Those with a passion for eSports have undoubtedly heard of StarCraft 2. A direct sequel to 1998’s StarCraft and set four years after the events in StarCraft: Brood War, this real-time strategy video game combines sci-fi and military action to create a gaming experience that continues to draw in players from around the globe. South Korea has been especially receptive to the game, with multiple television channels broadcasting professional matches to millions of viewers.
StarCraft 2 betting is also a major pastime, allowing fans, fellow players, and devoted gamblers to wager on the outcome of tournament matches and in-game events. This style of gambling is offered by a growing number of sportsbooks, and the following is meant to provide a brief overview.
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StarCraft 2 Games
The name “StarCraft II” is somewhat misleading, as there have actually been three titles in the series. A trilogy was intended from the start, with each release advancing the overall storyline and focusing on a different race in the process.
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Released on July 27, 2010, this direct sequel to the original game became the best-selling RTS title in history. It focused on the Terrans, who are human exiles from Earth.
- StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm – Released on March 12, 2013, this expansion pack introduced a number of changes for multiplayer games, as well as more playable units. The main storyline focused on popular character/sex symbol Sarah Kerrigan and the villainous alien race known as the Zerg.
- StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – The final game in the trilogy, this standalone expansion pack was released on November 10, 2015. The storyline focused on the powerful and psionic race known as the Protoss. Additional modifications were made to the multiplayer option, as well as more playable units.
Types of Betting for StarCraft 2
Once you’ve decided to jump into the world of Starcraft 2 betting, it helps to know the types of wagers that are available. Here are some of the most popular:
- The most common is to bet on the winner of a match. Unlike some team-based games, StarCraft 2 is played in a one-on-one format with series ranging from best-of-one to best-of-seven.
- Most players are part of an overall team, and you can wager on these groups to win a series.
- Future bets on the eventual winner of a specific tournament.
- Future bets on how many games an individual player will win during a tournament.
- Future bets on how many wins a specific team will accumulate during a tournament.
The above are the normal wagers made on StarCraft 2, but you’re only limited by what the sportsbooks have to offer. While most stick to a traditional formula, you’ll find the occasional site that offers some truly bizarre and/or innovative options.
The Importance of Races
StarCraft 2 focuses on three races, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a brief recap:
- Terran – These humans have the most flexible playing style of the three races. If you’re looking for a well-rounded race that isn’t overwhelming in any one area, this is the way to go.
- Protoss – This powerful race is comprised of warrior psionics, but their small units require a greater degree of management from the player.
- Zerg – The main villains in the game, these insectoid creatures prefer to swarm their opponents and let their superior numbers do the rest.
Professional players devote countless hours to preparing for a tournament, and they tend to specialize in a specific race. When they practice, they try to develop effective strategies and styles for any of the three races they might be forced to contend with.
A player always has a race he’s weakest against, however, so knowing preferences and paying attention to match-ups can make a major difference in your success as a bettor. For example, the Zerg have traditionally given top-ranked players the most trouble, with almost half of them having a losing record against these insect-like aliens.
Know the Players
Since betting on an individual player is the most common way to wager, it’s imperative to know as much as possible about these individuals. If you were betting on a baseball team, wouldn’t you try to learn everything about their star players?
Fortunately, a number of resources exist to help with such research. The StarCraft World Championship Series website has updated rankings and profiles of players, and you can find similar information at Gosu Gamers. Professional eSports commentators are also a valuable source of information.
Pay close attention to how a player does against other races, as well as specific opponents. Which units is he most skilled at using, and does he have a preference for a specific map? Personal information on the player can also provide insight, such as whether he recently got married or is currently battling the flu. Since you’re putting your hard-earned money on the line, don’t be afraid to dig as deep as possible.
Here are some of the current leaders in StarCraft 2 tournament play:
- Polt – This South Korean player is currently the top-ranked StarCraft II player in the world. A member of CM Storm, he specializes in playing the Terrans. His all-time winrate is 65%.
- Hydra – The winner of the PDPop MSL in 2011, this South Korean player is a member of ROOT Gaming. His preferred race is the Zerg, and his overall winrate is 57%.
- Solar– Another top-ranked Korean player, Solar prefers to play the Zerg. His current lifetime winrate sits at 68%.
- viOLet – The first StarCraft player to ever obtain a U.S. document listing him as a professional athlete, this South Korean gamer traces his roots back to WarCraft III. A Zerg player, his lifetime winrate is 62%.
- Snute – A Norwegian player who rolls with the Zerg, Snute is a member of Team Liquid. His overall winrate is 59%, with over 400 professional matches under his belt.
Even if you can’t play the game to save your life, there’s still plenty of money to be made from StarCraft 2 betting. Just think of it like wagering on any other sports contest, as it’s a mixture of skill, momentum, player styles, and a certain amount of luck.
StarCraft 2 continues to dominate the real-time strategy market, and tournament events appear to be growing even larger. The enthusiasm of South Korean players remains high, and even American gamers are catching on in record numbers. If you’re searching for something else to wager on during the offseason of your favorite pro league, this trending sport might be worth a look.