The Covid breakout in 2020 threw a wrench into many major sports events. This also bit into Esports, including CS:GO. However, 2021 is a different tale. One could even argue that the pandemic helped Esports viewership for the few bouts of professional play that did take place. A return to the year-long CS:GO pro circuit leagues has been on the cards since late 2020, There have already been eight S-tier tournaments this year. With the IEM XVI Cologne soon to be underfoot, now is as good a time as any to get into CS:GO betting. CS:GO players seem to have some affinity to gambling with their loot crates. But sports betting is a much more complex game. Far too many charge into its pitfalls without much foreknowledge. Esports betting has only been around for a few years. Naturally, the gaming community is not as much in touch with betting as sports fans. This unfamiliarity has also created many mistruths and false expectations about gambling within the community. So for the budding CS:GO bettor, here are the most common false expectations you should be aware of.
CS:GO betting is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
This misconception more or less applies to the larger sports viewership out there. But as a newer and younger community, the youth of CS:GO viewer base fall prey to it more often. A casual punter cannot make ends meet with betting alone. There is no gambling strategy to upset its risks and make it sustainable. Betting on even money lines and expecting a 60-70% profit margin is unrealistic.
Are there bettors who get their lucky break on the first attempt? Certainly, there are precedents of that even in esports betting. But the odds of you being the next person lucky enough to hit the jackpot are just as low. In that case, what is a realistic assumption of success rate in CS:GO betting? Just about the same as the success rate in other domains of sports betting. A seasoned punter with terrific betting sense, in favourable circumstances, only wins over just half of their wagers. In other words, a 55% win rate would be an optimistic goal to work towards while keeping it real.
Gambling is neither simple nor as ‘fun’ as often advertised.
Of course, no one can deny the innate thrill and entertainment value in gambling. But we must address certain issues about gambling in relation to CS:GO and other Esports betting. The average CS:GO player is a teenager, and CS:GO crates are a watered-down framework of gambling for them. The crates, of course, follow a trend of ‘lootboxes’ that were all the rage a few years ago. First and foremost, gambling is illegal under the age of 18 in most countries for a good reason. Gambling addiction is a serious problem that requires professional counsel to cure.
Naturally, most CS:GO players are not mature enough to notice the trappings on their own. CS:GO item drops and crates system is their gateway to gambling as such. This creates some false expectations about the greater gambling industry – CS:GO betting included. Moreover, certain gambling platforms in the past have not stopped short of monetizing this naivete. After all, there was some reason behind Valve banning all forms of skin betting a few years ago.
Betting odds on the platform are there to serve the bookmaker.
A sportsbook needs to make sure their net gain stays much higher than the sum they have to pay out. The bookmaker’s odds, therefore, are there to ensure their own financial safety. Their research on the games and the percentages therein tend to be close to accurate. But there is always a bias they work into the math to keep their ‘juice’ (i.e. innate profits) alive. In the dynamic nature and rapid pace of arena shooters, these real-time chances of turnovers and off-current developments change very quickly too. More often than not, it is worthwhile to do your own math and find flaws in the bookmaker’s odds.
The ultimate conflict in a sportsbook is a battle of wits against the bookmaker’s algorithms and your own research. You can only win big if your hunches can out-guess the popular and obvious choices, and challenge the bookmaker’s odds.
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