When betting on eSports it is important to take into account whether the tournament is a LAN event or online. Many factors can enhance a player’s performance or have a negative impact and understanding why a player played better or worse in a match can be beneficial when betting on events in the future. Read on to find out more.
What is the difference between LAN and online?
Before trying to understand why the differences between LAN and online matter, it is important to first understand what the two terms mean. LAN stands for Local Area Network and this means instead of playing over the internet at home, players are situated in the same room, connected to the same network.
Most LAN events are held in arenas, with spectators and live streams on platforms such as Twitch. Apart from the environment being different – the chair, table, room and the location are too, which can affect a player’s performance.
Online events are held over the internet with players connecting via an IP (internet protocol) to a server in another location. The players themselves are also in different locations, relying on their home computers and internet connections.
It is statistically proven that teams which play in their home country have a slight advantage and seem to perform to a higher standard than at other tournaments.
During these events bettors can rely on the fact that players are using a set-up they are comfortable with and one that will optimise performance. In contrast, during LAN events the players’ set-up will be predetermined and they might not have any say in the equipment used
Players might be competing from the comfort of their own home in online events, but they also need to deal with “ping” (the time it takes for packets to be sent to the server and back) issues and, depending on where members of the team are located, this can be a real problem.
The size of the occasion, travel arrangements, amount of pressure, ability to communicate during a game and potential home field advantage are just a few more factors that need to be taken into consideration when betting on a LAN event.
In contrast, when betting on online matches, the location of the two teams is one of the most important factors to consider. The Gambit CS:GO team are a good example of why location matters - the majority of their players are based in Kazakhstan and therefore suffer from a ping of over 100 (causing a delayed reaction) in matches versus teams based elsewhere (not in Russia, Ukraine and others in the CIS region).
Understanding player preference
The preference of a player when it comes to different types of events can differ depending on the individual. Online is often seen as more relaxing as players can compete from the comfort of their own home with set-ups they are used to.
In contrast a player must acclimatise himself at a LAN event - this includes both the environment and equipment. Mouse acceleration and driver issues are a common problem when using another computer and in games such as CS:GO, having a precise aim can be the difference between winning or losing.
Although playing at home might be relaxing, it could also be deemed too comfortable and as a result of this, a player might focus less and not perform to their best. An arena with a loud and passionate crowd can fuel a player’s desire to succeed and provide added motivation.
Which players prefer different types of event?
Studying a player’s statistics from different events will shed some more light on which environment they perform better in - something crucial when it comes to betting on a match at a particular type of event.
Taking KrizzeN, a CS:GO player from AVANGAR as an example, his online stats compared to his LAN stats show a large disparity. According to HLTV, his online rating of 1.13 is far ahead of the 0.84 rating he achieved from LAN events. This is a massive difference and although bettors may want to analyse the level of opposition in more detail, there is a clear indication that he performs to a higher level in his own home than under the lights of an arena.
In contrast, Virtus.Pro was always known as a team who performed better at LAN events than online. They came 2nd at the ELEAGUE Major 2017, 1st at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 (LAN events) and then just a few months later finished 13th in the ESL Pro League (online) after only winning nine matches and losing 17. Full of big personalities, it seems their best performances are saved for big arenas.
Analysing team performance at different events
Because LAN events are played in front of big crowds, it can sometimes have a detrimental effect on a team’s ability to communicate due to the background noise. Serious bettors will therefore research the nationalities of a team before a LAN event as communication is incredibly important and although players can see their teammate’s screens, voice communication is still a fundamental part of a successful team.
Mixed nationality sides could potentially suffer worse from this due to most players not communicating in their native language, which can lead to confusion and mistakes at key moments of a match. Dota 2 is famous for having such teams, although at tournaments such as the International booths are available for all teams, reducing the effect of crowd noise.
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It is important for bettors to note that a rule relating to the role of coaches has recently changed in CS:GO at LAN events. In online matches, they can communicate as much with their team as they want to, however, this option has now been rescinded from many LAN events. Teams can now take four timeouts each map lasting 30 seconds per timeout - this means teams that are more reliant on their coach’s advice could struggle more at LAN events compared to online.
NaVi is a good example of the potential impact of the aforementioned rule change. They removed their IGL (in-game leader) Zeus just before the rule change came into force but then had to recruit him back when they realised how important he was for their team. Researching team compositions before a LAN event can perhaps allude to weaknesses in certain teams less serious bettors would not realise.
Handling the pressure of a crowd
Pressure is something all players experience when playing competitive eSports, but they handle it in very different ways. For some players it can be a real hindrance and mistakes that usually would be forgotten about in a few minutes are increased due to the environment a match is played in.
Researching a player’s statistics after making a key mistake can give you a better indication of how they will react when a similar situation occurs again. A missed shot or bomb defuse in a CS:GO match and then a drop in a player’s individual statistics might show a weaker mentality than others - bettors will want to pay particular attention to this when betting on LAN events when the pressure is even greater.
Although playing at home might be relaxing, it could also be deemed too comfortable and as a result of this, a player might focus less and not perform to their best.
Take former CLG player FNS. Against Red Reserve at DreamHack Valencia, he failed to defuse the bomb at a key moment - his performance levels then dropped straight after. He fell from 0.87 kills per round (KPR) before the mistake to 0.50 after. The mistake jarred his performance and enabled Red Reserve to come back from 15-13 down to win the match in overtime.
This is not a one-time occurrence for FNS. At the SL i-League StarSeries finals, his KPR dropped from 0.76 to 0.63 after a Molotov suicide at once again, a key moment in the match. Both tournaments were LAN events, and the toll a mistake mentally can have on a player is obvious in this example. Spotting trends such as this can provide bettors with an edge when betting.
A team that plays their normal game regardless of the pressure can sometimes defeat more skilled teams at LAN events due to handling the situation better. While some players can’t handle the pressure of playing in a big event in front of a crowd, other players will use pressure to motivate them, be more focused and perform to a higher standard.
Why travel and location matters
Travel can have a major impact on how a team performs at an event and it’s something serious bettors will already take into consideration when betting on eSports. Teams will often ensure they have enough time to recover from jetlag when travelling long distances to events as it heavily affects how a player performs and ultimately, the team’s chances of winning an event – although with the busy schedule teams now have, this is not always possible.
Researching a location for a LAN event and comparing it to where the players are based can quickly give you some information that might be important - a player’s ability to adjust to a different culture, language and even the local food are a few examples of things that bettors need to think about before placing a bet.
Mixed nationality sides could potentially suffer worse from this due to most players not communicating in their native language, which can lead to confusion and mistakes at key moments of a match
It is statistically proven that teams which play in their home country have a slight advantage and seem to perform to a higher standard than at other tournaments. Known as a home field advantage, these teams have the crowd behind them, roaring them on, which fills them with confidence. Their opponents have to deal with the hostility of the crowd or perhaps even their silence, which can demoralise a player and drain confidence.
The information in this article shows why it is important to understand that certain players perform better in one type of event compared to another and how it can help you make more informed betting decisions. Presuming teams will perform the same in an online event and a LAN is a mistake many eSports bettors will make - being aware of the things mentioned above and conducting some basic research will help you avoid this mistake and potentially get an edge over the bookmaker.
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