Some bettors may think all seven maps play out the same in CS:GO, but they are actually incredibly different. Certain maps have an obvious bias to different sides while others will be better suited to different play styles. Read on to find out why map knowledge is important when betting on CS:GO.
Someone new to CS:GO would probably think a side losing 10-5 on a certain map after the Terrorist (T) half has no chance of coming back. However, this could still be a good half for the losing side depending on which map was being played.
Bettors should pay close attention to the score deficit, what has happened in the first half and what side each team has played on instead of just basing a prediction on the outcome of a match on the current score. Comebacks are very common in CS:GO (especially on the more biased maps) so it is important to be aware of which side the two teams are suited to and which side the map favours when trying to judge whether a team can make a comeback or hold onto a lead.
Nuke is one of the most Counter-Terrorist (CT) sided maps in CS:GO at present (map updates could change this in the future). In 2017, only 42.5% of T sided rounds were won on Nuke.
To put this into perspective, losing 9-6 after the first half on the T side would be around a “par” score and anything better would put a team in a good position heading into the second half - obviously if the team is better on the CT side, they would be in an even stronger position.
The narrow choke points on the upper bombsite (as seen in the image above), easy rotate times for the CT side and a ramp that is easy to fall back on are just a few reasons why Nuke is so heavily CT biased.
Just because Nuke favours the CT side, it doesn’t mean you should always bet on the team playing the CT side in the second half if they have a lead as things can quickly change during a game.
The recent updates to Nuke also highlight how the way a map is played or how biased it is can change. The removal of the catwalk outside and the window from the hut will in theory make the map even more CT biased but they could hypothetically widen choke points or add windows in other positions at a later date.
In elite CS:GO Cache is a lot more even than Nuke (with a slight lean towards the T side). A 10-5 CT half on this map is usually enough for most well-organised sides to close a game out. In 2017, 52.9% of T rounds were won on Cache.
Comebacks are very common in CS:GO (especially on the more biased maps) so it is important to be aware of which side the two teams are suited to.
Interestingly, at the Majors in 2017 51.2% of CT rounds were won, which does highlight slightly how players are often a little hesitant to make the same plays they would make online due to what is at stake.
One of the reasons for the higher number of T sided rounds won is the layout of the map. Unlike on Nuke, the rotate times for the CT sides are a lot higher and the T side also has potential to deny the rotations (on Nuke this is much harder to achieve).
On the images below it is evident how much further apart the two bombsites are on Cache compared to Nuke. The red boxes indicate where they are located, with the two sites on Cache on the left; almost the opposite ends of the map.
If betting in-play on CS:GO it is important to know that the T side achieving mid control can be an integral part of winning a successful T round. Mid control is usually done with a wall of smokes and flashes, with players advancing over the boost and through the garage. They will smoke off the CT connector and then they can hold mid, go through the vents into the B site, split onto either bomb site (shown in the image below) or just deny vision for the CT side.
Overpass is one of the most CT biased maps right now - 53.8% of rounds were won on the CT side at major events in 2017. A 9-6 half on this map would look decent for the Terrorist side and anything above six would leave them in an incredibly good position coming into the second half.
The rotate times are quick on this map with the bombsites almost on top of one another. Also, it is one of the most diverse maps for CT play. They are not restricted at all in what they can do at the start of the round and this ability to mix up the CT play so much keeps the T side guessing and also means the T side must utilise a lot of utility just to gain small amounts of map control.
The amount of possibilities for the CT to take map control (the balloons/party area highlighted above being one example) is one of the reasons for the heavy CT bias on this map and bettors should consider this when contemplating a live bet.
A T side gaining control of the toilets area and the swamp or water area on B are key markers to look out for. If they can do this while still keeping enough utility to gain entrance to a bombsite and maintaining the majority of their players they will increase their chances of winning.
Train was officially the most CT biased map at Majors in 2017 with a 54.6% win rate on the Counter-Terrorist side. Similar in some regards as Overpass, bettors should look out for a T side with a lot of utility if these kinds of figures are to be reversed during a match.
Overpass is one of the most CT biased maps right now - 53.8% of rounds were won on the CT side at major events in 2017.
Winning five rounds (and depending on what happens with the pistol rounds) would be considered an acceptable score for the T side on this map if they wanted to win the match - anything above this puts a team in a very strong position.
Train is heavily CT biased because the map contains many narrow tunnels leading into bombsites as well as the ladder room, where attacking players must jump or climb down a ladder into a small choke point, making it incredibly easy for the CT player. The long alleyways are also prominent in the B site (as shown below) and in Ivy which is vital for splitting the outside bombsite.
Decent smokes outside, an opening frag and a good use of flashbangs are all things to look out for when watching a match, increasing the chances of the T side winning an important round. Often CT teams will stack four guys outside as there are multiple choke points on the bombsite, and a decent timed fake on the inner site can considerably increase the chances of the T side winning the round with a weaker defence outside.
Map control is the most important thing in a competitive game on this Middle Eastern based map. In a match, the T side will want to take mid control and the defending team will need to try and take another part of the map. Bettors should note the T side taking top mid control and the CT not reacting to it, can increase the chance of a T side round victory.
The importance of mid control is obvious. By controlling this, the attacking side denies rotations and vision and can split onto either bomb site (shown below), making it difficult for the CT side to know where the attack will be ending up. If a CT side pushes another extremity of the map, they can get the information of where perhaps the attacking team will culminate and therefore increase the chance of a CT round win.
A fairly balanced map, Mirage was immensely popular throughout 2017 - played 3,419 times in just one year alone - which is 1,000 more than any other map. During normal events in 2017 the map was slightly CT biased with it actually being T sided a touch at the Majors (50.1%* T side rounds won).
This again highlights how balanced the map is, which can make it difficult when betting on matches that are being played on it. The score can mean less due to the nature of this map and you really need to pay more attention to the way the teams are playing.
Cobblestone is an unusual map as it used to be heavily CT sided but has become more T sided with the changes Valve has made. During normal events in 2017, 50.4% of T side rounds were won. An interesting statistic is at the Majors during the same year, the map was still heavily CT sided with 55% of rounds going the way of the CT’s.
A lot of this comes down to the way teams play in high-pressure situations and how a lot of teams do not take the same risks as they would in less important matches. CT sides also play a lot safer as one mistake can cost a team their entire spot at the Majors.
Taking and maintaining drop control (in the image shown below) is one of the main focal points of this map. Taking control of this area will enable the T side to split the B bomb, making it incredibly hard for the CT’s as they need to hold multiple angles at once, or splitting A through the window at the back of the drop room. Look out for the map score as an 8-7 CT half may appear fairly even to an average bettor, but that team should be favoured going into the second half.
Edit: Cobblestone has been removed from the map pool and replaced by Dust2. Updates will be added about Dust2 when more data is available.
Inferno was only recently added back to the map pool after a long time being remade. The map used to be CT biased maps (53.8% win rate for CT in 2016) but recently it has become more T side biased (CT side win rate down to 49% in 2017) in certain tiers.
The map is not that different overall, except the changes on Banana, with it being harder for CT’s to hold this position and easier for the T side to re-take it.
The rotate times on this map are long, and re-taking sites is incredibly difficult due to the easy crossfire setups a team can create. A side losing CT 8-7 is not considered a bad half anymore, and something to think about when betting on a match in-play.
Banana is a lot wider than it was before. This gives the T side more space to work with and makes it less likely the T sided players will get caught in a Molotov or sprayed through smoke. Grenade stacking is also more difficult due to the larger amounts of space.
Mirage was immensely popular throughout 2017 - played 3419 times in just one year alone- which is 1000 more than any other map.
Economy on the CT side is perhaps even more important than it was before as they need to do everything they can to ensure they hold off the attacking team. A CT side leading with poor economy means only one T sided round is needed to potentially win three due to their money being too low to re-buy weapons and utility again.
This guide should help you understand the different nuances from the CS:GO map pool but there is always more to learn. At the very least, bettors should always remember that it is important to think how the map can influence the outcome of a match (both before and during) when betting on CS:GO.
*All stats sourced from HLTV.org