2020 was a very odd year for all major esports. CS:GO is no exception. Many games like Dota 2 still had some activity in the pro circuit during this period. Case in point: the Dream League Major in Leipzig. The last CS:GO pro circuit event, on the other hand, was the Chengdu Major in November 2019. 2020 would have been an otherwise exciting year for the pro circuit. But the raging pandemic effectively nipped all the CS:GO events in the bud. The big reason was latency issues, which also cancelled out third-party organizers and other potential international Counter Strike events. With CS:GO pro events gone, sportsbooks had to cut down on betting options as well. However, 2021 will be hopefully different. We are even likely to see a boom in CS:GO betting this year.
Here’s a rundown on what you should expect this season. Other than the possible changes, it is also worthwhile to assess what shape the individual pro teams are in.
What Does 2021 Have In Store for CS:GO?
The primary problem with CS:GO betting in 2020 was definitely the lack of major pro events. But other than that, another factor was the switch to online mode in regional play. The latency issues made it difficult to assess risk factors accurately. Consequently, most sportsbooks had very limited to no betting features and options on the regional events. These issues are not supposed to recur in 2021. So right off the bat, the big change will be the return of international events. With the pandemic crises falling, LAN events will make a return and it will be business as usual.
The first of these will be the BLAST premier league. A $1,000,000 USD prize pool elite event, the global finals 2020 will be finally held from January 19 to 24, 2021. This will be a significant milestone for the pro circuit, because it has been over a year since we saw a S-tier league (as rated by Liquipedia). Further details are yet to be announced, including the casters. But the dates of the event have been all but confirmed.
All that said, it is still unlikely whether we will have the excited audience chanting team names in that event. That would mitigate the ambience, but not the hype itself. With the BLAST league kicking things off, we could see some cross-atlantic clashes between NA and EU teams. With the fiercely competitive vibe of pro circuits back in action, the lack of audience will not be much of an issue for Counter Strike enthusiasts.
Another topic in this regard is franchising. Franchising is a polarizing subject of debate among CS:GO fans. And to be sure, there are both good and bad things about it. If Valve buys out to have franchised tournaments take front seat, the regional grass roots level of competitive leagues may suffer. On the other hand, franchising means more interest from sponsors and investors. In terms of sheer profitability, it is the better long-term option for Valve. The possibility of a new NA franchised league, and/or MLG coming in as the first major party has come up time and time again. In any case, this will also affect the top pro teams and their potential rosters.
Which Teams Should You Look Out For in CS:GO 2021 DPC?
As most experts would agree, the top 10 pro teams do not have big skill gaps. All of them are on the top for a reason. In fact, the possibility of any of them outperforming the other in a match makes the game exciting. However, momentum is still something a bettor has to consider. So based on that, here are the teams that are in great shape at the end of the 2020-21 DPC session.
The top team you should look out for this year is G2. This is due to twofold reasons. The first one is the potentially top tier chemistry between NiKo, nexa, and hunter With some luck, they might even snag a Major trophy this year. The other reason has to do with betting. Between the dominating form of Liquid and the hype around Vitality making it big, many bettors tend to sleep on G2. Putting your chip on a potential black horse will pay great dividends if it works out.
The bottom line is to observe how Complexity, G2, FURIA, Liquid, Vitality, and Astralis do at the group stages of BLAST premier league. One must also remember that there has been a long time after the last qualifiers, so any team outside of the top highlighted teams will have to be assessed anew. All that said and done, this year will be quite exciting with the possibilities and buzz around franchising in the DPC. Don’t forget to enjoy the excitement that is Valve’s flagship multiplayer shooter!
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