What is CS:GO?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, shortened to CS:GO, is a competitive first-person shooting (FPS) computer game.
CS:GO was first released in 2012 on a variety of gaming platforms, however professionals play it on PC. It might be eight years old, but it is a hugely popular game - in March 2020 it was the fifth-most watched game on streaming site Twitch.
How does CS:GO work?
Two teams of five players face off against each other, with one team taking on the role of the Terrorists (Ts), while the others are the Counter-Terrorists (CTs). Each team has to complete certain objectives to win.
In this 5v5 mode, the attacking Ts must plant and detonate a bomb in a specific location or take out all five of the opposition to win a round. The CTs, on the other hand, must defuse the bomb after it is planted, or kill all five of the Ts to win the round.
Each match has 30 rounds in total, with rounds lasting a maximum of one minute and 55 seconds. The first team to win 16 rounds wins in the match.
CS:GO also has an in-game currency system, which rewards players for winning rounds, taking out enemies and successfully using certain weapons. Players can then spend their money on new weapons between rounds, increasing their chances of winning later rounds.
Betting on CSGO
There are a variety of different betting markets out there for CS:GO. For the most part, simple winner markets are the most popular. They include betting on the outright match winner, single rounds (also known as maps), and handicap markets.
How do CS:GO rankings work?
In order to keep competitive matches as balanced as possible, CS:GO uses an in-game ranking system. The rankings range from Silver 1 (lowest) to Global Elite (highest) and these are used to match players of similar ranks together.
What are the biggest CS:GO events?
The biggest and most prestigious events each year are the CS:GO Major Championships.
The first CS:GO Major took place in 2013 in Jonkoping, Sweden, featuring 16 teams with a total prize pool of $250,000. These tournaments have continued to grow in recent years, with 24 teams now taking part in each one, competing for a prize pool of $1m.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there will be just one Major taking place in 2020. Having originally been scheduled for May, the event has been postponed until mid-November. As there is only one Major this year, the prize fund has been raised to a record $2m.
Are the Majors the only CS:GO events?
There are several other CS:GO tournaments, with the ESL One Cologne and IEM Katowice among those set to take place this year.
Which teams are the ones to watch?
At the time of writing the top three teams in the league are Natus Vincere, mousesports and Astralis. However, given the nature of the sport this can change drastically depending on how well a team performs in a tournament.
If instead we look at the three teams that have held the #1 spot for the most consecutive days it could be said that Astralis, Team Liquid or FaZe clan would be the strongest contenders.
Where can I watch CS:GO?
If you are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the game and mechanics, then the best place is most likely YouTube and its variety of tutorials.
However, if you want to watch a fast-paced live game, then most CS:GO fans watch on Twitch – a live-streaming platform for esports and gaming.
Visit Smarkets’ esports betting page.