ESL ONE: COLOGNE PLAYOFFS

When it comes to competitive Counter-Strike in 2020, all roads have led us to Cologne! The world’s best CS:GO teams fought tooth and nail to ascend the ESL Pro Tour rankings and secured their spot at one of the two 2020 Masters Championships, ESL One: Cologne.

The Group Stage is now behind us and we’re heading straight for the action in this week’s preview of ESL One: Cologne Playoffs. Let’s have a look at the 32 teams in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania as they stake their claim at the hefty prize purse! 

ESL ONE: COLOGNE FORMAT

As this year’s global competitions are off-limits, the current format resulted in a separation of teams into regions and divisions of unequal strength. Since the performance of the teams cannot be accessed and compared reliably, the 32 bands of warriors competed in four individual tournaments across four regions. Seeding was determined by the number of points obtained in the ESL Pro League, ESL One: Road to Rio and DreamHack Masters Spring

In the European and North American divisions, the Playoffs will be played in a single-elimination bracket. All matches are best-of-three, excluding the Grand Final best-of-five. This format is identical to the one in Asia and Oceania, with one minor difference: the upper-bracket team will be heading into the Grand Final with one map advantage. 

ESL ONE: COLOGNE RECAP

Europe

Europe’s 16 top CS:GO teams made it to Cologne, but only eight remain standing. In Group A, Sprout, Complexity, OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas saw no obstacle too large to overcome. All four teams swept through the opposing BIG, Mad Lions, Natus Vincere and mousesports, respectively. In Group B, Astralis, G2 Esports, Heroic and Team Vitality triumphed over Team Heretics, Faze Clan, MIBR and fan-favourites Fnatic. 

Remaining Teams: Astralis, Complexity Gaming, G2 Esports, Heroic, OG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Sprout and Team Vitality. 

Prize Pool: $325,000

North America

With only eight competing teams, the NA Group Stage wrapped up rather quickly. Group A’s Chaos Esports Club and Furia Esports pushed out 100 Thieves and Gen.G Esports, while Group B’s Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid downright shoved Cloud9 and Triumph back to the bench.

Remaining Teams: Chaos Esports Club, Evil Geniuses, Furia Esports and Team Liquid. 

Prize Pool: $135,000

Asia

The four teams in the Asian division are gunning for the finals as we write. Tyloo and ViCi Gaming emerged victorious in the first two rounds, shortly after which Tyloo stomped ViCi in a 2-1. Beyond Esports and Invictus are due to clash on 28 August in a last-ditch effort for the Grand Final. 

Remaining Teams: Beyond Esports, Invictus Gaming, TYLOO, and ViCi Gaming. 

Prize Pool: $20,000

Oceania

Oceania’s top four have their eyes on the prize! Renegades are in the lead over ORDER, with Chiefs ESC and Avant Gaming scheduled for an early-morning match on 28 August. The winner of this matchup will go up against the upper-bracket loser. Although results are still up in the air, it looks like Renegades won’t leave ESL One: Cologne anytime soon. 

Remaining Teams: Avant Gaming, Chiefs ESC, ORDER, and Renegades. 

Prize Pool: $20,000

WHERE TO WATCH THE COUNTER-STRIKE ESL ONE: COLOGNE PLAYOFFS

Tune in and watch the CS:GO ESL One: Cologne Playoffs online, streamed live on the ESL One Live platform. 

If a match is currently in play, you will be directed to the live stream instantly. To view all tournament streams, videos and best-of highlights, look for ‘ESL TV’ on the left-hand menu. 

CS:GO ESL ONE: COLOGNE PLAYOFFS BETTING

We’re just in time to catch two of EU’s last matches before the Grand Final. Astralis are at 13/25 (1.52) to win their clash with Ninjas in Pyjamas at 14/9 (2.55) to topple the favourites. 

Shortly after, we will see Evil Geniuses who are 7/12 (1.58) to defeat Team FURIA at 7/5 (2.40) to unleash their fury.

If you’re interested in wagering on CS:GO tournaments, we’ve got you covered at EnergyBet with our unrivalled ESL One: Cologne betting markets. Check out the latest, top-tier odds for this season’s action-packed matchups and back your favourites to take the win! 

Be sure to come back for more, we’ll be keeping you up to date with CS:GO standings and upcoming events at stellar betting odds.

DREAMHACK MASTERS: SPRING 2020

With ESL ONE: Road to Rio all wrapped up, CS:GO pros are diving into another action-packed tournament: DreamHack Masters. Established by DreamHack in 2016, the event sets the stage for 32 teams across Europe, NA, Asia, and Oceania to stake their claim to the $300,000 prize pool in one of the biggest esports events of the year. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, take a peek at our recently-published CS:GO – All You Need To Know post. You’ll find an in-depth overview of CS:GO esports events, how to play Counter-Strike, and an introduction to CS:GO betting.

This year, the roaring Malmo arena is off-limits to our favourite CS:GO professional teams and players. Much like the ESL ONE: Road to Rio, the regional DreamHack tournaments are going to take place entirely online. Before we unpack the lineups of this year’s DreamHack Masters, let’s have a look at the final standings of ESL One: Road to Rio. 

ESL ONE: Road to Rio Recap

The world’s 56 best CS:GO teams fought tooth and nail to secure one of the 24 qualifier places for the upcoming ESL CS:GO Major in Brazil, the 16th Valve-sponsored event featuring a massive $2,000,000 prize pool.

Europe: First place went to Astralis, followed by G2 Esports, Faze Clan, and last year’s DreamHack Masters runners-up Team Vitality. 

North America: Furia Esports ceded the crown to newcomers Gen.G Esports. The third and fourth places went to Cloud9 and Team Liquid. 

CIS: Team Spirit were victorious, trailed by Winstrike Team, Hard Legion Esports, and Russia’s Virtus.pro.

South America: BOOM Esports blasted through the competition, leaving 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places to Isurus, Imperial e-Sports, and Red Canids. 

Asia: TIGER triumphed over TYLOO in the grand finals, while D13 and ViCi Gaming tied for the last two qualifiers of the season. 

Oceania: Fan-favourite Renegades topped the charts, followed by ORDER, Chiefs Esports Club, and the WESG 2019 Oceania winners Ground Zero Gaming.

Dreamhack Masters Format

The 32 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams competing in this spring’s DreamHack Masters are spread across four major regions: Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. The regional tournaments will feature unique prize pools, with the larger purses attributed to EU and NA due to the greater number of competing teams. 

Europe

Europe’s DreamHack Masters Group Stage is running through 30 May, with playoffs set to begin on 8 June. The 16 qualifying teams include ESL’s top four: Astralis, G2, Faze Clan, and Team Vitality. Four groups of four teams are playing round-robin best-of-three, with the first-place winners in each group heading to the playoffs in the upper bracket. Second and third-place teams will compete in the lower bracket, while fourth-placed teams will be eliminated. All playoffs are best-of-three, except the finals — a best-of-five round with a 1-0 advantage to the team from the upper bracket. 

Teams: Astralis, Complexity Gaming, ENCE, Faze Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Heroic, MAD Lions, mousesports, Natus Vincere, North, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, GODSENT, Team Spirit, and BIG. 

Prize Pool: $160,000

North America

North American DreamHack Masters follows a similar structure to EU’s format. The eight teams will wrap up Group Stage matches on 30 May, with the top CS:GO teams advancing to playoffs in early June. Teams compete in two groups of four, playing round-robin best-of-three matches. First place advances to the playoffs in the upper bracket, second and third take lower, and fourth will be eliminated. FURIA are leading Group A, closely followed by Team Liquid. Group B’s standings will shift through Sunday when Gen.G meet Cloud9. 

Teams: 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, FURIA Esports, Team Liquid, MIBR, Cloud9, Chaos Esports Club, and Gen.G Esports. 

Prize Pool: $100,000

Asia

With only four CS:GO teams competing in Asia, the teams are seeded directly into a double-elimination bracket. The playoffs open on 2 June, and all matches will be played best-of-three. The final face-off is a best-of-five match with a 1-0 advantage to the team coming from the upper bracket. 

Teams: Beyond Esports, Lucid Dream, TYLOO, and ViCi Gaming. 

Prize Pool: $20,000

Oceania

ESL ONE: Road to Rio’s top three are ready for another gruelling conflict! Renegades, Chiefs Esports Club, and ORDER are heading into a double-elimination bracket, with Avant Gaming as the fourth and final team. The format is identical to Asia’s: best-of-threes beginning on 2 June, with a 1-0 map advantage to the upper bracket contenders in the final best-of-five. 

Teams: Avant Gaming, Chiefs ESC, ORDER, and Renegades. 

Prize Pool: $20,000

CS:GO AT ENERGYBET

Make the most of your CS:GO online betting with Energy! If you’re looking to up your game and feel confident that you can sniff out the winners of this year’s DreamHack Masters CS:GO tournament, have a look at our comprehensive esports betting hub at EnergyBet. 

Whether you are just getting started or you’re an esports vet, keeping up with competitive play and CS:GO events can be daunting. Check out our EnergyBet mobile application with pre-match and live betting on sporting events around the world, right in the palm of your hand. 

With fantastic esports betting odds, lightning-fast payouts, and Live Match Tracker updates, you’ll be sure to never skip a beat! 

ESL ONE: ROAD TO RIO

Between 22nd April and 17th May, the world’s best 56 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams will compete in fierce competition. The purpose? To score valuable points and qualify for the ESL CS:GO Major due to take place later on this year.

With a $255,000 prize pool and 24 places up for grabs, the competition is primed for the best CS:GO players to take to the stage. Can they prove they’ve got what it takes to perform when the eyes of the world are on them?

If you don’t know what CS:GO is, check out our guide here before reading further.

SECURING QUALIFICATION TO THE MAJOR

In the context of the current world pandemic, the need for an entire rescheduling and restructuring of the CS:GO Major calendar was deemed necessary, leaving it up to game developers, Valve, to redesign their traditional qualification structure.

As a result, CS:GO teams will now need to qualify into the Major through an expanding online format, across various competitions. Teams will now look to secure points for their Regional Major Ranking – also known as their RMR – in an effort to qualify into the Major as either Legends, Challengers or Contenders, dependant on their positional ranking.

The first tournament to provide teams with points will be the ESL One: Road to Rio, with further competitions lined up before the Major due to take place in November.

ESL: ONE ROAD TO RIO FORMAT

The 56 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams taking place in the ESL One: Road to Rio, have been split into smaller groups of six regions: Europe, North America, Oceania, South America, Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Each region of teams will share a unique prize pool, as well as available slots for the Major.

EUROPE

Europe hosts some of the best-known teams taking part in the tournament. With 10 slots available to the Major, three Legends, five Challengers and two Contenders, as well as the biggest prize pool of $105,000, there’s plenty at stake for the 16 teams battling it out. Popular teams inside the division include Astralis and Team Vitality, who have both been tipped to do very well in not only the qualification tournaments but also the upcoming Major.

Teams: Astralis, ENCE, Vitality, mousesports, G2, c0ntact Gaming, FaZe Clan, North, fnatic, Complexity, Team Heretics, NiP, Movistar Riders, Copenhagen Flames, GODSENT and Dignitas.

NORTH AMERICA

North American CS:GO fans will witness a division that holds intense competition with the current sixth place ranked Team Liquid and seventh place world-ranked Evil Geniuses. In what’s sure to make for thrilling matchups, North American teams will compete for six slots and a prize pool of $70,000.

Teams: Evil Geniuses, 100 Thieves, Liquid, MIBR, FURIA, Gen.G, Bad News Bears, Cloud9, Triumph, Team Envy, Orgless, Yeah Gaming.

ASIA

TYLOO and Vici Gaming lead the competition in Asia, in a group also filled with six other teams fighting for a single Contenders slot into the Major and a prize pool of $10,000, between the 6th and 10th May.

Teams: TYLOO, ViCi, Mazaalai, TIGER, Lucid Dream, Camel Riders and two TBD (Asia Qualifier Tiebreakers).

OCEANIA AND SOUTH AMERICA

Oceanic and South American CS:GO contenders have both been placed into groups of four teams, and will each be sharing a prize pool of $10,000, as well as one regional Contender slot for ESL One: Rio 2020.

Oceanic Teams: Renegades, ORDER, Chiefs Esports Club and Ground Zero Gaming.

South American Teams: RED Canids, BOOM, Isurus and Team One.

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES

The second biggest division in the competition, with 12 teams, the Commonwealth of Independent States contains some of the most popular teams in CS:GO esports. With five slots and a prize pool of $50,000 up for grabs, teams like Natus Vincere, who find themselves currently ranked as the number one CS:GO team globally, will be looking to put their stamp on the division.

Teams: Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere, Winstrike, Gambit Youngsters, Spirit, Syman, Espada, Hard Legion, Unique, forZe and two TBD (CIS Qualifier Tiebreakers).

CS:GO AT ENERGYBET

Tune in to EnergyBet to find out more information about the exciting online world of esports and to stay up to date with the biggest esports events around the world. Follow CS:GO competitive play and events through EnergyBet here.

PREVIEW: F1 ESPORTS CHINESE VIRTUAL GP

The 3rd official F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix will take place this Sunday, with six Formula 1 drivers confirmed.

The third instalment of the official F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix series gets underway this Sunday, as six current Formula 1 drivers line up alongside celebrities and other big names in the sport.

Via the official Formula 1 2019 video game, drivers will join the race taking place at the Shanghai International Circuit remotely from the comfort of their own game station. The event itself has been set up to give drivers time for qualification runs on the circuit, in which the formation of the grid will be decided by each driver’s individual qualification timing, followed by the race itself.

THE F1 DRIVERS

Charles Leclerc – With Ferrari F1 boss, Mattia Binotto, praising his driver’s victory in the last event, Charles Leclerc returns to the Virtual Grand Prix series full of confidence. Looking to cement his place as the leader of F1 drivers taking part in the virtual race, Leclerc will be eager to produce another fine display of driving.

Alex Albon – After landing an impressive fifth place qualification lap in the Australian Virtual Grand Prix, Albon found himself dropping down to 15th after a terrible spin on the first lap. The Thai-British racing driver kept his head down throughout the race, making up time and crossing the finishing line in eighth place. Having impressed his viewers with a mid-week win in a charity stream with other F1 drivers, Albon will be looking to secure a podium and improve his Virtual Grand Prix record this Sunday.

George Russell – Russell impressed fans by qualifying second in his first Virtual Grand Prix two weeks ago. The British driver, unfortunately, made a mistake on lap five at Turn One, and fell back to fourth. Fighting tooth and nail against Charles Leclerc’s younger brother Arthur, Russell managed to secure a third-place podium finish in his first-ever Virtual Grand Prix.

Lando Norris – Last time out, the McLaren driver encountered a few technical problems and was forced to retire early from the Australian Virtual Grand Prix. With an army of fans and followers knowing exactly how fast Norris is in the online world, the British driver will be raring to go, and hopefully ensuring that his gaming cables are firmly connected this time around.

Antonio Giovinazzi – A surprising late addition to the Australian Virtual Grand Prix, the Italian driver immediately demonstrated a feel for the esport, sealing an eight-place qualification for the race. With Giovinazzi’s confidence growing with every lap, the Alfa Romeo F1 driver impressed fans with a series of beautiful overtakes, securing a fifth-place race finish. After spending more and more time on the virtual grids of the Formula 1 2019 video game throughout the week, Giovinazzi will be eager to transition his training into results.

Nicholas Latifi – Finishing qualification for the Australian Virtual Grand Prix in seventh-place, just behind F1 rival Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi found himself losing places and time throughout the event due to a few unlucky slips, and crashes in front of him. The Canadian driver is still waiting for his first race in an actual F1 car and will be keen to keep racing with his competitors in the esport setting, and possible nicking a few places off each of them. 

WHO ELSE IS RACING?

The six F1 drivers will be joined by a number of celebrities and big names to fill out the grid, including Real Madrid and Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The footballer has quickly made a name for himself in the esport, frequently joining F1 drivers on their racing streams and impressing. Courtois will be taking a seat in one of the Red Bulls.

HOW TO WATCH THE CHINESE VIRTUAL GRAND PRIX

The Chinese Virtual Grand Prix will be available this Sunday 19th, broadcasted live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 19:00 CEST. Streams to tune into the action will be available on all Formula 1 channels including, F1.com, Formula 1 YouTube, F1 Twitch and Formula 1 Facebook.

The event itself is expected to run for around one hour and a half, with spectators able to enjoy live commentary throughout qualifying, as well as the 28-lap race around the virtual Shanghai International Circuit.

Drivers will be joining the action from their remote setups all around the world and will be racing with game settings configured to ensure that participants will have equal performance on their virtual cars.

The race will also be available to be viewed through live broadcast with international broadcast partners including Sky Sports F1.

F1 ESPORTS CHINESE VIRTUAL GP BETTING

Tune in to EnergyBetWorld to find out more information about the Virtual Grand Prix series hosted by F1, and the exciting online world of esports. The latest odds of the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix can be found on EnergyBet here

PREVIEW: FINALS OF LEAGUE OF LEGENDS LEC AND LCS

The League of Legends Championship Series in Europe (LEC) and North America (LSC) draw to an explosive close this weekend, as Saturday’s matches set the stage for the Spring Season Finals on Sunday. The stakes are high: the winning teams in both leagues qualify for the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). In Europe, Fnatic swept through the competition and are the first team to move on to the final Best of Five. NA’s first contender is Cloud9, who dominated the Rift with equally impressive plays. 

Their opponents will be determined following the last semi-final matches on Saturday. EU’s MAD Lions Madrid are bracing for a challenge as they set up to meet G2 Esports at 17:00 CEST. Their last playoff match was against Fnatic, who dominated MAD Lions in a crushing 3-0 victory. This time they’re in a tough match-up against G2, the runners-up of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. G2 Esports are switching things up this season and it seems to be paying off well. Following last year’s incredibly successful run, G2 swapped two of their players in this season’s roster: Perkz in the Mid Lane and Caps now in Bot. The fans love to see Perkz shine in the Mid Lane and we’re eager to see what he has in store for Saturday’s match. 

In NA, Evil Geniuses return to LCS for the first time since 2014 with a fully revamped roster and face Flyquest at 22:00 CEST on Saturday. Evil Geniuses are one of the oldest esports organizations around: they’ve been on the scene since 1999, with teams in popular competitive games like CS:GO, Quake, DotA 2, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends. Their return to League has been fruitful, but Saturday’s opponent isn’t to be taken lightly. Flyquest, co-owned by Wesley Edens of the Milwaukee Bucks, is Cloud9’s Challenger brand with a formidable roster. Although their 2019 season didn’t run so smoothly, we’re expecting edge-of-your-seat plays from V1per and WildTurtle this weekend.

LEC: LEAGUE OF LEGENDS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Fnatic (FNC) are moving on to the finals after an impressive run in the playoffs. The team is a part of the Fnatic professional esports organization, with players from all around the world competing in the top esports events. FNC entered the League scene back in 2011 and shook the fans by claiming the Riot Season 1 Championship title. To this day they remain a formidable opponent for anyone on and off the Rift. Having won three Global Offensive Majors, Fnatic’s Counter-Strike team is one of the best in the game’s history.

Let’s meet the talent behind this season’s incredible League of Legends lineup. 

ROSTER

Bwipo – Gabriël Rau. FNC’s current TOP laner who briefly switched to BOT in the EU LCS 2018  Summer Split. Bwipo is a solid TOP player, he started back in 2015 with mCon esports and played for Rox before switching to Fnatic. Awarded “Esports PC Rookie of the Year” in 2018. 

Selfmade – Oskar Boderek. Selfmade joined Fnatic in 2019 and roams the Jungle. Received seven Player of the Game awards in the 2019 LEC Spring, more than any other player! Previously jungled for MAD Lions and SK Gaming.

Nemesis – Tim Lipovšek. On the competitive scene since 2016, Nemesis is a stone-cold MID laner. The 20-year-old from Slovenia played for VAPE NAYS and MAD Lions in the past, he’s known for keeping his cool in the roughest match-ups and his rip-roaring Pentakill in the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs on Kayle. 

Rekkles – Martin Larsson. Rekkles is Fnatic’s ADC down in BOT lane. Prior to joining competitive League of Legends in 2012, Martin Larsson was a very talented football player who had to give up the sport due to injury. His favourite League of Legends champions are Vayne and Kennen, and in 2019 he became the first player to reach 1500 Kills in the LEC.

Hylissang – Zdravets Iliev Galabov. Hilly is the team’s Support player from Bulgaria, who competed for Unicorns of Love before joining Fnatic in 2017. On 09.08.2019, Hylissang reached 2500 Assists in the LEC.  

LSC: NORTH AMERICA’S LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

North America’s first LCS finalist are Cloud9 (C9), a professional esports organization based in Los Angeles. Cloud9 was formed with the acquisition of the Quantic Gaming League of Legends roster in 2013. Their success in the NA LCS led the organization to form divisions in other esports: Hearthstone, DotA 2, Call of Duty, CS:GO, Overwatch, and others. Cloud9’s Counter-Strike roster became the first and only NA team to win a Global Offensive Major. 

C9’s track record in League is equally impressive: they won the 2018 NA Regional Finals and consistently place in the top three in all major tournaments. 

Here’s the Cloud9 roster for the 2020 LCS Spring Finals.

ROSTER

Licorice – Eric Ritchie. Licorice joined C9 in 2017 and plays up TOP with his favourite champion picks like Fiora and Poppy. The young Canadian previously played for eUnited, who dominated the NA Challenger Series in 2016.

Blaber – Robert Huang. Blaber is C9’s versatile Jungler who joined the team in 2018. He prefers aggressive champions like Kindred, Lee Sin, Nidalee, and Elise. 

Nisqy – Yasin Dinçer. Nisqy is a Belgian MID laner who competed in the EU since 2015, prior to joining Cloud9 in NA. He prefers to mages to AD champions, some of his favourites are Orianna, Syndra, Ryze, Cassiopeia, and Zoe. 

Zven – Jesper Svenningsen. Previously known as “Niels”, Zven is a 22-year-old BOT laner from Belgium. He previously played for outstanding teams like G2 Esports in EU and TSM when he switched regions to NA. He’s been competing in League since 2013, and is one of two players to record a Pentakill in both the EU and NA LCS.

Vulcan – Philippe Laflamme. Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme is a Canadian Support player for Cloud9. He briefly played for Dignitas in 2019, shortly before joining C9 in November of the same year. This season he’s running champs like Tahm Kench, Blitzcrank, Nautilus, and occasionally pulls out his favourite: Thresh. 

WHERE TO WATCH THE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS LEC AND LCS FINALS

Now that you’ve met the top two teams of the EU and NA pro leagues, here’s where you can watch the League of Legends LEC and LSC Finals.

The semis and finals will be streamed live directly on the League of Legends Esports platform. You don’t need to register an account or sign-up for anything, the tournament schedule, standings, and vods are available to everyone. To tune-in to Live matches, head on to WATCH. Previous tournaments with highlights and commentary are available on the VODS tab. You can also enjoy the LEC and LSC Finals on Youtube and Twitch, where many League of Legends streamers follow the biggest LoL events.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS BETTING

If you’re interested in placing a wager on League of Legends tournaments, we’ve got you covered at EnergyBet. Check out the latest odds for this weekend’s action-packed matchups and back your favourites to take the Nexus!

CS:GO: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, aka CS:GO, is a highly-skilled, competitive online multiplayer first-person shooter, developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the fourth iteration of the highly successful Counter-Strike series and remains one of the most popular first-person shooters around. 

CS:GO Game Modes

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive first-person shooter that splits players into two teams; Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. There are two main game modes which determine the main objective of each match: Defuse and Hostage Rescue. 

Defuse 

Considered the main playstyle, the Defuse game type is used in most competitive CS:GO live esports events. Players are divided into teams of Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, each with particular objectives to secure the round win. The Terrorist team starts with a bomb that can be planted in two different defined locations around the map area. The Counter-Terrorists, who begin the round closer to the bomb sites, must defend the positions and ensure the bomb is not detonated. Each team may win the round by eliminating each member of the opposing team, or detonating or defusing the bomb accordingly. Should the round run out of time, the Counter-Terrorists are deemed the winners.   

Hostage Rescue 

Like the Defuse game mode, players are divided into teams of Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, each with objectives to secure the round win. Terrorists start the round with two hostages, which the Counter-Terrorists must reach, rescue and return to the start zone. Counter-Terrorists need only save one hostage to win the round; each team can also be deemed the victor by eliminating each member of the opposing team. Unlike Defuse, however, should the time run out, Terrorists will be awarded the round win. 

Each of these game modes can be played casually or competitively, with a variety of settings, such as the number of players in the lobby, the number of rounds required to win, the overall matched skill rating, and the addition of friendly fire.

CS:GO Gameplay

Competitively, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is played five versus five, with the team who manages to win 16 rounds first, deemed the victor of the match. CS:GO teams enter the game as Terrorist and Counter-Terrorists for 15 rounds, before switching to the other side, giving both teams the opportunity to perform both roles. Players are rewarded with money to buy better weapons and items after every round, with the amount dependent on both the individual score of the player and team score. The individual score rating is based on how well the player performs in regard to kills, objectives secured, and whether their team wins or loses.

Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists are relatively similar, with the main differences being the objectives they need to perform and some differentiation in the weapons selection page. While they mostly share the same guns, Terrorists have access to more powerful and slightly cheaper weapons, whilst Counter-Terrorists weapons are a bit more accurate. 

The main goal of CS:GO is to complete your team objective round after round, in order to win the match. The most successful teams tend to implement strategic tactics and elaborate strategies to gain advantages over their competition. The best players have spent a long time mastering every aspect of the game, from knowing the maps inside out to having deadly aim with their curser. 

CS:GO Betting

Since its release back in 2012, CS:GO has successfully been the most played first-person shooter in the world, boasting sales of over 25 million copies. Given this immense global popularity, it is not surprising that the game has built a huge fan base of established and new players. 

With frequent tournaments throughout the year and reward pools in the millions, coverage of this esport is immense, with incredible amounts of viewers tuning in to watch their favourite teams compete. 

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many live sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, leading many sports fans to turn their attention to massive, and fiercely competitive, esports such as CS:GO. Unlike traditional sports, esports have the advantage of being able to be played from the comfort of a home setting. This has allowed competitive play and events to continue, all of which can be found at EnergyBet

You can bet on a variety of esports and virtual sports at Energybet, with a wide selection of bets available for each event. For CS:GO betting, there are options to wager on Match Winner, Map Winner, Map Handicaps and more!

Stay tuned to EnergyBetWorld to find out more information about CS:GO tournaments and the exciting online world of esports, and to stay up to date with the biggest esports events around the world.  

PREVIEW: F1 ESPORTS AUSTRALIAN VIRTUAL GP

The 2nd official F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix will take place this Sunday, as new Formula 1 drivers get set to join the online grid.

Formula 1 continues to replace cancelled Grand Prix events with virtual races. The move is sure to please fans of the sport who were introduced to the serious online world of racing on March 22nd, as they watched Guanyu Zhou overcome fierce competition, and take a well-deserved victory in a thrilling Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix.

With the sport approaching its third cancelled race, the Formula 1 team are making their final preparations for a virtual Sunday behind the wheel, at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit – as the Vietnam circuit where the live event was going to originally held, is currently unavailable on the official F1 2019 video game.

Line-up

The Melbourne Virtual Grand Prix welcomes back Formula 1 drivers Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi for their second virtual race, with the former being kept busy through last Sunday’s official #ChallangeLando virtual competition.

Alongside the duo, Ferrari’s boy wonder Charles Leclerc, newly promoted Red Bull driver Alex Albon, and Williams’ golden boy George Russell, take to their home setups to join in the action this Sunday.

The five Formula 1 drivers will be racing for their respective teams and be joined by former driver and fan favourite Johnny Herbert, England cricket hero Ben Stokes, Haas F1 Team Reserve Driver Pietro Fittipaldi and other notable personalities linked to F1 and the racing esports scene.

Meet the F1 Drivers

Lando Norris – Lando Norris enjoyed 2019 as his first Formula 1 season as a racing driver competing for McLaren. A winner of numerous racing series’, Lando exceeded expectations as he drove alongside tested teammate Carlos Sainz, to secure 4th place Constructors Championship finish for McLaren. While suffering more than his fair share of bad luck throughout the season, Lando has still managed to not only impress everyone on the grid with his incredible driving but also gain a massive esports following. His many loyal fans tune in to his frequent online racing live stream sessions where he is often joined by other Formula 1 drivers.

Nicholas Latifi – Contracted to replace Robert Kubica at Williams for the 2020 season, Nicholas Latifi is new to Formula 1. Although his skills haven’t yet been put to the test behind the wheel of a real F1 car, fans of the sport will know that the Canadian driver’s Formula 2 credentials speak for themselves. Now racing his second F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix, Latifi will be looking to get himself further up the field, following his 6th place Bahrain finish.

Charles Leclerc – Ferrari’s new boy for 2019, Charles Leclerc spent his debut season with the Italian outfit wowing the entire grid. Seemingly finding himself in his element from the start of the season, Leclerc immediately turned his harshest critics into die-hard fans, with excellent displays of defiant drives. Dedicating his first-ever Grand Prix win in Belgium to his lifelong friend Anthoine Hubert, who had sadly passed away over that weekend, Leclerc immediately became a Ferrari legend n the following race by winning the Italian Grand Prix in front of a home crowd. Outscoring his 4-time championship teammate on his second season in F1, Leclerc promises to not only be the future of Ferrari, but the future of Formula 1.

Alex Albon – Starting off his rollercoaster debut season in F1 behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso, Albon got the call for promotion into the Red Bull car midway through the season, and hasn’t looked back since. While the previous driver, Pierre Gasly, struggled with the pressure that comes with a Red Bull drive, Albon thrived. During his first race with Red Bull at the Belgium Grand Prix, Albon gave the grid a taste of what to expect. Starting last, the British racing driver charged through the traffic to secure an extraordinary 5th place finish. With Albon coming heartbreakingly close to achieving his first podium in 2019, it’s only a matter of time before the Red Bull driver takes the grid by the horns, and earns himself a pole position finish.

George Russell – British racing driver George Russell is considered one of the hottest prospects in Formula 1. Although having what many would call a difficult first season racing with the underperforming Williams car, George Russell’s achievements through the different divisions of Formula 1 are some of the most coveted within the sport. Winning at every level of the sport, Russell has claimed both the 2018 Drivers championship in FIA Formula 2 and the 2017 GP3 Series Drivers’ championship.

How to watch the Melbourne Virtual Grand Prix

The Melbourne Virtual Grand Prix will be available this Sunday 5th, broadcasted live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 8:00 pm CEST. Streams to tune into the action will be available on all Formula 1 channels including, F1.com, Formula 1 YouTube, F1 Twitch and Formula 1 Facebook.

The event itself is expected to run for around one and a half hours, with spectators able to enjoy live commentary throughout qualifying, as well as a 28-lap race around the virtual Albert Park Circuit, in Melbourne, Australia.

Drivers will be joining in the action from their remote setups all around the world and will be racing with game settings configured to ensure that participants will have equal performance settings on their virtual cars.

The Virtual Grand Prix will also be available to be viewed through live broadcast with international broadcast partners including Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix.

LOL: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Whether you are a newcomer to the universe of esports or a seasoned veteran, you’ve probably come across one of the industry’s giants: League of Legends. Commonly referred to as League, or LoL, this strategy game is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed and published by Riot Games.

What is League of Legends?

Following the success of the fan-favourite Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III, League emerged in 2009 and soared to worldwide popularity in the blink of an eye. League of Legends streamers on Youtube and Twitch sprung forth with the explosive growth of the game, drawing in millions of views from every corner of the world. With over 100 million active players, multiple game modes, and record-breaking championships, League is instrumental in propelling video games from at-home entertainment to the global competitive stage. 

The matches take place on Summoner’s Rift, the main League of Legends map, where two teams of five embark on a strategic crusade to lay siege to the enemy team’s base. Players assume the role of one of 148 champions: unique League of Legends characters with special abilities and vital roles. There’s only one way to victory, and that’s to bring down the main structure of the opponent’s base: The Nexus.

The LoL World Championship 2020 is on the horizon and there’s a lot to learn, let’s take a look at the basics of how to play League of Legends!

LANING

The Rift is split into three lanes, separated by the jungle. The enemy territories and the jungle are veiled by the Fog of War, concealing approaching enemies and several of the game’s objectives. Players must work together to coordinate control of the map, siege of objectives, and tactical team fighting in order to breach the enemy defences. Victory is claimed by bringing down the main structure of the opponent’s base: the Nexus.

TOP LANE

Top laners are the solo brawlers, they’re tough and they pack a punch! Champions contending for dominance of this lane excel at protecting objectives and bringing down the enemy team’s strongest players.

MID LANE

Champions in the mid lane are versatile and wreak havoc when it comes to damage output. They take on the lane alone, facing an equally threatening opponent. Mid lane is always bursting with action, from 1v1 skirmishes to full-on 5v5 team fights.

BOT LANE

The bottom lane is reserved for the team’s unstoppable duo: the Attack Damage Carry (ADC) and Support. Much like the mid laners, ADCs can unleash terrifyingly high amounts of damage. Supports are versatile guardians of the game, armed with crowd control skills and defensive abilities, like healing: they protect their teammates and help set up brawls all across the Rift.

JUNGLE

The shrouded jungle is not for the faint of heart! Junglers utilize the Fog of War to their advantage, to devise ambushes on unsuspecting laners or catch the enemy jungler off-guard. Junglers are also tasked with securing monster objectives like buffs, Drakes, and the bloodcurdling Baron Nashor.

MAIN OBJECTIVES

The mechanics of gameplay require an inclination towards mathematics and incredible attentiveness to detail. All five members of the team have distinct roles to fill and must work together to gain control of the map. Players scout the map for intel, keep eyes on strategic locations, and work together to coordinate team fights.

THE NEXUS

The Nexus lies in the heart of each team’s base. It is protected by a series of defensive structures, like towers, and spawns your team’s minions: small combatant units that march down the lanes. Killing enemy minions awards gold and experience, which are vital in preparing the champions for the gruelling late-game team fights. There are only two outcomes to every League match: bring down the enemy Nexus, or surrender in defeat.

DRAKES

In the depths of the jungle rests the Drake pit, where the powerful dragonesque monster spawns. Killing a Drake awards unique buffs to the entire team and transforms the Rift in late-game, creating new obstacles and strategic advantages across the map.

BARON NASHOR

Baron Nashor is the jungle’s most menacing monster. Defeating a beast of such calibre pays off: the team to land the last hit will enjoy a generous boost to damage, faster recall (to base), and empowered minions.

Before Baron spawns at the 20-minute mark, the stony pit is visited by the Rift Herald. Killing the Rift Herald also provides a faster recall and offers one player the ability to summon the Herald to advance on a lane.

League of Legends Betting

As sporting events around the globe come to a staggering halt, esports are uniquely situated to continue thriving: online. League of Legends reaches every corner of the world, establishing a competitive scene like no other that culminates in the annual World Championship. The final event of the year brings in over 100 million tuned-in viewers online, while tens of thousands of roaring fans fill stadiums worldwide.

No two matches are alike in a League of Legends tournament: every decision that players make can turn the tide! Every step is a calculated risk, one wrong move can change the course of the game and force the entire team to adapt and seek new opportunities to regain the advantage. As teams are gearing up for the upcoming matchups in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and North America’s Championship Series (LCS), tensions are on the rise – and so is the array of betting possibilities! 

At EnergyBet you can bet on the major LoL series and place your stake on a wide variety of wagers, from Match Winner to First Blood, First To Slay Baron, Total Kills and more!

In the next few articles, we will be taking a deeper look at tournament structure, upcoming LoL events, the contending teams, and where to bet on League of Legends at top-tier odds. League of Legends Season 10 is in full swing, tune in to EnergyBet to stay on top of the game: we’ll keep you updated on the League of Legends meta, betting odds, and the latest in LoL esports!


WHAT ARE ESPORTS?

The booming billion-dollar electronic sports industry is proving to be a revolutionary rival to the traditional sports market. In short, esports is competitive gaming, and we’re here to keep you in the know on the latest events, betting odds, and upcoming tournaments. Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy and we’ll be exploring everything from Formula 1 to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Esports growing popularity

For some perspective on just how popular esports are, let’s take a look at some numbers.

In 2018, the League of Legends World Championship Finals reeled in 100 million viewers, decimating the 17.6 million who tuned in to view the NBA Finals and falling just short of the 103 million 2018 Super Bowl spectators. And it’s not just in terms of spectators that esports rival traditional sports. There are some pretty big prizes on offer too!

In August 2019, the EU team OG won the Dota 2 International, with each player banking $3.1 million of the top prize of $15.6 million. The same year, Tiger Woods took home $2 million in the Masters, and Novak Djokovic left Wimbledon with $2.9 million.

The similarities with traditional sports don’t end there. Just like football, basketball, or tennis, esports has well-supported teams, stars who’ve dedicated countless hours of practice, important championships, and millions of passionate fans worldwide.

The unprecedented growth of esports goes hand in hand with the meteoric rise of the video game industry. With dozens of titles released each year, the competitive scene of esports never runs dry. Even newcomer Fortnite made an explosive entrance to the international arena, with 250 million players and a $100 million World Cup prize pool.

What’s in store in esports?

Here’s a look at some of the major events coming up. With events taking place across the globe, across a variety of games, it can be hard to keep track. So, let’s take a look at the latest global hit and the esports competitions that are getting to crunch time.

F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series

Until F1 returns to the tarmac, F1 Grand Prix will be replaced with esports racing events on the F1 2019 PC game. Real F1 drivers of past and present, will be joined by celebrities around the world for some wheel-to-wheel action on the Virtual Grand Prix tracks. The next event takes place on the Melbourne GP track on April 5th. You can read our review of the inaugural event, the Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix here.

League of Legends

The first split of the League Champions Korea kicked-off on April 1st, with ten teams competing in the 9th season of the top-level Korean pro league. The reigning champions, Griffin, will face last year’s second-place winner T1 on the 3rd, possibly paving the way for an unforgettable rematch in the finals.

The Tencent LoL Pro League runs from early January until May 1st. The top eight teams will progress to the playoffs, so April is poised for action. Last years victors, FunPlus Phoenix, face worthy contenders Topsports Gaming, while second place winners Invictus are set up to crush Victory Five.

With EnergyBet, you can wager on your favourite LoL team, go straight for the Match Winner or back them up with bets on First Team to Slay Baron and Most Kills. Check back for more guides on how to bet on League of Legends and LoL betting tips.

Defence of the Ancients 2

The first week of April is packed with action in the Chinese Pro League’s second season. Last year’s third-place Invictus Gaming kick-off the week with a rematch against EHOME, and VG are going strong to stake their claim at PSG.LGD’s crown. The much-anticipated ESL One Birmingham showdown has been moved entirely online. Meanwhile, you can place your bets on ESL One Los Angeles, with options to wager on the victor, Game Duration, First to 15/20 Kills, Total Kills, and more.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The 11th season of the EU and NA Pro Leagues are wrapping up on April 12th. This week we’ll see Team Liquid take on Evil Geniuses in NA and EU’s mousesports face G2 in a last attempt to defend their title. Tune in to the streamed events and explore betting options on the Match Winner, Maps Total, or Rounds Handicap.

Esports at EnergyBet

The Spring Season is in full swing, and at EnergyBet we aim to have you have covered when it comes to betting on esports. We’ll continue to publish useful guides that offer in-depth explanations of the major esports, starting with League of Legends. We’ll also be posting betting previews for all the upcoming major events. So, stay tuned and enjoy all the exciting esports action that’s coming up!


ESPORTS – THE FUTURE OF BETTING?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ll no doubt be aware of the rise of eSports. What started with small groups of geeky amateurs in the early to mid 2000’s, has morphed into a giant global phenomena, with many professional teams and multi-million dollar prize funds (and players who look like they’ve actually seen the sun and don’t still live in their mom’s basement).

The most popular games in the early days included MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends, and first person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, in addition to Smite, StarCraft II, Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. Though by the end of 2017, many other games saw prize money in the millions of dollars.

A Meteoric Global Phenomena

Back in 2013, it is thought that just over 70 million people watched eSports, but the rise of online streaming platforms, especially Twitch.tv, has led to a dramatic surge in popularity over the last few years, with Newzoo reporting market research that suggests there were around 150 million eSports “enthusiasts” around the world by 2016, and other estimates putting the global audience at around 226 million (the same research also estimated that 22% of male American millennials were watching eSports – making it about as popular as baseball or hockey with that specific demographic).

In fact, in 2016, eSports events across America sold out, including those at the KeyArena in Seattle, the Nationwide Area in Columbus, Staples Centre in Los Angeles, and Madison Square Garden in New York. Global eSports revenues have skyrocketed accordingly, standing at $493 million in 2016 – up 51.7% from 2015 – and are expected to beat $1.5 billion by 2020.

But, as impressive as the rise of eSports in the US and Europe has been, with the real epicentre of eSports is South Korea – where several eSports organisations have been licensing pro gamers since 2000! China has also seen explosive eSports growth over the past few years, with many new professional teams and competitions appearing.

All About Millennials

It’s hardly surprising that eSports are pretty much a millennial thing (the generation born from the early 80s to around the year 2000), given that they were the first to grow up with video games. What is more surprising perhaps, is the relative indifference that the established betting industry has shown to eSports, considering that millennials are now adults, with disposable income, and a passion for gaming!

A closer look may provide clues to this indifference and slow reaction to eSports. Firstly, there is the inescapable fact that most established sportsbooks are run by ‘GenX’s’ and ‘Boomers’ –  generations that tend to have a hard time accepting that eSports are actually ‘sports,’ or that people really make a profession of playing video games!

Secondly, the sheer speed with which eSports have emerged as a major global ‘thing’ has been quite startling, and sportsbooks with established business models have simply been caught off guard. This has been exacerbated by the fact that many of the biggest bookmakers are based in the west, whereas much of the driving force for the growth of eSports has been coming from Asia – specifically South Korea and China.

Thirdly, there are the peculiarities of eSports and millennials to consider. A large proportion of millennials won’t have had any significant exposure to sports betting – but are instead coming from a purely video gaming background. This means they have entirely different expectations and demands. To put it bluntly, most current sportsbooks are too bland and clunky to appeal to a generation raised on console games and on-demand interactive entertainment.

To really engage this demographic, sportsbooks need to massively improve their graphics and user experience, gamify their product, and embrace artificial intelligence to provide real-time, dynamic micro-betting. Millennial eSports betters are more likely to make frequent small, spontaneous bets on live games, than to fill in traditional betting slips, or place sizable bets on pre-set markets.

Of course, marketing and customer relations also need to evolve to cater for a generation raised on social media and almost immune to traditional advertising methods. The success of Steam – the digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation – that incorporates a thriving online gaming community into it’s very fabric, is a good indicator of the direction the industry should be moving in.

The Future?

Slowly the sports betting industry is waking up to eSports, and beginning to deliver something that will appeal to the rapidly growing eSports community. Whilst it’s true that eSports isn’t likely to rival football in terms of sheer popularity or statistics for many years, it is here to stay, is growing extremely quickly, and offers immense opportunities for fans, players, and the sports betting community as a whole.

When eSports are considered as just a part of a of rapidly evolving online gaming, virtual reality, and blockchain technology environment, the possibilities for innovation and growth are pretty much limitless. Whilst the sports betting industry may have been rather slow in embracing eSports, there are signs that this is changing, and we can expect to see some very exciting developments over the coming months and years.

It’s with this in mind, that EnergyBet, the multi-award winning sportsbook from the team behind EnergyCasino, now offer a range of eSports betting, including Counter-Strike: Go, League of Legends, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch – all in an easy-to-use format that stands apart from traditional sportsbooks.



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