Valorant is the newest esport on the block and it's quickly picking up steam, both in the competitive and betting world. The game was officially released on June 2, 2020, and has already seen some high-level tournaments, with many more on the way.
If you want to learn more about the game and even start wagering on it, then here’s everything you need to know about Valorant.
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Valorant Gameplay Basics
Valorant is a tactical first-person shooter, much like Counter-Strike. In fact, if you know about CS:GO or the other iterations, then you’ll have no problem wrapping your head around Valorant.
In Valorant, two teams of five players battle it out on a map, defending and attacking certain areas called bomb sites. The attackers must plant the spike on a bombsite and defend it until it explodes, or eliminate the defenders. Meanwhile, the defenders must defend the bomb sites until time runs out, eliminate the attackers, or defuse the spike if it’s planted.
Every map is split into two halves and teams swap sides at half time, which is after the first 12 rounds. Currently, the game is played in a first-to-13 format, meaning the first team to reach 13 rounds wins, however, if the teams are tied at 12-12, they play one final decider round.
One thing that makes Valorant unique is that each player picks a character, also known as an agent, that has their own special set of abilities. Each character has four different skills, three of these are basic skills that, for most agents, cost money and one is an ultimate that is unlocked by getting kills, completing objectives, or losing rounds.
Most basic skills are used as utility to support the team, such as smoke grenades for cover, flashes to blind enemies, and one even heals wounded teammates. Ultimates, on the other hand, are round-changing abilities. It takes some time to unlock them and each player will only be able to use their ultimate a few times a game. These include things like a map-wide teleport, a heavy damage Rocket Launcher, or a way to revive a fallen teammate.
On top of this, there’s also the economy system. In addition to abilities costing money, players must also purchase weapons and armor. Money is earned through three different ways: kills, spike plants and defuses, as well as round results. A player’s main income is the end of round result. They receive more money for winning a round, but losing rounds in succession slowly builds up the amount received.
As such, a huge part of the game comes from managing resources and using money wisely. The economy can be quite complicated and it may take some time to really get your head around it.
Understanding Valorant Betting Odds
Valorant odds are commonly displayed in American odds, which are shown as numbers in relation to -100. These numbers differ completely depending on how likely it is a team will win. The minus (-) sign shows the favored side, while the plus (+) shows the underdogs.
For example, the odds of a Valorant match can look something like this:
This would mean that Cloud9 are the favorites for the match. The number following the minus shows how much you would need to bet to win $100. In this example, betting $175 would net you a profit of $100.
Meanwhile, Immortals are unlikely to win the match, and are shown as the underdogs through the plus sign. This time the odds are showing how much you would win if you bet $100. Therefore, betting $100 would get you an extra $150.
Odds change very frequently and are slightly different from sportsbook to sportsbook. If you’re unsure of where to place Valorant wagers, or are just looking for a new Sportsbook, check out our list of the best esports betting websites.
Types of Valorant Bets
As Valorant is still quite new, you may be limited in the types of bets you can make. The most popular betting option, the moneyline, will always be available, but you may find some of the other options to be somewhat lacking, especially in smaller matches.
However, you’re still likely to be able to place things like spreads, totals, and futures on most of the games. Let’s take a look at how these work for Valorant.
Moneyline wagers are the bread and butter of betting. It’s simply choosing the team that you think will win the series – nothing other than the end result matters. Most Valorant series are played in a best-of-three format, meaning that the first team to win two games wins. You can bet on the whole series in general or individual games, depending on how you think it will go.
As most series are played in multiple games, bettors can also choose to wager on spreads.
Spreads, also known as handicaps, change the amount teams have to win or lose by. For example, a best-of-three match between T1 and Gen.G Esports may see the former be -300 favorites, meaning not much money can be made from the bet.
However, there may also be a -1.5 game spread for T1 at +100. Choosing the spread would mean that T1 would have to win the series 2-0 for the bet to win. This bet is a lot riskier because all it takes to lose is T1 dropping one game, but the payoff is also much larger due to the increased odds.
Betting on totals in Valorant means choosing how many games will be played in a series. For example, in a best-of-three match, either two or three games will be played.
Totals allow betters to choose how many games the match will see. This is usually represented by OVER or UNDER 2.5. OVER 2.5 suggests that three games will be played, while UNDER 2.5 signifies only two games will be played.
You can think of this as a similar bet to spreads, but from a more neutral point of view, as it doesn't matter which way the result goes.
Futures are another simple bet. They are generally only open before an event starts and allow bettors to choose the overall Sportsbook. A futures bet for Valorant will generally look something like this:
Gen.G Esports +650
There will be an option for every team at the event. In this example, T1 are the favorites, while Gen.G Esports are the biggest underdog.
Prop bets, also known as proposition bets, are wagers based on certain events in the game that may not even affect the outcome of the match. As Valorant is so new, you may not find many prop bets available.
Although once more matches are played and Sportsbooks are able to create a solid database, props may start popping up. Judging by CS:GO, which is very similar to Valorant, here are some prop bets that may eventually appear:
Correct Map Score
Teams to Win Pistol Rounds
Will a Map Go To Overtime?
Time For Your First Valorant Bet
Now that you understand the basics of Valorant and some of the many bets you can place, you are prepared to make your first wager. The next step is to make sure you are going to the right sportsbook to place your Valorant bet, which we have sorted out for you.
Once you find the best book for you, turn on some Valorant, relax and watch the money flow in.