Matches in the world of cybersport, just like games in hockey, football or tennis, are the object of analysis. In recent years, both public interest in virtual matches and the prize money of tournaments held has grown. In the cyber sports betting environment, far more money is circulating than in some sports, and the possibility of betting on various side events increases the already high interest of bettors.
Despite the similarities with betting on other disciplines, there are factors in cybersport that need to be paid special attention to when analysing and making a competent and accurate prediction. These are the ones that will be covered in this review, looking at how to analyse matches for betting on CS: GO.
Choice of disciplines to analyse
The number of eSports disciplines has long exceeded one and a half dozen. They come in a variety of genres from strategy to shooter to team and single-player. The biggest bets are registered in Dota 2 and CS:GO. The popularity of the first, due to the scope and prize pool of eSports tournaments, which run into tens of millions of dollars. The success of the latter, earned over the years, starting with CS 1.6. An important factor is also the choice of community – what people play, what they watch and what discipline they bet on.
From an analytics point of view it is easier to make predictions on CS, because of the rich history, many sources of information and an intuitive game situation. Therefore, further on in this post we will talk about the peculiarities of analytics on the example of CS:GO matches and tournaments, but many tips are common to a number of eSports disciplines.
Sources of information
Without information, important news or a trivial detail, it is impossible to make a competent and accurate forecast, and eSports is no exception. The main feature of information sources, and the main difficulty, is accessibility. All of the most important content – news, stats and scores – is available on English language websites and it’s good to have at least the basics in English as it’s much harder to do without it. Otherwise, there is no difficulty in getting information and you should get it from the following resources.
HLTV – This portal, hltv.org, is the basis for any competent analyst CS:GO matches. The resource provides all the information you need: news, match statistics, individual player stats, game notes, upcoming match schedules and more. A proper morning starts with a mug of coffee and a scroll through the news feed from this portal. The world of eSports is volatile, but by reading the numbers correctly and comparing the facts, you can ensure you have a 70% correct match prediction.
Twitter, Instagram, YouTube – these resources will add another 20% chance of successful analytics. Twitter is where most cyber athletes share their news and can provide very valuable insights. And organisations also leak very valuable insights to the net, such as the signing of a particular player, or the scheduling of a replacement for a certain number of matches.
On Instagram, you can look at how cyber athletes are spending their day. Based on their activity, you can draw conclusions. For example, if there’s a game tomorrow and there are pics from a nightclub on Instagram, chances are the players’ reaction the next day won’t be at their highest possible level.
You should also pay attention to the commentators, analysts and managers. These people have generally also been professional cyber-sportspersons in the past, and their opinion is also very useful for conducting successful analysis.
Broadcasting matches is very time consuming, but one of the most effective activities from an analytics point of view. Watching the game, and understanding what is going on in the match, is incredibly important. Few people have much success in cyber sports betting if they don’t watch matches, or demos.
How do I analyse CS: GO matches?
With so many sources, getting mountains of information is absolutely inevitable. Not every event you learn about is truly important. But there is a certain list of parameters you should always consider, no matter what.
This determines how many cards the teams will play:
- BO1 – one card is played. Teams take turns banning cards until there is one card left on the list of nine. This is the one the teams will play. The most unpredictable type of match.
- BO2 – two cards are played. One to choose from for each team. The only type of match where the result can be a draw (not counting individual tournament rules). The safest type of match, in terms of analytics.
- BO3 – Three cards are played. Two must be won to win. One to choose from each of the teams, the one remaining after the ban is considered to be the third, neutral, and will be played if the results of the first two are a draw (1-1). The most popular type of match in cybersport for analytics, one of the most comfortable in terms of odds.
- BO5 – five cards are played. Three must be won in order to win. Two to choose from for each team and one neutral. This format is used most often in tournament finals. From the analytical point of view, it is interesting as an object for betting on additional events during the game.
- BO7 is something on the border of fantastic. 7 cards. Played very rarely, and almost never used, and therefore not interesting from the standpoint of analysis.
Also important as the type of the match, because it determines the way the teams behave during the tournament itself.
Regular tournaments are regular championships in eSports leagues. They usually take place online every day and last for a few months.
Qualifications are tournaments, usually online, whose main prize is access to other bigger tournaments. They are of great interest for teams in the top 2 and 3. Top 10 teams don’t take part in them, they receive invitations for achievements in previous tournaments.
The tournament is usually of LAN format. The prizes in these tournaments are cash as well as tickets to major tournaments.
A major LAN tournament featuring the best teams takes place several times a year with a huge number of spectators, both real and virtual. Winning a major is the goal of any eSports team or organisation. The prize pool for such events can be up to $1 million.
One of the most important parameters. In the eSports arena transfers and substitutions happen almost weekly and it is therefore important to keep an eye on the line-up in terms of age, nationality, how long the line-up has been playing and if there are substitutes in the team.
If a team plays a substitute, a so-called stand-in, then the team will show standard tactics, as each of the five players has an important role under special team tactics, and if even one gets it wrong, the whole round can fail.
Usually a substitute will simply be put in the position of shooter, whose job it is to kill and try not to die, to gather the maximum attention of the opposing team, while the rest of the team prepares tactics.
The national line-up may suggest the level of communication of the team. A full Swedish five-man squad, for example, will be easier than a squad with three Portuguese, one Russian and one German. The latter will need to communicate in their own language, which will make the match more challenging.
The most important skill for the analyst is to predict the map bans for a particular match. Every team has a card they play best and a card they would rather not play. A competent analyst is one who can judge which cards will be banned and which ones will be chosen. This is gained solely by experience and observation, but provides up to 50% success in match analysis.
Every team has a fixed schedule. This should include training, official matches, tournaments, media days and other activities. This schedule should also be followed. It is not uncommon for a team to win a big tournament and then take a couple of days off. During these days you should not bet in favour of this team, there is a high probability of losing. At the same time it is a good way for a competent analyst to earn good odds.
The structure of the tournament is crucial. The importance of every single match depends on it. Consider group stage, playoffs, final match-type (number of cards), and whether or not there is a bottom draw. Knowing the structure of the tournament, it is possible to understand how important the encounter is, and what it actually decides for the teams as the tournament progresses. For example, if the final is a BO5 format, if there is a bottom net, some teams may go through it on purpose.
A rather trivial, but important factor. Will show how the team is doing. It shows if they can afford to lose the tournament, or if they are already hanging by a thread and need to get their act together and win. This information should not be neglected.
Some analysts dismiss this factor a little more than completely. It is true that the team’s mood and level of play may change over time and that is normal, but novice analysts need to know the teams’ position at the top of the rankings to fully understand the picture.
Morale is a crucial factor for all teams and players without exception. Morale is more important than any statistic. You can be a genius player in numbers and even in action, but if you don’t “fly”, there’s nothing left of those stats. Especially since players in cybersport are relatively young: their careers start at 15-16 and end by the age of 30, as a rule.
A weak psyche, even of a single player, can derail all the team’s efforts. Therefore morale is the most important factor, and completes this list.
Forks and additional events
There are plenty of opportunities to bet on side events in eSports, which means there are also opportunities for wagering. Wagging is, as elsewhere, frowned upon, but sometimes there is a possibility of getting a ‘fork’. An example of a typical fork: Team Y (underdog) will win one card (yes) – Total Cards over 2.5 (no). This is just one example, more can be found, and at a bigger profit.
As far as additional events are concerned, there is not much advice. Don’t bet on total kills from a particular player – it’s a complete randomness. Don’t bet on “random” events, such as a hammer kill (exception, the Cache card). Other events can be bet on, with varying degrees of risk.
Pros and cons
In conclusion, the pros and cons of eSports as a betting target should be outlined so that everyone can decide for themselves whether it is worth working in this direction, or whether it is better to choose something else.
- Prospects – a new and growing industry, with a lot of investments and potential opportunities;
- Public interest – the number of people interested in eSports is constantly growing;
- Free niche – competent cybersport analysts who take into account all the nuances can be counted on the fingers. If you take it seriously, you can become a highly sought-after specialist;
Often the odds at a betting company are based on community bets and depend solely on them. Sometimes they do not reflect the real picture of what is going on, and can create new opportunities to make money.
- Large amount of information to analyze;
- Need to understand what is happening in the game, not in theory, but in practice;
- Huge time commitment.
Overall, eSports is clearly one of the most progressive and relevant areas in betting, which means analytics is a must.