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.
The VCS LoL regional league sees teams fight tooth and nail as they reach for glory and evade relegation each split. However, it has seen a downswing in the past years as compared to their glory days back in 2017. With the region’s return to international play last year, they now have the chance to redeem themselves once more.
Learn more about the VCS and how you can start betting on the region in our comprehensive guide.
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Betting on the VCS is simple and easy. From futures, moneylines, handicaps, and total bets, we go in depth into each betting market below.
Outright Winner ‘futures’ is a betting market where you bet on which team will win at the end of the tournament. In the case of the VCS LoL, you predict which team will win at the end of the playoffs, regardless of regular season standings. You can bet on this market before the tournament starts, with odds liable to change as a split plays out through the season.
Moneylines are the most common of bets placed as you simply predict which team will win a particular match. If the bookmaker deems two teams to be close in skill, the odds are going to be closely tied. But if there is a clear underdog in a matchup, odds will be skewed to their opponent’s favour.
In a volatile league like the VCS, upsets happen all the time. So, this gives you the opportunity to win big if you predict an upset. All you have to do is analyse and research teams you want to bet on before they are set to play.
Known as over/under betting, total betting is a wager where a punter predicts whether a chosen stat will go over or under a number set by the bookmaker. In League of Legends betting, this refers to total maps played, total kills by both teams, game duration, and more.
For the VCS, you can place over/under bets for total kills being odd or even, as well as total maps played. In time, much more detailed betting markets like Total Towers Taken or Total Barons Slain can be made available just like in the LPL or the LCK.
Abbreviated from proposition betting, this is a type of bet where players can show off their in-game knowledge by betting on specific outcomes in a game. Outcomes like team to secure first blood, destroy the first tower, and slay the first baron are but a few of the options available in prop betting.
Prop bets require much research on how a team plays because the way they play on Summoner’s Rift is what will decide these outcomes. For example, an early-game-centric team will focus on getting first blood to speed up the pace of the game.
In betting, a bookmaker gives a team a handicap to even the odds between teams who are thought to be mismatched in skill. For esports related bets, these handicaps come in the form of maps or kills to be added or deducted to the match’s result.
In the VCS regular season, expect to see +1.5 and -1.5 map handicaps in best-of-three matches. A +1.5 handicap bet means your team needs at least one win to cash out. This is because your team is already starting with a score of 1.5 and to win a best-of-three, you need to reach two wins. Meanwhile, a -1.5 handicap means that your team needs to win two games straight (2-0) to have a positive score and win your bet. The same concept applies to kill handicaps.
Before diving headfirst and emptying your pockets betting, it’s always important to be well-versed on what you are spending your hard-earned money on.
This means having a keen knowledge on the teams and players competing in the VCS LoL. Do your due diligence and look into player statistics, past form, and head-to-head records. For example, you can head onto sites like Games of Legends that provide in-depth statistics perfect for planning your bets. For a league like the VCS, you can go even further by doing your independent research through tracking player’s solo queue records (e.g. OP.GG).
Once you have a good grasp of the competition, you can then start looking for value bets by comparing odds from different bookmakers. Each bookie rates teams differently based on their own independent calculations and algorithms, and do not always have the most accurate of esports predictions. So, if you believe a team has a higher probability of winning compared to a sportsbook’s projections, that is an opportunity for you to take.
Last of all, remember to always bet responsibly. You can do this by betting with a strategy in mind and not just thoughtlessly throwing bets left and right. One of these strategies should include setting a bankroll so you know when to stop.
Esports betting is a form of gambling and has its inherent risks; therefore, never chase your losses and keep yourself in check while betting on a volatile league like the VCS. If you feel you are not yet up to the task of betting real money, you can always start with LoL Fantasy leagues, where you can bet for free.
The Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) is one of Riot’s major competitive regions in League of Legends. The esports league was once run in collaboration with former publisher Garena but is now exclusively run by Riot Games.
The Championship began in 2013 and has since become one of the top esports leagues in Asia, matching the likes of the LEC and the LCS. But unlike fellow major regions, the VCS still has a promotion-relegation structure to determine which eight teams will end up competing in every season.
Time and time again, Vietnam has been compared to the LPL for their notoriously aggressive playstyle. Of their teams, players will remember the VCS’ GAM Esports and iconic jungler Levi for their impressive run in Worlds and MSI in 2017.
The VCS was known as the Glorious Arena when it first started in 2012. Back then, the Saigon Jokers used to dominate the competition and eventually represented Southeast Asia in Season 2’s World Championship. So early on, Vietnam already established itself as one of the region’s strongest leagues.
In 2013, the league changed its name to the Vietnam Championship Series and was the country’s first-ever professional League of Legends league. It had eight competing teams and would later implement a promotion and relegation to their league structure. It was only in 2016 that the league officially became a part of Riot Games’ esports tournament structure.
Back then, the VCS was a part of the Garena Premier League (GPL) which had SEA’s best teams competing in the region. The region would only win their first GPL championship in 2015 once Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao would leave to form their own region, the League of Legends Masters Series (LMS).
After a few years, the VCS started performing well internationally, going toe-to-toe with major regions. This prompted the region’s eventual separation from the GPL in 2018.
Unfortunately, the VCS was not able to compete in Worlds and MSI in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic regulations. Although they were able to compete in Worlds last year, the region has yet to perform up to past expectations after a long hiatus from international play.
Across the years, the VCS has changed its format from best-of-ones to best-of-threes as the region has settled on eight teams from the past 16. In 2023, the VCS’ regular season will feature a double round robin, where each team will play 14 matches of best-of-threes.
After a long, hard-fought season, the top four teams will proceed to the playoffs with a King of the Hill, single-elimination bracket. Here, the first- and second-place team will be directly seeded into the finals and semifinals respectively. Playoffs matches are all held in best-of-five, where the winner gets to represent the region at the MSI in spring and Worlds in summer.
Each split, the bottom two teams will be dropped to the following season’s promotion tournament, where they stand to lose their league slot in the VCS. This means that only the best teams in Vietnam get to compete in the regional league.
At long last, Riot has announced that the VCS 2023 season is set to begin on February 24, starting with the league’s spring split. Games will be held from Friday to Sunday with two matches per game day. Since matches are played in best-of-threes, the first match begins at 11:00 CET, with the following match beginning at around 14:00 CET.
The VCS 2023 spring season is set to end by April 9 in time for the Mid-Season Invitational. Meanwhile, the summer split should be scheduled around July to August right before Worlds begins.
As one of LoL Esports’ major competitive regions, the VCS has a direct slot to the Group Stages of the World Championship and MSI. With this in mind, Vietnamese teams have the chance to prove themselves internationally against the world’s top talents when these tournaments come around every year. But regardless, for every team that competes in the regional league, they get to take a bite of the 400,000,000₫ or around €47,000 prize pool.
The spread for each team per split is as follows:
Due to their competitive relegation structure, the VCS sees teams come and go in almost every season. In the VCS’ last split, AS Esports and Genius Esports placed in the bottom two of the league, which led to their relegation.
This year, three familiar faces will be rejoining the league in Saigon Buffalo, Team Flash, and MGN Box Esports for the 2023 season. As of now, these are the eight competing teams heading into the league:
Odds for the outright winner of the VCS 2023 spring split taken from bet365, February 21, 09:00 CET:
Vietnam’s golden child GAM Esports has long dominated the region with the help of their iconic jungler, Levi. The team has mostly won every split since 2019 with their core roster of Levi, Kiaya, and Kati. GAM even won the gold medal for Vietnam in the SEA Games 31 with a spotless 10-0 record. In the coming year, they are to be joined by an old-timer role swapping into support, Zin. Since he left the team, Zin has had subpar performances, finishing at the bottom of the league every season. So now, there are questions as to how the team will perform with Zin slotting into GAM.
For the past two years now, Saigon Bufffalo has been steadfast consistently finishing behind GAM Esports as the region’s fated silver medalist. Despite this, Saigon Buffalo (formerly known as Phong Vũ Buffalo) has decided to keep their roster the same for the 2023 season. Ever since, they have always favoured a roam-heavy playstyle with Froggy on champs like Galio and Taliyah to unlock their true carries. Top laner Hasmed has always been a carry-oriented player with signatures like Gwen.
Meanwhile, Shogun has one of the highest CS per minute of any marksman in the league, making him a threat in the late game that the team can rely on. This year, we will see if this is enough to bring them to the first-place finish that they have been chasing.
Since joining the VCS, SBTC Esports has looked better and better year after year. SBTC has always been a fun team to follow throughout the seasons because of players like NPer, who's one of the best top laners of the league with the most solo kills to his name. Whether on Riven, Gnar, or Gwen, you can rest assured that NPer can perform at the highest level. Now, SBTC is putting on Slayder who, alongside NPer, is deceptively one of the most mechanically- skilled marksmen in the VCS.
Last year, Slayder was able to keep up with the top bot lanes in the region despite being in a bottom-tier team. With the right players on their side, we will see whether SBTC can follow through with the leads they can generate in the early game.
Team Secret has been on the come-up for quite some time, finishing in the Top 3 of the league’s spring and summer splits in the past season. As such, it is no surprise that the organisation decided to keep their lineup for the 2023. Much of the team’s success can be attributed to how well mid laner Artifact has been able to perform last year. With a year of experience behind their back, Team Secret are poised to do even better in this season. However, they will have to outdo themselves this year if they want to take down giants like GAM Esports and Saigon Buffalo and qualify for Worlds.
In the last season, CERBERUS Esports struggled in the bottom half of the league after what was thought to be the team’s best split in 2021 Winter. For 2023, CERBERUS is choosing to go back to what worked when they took down the unbeatable GAM Esports to claim their first-ever championship. With Pun, EGO, and RonOP back to starting for the team, the former champs already have the synergy to compete at the highest level. But times change and the meta is now completely different from what it was back then with marksman supports running all over the Rift. We can see if this old team can adapt to recreate their miracle run.
Team Flash has had an unexpected fall from grace from their glory days in 2019 and 2020, when they used to run the VCS. From top dog to last place, Team Flash was even relegated last summer when they bottomed out in 2022 spring. Now, the team has gone for a complete restructure, with Yoshino being the last remaining member from the old guard. For 2023, Team Flash has the potential to rebuild their name with their roster built out of promising talents straight from CERBERUS. With their experience playing together, Team Flash can be a contender to reach deep in the playoffs this year.
Team Whales came into the VCS just last summer split and narrowly missed playoffs by a single win. For the upcoming spring split, Team Whales is going to be bringing back Vit with Bie from GAM Esports supporting him in the bottom lane. With Bie’s diverse champion pool and consistency, perhaps this can alleviate pressure from Vit to perform better this season. Altogether, Team Whales hopes that with these changes, the team can finally inch their way into the playoffs.
MGN Box Esports, formerly known as BOX Gaming, will finally be making its entry into the VCS after Genius Esports and AS Esports were relegated in the past season. As it stands, however, MGN have put together a roster of rookies who have yet to play in the league. So far, only Zodiac has had considerable past experience playing for pro teams, with rather disappointing results at QTV Gaming and Team Flash. Meanwhile, jungler Tomrio was a stand-in for Levi in the 2022 spring season of the VCS, but with only two stage matches to his name. Expectations will be low for this upcoming team as they make their debut this season.
Back in 2018, the VCS was held in the GG Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, where audiences could watch all the action live. Since the pandemic began, the league has transitioned to an online-only format and has yet to return to accommodating live audiences.
However, anyone can still hop on to the livestreams by heading over to Facebook, Nimo, Tiktok, and YouTube for the VCS’ all-new official streaming channels. For English-speaking audiences, Twitch channel vcsenglish has covered the Vietnamese league since 2019 and has proven to be a reliable source.
The VCS has long been regarded as a top-heavy region with how GAM Esports has been running the league in past years. Last spring split, GAM had an undefeated record in the regular season with a 14-0 record. Although they are tough to beat, it is not impossible, as they have fallen against teams like CERBERUS and Team Flash in their near-perfect, three-year streak.
This season, teams have, for the most part, stuck to the same rosters and are hoping to build on their past experience last year. This could lead the top teams in last year’s leaderboard to feel comfortable in their seats. As we have seen in the LEC’s 2023 Winter split, upsets could be aplenty — and with rising teams like SBTC Esports and even CERBERUS Esports to up the competition in the VCS 2023 season, there's plenty reason to stay tuned!
Right now, GAM Esports is the reigning champion of the VCS and has been so for the past two years. We will see if they can continue their streak in 2023.
The 2023 VCS spring split is set to begin on February 24, running all the way to April 9, 2023. The summer season is scheduled to start around July later this year.
You can watch the all-new VCS 2023 spring split on Facebook, Nimo, Tiktok, and YouTube. There is also an unofficial Twitch broadcast for English-speaking audiences.
You can bet on a wide range of markets in the VCS 2023 season— from outright bets, moneylines, total, and handicap bets.
To bet on the VCS, you can choose from one of our trustworthy bookmakers, like Rivalry, 1xBet, or Pinnacle. These bookmakers offer a variety of odds for betting on the regional league.
Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.