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Everything You Need to Know About SC2 Live Bets

Last Updated on 28/06/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland

With eSports' rise in popularity, bookmakers are beginning to expand available styles of play and challenge punters. In contrast to conventional sports, in which live-betting is generally less popular, the strategic approach it demands is favoured by intelligent SC2 players.

For example, you can participate pre-match if you simply wish to bet on the outcome of an event, however SC2 Live Betting is considered a more lucrative means of participation due to fluctuating odds. Whether you’re a newcomer or pro, we believe this article’s expertise will strengthen your ability to bet live on SC2 whilst dodging pitfalls.

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What is Starcraft II live betting?

When live betting, the means by which you participate with an ongoing match varies depending on your chosen game. For example, Live betting in League of Legends or Counter Strike may come with different rule sets in comparison to SC2, as the format in which they are played differs, but the foundation is the same:

Your chosen bookmaker will present you with a stream of the game at hand alongside a betting slip that you can easily adjust whilst you play. Odds will be listed beneath and the idea is that these odds will fluctuate depending on who the match favours.

In StarCraft II competitors will play several maps in a “best of” format. For example, in a qualifying match, competitors may play best of five maps, whereas in quarterfinals they may play best of seven.

When live-betting, you are ordinarily betting on which of the two competitors will win the current map in play. This is especially exciting in conjunction with SC2 because of the room for unprecedented outcomes, commonly referred to as “upset”.

Even if you believe that your chosen bookmaker has accurately predicted the result of the overarching match, subsequently making pre-match odds less favourable, then live-betting ensures that there is still room for punters to claim cash prizes by utilising their game knowledge. Professional play in SC2 is deeply strategic and play can differ drastically map-to-map. Although 3-0 landslides aren’t entirely uncommon, your average Winner will still tend to concede multiple maps. For example, in a best of five format, it is common for competitor’s to win 3-2, which would mean that even the winner lost on two maps prior to claiming victory. Live-betting simply enables you to capitalise on this.

Being able to read the match in-play, in order to gauge situational advantages and disadvantages that a player may hold, is especially important when it comes to live betting.

Esports bookies for Starcraft II live betting

As stated in our SC2 Odds Comparison article, it's especially important when betting on eSports to identify specialised eSports bookmakers when looking to participate in live betting.

That’s not to say that conventional bookmakers are particularly unreliable, but rather that their coverage is especially poor when it comes to live betting due to the infancy of eSports betting. Conventional bookmakers generally offer pre-match bets exclusively.

Strafe’s betting module, for example, hosts a stream of the game at hand and presents a well-optimised user interface that enables punters to easily adapt strategies and their betting slip on the fly. Not to mention that their well-known app connects you to the broader eSports community too, enabling you to follow and study your favourite players. Strafe provides a breakdown of competitors' recent form including head-to-head records. This is especially useful information that can be used as a foundation for your own betting strategies.

Specialised eSports bookmakers are especially favourable when it comes to live betting due to the nature of their promotional offers which often run in conjunction tournaments. These SC2 betting promo codes can sometimes be used when live betting, unlike most ‘free bet’ offers.

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Breaking Down the Game — When is the best time to place a live bet?

As stated, in order to win an overarching SC2 match, a competitor must win the majority of maps played in the chosen “best of” format.

Technically, destroying all of the buildings that an opponent has on a map is the primary win condition on a StarCraft II map. However, as a courtesy, losing players often “gg”, saying good game and surrendering when a loss is certain and victory is irredeemable. This is because comebacks from severe disadvantages are very unlikely in a game of SC2. Think of it like chess; almost all games end with a surrender or a draw rather than a mate.

Remember, even before the game begins, different races hold different advantages too, meaning they will excel during different periods of the game at hand, and have different strategies available to them. For example, Terrans have great mobility and defense but a lesser damage output, Protoss units have high damage but are especially resource-heavy to create, and Zerg units are cheap but harbour weaker damage output.

Early into a map of a broader Starcraft match, there are often plenty of opportunities to bet live on SC2. This is because this period of the game is where choices and mistakes have the most influence on which strategies can efficiently be performed later on. This period normally averages around ten minutes, depending on the skill-level of the matched players, and may progress faster if a player opts for a “rush” strategy in which they seek to overpower their opponent as soon as possible.

During early game pay close attention to the resource's a player secures, the buildings they choose to develop and each player’s map presence. For example, if a player decides to capitalise on a “vespene geyser” and has their race’s respective building operational on top of one prior to the three minute mark, they are less likely to employ a “rush strategy”, which means the game is more likely to play out into mid and late game. If you identify one player developing a strategy that the other is already building against, then it may be wise to place a bet. However, play close attention to your bookmaker’s current odds on the map. Ideally, you want to identify strategies as soon as possible in order to find favourable odds. The goal is to place bets prior to an underdog taking the advantage.

The early game period ends after a player has built an adequate army to contest their opponent’s. We then begin mid-game, in which player’s will employ the strategies that they have built towards during the early game. Although, during this period, it may seem obvious who holds the advantage, it’s worth playing close attention to competitor’s “APM”, or actions per minute. As the two competitors test each other’s capabilities and limitations, one competitor will usually display broader competency when it comes to micromanagement, meaning that they are able to monitor their buildings and cooldowns better whilst also pushing a feudal advantage.

Even if one player holds an initial advantage, they may display poorer micromanagement, achieve less actions per minute, or utilise a strategy that is easily countered by the minions of their opponent’s chosen race. Being aware of meta-game strategies, or more specifically, being able to spot where one player may outmaneuver another, will be essential to your success when it comes to live-betting. This means that excellent game knowledge is required.

In order to broaden your game knowledge, it is often recommended that you play the game, or atleast watch streams and advanced tutorials. As well as reviewing head-to-head records, it is also worth reviewing competitor’s previous matches, which can often be found on popular streaming services, in order to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of their chosen play style.

End game, in StarCraft, is a period in which one player seeks to destroy their enemy’s primary buildings, or generally apply enough pressure to their opponent to make them surrender. However, in the event that two players still hold fair chances, this period may result in a “base race” in which both players aim to lead an assembly of strong units into the heart of enemy territory. The Terran’s base is called a Command Centre, the Protoss base is referred to as their Nexus and the Zerg base is an alien Hatchery. Destroying an opponent's base will secure victory. In the event of an exhilarating base-race, odds can be especially fruitful, and you should bet on the competitor with the highest damage output and fastest units.

Below this section will be a comparison table with the best esports bookmakers for live betting. So, you’ll need to introduce that. Explain that we work hard to find the best bookies for esports bettors.

Is SC2 live betting for beginners?

Developing a style of play that best caters to your game knowledge and time-commitments is essential when seeking any kind of success in SC2 betting. When we consider the length of the average SC2 game, it is clearly apparent that some punters may not have the availability to watch an entire SC2 tournament, or even a single match.

Sure, when live-betting, because you are betting on the state of the map in play, you don’t have to stick around for the entire match, but in such a short period, you may not find an opportunity you feel comfortable betting on. If you cannot dedicate your time to watching the tournament live, pre-match betting is generally recommended.

Similarly, live-betting demands extensive game knowledge in order to capitalise on lucrative odds and upset. If you are a newcomer, or feel less confident betting live, then pre-match betting can offer a more comfortable pace of play to develop your skills and strategies.

As your confidence grows, you may entertain the idea of placing a bet live on SC2. As with pre-match bets, we would recommend conventional pre-match prep, such as reviewing competitors and head-to-head records, however we also recommend participating with ‘game money’ on a spreadsheet first, so that you can grow comfortable with the pace of live betting.

In order to do this, simply create a tournament table including competitors, odds, and your fictional bank roll. Record hypothetical bets, wins and losses and grow confident adjusting your bet slip alongside the game at hand. This will strengthen your ability to make informed calculations on the fly and increase your chances of winning when it comes to participating with a real money balance.

Alternatively, keep an eye on our SC2 tips and betting offers, as these often run in conjunction with tournaments and can be used whilst live-betting. Betting with ‘bonus balances’ or ‘free bets’ is generally considered more low risk and can even be used to eliminate some of the initial risk of your desired bet.

Alternative bets for Starcraft II betting beginners

Match Winner - Simply put, you are betting on the result of the match in play. Who do you think will win? Always remember that in SC2, the match will be scored according to the amount of victories achieved by players across several maps. For example, in a “best of five” match, five maps will be played and whoever wins the most maps will claim the win.

Outright Winner - If you’ve been following a tournament and feel confident in a specific competitor, you may wish to place a bet on them to win the entire tournament. Remember, if you’re betting on an “outright winner”, ordinarily you are not betting on the game at hand, but who you believe will take the crown across the broader tournament.

Scoreline Betting - Predicting the final score of a game isn’t quite as advanced or lucrative as live-betting, but it can yield some exciting results and is a fairly simple concept. Essentially, the aim is to predict the final score of a match. For example, if odds are bad for a simple “Match Win” bet, you may wish to place a bet on the the final score being 3-2 foir increased odds.

Another betting style common with SC2 is the Asian Handicap - for more info, check out our specialised article, to find out how it all works!

Best bookie for Starctaft II live betting

There are plenty of online bookmakers for eSports enthusiasts and fans to bet live on SC2, however, in recent years it has been especially difficult for British, Canadian and European punters to find regulated establishments.

When looking to participate in SC2 live betting, be sure to check your chosen bookmaker is regulated by your country’s relevant government bodies and deals in your local currencies. As previously stated, be sure to use specialist eSports bookmakers and check their SC2 betting offers too!

For live-betting, after a recent SC2 odds comparison, we concluded that Strafe’s betting module offered the best SC2 betting odds. However, we also favour the establishment as they are best known for the eSports companion app, which allows you to connect with the broader eSports community and follow and study competitors.

Their fidelity with app design transcends into the design of their betting platform, ensuring that it is easy to adjust your bet slip without interrupting your stream. Functionality has been a long standing problem when it comes to conventional bookmakers applications and websites, so it’s refreshing to be greeted with strong design principles that prioritise ease of use.

Key tips and takeaways to improve your Starcraft II live betting

Ultimately, live-betting can be an exhilarating experience that offers confident SC2 players the opportunity to capitalise on their game knowledge in exchange for cash prizes.

Learn to read the game. Live-betting is all about picking the opportune moment to place your bet. It involves analysing your competitors abilities and identifying the strategies that they intend to employ. This can be especially difficult for newcomers, so we recommend playing the game first-hand and watching professional streams or tournaments before betting.

Live-betting isn’t for beginners. Whether you’re digesting advanced strategies or adjusting your bet slip on the fly, in comparison to pre-match betting, live-betting can prove to be more difficult. If you’re new to SC2 betting, or eSports betting in general, then we recommend beginning with pre-match bets as they are less proactive and allow you to enjoy the game in-play without stressing about changing your bet slip!

Practice and observe before live-betting. If you’re interested in the appeal of SC2 live betting, but are anxious because it’s your first time participating, we recommend playing with ‘game money’ on a spreadsheet and placing hypothetical bets and recording your fictional bank roll, wins and losses. This will help you develop your own strategies, as well as the competencies required to perform under pressure at the pace of SC2’s competitive play.

Strategise and prep accordingly. As always, ensure you’ve done the groundwork. Competitor’s recent form and head-to-head record is a great place to start, not to mention that player’s historic matches can often be found on respective streaming services. Gather as much information as you can about both players prior to the game beginning and use this information to inform your bets.

Use Strafe. Even if you don’t make use of the betting module, the Strafe app is a great way to connect to the broader eSports community and monitor your favourite competitors. Knowing about upcoming matches, keeping in touch with players, and watching competitive play is a great way to keep your betting decisions informed regardless of who you bet with.

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