Maps are the stages on which Counter-Strike matches are played. They are all incredibly different and as such see a ton of varying styles of gameplay and strategy.
Some maps even favor the Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists due to their layout. This means it’s especially important to know about the maps when betting on CS:GO. Maps like Nuke are so one-sided that even a 12-3 half, a score that normally means one side is dominating, is not that bad.
Teams pick maps based on their map pool – a list of maps they practice and favor. While it’s important to know how each map affects gameplay, it’s also important to look at which team picked the map, how experienced they are on it and how those map choices can affect live betting.
As you can see, there are quite a few factors to look at when it comes to CS:GO maps and they all affect the betting odds. Let’s unpack them one by one, looking at how they work and at some team-specific tips.
If you’re new to Counter-Strike and want to learn the basics first, make sure to check out our guide to CS:GO.
Dust 2 Favored Side: Slightly Terrorist-Favored
Best Teams On Dust 2: Na’Vi | Gambit | Virtus.pro
Dust 2 is a classic Counter-Strike map that has been around for a long, long time. Every CS:GO player knows how to play it and most pro teams at least give it a go.
This map is one of the most straightforward in CS:GO. Using utility on Dust 2 is simple, and even knowing a few basic strategies can give a team a ton of options. As such it’s usually referred to as an “aim map,” meaning that there is more focus on using pure skill to kill opponents, rather than tactics and strategy.
This makes it perfect for teams that may not have the best tactics but have players with incredibly good aim. Teams like Na’Vi, Gambit and Virtus.pro are some key examples of this. All three teams are among the best in the world and feature some of the game’s best individual players. While they all still make good use of tactics and strategy, they love Dust 2 where their stars can really shine.
In January 2020 the map received a few changes, opening up the B-site. Since then, it’s been slightly skewed toward the Terrorist side as they have a ton of attacking options. Currently, it’s slightly Terrorist-favored, so if you see a team doing poorly on the Counter-Terrorist side, it’s not quite over.
Inferno Favored Side: Even
Best Teams On Inferno: G2 Esports | Virtus.pro | FaZe
Inferno is another map that has been played competitively for a long time. It’s very balanced and focused on strategy.
The map heavily revolves around utility and set plays. This means that every smoke grenade, Molotov cocktail and flashbang is vital. There are a ton of choke points on the map that can be blocked off, and using utility well is the difference between losing and winning.
Additionally, the map is somewhat famous for “fakes,” i.e. trying to fool the opponents into thinking you’re focusing on A, when you’re really focusing on B.
All this makes it perfect for teams with a very good in-game leader who like to focus on tactics and strategy over raw firepower. As such, it’s a map favored by teams like G2, Virtus.pro and FaZe. All of these teams are very strong on Inferno and feature experienced leaders who love to implement unique strategies on the map.
When it comes to the Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist sides specifically, the map is very even. If you’re wagering on a match and Inferno is being played, the best thing to look at is how experienced each team is on the map, rather than the individual sides.
Mirage Favored Side: Slightly Counter-Terrorist Favored
Best Teams On Mirage: Heroic | Team Vitality | OG
Mirage is yet again a classic Counter-Strike map and another one that is fairly balanced, but does edge slightly on CT-favored. It’s somewhat of a mix between Dust 2 and Inferno, as strategy is important, but not as vital as on other maps.
The map is similar to Dust 2 as there are quite a few strategies that revolve around simple bits of utility and aim can be the driving factor behind success. However, there is a lot more room for strategy and tactics on Mirage, mainly due to a large number of attack routes.
Because of this, you’ll see teams that generally favor a mix of both firepower and strategy, rather than a focus on individual skill. It’s Heroic’s best map and one that saw them take down many favorites on their rise to the top in 2021 – including a few legendary highlights!
The map is only a little Counter-Terrorist favored, meaning either side could do well. Your best bet is to look at each team’s experience on Mirage if you are placing a wager.
Nuke Favored Side: Heavily Counter-Terrorist Favored
Best Teams On Nuke: Na’Vi | FaZe | Fnatic | Entropiq
Nuke is very different from the maps we’ve talked about so far. It’s very Counter-Terrorist favored and heavily focused around strategy.
There are many narrow chokepoints, a ton of vantage points for the CTs, and overall favorable defensive positions all around the map. As such, the only real way for the Terrorists to win is to use their utility very well or surprise the defenders with an unexpected tactic.
Of course, aim is important, but when a Terrorist runs into the A bombsite, for example, there are a ton of different angles and many points of elevation to look at. Just relying on skill here isn’t enough and excellent use of utility and teamwork is required.
This makes it a popular choice for teams with great in-game leaders. Na’Vi, FaZe, Fnatic and Entropiq are some of the best teams on Nuke. Of these, Na’Vi are definitely the strongest, not only overall being the best in the world at the start of 2022, but also boasting a 21-game winning streak on the map in 2021.
If you’re wagering on a CS:GO match and Nuke is played, then keep in mind that the map is heavily Counter-Terrorist-sided. Losing on the Terrorist side is not a big deal, and everything above three rounds is a good Terrorist side performance.
Overpass Favored Side: Heavily Counter-Terrorist Favored
Best Teams On Overpass: Gambit | FaZe | Virtus.pro
Overpass is somewhat similar to Nuke. It’s Counter-Terrorist sided and has some of the same CT benefits, but not quite as extreme.
There’s once again many strong defensive angles and levels of elevation, as well as a simple and safe way for the defenders to reach the bombsites. Utility is also very important as there are many powerful points that need to be blocked, both for attackers and defenders.
However, the map is a lot more open, which allows for individuals to shine, if properly supported and set up by their team. It’s another one where a mix of skill and tactics works best, albeit with a CT side advantage.
It’s also important to note that the map became a lot more popular in 2021. Previously, very few teams played it, but it’s now a staple in most teams’ map pools. This means there won’t be massive knowledge gaps on the map like in previous years, so it can get competitive.
With that being said, if you’re thinking about wagering and see Overpass being played, remember to keep in mind that the Counter-Terrorists are favored here. It’s not quite as one-sided, but losing 11-4 or 10-5 is still not bad on the Terrorist side.
Vertigo Favored Side: Even
Best Teams On Vertigo: Gambit | Vitality | BIG
Vertigo is one of the newer maps, added in mid-2019. At first, teams were reluctant to play it due to the massive differences from usual CS:GO maps. Since then, however, it has received a ton of changes and has finally settled as a standard pick.
Despite coming out in 2019, the map is actually still considered fairly new and we often see new strategies on it. This is due to both the lifespan of maps in Counter-Strike, as well as the number of changes it has received. Players haven’t completely figured out the map just yet, but a meta is settling.
The map itself is fairly balanced. It can favor both a raw aim or a tactical style and a lot of the utility usage is straightforward. Therefore, any team could really shine here, regardless of style.
However, it is a map where there’s a ton of tactical utility usage. We often see walls of smoke grenades being put down, as well as tactical HE stacks, and much more. This is why some of the best teams include Gambit, Vitality and BIG – three teams that love to come up with new strategies.
When it comes to wagering on the map, it’s quite even, so the most important thing to look at is each team’s map experience.
Ancient Favored Side: Heavily Counter-Terrorist Favored
Best Teams On Ancient: Na’Vi | Gambit | Vitality | BIG
Ancient is the newest map on the block, having been released at the end of 2020. It’s still very fresh, with most teams not touching the map until mid-2021 and it only really making appearances at high-level play at the end of the year.
The map is, so far, heavily Counter-Terrorist favored as it features both a safe rotation for the CTs and a lot of tight chokepoints. It’s still being figured out and evolving every day, but Na’Vi, Gambit, Vitality and BIG are becoming early Ancient experts.
One of the most important things on this map is utility management. It’s almost impossible for the Terrorists to advance on a bombsite without proper setup, which means good tactics and strong leadership shine here. However, it also favors strong aimers, especially on CT, as there are a ton of tight spots where a highly skilled player can sneak away a kill or two.
When it comes to betting on the map, you should consider both team experience and the side scores. With it being so new, some teams don’t have much practice on it, but generally the CTs should be winning the bulk of the rounds.
Now that you know how each map works, it’s time to place some wagers on CS:GO. If you don’t yet have a favorite bookmaker, check out our guide for some of the best websites for esports betting.