What is StarCraft II?
StarCraft II is a real-time strategy (RTS) game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, a sequel to their 1998 StarCraft, that at one point was one of the most popular esports, and that was the first step for esports to grow to the point it is at today.
In StarCraft II, the player gains control of one of three races: Terran, Zerg, and Protoss, with the duel format of one versus one gaining a huge following in the professional scene, as the players goal in the game being to create a base and an army that will surpass their opponent's one.
StarCraft II in Esports
As StarCraft II was a sequel to a game with an established fan-base, gaining such a following in South Korea, that at one point two TV channels were dedicated to broadcasting solely professional StarCraft games. Due to this, StarCraft II quite quickly turned into an esports, that became the main event for many professional tournaments, some of which were organised by Intel Extreme Masters, Major League Gaming, and Dreamhack, bringing in competitive prize pools for that time.
Following Blizzard organising the World Championship Series, and the release of the Heart of the Swarm expansion in 2013, fewer non-WCS events were held out and by 2016, due to match-fixing scandals in South Korea, the popularity for StarCraft II started to decline, only to resurge again by late 2017, with the announcement of StarCraft II becoming free-to-play, to such a point that StarCraft II was featured as part of the 2018 Asian Games esports demonstration.
World Championship Series
WCS consists of events organised by Blizzard Entertainment, featuring a $2 million prize pool, that is spread across multiple tournaments throughout the year.
WCS is split into two parts, WCS Korea and WCS Circuit, with both having their own standings and points that go towards the global tournaments.
WCS Korea, holds the Global Starcraft II League (GSL), that has 3 seasons during the year.
WCS Circuit, the Korea's international counterpart, that has Regional Challenger tournaments, giving out a seed to the Circuit Events, that are held three times a year, and Winter Events, with all of them giving out points.
Global Events, that are hosted a couple of times a year, meant as a way for both parts of WCS to battle against each other prior to the main event.
Global Playoffs, to which 16 players, based on their performance in their regions, qualify to battle out for the right to compete in the Global Finals.
Global Finals, is the most premier tournament in the WCS series, to which 8 players qualify from the Global Playoffs, taking part in a single-elimination bracket, for the right to become the WCS Champion.
What you need to know before making a bet
As the professional StarCraft II scene is miles different to an average player's game, to learn how to bet, you need to do some research prior to that.
Watch how every region plays, and decide which one suits more to your tastes, and try to focus yourself onto it, as by having a lesser scope, you will learn a lot more, and be able to see the proper moment to place a bet, based on your knowledge of that region.
As smaller tournaments have statistically a bigger chance of major upsets during the event, if there is one in the region of your preference, you can try your hand at that to maximise your profits.
Main betting markets
One of the most common markets, that came over from the traditional sports.
As the most popular format for StarCraft II professional matches is a 1 versus 1, every bookmaker offering StarCraft II, will have this market. Here you simply choose the player who you think will win the match.
Due to not all the matchups played being a strict 50-50 in terms of player's strength, this market, which was created long before esports became popular, tries to even out the chances of both sides, by giving the weaker player a positive handicap (advantage), and the stronger player a negative handicap (disadvantage).
With this bet, in order to the win the positive handicap, the player must win the match or lose by less than the handicap's value. In turn, a bet on a player with the negative handicap can only be won if that player wins by more than the handicap's value.