One of the most anticipated StarCraft 2 tournaments is just around the corner, with the world's best players getting ready to fight for their share of $500,000 in prize money.
A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
Here at esports-betting.pro, you can expect only the best analyses and in-depth tournament guides. From next-generation esports like VALORANT to OGs like Dota 2 or CS:GO, we have you covered on the latest news, trends, and tournaments to help you make better esports predictions.
Our match and tournament predictions are based on facts, rather than personal biases, taking factors such as player and team synergy, meta developments, and even past performances into consideration. We also revisit our articles frequency to verify their accuracy and to ensure that all information is kept up to date. Even if a player you are betting on suddenly drops out due to an injury, we have already taken that into account before forming our predictions.
While you can never truly predict every match, you can follow a code of rules that can help you replicate your wins as much as possible. Being intentional and strategic about your approach to esports predictions is your key to success. After all, your favorite predictions site must have a detailed explanation of their punts, and that starts with pre-match analysis.
Pre-match analysis is especially helpful over the long term, as it can help you develop your own approach to interpreting the strengths and weaknesses of different players and teams. Doing your homework before placing bets is an important part of any smart betting strategy.
A pre-match analysis is an in-depth preview of how experts believe a match will play out. With this, you can study an upcoming match in-depth to be able to make more informed esports predictions. Here at esports-betting.pro, we offer pre-match analysis for esports tournaments all the way from regional leagues such as North America’s LCS and the upcoming VCT 2023, tournament majors such as the Intel Extreme Masters, and the premier S-tier tournaments such as The International or Worlds.
Our pre-match analysis is decided based on of how we think specific teams will perform against each other. This is because each team has different playstyles and identities that can interact differently from team-to-team. We provide you the analytical reasoning behind why a team is more likely to win and back it up with evidence from their past performances and head-to-head records, their form in the current meta, and their calibre of players.
Nevertheless, it is always recommended to widen your horizons and seek out advice from multiple sources to strengthen your esports prediction. This can include esports journalists, pro players, and statisticians that have the expertise to make credible pre-match analysis. Furthermore, you could even look towards blogs and bookmakers (such as Pinnacle’s esports blog) that offer pre-match advice to help augment your decision-making.
It can be so easy and convenient to take a look at analysts’ predictions and follow them by the book. But at the end of the day, it is your money that is on the line when you place a bet. Therefore, you should have a thorough understanding of the logic behind your bets if you want to turn a profit or at the least, breakeven. This way, you can replicate your wins no matter what game, tournament, or team you are betting on.
Taking a more critical approach to betting takes a lot of preparation, strategy, and research. While it may seem like a lot of work, in the end, it's worth it, as you will be able to get as much out of your wagers as possible.
First things first – you have to understand the game you are betting on.
In esports, the different genres of games include MOBAs, FPS, RTS, card games, and more. Each of these play out in their own way even within their own category, following their own rulesets, formats, and strategies that make them unique from one another.
Understanding the mechanics and esports terms of a game will allow you to better understand who is more likely to win. This simply means that you can better understand the odds when it comes to favouring one team over the other.
You should never bet on a game that you don’t understand, as that basically means you’re relying solely on chance. What you want to do is to maximise your odds of winning your bets. This means identifying what successful teams and players do to win games and finding that ‘formula’ in the teams you want to bet on.
Start by playing the game you want to bet on to the point where you have commendable in-game knowledge, whether that’s through playing Ranked queue or watching and analysing pro play. This is because when you are familiar with the teams, players, and game dynamics on an intimate level, you'll be able to pinpoint the most helpful and potentially profitable esports predictions, and avoid those that are insincere or just clickbait.
Games are not static. They change as players adapt to well-known strategies (otherwise called the meta) as developers introduce all-new changes and patches to keep the game “fresh”. This is why, as a part of understanding the game, you should be familiar with these updates that are introduced on a weekly-to-monthly basis. Getting deeper into it, only the teams with the best understanding of the meta can succeed at the biggest tournaments.
For example, when the map Anubis was added to CS:GO’s competitive map pool last November, teams had to adjust their map bans and picks and practice accordingly. Put simply, teams who can’t play at a proficient level in Anubis will now be at a disadvantage compared to the competition.
On a similar note, the meta before the LoL World Championship was centered around the bottom lane with picks like Zeri and Sivir dominating the game. But in Worlds 2022, they were heavily nerfed, leaving picks like Lucian and Caitlyn to rise up and force teams’ playstyles to adapt and change. At the end of it all, the LCK’s top seed and tournament favorite Gen. G, who were proficient at playing bot side, couldn’t adapt and fell to the eventual tournament winners DRX.
No matter what time of the year, it’s always crucial to keep track of the latest roster moves. Whether it’s a team’s roster of players or even their coaching staff, each of these roster changes can drastically change a team’s performance throughout a season. With the right signing, even the addition of a single player to a bottom tier team can give them the change they need to turn the tides. This, in turn, can give you the insight to make informed decisions on which team to bet on in upcoming matches and find value bets where possible.
When scouting a team’s roster, it can be helpful to first look at each of the individual players’ track records. This can include their past championships won, playstyles, strengths, and weaknesses. Then, you can start hypothesising how these players will mesh together given all of their talents. You can even look back to their past performances together in past seasons or past teams they have been in together.
As an example, 100 Thieves’ signing of LCS legends Doublelift and Bjergsen will be sure to shake up North American LoL. Their combined synergy from their time in Team SoloMid, as, arguably, one of the best teams in the region’s history, will be influential in how they fare against the rest of the league. This then inevitably ties in to how their odds are perceived or valued in esports predictions.
Organisations can put together the best rosters with all the top talent, but time and time again teams have crashed and burned, failing to reach their truest potential. The truth is a squad's worth is not measured in its roster alone. Rookie players or no-name pros can improve and perform when it matters the most.
As a case in point, DRX’s ragtag roster that placed 6th in the LCK Summer finals somehow beat T1 to win the 2022 World Championship. In another example, LOUD Esports beat all odds and took down the West’s greatest teams to win VALORANT Champions 2022. Literally, quite anything is possible, so do your due diligence when researching esports teams.
Putting together what we have learned so far, you then have to consider how a team will perform given the roster or meta changes that they are bound to experience throughout the year. Some players thrive in one meta but struggle in another.
On the other hand, certain teams take time to build up across the season or are hard to take down when they’re on a hot streak. Remember, at the end of the day, teams and players are human beings that can underperform or exceed expectations. So, as much as you’re betting on the likeliest outcome of a match, always consider that there are going to be outliers. Your job then is to find these outliers so you can cash out before everyone else catches up.
Now, if you want to work with something more tangible, you can always look towards statistics to guide you in making more informed esports predictions. This includes wins, scorelines, and other stats that may be unique to a particular game or tournament. To a certain (yet great) extent, stats can give you a reliable model of how outcomes are ‘most likely’ to turn out in a match between two teams.
Given their relative performances across different tournaments, the right data can allow you to see which team is favoured to win in a one-on-one scenario. This is, in fact, how bookmakers decide what odds to assign each team in-play.
For instance, a player’s in-depth stats such as First Blood Percentage (FB%), Gold Difference at 15 Minutes (GD@15) or Kill-to-Death Ratio (KD) are direct indicators of their performance in-game. These data points can help you decide whether to a place a bet that his team will take first blood in a game. Combined with the knowledge of the meta and the team’s playstyle, you can then make a better-informed decision if this is a good bet to make.
You can even go as far as creating hypotheses about a team’s playstyle from their stat lines. Teams with lower game times, for example, obviously like to close out their games fast, and therefore have an aggressive early game. This is but one example of how stats can be used to create narratives and inform audiences of team strengths and weaknesses.
However, as helpful as stats can be, they may also be misleading. After all, stats are just numbers that can be interpreted in many ways, and have to be analysed well to truly discern their value.
For example, an incorrect way of using stats is generalising with marginal data to work with. You cannot say a VALORANT agent like Phoenix is overpowered just because he has a 100%-win rate over the course of three games (out of say, 46). This is a key example of using stats without the right context, as in this situation, it could just mean that Phoenix is only viable on certain players in certain VALORANT maps.
Another example would be judging a player for having a less than desirable damage output (damage per minute or DPM) as this might simply be because they are making way for their team’s carry to get more resources. As such, you should always consider the bigger picture in interpreting stats — whether that involves cross-referencing the calibre of opponents being faced, the current meta, or relevancy of the stats.
In making esports predictions, you also have to consider the tournament’s format, as this dictates how teams will perform throughout the event in question – whether that's a round robin group stage, single or double-elimination, or a Swiss-style format. Then, you need to find out if the games will be played out in best-of-ones, best-of-threes, or best-of-fives.
One instance where the tournament format matters is how teams are bracketed with each other. For example, one group could consist of teams that are less competitive than another's. Meanwhile, you can have another group comprising all the top teams in the tournament, otherwise known as the “group of death.” This matters, as it limits which teams will be able to advance deeper into the tournament later on, which can affect your future bets, for example.
Furthermore, a tournament’s format can change the atmosphere of the games being played. A single-elimination, best-of-one tournament does not allow much room for mistakes, as if you lose a single match (like in Worlds), you’re out. The round-robin format, meanwhile, allows each team a fair chance to fight each other, while a Swiss-system can lead to more even, competitive brackets. On the other hand, double-elimination allows teams to recover in the loser’s bracket and make unbelievable comeback stories such as in The International.
To sum up, each format has a different purpose and can be the deciding factor whether a team becomes champion or drops out earlier on.
Lastly, when all’s said and done, you have to go outside of the theories and put in the work. Sure, you can try out keeping a tally of would-be bets as a way of testing your accuracy in esports predictions without the financial investment. But, at the end of the day, experience is always the best teacher. There is no better way to improve your predictive ability than to place real stakes to see how well your predictions turn out.
Along these lines, you should also be putting in the hours doing your research by watching and analysing professional games, playing the game you are betting on, and reading up on analyst opinions. The best professional bettors develop their own prediction models and hone their betting strategies to the tee. You will experience losses, yes, but that is all for the greater cause of investing in yourself so you can win your esports predictions later on.
Predictions are more than just about who wins and who loses. You will inevitably win and lose bets. What matters is that you win a little more than you lose. Experienced bettors often refer to the golden rule that to succeed, you need to win at least 52.4% of your bets; even the best professional bettors only win 53-57% of the time with lower returns than you would expect.
With betting, there are always risks involved because esports, much like sports, relies on the performance of human individuals. And pro players, as we have discussed, can underperform when least expected, or exceed the wildest expectations.
Your goal, therefore, is to find value bets when looking at odds from your go-to bookmakers. But what is a value bet?
To start with, a value bet is simply a bet where your potential payout is higher than the risk involved in taking that bet. This basically means that you receive the maximum possible win that you can get for a particular bet. A classic example of this would be betting on an underdog that’s been undervalued by bookies. You ‘beat the market’ by finding these dark horses.
A value bet, therefore, is essentially a bet that has the best odds when compared to the average market’s odds for that same event. However, there are more nuanced approaches to finding value bets among esports predictions, which we will discuss later on.
We cannot talk about value betting without first discussing the vig.
The vig is the margin that bookmakers like bet365 and Rivalry take from each bet to turn a profit. This is so that, win or lose, they have a guaranteed return. The vig is usually around 3-7% of the placed bet and can be calculated from a simple formula.
To calculate the vig, you only need to convert decimal odds into percentages and add them together. When put together, these odds will then total to an amount greater than 100% – thee excess of which is your vig.
To illustrate, let us say you have odds of 1.65 (60.61%) for Cloud9 versus 2.13 (46.95%) for Team Vitality in the Red Bull Home Ground #3. That totals to 107.56% or a 7.56% vig, which is the definite return of the bookmaker for receiving a bet.
The lower the vig, the more value the bet offers.
Different bookmakers have different vigs for each of their games. For instance, while you may discover that the best average vig for LoL can be found in bet365, the best value bets for VALORANT may be found on Rivalry (as seen in the image below). Thus, it’s always good to do your research on the average vig of odds per game per bookmaker. While you may think that a vig difference of 1-2% is insignificant, over a long period of time and with huge bets, it adds up.
Things are about to get trickier – but stay with us! Beyond comparing vigs and odds between bookmakers, you can go even further by using tried-and-tested betting strategies. These strategies, such as EV betting, arbitrage betting, and parlay betting give you an edge in beating the odds stacked against you, as they make use of statistics to greatly increase your chances of winning and turning a profit.
First up, we have Expected Value (EV) betting, which is a long-term strategy for profiting off your bets.
In EV betting, you have to calculate the expected value of each bet, which is the average amount you can expect to win or lose from that bet if you bet on it repeatedly. This can be calculated by multiplying the probability of each outcome by the payout or reward for that outcome, and then summing those values. A positive expected value indicates that a bet is profitable in the long run, while a negative expected value means that a bet is not profitable.
If you calculate the EV of each bet with the bookmaker’s odds, it’s always going to be in the negative. This is simply because bookies have to make money. But, if you slot in your predictions for the win percentages of each team, you can find your own expected value. Ideally, you should only bet on matches that have a positive EV.
So as a rule of thumb, look for undervalued teams or players with better odds across bookmakers. And as an added tip, bets in less popular games and tournaments have, more often than not, better odds, since bookies pay less attention to them. This presents the opportunity to make a profit and beat the bookmaker at their own game – the only challenge being that you will have a harder time scouting for these more obscure leagues.
As we have just seen, there are differences in odds provided between bookmakers. This difference is called an arbitrage.
Arbitrage betting (or “sure betting”), therefore, is a strategy that involves placing a bet on each outcome of the match across different bookmakers, which guarantees you a profit regardless of the outcome. To turn a profit, you can either manually calculate how much you would need to bet on each side to net a return or use an arbitrage calculator.
For example, let's say one bookmaker offers odds of 1.59 on Team SoloMid against odds of 2.4 on Team Dignitas. The second bookmaker offers odds of 1.42 and 2.92, respectively. This difference exists because bookmakers have different opinions on the chances of winning of each team. The second bookmaker, after their own analyses and calculation, believes the match outcome will be more one-sided in favour of TSM. In this scenario, if you correctly place an arbitrage bet on TSM in the first bookmaker and on Dignitas in the second bookmaker, you will have a total return of 2.94%.
Arbitrage betting is much more complex and needs a deeper understanding to be properly used. But, as effective as it can prove to be, bookmakers will try to outright ban punters if they detect any use of arbitrage betting going on. Alternatively, they can even change odds on the fly, thereby nulling your arbitrage.
Last but not least, parlay betting has risen through the ranks as a high-risk but high-reward betting strategy.
In parlay betting, you combine separate bets from different markets into one bet otherwise called as multiples, accumulators, or combos. This can be highly profitable because, as you put together one bet with another, the odds when you win drastically increase – what you would win in three separate bets is way less compared to what you can win in a combo bet with three selections (a treble).
So much so that even a bet of €1 in a four-fold multiple bet will still be enough to give you a profit with 10x the return. And you can easily achieve that by using esports bet builders that can show you exactly how much you can earn with parlay betting compared to singles betting.
Be wary, though, because this betting strategy can be a recipe for disaster if you do not place your bets correctly – one wrong prediction is enough to cost you your winnings. As such, parlay betting requires a lot of betting experience to be able to correctly get all your esports predictions right in one bet.
Now that you have learned almost everything there is to making informed, thought-out esports predictions, you still have to remember luck always plays a role no matter what sort of wager you place.
As a bettor, it can be so easy to lose your way when you are placing bets left and right and winning (or losing) more bets than you thought you would. Since we only have a limited amount of cash to use when betting, it is in our best interest to be responsible bettors. This includes but is not limited to keeping track of bets, following a sticking to a strict budget, and only betting money that you can afford to lose.
One key advice that you should keep in mind is to avoid emotional betting at all costs. This means not chasing losses or trying to win back money that is already lost. While there are others that will rationalise this as a ‘legitimate’ betting strategy called Martingale betting (where you double the amount you bet until you win), in reality, there is no guarantee that you will win a bet. This has led to financial ruin to average bettors who cannot keep their heads straight and get carried away.
In esports betting, you are faced with the uphill battle of outthinking and outsmarting bookmakers, who almost have a limitless amount of resources compared to your average joe. That is why, to win your bets, you must carefully think about your esports predictions by focusing on all aspects of the event in question and choosing the right betting strategies to use.
At the end of the day, it is not possible to give or receive perfect predictions – they are not the end in and of themselves, but simply a means. With that in mind, we hope that you are now understand how to make more accurate esports predictions on your own!
Good predictions are data-driven and based on evidence rather than gut feelings. Ours are constantly updated for accuracy and consider a number of factors that may affect the outcome of a match.
You can find the best esports predictions from credible sources such as esports journalists, pro players or former pros, analysts, and statisticians. Don’t forget to bookmaker our tournament pages to keep track of our own predictions for the top esports events around the world!
Yes, because the most expert of esports predictions are based on solid reasoning, which can give you a higher chance of winning your bets.
First, educate yourself about the game you are betting on. Then, get to know the players and teams competing in the tournament. Lastly, use stats to support your esports predictions.
An esports prediction is still a prediction. That means it is not 100% guaranteed to be accurate, which can be a result from incorrect or outdated assumptions, lack of critical thinking, or just bad luck.
Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.