into three groups. The top eight teams after two group stage phases moved into the play-offs, with Spain’s MAD Lions and Brazil’s MIBR the two top-performing line-ups.
The quarter-finals are set, with MAD Lions taking on Orgless and Gen.G squaring off against Cloud9 on Friday morning (AEST), and HAVU Gaming facing Chaos before FunPlus Phoenix matches skills against MiBR on Saturday.
The grand final – and accompanying US$500,000 winner’s cheque – will go down on 19 April.
CS:GO around the world
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions are running around the clock, all over the globe.
The Flow Master League and Unity League in Argentina, Loot Bet CS, Germany’s top league CS:GO ESL Meisterschaft, the Svenska Elitserien Spring Season from Sweden, and European competition HomeSweetHome are among the plethora of leagues to follow and wager on.
Check out the CS:GO odds for Head-to-Head, Correct Score, Map Handicap and Total Maps markets. Sportsbet are also livestreaming selected CS:GO matches – just head to the live betting market and click on the ‘Play’ button.
Sportsbet has CS:GO betting options available on all upcoming matches. Bet now.