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ESL Pro League: Match Bets of The Day

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ESL Pro League: Match Bets of The Day

Adam Boothe’s 2020 ESL Pro League Record (updated daily)

PicksWinsLossPushAvg. PriceAccuracyProfit
17986960+12447.25%+1.10u

For those who would like to know more about CSGO betting including an introduction to the markets and some general tips, please read our Ultimate Guide to CSGO Betting.

MATCH BETS – April 12

That was a very entertaining semi-final yesterday between Astralis and Mousesports. The stars were hitting their shots for the most part, and the tactical minds of Glaive and Karrigan went toe-to-toe as well. Dust2 was a map that absolutely could have gone to the Danes. A significantly better performance from Mouse justified picking that once more despite their drubbing in the previous meeting. Astralis had no problem showing why their Inferno still remains one of the best in the world, then we moved to Nuke.

Nuke was the map which really surprised me. Despite the relatively close score, Mouse was a significantly better team on both sides of the server. If Astralis had converted their second pistol of the map they may indeed have had enough of an economic advantage to close it out. However the CS gods were with us in ensuring equilibrium, and Mousesports broke the Danish stars in round 17 with a great setup at ramp room. After that it was all Mouse and Astralis didn’t post any rounds on T until the very end. When they finally did break the bank of the ct’s at 15-12 where did they choose to go for the anti-eco? Ramp room. A similar outcome as before…the deagles rang out signalling the end of the series.

Now either it was just ‘lucky’ that Mouse stacked ramp on the only two rounds in that half they had a weaker buy than Astralis or someone did their homework. That little piece of research and/or calling undoubtedly won them the map.

Onto the best-of-five grand finals!

Fnatic vs. Mousesports

In today’s competitive climate of CS, to be the best (speaking about the top tournaments), everyone has to play six maps to the highest level. You can be the most dominant team in the world on one map and still lose it due to anti-stratting, rng, or simply not being as focused resulting in poor aim. It is not enough to say we will just mark a particular map as a loss and be really good on the other five.

So with that in mind, we know that Mousesports and Fnatic are both top-five teams not only based on their rank but due to their map pool. These two will most likely play the first bans the same way they did prior; Fnatic will remove Train, Mousesports will remove Overpass.

This leaves the remaining five maps in the order that each team believes they hold the best chance to win; Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Dust2, and Vertigo. The order these maps appear could make all the difference. The last best-of-five we witnessed was between G2 and Navi at Katowice. Navi was on a brilliant run there, so it may not have mattered, however, I was very critical of how the French squad played the veto. They began by choosing Nuke as their first pick giving a powerful ct side the chance to bully them from the get-go. Navi then picked their own best map Dust2, which G2 can also play to a high degree, and came out with a close 16-13 lead. However right then they were already up 2-0 in the series. G2‘s second pick was Mirage. A map they once more would have to start on the t-side, in which they only won 40% of their rounds and where they had never beaten a top ten team. The series was far too easy for Natus Vincere.

In the prior meeting between Mousesports and Fnatic, the Swedes picked Inferno which is likely Karrigan and co’s weakest map in the pool. Astralis yesterday went there against Mouse and walked away with a convincing win. It makes too much sense for this map to be the first one chosen by Fnatic. Mouse could certainly go back to Nuke against the Swedes today or they could instead choose to try them on Dust2. Both of these are maps that Fnatic has impressive numbers on. I marginally favor the mixed-squad on both, but only slightly. Fnc has lost just once on Nuke in four series in 2020, against Astralis 16-11. On Dust2 they have lost twice in eight series this year, Navi 16-11 and OG 16-13. Fnatic should then choose Mirage, and Mousesports will pick the remainder of either Dust or Nuke.

This would leave Vertigo as the decider. I doubt either feels strongly about this map. It is the newest one to be in circulation in the competitive map pool and has been reworked so many times in the past year it feels like every tournament presents a new iteration. Both teams have played it three times with Mouse picking up two wins against Virtus Pro and a loss to Mad Lions, while the Swedes have dropped it against Astralis and Dignitas but a victory over North.

Going back to prior iterations of Vertigo, the Swedes picked up wins against MIBR twice and one against Heroic setting this squad at 4-2 with this roster. Mousesports have been far more willing to play it over the past year however with a 9-4 record. So I would marginally say Mouse is a little more experienced on it in an official sense, however, it really is a small sample over that length of time. Over that period of time Mousesports has played Dust2 or Train three times as much. And that also does not account for the different versions of the map.

It is also possible that one of the teams could surprise with their veto. It is very unlikely but does happen. A couple of other ways this could play out, Mouse could ban Inferno instead and allow Fnatic to pick Overpass, or Fnatic could ban Vertigo and allow Mouse to choose Train. While I would not do that if I was the captain or coach for either squad, it all depends on what maps they have chosen to prepare for. These are just the mind games each team is capable of. Again I am betting based on them not doing this.

We were on Fnatic in the previous meeting when they were priced at +140. Today the odds are expectedly closer. However I actually favor Fnatic between 54-55%. Their numbers have been superior to that of Mouse throughout the entirety of Pro League.

In season 11 they are 18-11 with a 1.03 K/D ratio, while Mousesports holds 17-9 and 0.98 K/D. Four of the Swedes players hold a positive 2.0 rating, with only Golden the IGL being left out at 0.95. On Mousesports side Ropz and Frozen are doing the heavy lifting leaving three of their players with a negative 2.0 rating. Now that does not mean a victory, Astralis five were all rated positively at Pro League and they still lost.

Fnatic has a winning record on five of the seven maps with only Mirage and Overpass below 50%. Mousesports on the other hand have played six maps to a high degree and hold a 70% win rate or above on all of them except Inferno which they have yet to win. The issue with these stats is undoubtedly the sample which is under 30 for both teams total. This series should be incredibly tight and can undoubtedly go either way. I believe Fnatic to be the better team at the moment with the most consistency and greater value.

Esports Pick: Fnatic (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ +120 [BetOnline] 2u

Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses

I really wanted to do a complete breakdown of this series like I did with Fnatic/Mouse however there’s just no time! Liquid starts this best-of-five with a 1-0 map advantage unlike the European series. It means that Evil Geniuses will need to win three maps before Liquid win two. This is why EG has an incredibly high price today. The best way to approach the -1.5/+1.5 is thinking of it as the moneyline in a best-of-three. And the price of this line does reflect the EG moneyline in their prior meetings. Evil Geniuses should get to choose two of the first three maps here. I am praying that they do not continue to choose Nuke. If it is a decider, so be it. However there are only two maps that Liquid hold above 50% win rate on at Pro League – Dust2 and Nuke.

While Liquid have been the superior team to EG in their two best-of-threes over the past week it is very difficult to continue to win such tight games only decided by a couple rounds. I would like to see Liquid on a few more maps before we buy into the price today, map advantage or not.

  • Evil Geniuses (+2.5) vs Liquid @ -190 [BetOnline] 2u
  • Evil Geniuses (+1.5) vs Liquid @ +150 [BetOnline] 2u
  • Evil Geniuses (moneyline) vs Liquid @ +333 [BetOnline]

As a matter of strictly map advantage probability we don’t want to put more than one unit down on the moneline. That holds significantly less value than EG picking up a map or two.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. I just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week. If you would like to talk more about Esports with other bettors, don’t forget to check SBR’s Betting Forum. In case you are new to Esports betting, we invite you to check our Introductory Guide on How to Bet Esports.

MATCH BETS – April 11

That Liquid and Evil Geniuses rivalry continues to be an excellent one. TL once more got the better end of a tight match. A great start with a 7-1 lead on the t-side of Nuke was not enough for EG to close it out. Liquid even losing against a full eco at 12-11 and putting EG up to 14-12 did not cost them the opening map. While the EG t-side performed better this time around, they did not adjust quickly enough to Liquid’s lower takes. I have to say it does seem a bit odd that EG continue to go back to Nuke again and again. It is by no means the reason they lost, yet why not give it a shot on Inferno, Mirage or Vertigo? Liquid is quality on those as well, however it seems a bit like ‘this time it’ll work’ syndrome.

On Dust2 TL corrected their errors from the previous meeting. A significant lead into the second half was eventually closed out. The decisive round was the 26th when Evil Geniuses was facing Liquid on only a glock, three deagles, and a scout purchased by Twistzz. Cerq, the awper for EG chose to peek mid-doors without so much as a flash. In fact he did not even scope in, he was picked off from t-spawn by Mr Twistzz. Okay so no problem right? EG is still armed with three rifles, an awp on Stanislaw over at B-site and full utility. Ethan does the correct thing as the closest player to the gap in mid by smoking off the doors and picking up a molotov from Cerq’s corpse. However he then makes a fatal mistake. Instead of grabbing Cerq’s sniper rifle and either moving it to B-site where he could play both, or better yet throw it off the map, he left it in plain sight for one of the talented Liquid players to pick it up. And that’s exactly what happened. Stanislaw was playing incredibly passive behind the B plateau box, and did well to get two kills. However Ethan went down without a single kill which meant that Stewie could push up to window with the stolen sniper rifle and kill Stan at the back of site leaving it in a 3v2 and B lost. Even with a kelvar and health advantage that site is very hard to re-take in a man-disadvantage.

This was the decisive round because Evil Geniuses did not have a bank to fall back on which meant that Liquid would hold a significant weapon advantage for the remaining rounds. It is the worst feeling for teams to lose their bank at the finish line like this. The loss is by no means Ethan’s fault, however small details like removing a free powerful weapon sitting on the map would fall into the category of a minor mistake that turned into a game-breaking one.

Astralis vs. Mousesports

Got a dominant win with the Danes on the final day of phase two of the European Pro League against today’s opponent Mouse. It could not really have been more crushing at this level of CSGO. It was more dominant than Navi’s win in Katowice over Astralis. For this reason, and this reason alone, we have seen the price on the Danes move from -150 to -300 from one match to the next.

I have said again and again in these articles for the past two years that there is no team better than Astralis when they are on point. No other team has created the template for quality of teamplay on several maps as they have. Numerous IGL’s and coaches have acknowledged in interviews that it is the Danes demos they look at for ways to improve their own teams. However they being the best team in the world currently, which I do believe, does not qualify them at 75% to win the match. Especially a back-to-back, embarrassing loss with a few days off to dwell on it. While I would prefer this scenario to be on lan, perhaps that version of Astralis would do more damage!

Still working on the Furia/Evil Geniuses match so will post that a little later on!

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. I just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week. Don’t forget to also check our betting picks for DOTA ESL Major.

MATCH BETS – April 10

A 2-3 day with Pro League yesterday as OG and Natus Vincere were busted, while Astralis and Furia came through. All four series were 2-0 victories to break our frequent trend of teams trading maps and ending on a third. I have been on the wrong side of three or four straight head-to-heads between Navi and the Swedes. It certainly does not feel any better the more times it happens. Hopefully, it corrects soon as I anticipate we will see a lot more of these two in 2020.

OG dropped 2-0 to Faze once more though I liked the veto that came out for them. This time the series was significantly closer as I hoped. It looked like OG had a way back into both maps as well, but Faze being more comfortable on those maps helped them to close it out after all.

I cannot believe how dominant the Danes win over Mousesports was. Remember these are two top-five teams facing off. They play one another once more tomorrow in the EU semi-final. Already that one has jumped significantly towards Astralis…almost too much? Those who know me might know where I am going with this. However, I am not worried about movement overnight…we’ll save that discussion for tomorrow!

The final match of the day was from the North American region and we witnessed Furia defeat their Brazilian brothers, MIBR, once more. Fallen and co have had a pocket-pick of Vertigo a couple of times recently and perhaps they thought it was not a map that Furia would have practiced since their two losses to 100 Thieves and Swole Patrol. However not only did MIBR not win the favored half, they got crushed on it. It looked to me like the Panthers were ready for absolutely everything. I cannot criticize Fallen for picking Vertigo given Furia’s recent performance on it, however, when I planned out the veto for that match it was not where I saw them going with it.

Still, it was not all bad for MIBR. To their credit, they play a significantly better terrorist side on Furia’s pick of Mirage. You will recall I mentioned their prior meeting when Furia won the second pistol on this decider map and then blanked MIBR on the t-side. This time around the favorites again won the ct-pistol however it was far more contested second half of the game. MIBR ended up posting 7 t-rounds without the pistol which is never something to criticize.

I was really hoping we would get another shot on Evil Geniuses as a comparably priced underdog. And it is not only because their clown of a coach, Imapet, finally left the team after the group stage. We are getting to the point now where coaches have to serve a purpose. They are not there to just grab water for players or tell them to chill and communicate better. While I would not put a single EG loss at the feet of Imapet, his role in various iterations of the NRG and then EG rosters assumed map vetos and expectations were not what they could be.

The real reason I was hoping the price on EG would not be too much lower today was I wanted to give them another shot to get the win this time where they would not pick Nuke and just needed a little more ‘luck’ to go their way. That previous series was an absolute heater and if Elige drops another 90 kills over three maps it will be hard to see anyone defeat Liquid. I am sure Adren will not be completely satisfied with TL’s last performance either – a 14-7 choke on their own map pick reminiscent of what he was known for when he was last playing for this team at the MLG Columbus Major.

This is a series that can undoubtedly go either way however we have a tasty number on an under-priced regional rival in a revenge spot!

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. I just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week. Make sure to also check our betting picks for CSGO Flashpoint.

MATCH BETS – April 9

Was an excellent day of Pro League yesterday coming out on the profitable end of all three matches. The indomitable Mousesports fell decisively 2-0 against the Swedes of Fnatic. What was wrong with Mouse? Nothing, truly. Their t-side on Inferno was severely lacking but that was nothing out of the ordinary really on that map. You’ll recall they lost 14-1 on their terrorist half only a week ago to OG on Inferno. Fnatic picked well going there. The one surprise to me in that series was how smooth the Swedes t-side on map two, Nuke, was. They closed it out with a second pistol and only lost one gun round on one of the most challenging sides in the game and one of the best ct sides on that map.

The second series was the marquee match of the day between Natus Vincere and Faze Clan. The European superteam opened up with an incredibly dominant half on Mirage. Frankly I was surprised at that opening scoreline. While Mirage has been a good map for Faze for years now, it has been for Navi as well so I thought an excellent t-half would look like an 8-7. Navi mounted the comeback in the second half, but at 15-5 down it only takes one poor call or bad timing for the team marching back to then lose the game.

When we moved over to Train it was looking all up for Faze again. Navi won the opening pistol only to be broken on the next round and find themselves down 12-3 at half. The Russian-Ukrainian mix did attempt to work the map pretty well, however, they looked far too much like the old Navi, under Zeus. Their greatest enemy in many rounds was the clock. On some maps, like Overpass or Nuke if you have map control you can get away with leaving your executions very late. However on Train it is SO difficult for the T’s to have any control beyond the halls and outer. The other issue is the CT’s can rotate through connector far quicker making it very easy to gamble stack when you know where the push is coming in. So I was not impressed with the Natus Vincere t-side, not just because of their round score but also the way they were losing them.

However when we switched sides it was very clear which team had the worse Train. The Navi bank built up so quickly that they had all the weapons and utility they needed for the entire half. Faze looked completely stale with nothing more than simple executes with 40 seconds on the clock.

I believe Faze had the opening kill in only two rounds in the entire half creating an even bigger disadvantage before even trying to get the bomb down. The broadcast flashed a statistic on stream that Faze held the worst t-side round win percentage of top ten teams on that map so far this year, 40 something, while Navi held the best ct-side round win percentage of top ten teams at about 60 something. I can’t recall the precise numbers but its all available at HLTV. The point to take away was that while the exact scoreline of how poor Faze would perform on their t-side was up for debate, they would undoubtedly struggle. Like the Inferno pick by Fnatic, Navi picking Train here worked out even though their own weak t-side almost cost them. Another thing to note is that while Navi won five of six pistols in the series, they were broken in two of those so the economic advantage into the six halves was split evenly.

In the final series of the day OG did indeed go to Dust2 as I thought they should. While it got a little questionable for a brief period in the opening half and beginning of the second half, Astralis closed it convincingly overall. On Overpass the Danes really had free reign of the map. There were a number of incredibly close rounds that OG probably would have picked up against worse teams but instead ended up on the wrong end of a 12-3 half. While the Mix did hit double digits, Astralis was playing incredibly loose on their ct side entirely as a result of their convincing lead. And that completed the perfect 3-0 day!

Today we have the final day of the second phase of European Pro League with all six teams playing at the same time, 12:25 eastern. Tonight we also begin the playoff stage of the North American region of Pro League with a Brazilian derby of MIBR and Furia. I don’t believe in narratives such as ‘they are already eliminated/progressing and have nothing to play for’, it is far overused.

  • OG (+1.5) vs Faze @ -160 [BetOnline]
  • OG (moneyline) vs Faze @ +190 [BetOnline]
  • Natus Vincere (moneyline) vs Fnatic @ -130 [Heritage] 1.5u
  • Astralis (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ -150 [BetOnline] 1.5u
  • Furia (moneyline) vs Mibr @ -170 [Bookmaker] 2u

While I have been against OG in almost every single match of theirs during Pro League, their stock has improved while Faze’s has not. We were on the other side of this match in the prior meeting when we got relatively easy victories on both of Faze’s map spreads. If you do want to play the OG of European-mixes, then I recommend you do that with Faze again today.

As much as there is a little brother/big brother situation in the Brazilian match today, the price on Furia should be far shorter – looking to 65%+ pricing. We were on Furia in the prior meeting of these two teams and every single map was lopsided with the panthers closing it out dominantly on Mirage, and MIBR not picking up a single t-round in that half. While I do believe in looking to the other side in re-matches where there is a known history and rivalry, the price still needs to dictate it. Value with Furia, that’s the play, even if MIBR can work out a slightly more favorable veto today.


The ESL round-robin continues!

Oh, gee…

As I was watching that first half of Mirage I was reflecting on just how well it was going for Fnatic. They had already taken OG’s map and were 7-1 halfway through the first half (so the first quarter? no). The Euro-mix proceeded to win five of the final seven rounds and close the half with a respectable 6-9 ct side despite the mental demolition of being knifed several times!

Fnatic was not playing very clean, they were just better in the 2v2/3v3’s. However that all changed when they switched sides. The OG terrorist rounds were incredibly dominant. Part of the problem was that Fnatic was playing quite passive, but the other issue was when they did grab an early advantage they squandered it. So it did not take long for a 12-7 to disappear when you account for not holding a bank. Dust2 OG was excellent and the far better team on both sides of the server.

In the Mousesports versus Natus Vincere series it was all Mouse. They opened with a very strong t-half on Nuke and equally dominant ct-side of Dust2. It was about as lopsided as an outcome as you could see from two teams relatively equally matched. In the final series, Astralis came through with the 2-0. They certainly had chances to close it out in regulation and even a 2v1 on t-side of the first overtime, but in the end we could not get the cover. Overpass was an entirely different story as the Danes pulled out a 12-3 t-half and closed it out shortly after.

MATCH BETS – April 8

  • Fnatic (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ +140 1.5u
  • Natus Vincere (moneyline) vs Faze @ -155 [Heritage] 2u
  • Astralis (-1.5) vs OG @ -110 [BetOnline]

Does not take long for Fnatic shoot back to being underpriced after losing to OG. Remind me if I am wrong, didn’t Mousesports lose to this same OG team only a week ago? Navi and Faze had some tight series in Katowice. Niko assured his team that losing twice close to the eventual tournament champions was the silver lining. Sure, that’s fair. However they also lost both, have not improved statistically beyond one map (that we have seen) and are only 2 pts shy of the tournament number?

OG should be picking Dust2 here which would give them their highest likelihood to take a map against the Danes. I still don’t rate them high enough for a +1.5 play, however, given Astralis‘ form on that map at Pro League and how much they’ve been run over on their ct-side, if they haven’t made preparations for it they will lose it to OG as well. The only other map OG should really be looking for is Inferno, but that is a much stronger map for Astralis. On their side, they should be going to Nuke or Overpass.

Phase2 is another round-robin of the best performing teams in Phase1. The team which places first will receive a bye to the grand final, while the 2nd and 3rd will play each other once more in the semi-final.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. I just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


The ESL round-robin continues!

Yesterday we had some good returns from Pro League in two of the three series. Fnatic pulled out a 2-1 over the Danes in the opening series. Interestingly it was just the second time the Swedes had picked Dust2 in a best-of-three since playing Nip on it back in October. This is actually quite remarkable. Fnatic has played Dust sixteen times with this exact roster, winning it ten times. Six of those wins have come in 2020 where they are 6-1 with a sole loss to Natus Vincere – likely the best Dust2 team in the world. Their wins have come against Complexity, Navi, Forze, G2, Renegades and now Astralis.

When we talk about strong map pools this is a perfect example. Astralis can certainly play the map as well, but I imagine they would have prepared more for an Overpass pick than Dust2 given that the Swedes had shown a fondness of that map far more during Pro League.

If I had bet Astralis yesterday I would have been happy with the last two maps for them as well. They need to keep going back to Nuke as often as they can even if they have had a few ugly scores against quality opposition this year. It is the type of map that others will only beat them on with 11+ rounds on their own ct side. That is just going to be difficult to do.

It seems Faze have called Nuke their home map during Pro League. So it will be interesting to see whether they would be confident enough picking it into Astralis today, knowing they will face the Danes ct-side to start. If you missed their performance against Mouse on Nuke yesterday, the scoreline was not indicative of the play. A few cheesy rounds to tilt Faze into oblivion certainly impacted the result of that first map.

Inferno might actually be the best play for the European mix here, though it wouldn’t surprise me if stubbornness results in the Nuke pick after all. Both teams could be feeling a lack of confidence with their map pool and a 2-0 to either side would not be that surprising given what we have seen in the second phase.

MATCH BETS – April 7

  • Fnatic (-2.5) map1 vs OG @ -120
  • Fnatic (-2.5) map2 vs OG @ -125
  • Fnatic (-2.5) map3 vs OG @ -120
  • Natus Vincere (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ -125 [BetOnline]
  • Astralis (moneyline) vs Faze @ -175 [BetOnline] 2u
  • Astralis (-2.5) map1 vs Faze @ +100
  • Astralis (-2.5) map2 vs Faze @ -110
  • Astralis (-2.5) map3 vs Faze @ -110

OG continued to be a thorn in my side yesterday. Their t-sides are still worse than 8 clubs already eliminated. They can continue to steal maps that they shouldn’t against teams that have not prepped properly, but their number continues to be overvalued. Will take the Swedes with the deeper map pool, stronger t-sides, and superior teamplay.

The veto for Navi against Mouse will see Vertigo and Overpass axed right off the bat. Two teams with deep map pools, great teamplay, and an incredible amount of talent. The last time they met was the ICE Challenge in London in early February. Natus Vincere has come a long way since that defeat to Mouse. It was a best-of-five grand final and the Euro-mix came away with a 3-1 victory despite losing the opening frag 58% of the time. While Mousesports is one of the few teams to really take it to Navi, the value is still with the CIS powerhouse though marginally to about 3%.

The common theme through Phase2 so far seems to be overvaluation of OG and Faze. They both possess enough talent and experience to get map victories against top 5 teams in the world however they are both inconsistent in doing so and go missing for entire halves of maps. On paper Astralis/Faze should be very close to pick’em, however, there is a reason the Danes have dominated multiple iterations of the talented mix.

We saw both teams priced around 65% against the Swedes this week and both lost 2-1, with them winning relatively convincingly on their own pick and losing on the decider, Inferno. Seems about the same right? Well take into account that Faze had the opening kill in 59% of rounds across three maps. I commented on Twitter how fortunate Niko and…co, ahem, were to get that 9-6 t-half on Mirage. Well fortunately they were not able to coast their way by on the final two maps. Compare this with Astralis’ series with Fnatic where the opening kills were dead even at 50% and we had an incredibly close series on all three.

Phase2 is another round-robin of the best performing teams in Phase1. The team which places first will receive a bye to the grand final, while the 2nd and 3rd will play each other once more in the semi-final.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


The ESL round-robin continues!

The top two teams in the world faced off again yesterday, and for a third time this year the CIS roster walked away with the W. Might this be the last time we see Astralis priced as a favorite against them? It certainly might be, at least until they can return the favor to Simple and co. In the veto there was one very shocking decision, Astralis vetoed Nuke. I know that they haven’t forgotten the smackdown Navi handed to them on that map at Katowice, however it’s hard to say they wouldn’t have the advantage there.

Astralis is the only roster to have beaten this 5-man Navi core on Train, while on Nuke they have been toppled by North, Big, Faze, and Mousesports. So I do think it may have been somewhat of a misplay on their part, though Navi could have won on Overpass or Nuke as well of course. The thing is at no point during Train did I see why the Danes wanted to play it over Nuke or Overpass. Could have been something they anti-stratted though that T-side from Navi was very on point…also helped that they won two two-man disadvantages to break the Astralis bank further.

OG continued to get under my skin yesterday! A cheeky backdoor cover when they were well and truly out of it got them a 16-14 loss on Nuke. Considering Nuke and Train are OG’s worst maps statistically it was a pretty impressive performance. Slightly better economic starts, Mouse got all four, and they could have covered both maps or possibly won straight up!

Fnatic was an upset that should never have been priced as an upset. Their numbers at Pro League, their map pool, and their form all combined to make it the most value on the day – glad it came through! Was also a highly entertaining match with JW keeping all the fans happy with, as Golden put it, ‘JW things’.

MATCH BETS – April 6

  • Fnatic (moneyline) vs Astralis @ +190 [Bookmaker]
  • Fnatic (+1.5) vs Astralis @ -175 at Bookmaker
  • Natus Vincere (-3.5) map1 vs OG @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Natus Vincere (-3.5) map2 vs OG @ -115 at BetOnline
  • Natus Vincere (-3.5) map3 vs OG @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Mousesports (moneyline) vs Faze @ -110 1.5u

Even though I was on Faze moneyline as a slight dog in their last meeting with Mouse, their price should reflect their performance (included and since). So while the series was incredibly contested in score through the first two and a half maps, the better team statistically did win that series. I don’t really understand why some shops have Faze at 54-55% when it should be the other way around. Could certainly see another three maper, but I am going to stick with the moneyline.

Phase2 is another round robin of the best performing teams in Phase1. The team which places first will receive a bye to the grand final, while the 2nd and 3rd will play each other once more in the semi-final.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


Phase 2 of Pro League starts today!

Alright so the elephant in the room – Vitality. Their name could not have been more ironic in the final half of Dust2. It was pretty evident based on their t-sides that they had not put work into their map pool during their week off while Groups C and D competed. I did not mind the veto though I expected OG to pick Dust or Mirage and Inferno to be the decider rather than the other way around.

Coming into yesterday’s match, Vitality had ugly utility damage numbers on Dust2 and Nuke but excellent flash assists. Against OG their flashes were actually slightly better than the Phase1 group stage, but their grenade damage was especially poor at just 6.6 over those two maps on the t-side. So being poor with where to throw HE’s and molotovs is forgivable seeing as it was not what got them there. However their flashes were going to continue to be necessary for the later stages of the game.

However at 11-11 on the final map, with the economic advantage well under your control and 10 seconds into the round, why do you then choose not to do what you have been good at. Shox walks out long doors and looks left at the wall towards short for absolutely no reason when Zywoo has been holding the angle the whole time and there is no possible way for anyone to be behind the door.

So they lose the one kill there. Seeing as only three players on OG had kevlar for this round, there was still plenty of time on the clock, Vitality had full health on three players and Zywoo still had his awp, they had full nades; 6 flashes, 4 molotovs and 4 smokes, this round was more than salvageable. Instead both Apex and Misutaa walk…and I mean walk into a 3-man stack on short. Watch good Dust2 teams and how often they flash and molly that position next to the stairs on short. This is what we call sloppy cs.

Next round, Vitality get long control and a 4v3 with 1:15 left on the clock. They know one of the three OG players is low due to the fight with Shox in mid. All they have to do is their basic execute; smoke the ct cross, molotov short from long and get into post plants. What do they do instead? Decide to leave their star player on long throwing what nades he has left remaining hoping to trick all the ct’s into rotating to A while his three teammates try to sneak into B. A strategy like this ONLY works when you have a player already in tunnels that can stop the ct’s from rotating back into B when they move towards A. However it took 30 seconds for Vitality and co to get to B, by then they had positioned two ct’s in the site.

What happens again? Apex, Misutaa and RPK slowly walk into the crosshairs of Isaa positioned at the back of the site where he is safe to just pick em off. RPK had a smoke he could have tossed to prevent the snipers line of sight, and Apex had a molotov that he could have thrown from the safety of being behind that smoke to get Isaa out of that position and likely would have killed him with his low HP from the fight earlier with Shox.

But Adam if they used their nades then OG would have known they were coming! Yes of course, but worst case scenario you have to take a fight with two players who are blind, smoked or mollied and you have three. Best case scenario they are running back to the site and can’t get back in because…wait for it, you used your nades.

So the lack of nade usage combined with the poor mid-round calling in critical rounds sunk the Vitality bet on Dust2. It’s clear that Apex has not molded them like Alex did and they have become more sloppy with the IGL’s departure. I know the narrative of NBK played unbelievably is out there, and he did get more kills than his usual performance, however, that’s not why OG won. It was because they were better in critical rounds on both Nuke and Dust, and NBK was one part of that machine.

MATCH BETS – April 5

  • Fnatic (moneyline) vs Faze @ +140 [BetOnline] 2u
  • Fnatic (+2.5) map1 vs Faze @ -110
  • Fnatic (+2.5) map2 vs Faze @ -120
  • Fnatic (+2.5) map3 vs Faze @ -125 [BetOnline]
  • Astralis (moneyline) vs Natus Vincere @ -150 [BetOnline] 1.5u
  • Mousesports (-2.5) map1 vs OG @ -105
  • Mousesports (-3.5) map2 vs OG @ +100
  • Mousesports (-2.5) map3 vs OG @ -110

Phase2 is another round-robin of the best performing teams in Phase1. The team which places first will receive a bye to the grand final, while the 2nd and 3rd will play each other once more in the semi-final.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


We have 5 great Pro League matches today! Let’s see what we got!

Friday was a wild day, well at least in North America. There were some ridiculous comebacks in two of those best-of-threes, Furia/100 Thieves and EG/Liquid. It is important to keep in mind what makes it a great comeback, meaning a rare one; opponents’ proximity to ending the match, the side of the map they are on, and the number of rounds they are ahead.

Of course, there are some other criteria but if you are live betting, you cannot ignore any of those three. If you are watching a tennis tiebreak and see a player down, 0-3 compared to 3-6, the odds are extremely varied despite the gap being the same. I am intentionally comparing CS to tennis as time is a non-factor unlike most professional sports in which we commonly hear ‘the clock is against them’.

Evil Geniuses was down 14-7 on the counter-terrorist side of a slightly terrorist-leaning map, Dust2. No map is perfectly balanced, nor should that be the goal. A sample of all professional matches on Dust in 2020, 480, finds that 52% of rounds were won by the terrorist side. However at big events, typically the best teams, 54% of rounds were won by the terrorist side over a sample of 92 matches. So coming back to the map; Liquid’s pick meaning they should have more prepared for the t-side, on the favored side, and two rounds away.

The other miracle comeback was from Furia against 100 Thieves. The Aussies lost the opening pistol to go down 2-0, before stringing 10 of the final 13 rounds and close out the opening half 10-5. It was looking very promising for 100T as they won a 2v4 in the second half pistol to go up 11-5, but that is when everything changed. Nuke is the most ct-side map in CSGO with 56% of rounds going to the ‘blues’ through 6000 matches. In bigger events in 2020, the counter-terrorists are winning a staggering 62% of rounds. I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that this 100Thieves/Renegades roster has at least attained 5 ct rounds every time they had ever played Nuke.

This is what makes the comeback so incredible, it is the favored team on the favored side with a significant lead and 4 rounds from at least forcing overtime. Even teams that aren’t that formidable on the map can usually crawl their way to four or five rounds on the ct side. Sure 100Thieves never built a bank, but it wasn’t like they were winning rounds in clutches and then being reset the next round. They simply weren’t getting anything.

Mibr were excellent in their series against Swole Patrol on two maps that were probably SP’s best chance to pick up some wins. That means that somehow, someway these scrappy Brazilians see the next phase!

Today the play-ins are scheduled in Europe. The second and third place finishers in Groups A, B, and C will face to decide who will go through to playoffs or be eliminated.

MATCH BETS – April 4

  • Fnatic (moneyline) vs. Nip @ -160 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Vitality (moneyline) vs. OG @ -175 [BetOnline] 2u
  • Vitality (-2.5) map1 vs. OG @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Vitality (-2.5) map2 vs. OG @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Vitality (-2.5) map3 vs. OG @ -110 [BetOnline]

Was very impressed with Nip‘s numbers, as well as their performance on Overpass and Vertigo. Having said that, their map pool beyond this should really struggle. Fnatic can ban the tower, and then start ct-side on a map they’ll be able to anti-strat for, or should. I am not saying Overpass won’t go the Ninjas way, I just would be surprised if the old Swedes don’t get double-digits against the young’ns there. Fnatic can take the veto to Mirage or Inferno and feel reasonably good about either.

Same issue with OG. This isn’t a 40/60 match-up, or at least it shouldn’t play out that way. I do hope Vitality have been watching how simplistic the t-sides of OG really are. There shouldn’t be an advantage in any department to the mix. Pricing wise, it should be 70-75% to the French. Though if they play like their compatriots, G2, of course, OG can win once more.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

We have an entire slate of 6 Pro League matches to work today!

We have reached the final day of the group stage of ESL Pro League Season 11. Just as in the final day of Groups A & B, all of the remaining matches in each group will be played at the same start time to ensure greater competitive integrity. In the European region, we have two possible outcomes. G2 and Mousesports are guaranteed through to the next round but will be playing for seeding. Both still have the chance to come 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Where they place will be determined by the other hot match in the group, Faze against OG. OG currently resides in 1st, however, a loss to the OG of European-mixed rosters would put them in fourth place, with Faze 3rd and the winner of Mouse vs G2 in 1st. Virtus Pro and Tyloo are left to just play for pride!

In the North American group, four teams instead of three are progressing to the playoffs. However, almost nothing has been decided so far. Evil Geniuses are guaranteed through, though whether they start in the upper-brack or lower-bracket still might be in the air. If Swole, Liquid, and Furia or 100Thieves win then they will make it to the playoffs. I think the only team which has no remaining chance, though I haven’t looked closesly at all the tiebreaking procedures, is Mibr at 1-3. If EG beat Liquid, Mibr beat Swole, and Furia beat 100Thieves there would be EG (4-1), Furia (3-2), and four teams at 2-3.

Anyway, a lot is still up for grabs today!

MATCH BETS – April 3

  • Faze (-2.5) map1 vs OG @ -105 [BetOnline]
  • Faze (-2.5) map2 vs OG @ -125 [BetOnline]
  • Faze (-2.5) map3 vs OG @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • G2 (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ +100 [2u]
  • Evil Geniuses (moneyline) vs Liquid @ +145 [Betonline]
  • Swole Patrol (moneyline) vs Mibr @ +120 [Bookmaker]
  • Furia (moneyline) vs 100 Thieves @ +120 [BetOnline]

Faze vs. OG

Virtus Pro did nothing exceptional against OG except to not make the same mistakes on anti-ecos and also won half the pistols. They really exposed them on their t-side of all three maps. The numbers for Mouse and G2 against OG in contrast to Faze are night and day. That is why OG is sitting at 3-1, while Faze is 2-2. Perhaps a case of players raising their preparation and focus for the Yankees of CS (except unlike the Yankees they haven’t won a major). That is what the results seem to demonstrate given how dominant the OG wins over G2 and Mousesports were.

G2 vs. Mousesports

G2 should be the favorites, albeit slightly, against Mousesports today. They beat them in the last match, on lan at Katowice handily, and their numbers at Pro League are marginally better. I give them a 4% edge on the market average of -110, though the -110/-115 each way is at least a bit more reflective. They seem predisposed into picking Dust2 and, though they finally grabbed a win against Virtus Pro, it wouldn’t fill me with great confidence to see them pick it today. Even though Mouse have an impressive record on it, they have only played it in an official once this month. I will almost always favor a team that has many close loses with a large range over one that has an impressive win rate though a small and old sample. Inferno, Vertigo, and Nuke are three others that I give a marginal edge to G2, though Mouse have victories over quality teams on all of them.

While I was considering a play on the Tyloo side, they are overpriced. And getting involved in an inconsistent VP on the series or map spreads is not something I am keen to do either, so that’s a pass!

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


Full card of CSGO today!

The previously undefeated Furia finally dropped one in the North American region of Pro League. They crush Mirage, lost 16-14 on Train (EG’s pick), and then lost the decider map, Nuke, 16-13. Overall they played well, especially in comparison to the price we got them at. They even worked their way to a quick 6-0 start on the terrorist-side of that final map which is not easy to do, even when you get the pistol conversion. The difference was likely the number of clutch rounds that went to the North Americans.

I already posted my wagers for the first match of the day, so will only cover the two NA matches we have later this afternoon.

MATCH BETS – April 2

  • Swole Patrol (+1.5) vs Furia @ -145 [Bookmaker] 1.5u
  • Swole Patrol (moneyline) vs Furia @ +220
  • Swole Patrol (+3.5) map1 vs Furia @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Swole Patrol (+3.5) map2 vs Furia @ -110
  • Swole Patrol (+3.5) map3 vs Furia @ -110
  • MIBR (+1.5) vs Evil Geniuses @ -135 [BetOnline]
  • MIBR (moneyline) vs Evil Geniuses @ +250
  • MIBR (+3.5) map1 vs Evil Geniuses @ -125
  • MIBR (+3.5) map2 vs Evil Geniuses @ -105
  • MIBR (+3.5) map3 vs Evil Geniuses @ -110

Furia vs. Swole Patrol

We know Swole Patrol is the odd-man out in this group. They have not attained any of the achievements every single other team has, even Furia. And they have played a ton of officials over the past year, and likely even some scrims. The Brazilians have had the better of the exchanges, however it has not been as crushing as you might think.

Two weeks after Furia beat Astralis in a best-of-three at the ECS Finals, Swole Patrol smacked them when they returned home from that tournament. Now that was still when AbleJ was with the team instead of the talented awper Hen1. However this was Eunited playing with Moose instead of Freakazoid as well.

Now the numbers for the NA squad are not superior to that of Furia, nor would you expect them to be. They have also had two days off to prepare for the Brazilians. That does not mean it will be converted to a win today, however, Furia’s win over top seed Liquid and near victory against EG is not so different from the form we see from Swole.

MIBR vs. Evil Geniuses

EG is this group’s Mousesports. The panel discussed it yesterday- they are getting through on their star players alone. I would agree with that for most of their maps thus far at this tournament, however, their t-side on Nuke was a bit better against Furia when they actually played with a focus on coordination. Stanislaw, their IGL, said in the interview he has been really disappointed in their slow starts thus far in the first half of most maps.

One point of quality is their counter-terrorist sides. They have converted the most 5v4 rounds of anyone in the field, with over 80%. That is really the only category they standout, however pound for pound the firepower on their team can hold down any site with the best of them.

The vetoes will go Overpass for EG, and Nuke for MIBR. Train, Mirage, Inferno are in the wheelhouse of both teams. Highly doubt we see Dust, though we could see a pick of Vertigo from the Brazilians as well. Would I prefer a 4.5 for these prices, certainly. So you could also consider waiting to see if EG or Furia win a pistol and convert as well.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


Full card of CSGO today!

Relatively break-even day of Pro League yesterday. Received a number of messages with people frustrated about the Virtus Pro performance. Yes, I can sympathize with you having +3.5 on maps 1 & 2 (instead of the 4.5 I posted), and the +1.5 series spread that likely should have come in if they cleaned up their game.

For those unaware, VP was up 11-4 on their map pick of Vertigo, a t-sided map. It is unfavorable to the ct’s because re-takes are notoriously hard to do in even-number situations or even one-man advantages. The post-plants for the terrorists can easily spot a flank long before it arrives, and there are just a lot of places to spam a smoke defuse. Additionally, t-sided maps build a bank on that side very quickly while consistently keeping the ct’s own economy low.

It is also very difficult for any awper, but especially a team like VP which relies so heavily on Jame, to have impact if the terrorists are utilizing their ample utility. He would really have to get early kills at the beginning of rounds, which they did though squandered with impatience.

All this said, what was especially annoying for some, was the fashion some rounds went down. I believe Virtus Pro had three rounds where they had a two or three man-advantage but lost the round pre-plant. This does not include the pistol where Woxic went ‘ham’ in a 3v5, jumped into B-site and smoked 4 domes in a matter of seconds. That is no exaggeration. It was a 5v3 for Virtus Pro at 1:37, at 1:32 it was a 3v1 for Mousesports. Phenomenal play, from a star player. That round in itself may have been the difference between VP picking up a map convincingly or not even covering the +3.5. The t-sides for the Kazakhstani club were not terrible, though they seem to have an awfully bad habit of losing to pistols.

What I do want to remind people is that problem gambling is still going to find you in esports. Please do not message me telling me how unlucky or tilted you are. Yes I would call Virtus Pro not covering the +3.5 a ‘bad beat’. However, you’re going to have thousands of them. That said, an 11-4 scoreline on t-side of Vertigo isn’t all that dominant. It’s good, however, the historical data shows that teams with that score at half-time only win 80% of matches. Some of those will undoubtedly be evenly matched teams as well. However by the time Mouse had won the pistol, converted and won the first gun round (11-9), VP only had a 52% likelihood to hold on and win [on all prior professional play, not live odds].

But if you look at the professional matches in 2020 alone, this current version of Vertigo, teams up 11-4 at half have only won 53% of matches. So…bad beat? Not covering the +3.5 is, yes. Especially given the advantages that Virtus Pro had in a few rounds. However as soon as Woxic won that second pistol, the game is back on. While it certainly was not a coin flip in probability, as the sample size is too small to know, we were going the distance.

If tailing my wagers I expect you to practice the same, or similar, risk. I am not trying to predict the winner, and I am not trying to win every bet. Do not put more down on the last match of the day because you feel cheated on the others and want to win it back. And if you do, tell your wife or mother instead of me!

MATCH BETS – April 1

  • Tyloo (+1.5) vs Mousesports @ +180
  • Tyloo (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ +690
  • Tyloo (+5.5) map1 vs Mousesports @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Tyloo (+6.5) map2 vs Mousesports @ -110
  • Tyloo (+5.5) map3 vs Mousesports @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • G2 (-3.5) map1 vs Virtus Pro @ -110
  • G2 (-3.5) map2 vs Virtus Pro @ -125
  • G2 (-3.5) map3 vs Virtus Pro @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Furia (+1.5) vs Evil Geniuses @ -195 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Furia (moneyline) vs Evil Geniuses at +160 [Bookmaker]
  • Furia (+2.5) map1 vs Evil Geniuses @ -120
  • Furia (+3.5) map2 vs Evil Geniuses @ -125
  • Furia (+2.5) map3 vs Evil Geniuses @ -110

Tyloo vs. Mousesports

In European esports matchmaking we have a word for what Mousesports performance has shown in comparison to their results, ‘luckers’. I imagine it extends beyond esports, but it is apt in this context. Their price for performance is actually worse than what we saw from Navi in Group B a couple of weeks ago. I have mentioned in each article featuring Tyloo that they are the worst team here at Pro League by a long shot, however, my approach remains the same. This does not mean Mousesports will not play a clean match eventually and crush the Chinese.

Nobody is questioning the underdogs in Dota at the moment because they are hitting at ridiculous clip. However that is only the short term as well. I know no one reading can ‘see’ Tyloo winning, but that’s not really our challenge!

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


OG were OP in their last series against Mousesports, can they repeat today?

Some excellent matches scheduled today. One overvalued favorite and one undervalued one. There is not a lot separating any of these four teams and either can win if enough pistols and clutches go in their favor. These are the supreme RNG aspects of CS which can kill any wager. Going to spend a bit more on the 100Thieves vs Made in Brazil match. It is one of the trickier prices I have seen so far. Will post it after I finish our CSGO Flashpoint betting picks.

MATCH BETS – March 31

  • G2 (-3.5) map1 vs OG @ +100
  • G2 (-3.5) map2 vs OG @ -105
  • G2 (-3.5) map3 vs OG @ +105
  • Virtus Pro (+1.5) vs Mousesports @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Virtus Pro (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ +300 [BetOnline]
  • Virtus Pro (+4.5) map1 vs Mousesports @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Virtus Pro (+4.5) map2 vs Mousesports @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Virtus Pro (+4.5) map3 vs Mousesports @ -115 [BetOnline]

G2 vs. OG

The numbers are so ugly for Mousesports from their series against OG that, even if we removed the caliber of player names, we just cannot credit them too far beyond a ‘win’. I recall Jordan Gilbert said in an interview in 2017 that if a team fails to get 5-6 rounds or so they were never really on a map. In the NHL if a team comes out and puts 5 in before the end of the first it’s pretty difficult to get back into that game. When the score eventually ends at 8-1 try not to let your numbers be skewed by an outlier. Mouse being 14-1’d by OG is the result that likely won’t happen again for some time. So basing too much upon it could lead to problems. What we do credit OG with was strong ct-sides on all three maps – the degree is up to you.

One thing G2 is struggling with at the moment is Dust2. Not struggling because they are losing. Beyond Tyloo, the opposition is respectable and also formidable on Dust. They are losing because their t-side, on this T-leaning map, is not putting up nearly enough rounds. They have not put up more than 6 rounds, on that side of the map, since playing Liquid at CSGO IEM Katowice. Though it is a talented group of opponents, that is not acceptable if it is YOUR map pick. Losing four straight games of Dust, with 6 rounds max on T-side, means that you are overestimating your edge on it while likely also not having anything fresh to throw.

In terms of what G2 pick today, and without ignoring the above paragraph, I don’t mind the Dust pick. I would rather see a more technical map and put the OG t-side to the test, which I still believe they lag behind some of the teams in this group, however, G2 will not go on losing Dust indefinitely against OG calibre teams. OG is the ultimate steal a map team. They can punish G2 for being careless and sloppy the same way they did to Mouse.

Mousesports vs. Virtus Pro

Both of these teams are fresh off embarrassing losses, though in a different regard. As mentioned above, Mouse got smacked around on the final two maps of their series as heavy favorites (and knowing they were heavy favorites). Virtus Pro on the other hand came oh so close to picking up a map against Faze or possibly the series. Pistols definitely played a role, but even so VP’s sloppy anti-ecos late in the game on Mirage is what truly cost them that map.

Three months ago when these two teams played the line closed at +165 [Pinnacle]. Today it sits at +300 – a 13% swing. Even with Mousesports latest performance, the drop makes sense. Virtus Pro has won just one match in 2020, against Heroic (that roster that just got the boot from FunPlus Phoenix). Further they have not won as a dog, in this price range, since beating Vitality in the quarterfinals of the Starladder Major in September. Part of this has to do with their incredible run at that tournament leading to months of overpricing, and now we are seeing the opposite result. This is the tipping point for price on Virtus Pro. Yes they can still lose to Mousesports but it is not a 75/25 match.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


First look at Virtus Pro today!

Mousesports suffered their worst defeat on Inferno and matched their worst defeat on Train since they formed this roster. You can say ‘oh just cause its online’, however, Mouse were 5-3 on Inferno online prior, and an undefeated 7-0 on Train. Was that the reason we took them? No. A record like this accounts for very little other than, they were better than their opponents on those maps the majority of times. So yeah Mouse played ‘bad’ on their t-side of those last two maps, and even Mirage really, compared to what they are capable of. That said OG were deserving of that victory based on the strength of their ct-sides on all three maps.

A buddy in one of our betting discords, whom is new to csgo, commented on Furia’s terrorist-side of Inferno:

“This is my first look at them and that inferno t side was the most professional side I’ve seen yet. So many times I’ve seen t sides do dumb shit when the clock starts to tick down. Sometimes even just 1 player getting impatient and the whole round is shot at that point. But they felt out different plays and gave themselves outs and then pushed and capitalized. Watching so much of this I’ve been questioning why so many teams seem so impatient and I was beginning to think that my perspective was wrong and that for whatever reason the patient approach was flawed. But that was damn near perfect. Nobody had to be the hero.”

I could not have summed it up any better! Now contrast this with Mousesports performance on the same map yesterday. Does OG have a better ct side than Liquid? Do Mousesports lack the firepower or tactics needed to find more than one T round? What is needed from these teams in order to have good Terrorist-sides is to focus on these online matches. Pushing through smokes, entering bomb sites one-by-one, not using your nades, holding ‘W’ even. Liquid did not play bad either on t or ct side of all three maps. They were just a round or two from breaking Furia’s economy on Mirage which likely would have ended the game in their favor.

The Faze match was about as frustrating to see breakdown as the day before… maybe more so. Another brilliant t-side on the most ct-sided map working out to 9-6, win the second pistol and convert it for 11-6, then lose 10 of the final 13 rounds and drop your opening map.

MATCH BETS – March 30

  • Virtus Pro (+1.5) vs Faze @ -115 @ [Bookmaker]
  • Virtus Pro (moneyline) vs Faze @ +300
  • Virtus Pro (+4.5) map1 vs Faze @ -120
  • Virtus Pro (+4.5) map2 vs Faze @ +100
  • Swole Patrol (+1.5) vs Evil Geniuses @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Swole Patrol (moneyline) vs Evil Geniuses @ +375 [BetOnline]
  • Swole Patrol (+4.5) map1 vs Evil Geniuses @ -120
  • Swole Patrol (+5.5) map2 vs Evil Geniuses @ -120
  • Swole Patrol (+4.5) map3 vs Evil Geniuses @ -105
  • Furia (moneyline) vs MIBR @ -170 [2u]

Furia vs. MIBR

I would call the Brazilian derby the match-of-the-day. I recall over a year ago whether the black panther side would ever usurp the godfather of South American CS, and it has not taken long. I wouldn’t actually call MIBR an underdog, even though that is where they are priced today. However their teamplay has been severely lacking and their results have taken a nosedive considering how much talent they are loaded with. In their head to head so far, Furia has taken 4/5, though many of those maps are very tight. There is actually about 4% of value to MIBR today, but I am looking the other way for two units due to their teamplay and inability to convert man advantages in both Pro League and Flashpoint. A three-map’er would not surprise me in the least either.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.


Get a break from Tyloo getting stomped today!

Yesterday’s matches played out in an interesting fashion. It began with Tyloo shutting down a very weak G2 t-side on the French-majority roster’s best map. G2 did well did to come back into it winning 10 rounds in a row, to 14-11, but dropped five in a row and lost the map entirely. On the other two maps Tyloo was back to the poor performances as we can now somewhat expect in two out of three maps of a series.

The next series was the match of the day, at least for those who appreciate quality cs. Faze opened up with an absolute dominant Nuke performance running over Mouse on the t-side of that map to 10-5 despite losing the opening pistol. Mouse had everything they needed to have a respectable ct-side but were not ready for the variety of strats and headshots Faze brought to the map. Train was a very tight one with the Mousesports edging it out 16-14. Definitely one that could have gone either way. Was more impressed with Faze’s performance on it despite losing – they had not played it since November. Finally on Dust, a map which most would agree should lean ever so slightly to the t-side (if they know what they are doing), the counter-terrorist side dominated both halves. Both terrorist sides were weak, however Mouse had superior teamplay and variety which got them enough rounds to make the comeback in the second half. I was happy with the Faze play even though they faltered on the last portion of the last map.

The final series was the most ridiculous, and I am sure that anyone who watched it would agree. There was one very subtle difference in the opening map of Vertigo from when they played it against Swole. Liquid chose to start on the counter-terrorist side this time. Why would they choose to start on the disadvantaged side? They will then know exactly how many rounds they need to comeback and win. It might seem like a small distinction, or only a mental aspect, since teams ought to try and win as many rounds as they can regardless of the side. This was a practice popularized on Cache, another t-sided map, many years ago. It is certainly not something every team will do, however let’s say Liquid had started out 9-0 on t-side Vertigo. Pretty damn good start, the expectation is they will then win at least half the remaining rounds so at least finish 12-3. Yet psychologically when teams build out to a dominant scoreline in cs they start to play more loose; taking peeks they wouldn’t normally, not using their nades, trying to play more independently and generally not playing like they ‘need’ to win the round.

While I don’t think this was the reason they lost to Swole, nor beat 100 Thieves, ending the game with momentum is a lot easier than trying to turn it when you also don’t have the economy.

MATCH BETS – March 29

  • Mousesports (-1.5) vs OG @ (-105) [BetOnline]
  • Mousesports (-3.5) map1 vs OG @ (-115) [BetOnline]
  • Mousesports (-3.5) map2 vs OG @ (-115) [BetOnline]
  • Mousesports (-3.5) map3 vs OG @ -120
  • Faze (moneyline) vs G2 @ +110 [2u]
  • Furia (+1.5) vs Liquid @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Furia (moneyline) vs Liquid @ +300

Mousesports vs OG

The OG t-sides look less assertive and polished through one match from both these teams. I mentioned that OG is not ‘that much’ worse than Faze in relation to them both facing Tyloo. This is an important distinction as not every team will then be recognized as holding the same value.

The reason for this is CS, like tennis, has a fixed set of outcomes (in regulation). In the NBA, for example, a team can win by one point or really any other score beyond…within the constraints of what is physically possible for a human to do in a set amount of time. In tennis there are only 6 possible outcomes for a player to win, and CS that number is 16. In other words, a team can only win ‘so hard’.

There is a lot more to elaborate on here, but in short pretend we placed Faze as exactly equal to Mouse, took Tyloo at +5.5 against Faze, OG -3.5 against Tyloo, then shouldn’t we want OG +3.5 against Mouse? Beyond what I was hinting at, the other various obvious issue is adjusting for current form of both and form of opponents and for respective map pool.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

Can Tyloo cover for the first time today?

What an incredible performance from Swole Patrol yesterday. Liquid really didn’t contest in two halves of those two maps but, given the pricing, a 6:1 underdog is also going to have to play well even if it’s Liquid’s worst performance of the year so far. We got to see Swole on a couple of more maps which will be important in their pricing going forward!

Today we have two matches from the European region and one from North America. It will be the first time we are seeing G2 and Mousesports at Pro League, followed by the third match for 100 Thieves and Liquid.

MATCH BETS – March 28

  • G2 (-5.5) map1 vs Tyloo @ -105 [BetOnline]
  • G2 (-5.5) map2 vs Tyloo @ -125
  • Faze (moneyline) vs Mousesports @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Liquid (moneyline) vs 100 Thieves @ -190 [BetOnline] 2u
  • Liquid (-2.5) map1 vs 100 Thieves @ -2.5 @ -110
  • Liquid (-2.5) map2 vs 100 Thieves @ -2.5 @ -120
  • Liquid (-2.5) map3 vs 100 Thieves @ -2.5 @ -120

G2 vs. Tyloo

Despite what you may think, this is not a ‘fade Tyloo’ approach going forward. Rather it is a ‘fade Tyloo until the price is too far in their favor’ angle. Similarly to their match against Faze, the Chinese club had opportunities on both maps to at least cover the map spread. Without getting all the pistols, G2 might have even dropped a map!

The very obvious weakness of Tyloo’s t-side continues to be a problem. IF, and this is a capitalized ‘if’, G2 play at least as sharply as OG did yesterday, which was not sharp at all, they cover and maybe by double digits. The old French teams had problems with Mirage, but that was a different era under IGL’s named Happy and Shox.

It’s not the ideal map for a 5.5 spread, however a strong ct-side should give them enough to close out against an overly aggressive Tyloo ct-side. So even if it goes there I have no problem with this number. It really should take both pistols and a few economic resets to Tyloo to win any half on any map that comes up against G2.

Mousesports vs. Faze

This price makes complete sense given where these teams are at coming in. Most of the bitterness of Karrigan and ChrisJ being kicked from Niko-teams has subsided surely, but his drive combined with impatience for his teammates certainly has not been forgotten!

Mousesports have absolutely owned Faze with their current roster, however they have played against them only in one best-of-three since Broky joined. The current form for Faze coming in is nothing to be embarrassed about losing just twice at Katowice to the tournament winners Navi. Those series were incredibly tight for the most part and I expect Faze to give Mouse the best contest they have over the past year based on their numbers coming in.

Their map pools should overlap relatively well too with neither going into Overpass or Vertigo, though both have likely put work into those two.

Team Liquid vs. 100 Thieves

We have seen both the best and worst out of Liquid in back-to-back days. I remarked to a buddy as we were watching Liquid dismantle MIBR on Dust2 that they are not ‘this’ good, and MIBR are not ‘this’ bad. I was not on Liquid against Swole because the pugstars couldn’t cover, it was the projection that their numbers on t-side would not be great enough for Liquid to not cover. What was frustrating about yesterday’s result is that the favs did very little to adjust to what was not working. Similarly to how MIBR failed to convert many man-advantages on day1, this was Liquid’s problem yesterday.

On Overpass, they had the opening kill 16 times. The one pistol they did win was not converted and they didn’t win a single clutch. If the best in the world have all of the things run against you in one map of course they could drop it! The day prior they dominated the clutches against the Brazilians also resulting in lopsided scorelines. We finally did see a string of rounds come in For Liquid but Swole did an excellent job getting the bomb down and was just a matter of time until one of the attacks would go their way.

So I get it, Liquid can lose to 100T who have already beat Swole this week. Still, this is again a 70+ probability on them and a 2.5 spread is a gift. That is why I am running with both although 100 Thieves winning outright kills the sequence. We need to know whether a loss to Swole in that fashion is a ‘one-off’ or not. A Vertigo pick might be a good play for the 100 Thieves side if you’re looking to play them for this match.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

If you don’t know what these bets are or where to find them, let me know. If you have another play in mind that you would like me to take a look at, contact me anytime throughout the week [@lockeqwerty].

Will the favorites continue to roll at Pro League?

I received a thoughtful question yesterday regarding why it was so easy for Team Liquid to run over Made in Brazil in their series. Other than the very obvious ‘they were hitting their shots’ or ‘NAF was too good’, the economy played a critical factor… as it frequently does in Counter-Strike. MIBR won the opening pistol of the series to go up 3-0, Liquid then broke their economy by winning two consecutive CT rounds thereby earning an anti-eco round in which MIBR had to save and enabled the Americans to build a bank of their own. The opening half was very close in round score and both teams played well and the half ended 8-7 in favor of TL.

So why wasn’t MIBR able to do the same on their own ct-side? Liquid won their T pistol and conversion going up to 11-7. On the first gun round of the second half, Fallen got two AWP kills in ‘toilets’ which is the call-out for the short side path to A site on Overpass putting them into a 5v3 with just twenty seconds left in the round. This should have been an unwinnable round for Liquid at this point. However instead of his two teammates just holding angles and waiting for the terrorist to come to them, Fer pushed short and KNGV tried to fight an SG long range, then Fallen ‘legs’ Elige instead of killing him and the remaining two MIBR players rush through a smoke to stop the plant and die to Elige who was holding the angle.

Now because Liquid had won the pistol and MIBR still had no bank, that one round win becomes two, now the score is 13-7. On the second gun round, MIBR have two players attempt to push short on B-site where Stewie is holding the angle. They don’t flash and they don’t trade. Stewie kills both and the round is over instantly 14-7.

MIBR have to save again or purchase inferior weapons as they still don’t have a bank and the map is already at 15-7 with Liquid holding 8 map-points. MIBR actually won one more gun round on t-side of Overpass than Liquid, but their own failings to counter Liquid when they switched sides is why the lost without covering the spread.

On Dust2 they got run over. The scoreline was uglier than it should have been because MIBR were not able to convert their man advantages and won 0 clutches. The Brazilians got the opening kill in 7 rounds and I believe, correct me if I am wrong, had three two-man advantages. So 5-0 in clutches for Liquid and an already impressive t-side will be more than a little demoralizing and lead to a lop-sided game.

In the 30 maps these two clubs have played each other in the last three years that was the most dominant scoreline Liquid has had over them in a best-of-three! Alright let’s get to today’s stuff.

MATCH BETS – March 27

  • OG (-1.5) vs Tyloo @ +105 [Bookmaker]
  • OG (-3.5) map1 vs Tyloo @ -115
  • OG (-3.5) map2 vs Tyloo @ -120
  • Liquid (-5.5) map1 vs Swole Patrol @ -120
  • Liquid (-6.5) map2 vs Swole Patrol @ +100
    Evil Geniuses (moneyline) vs 100 Thieves @ -155 [Bookmaker] 1.5u

OG vs. Tyloo

Yesterday I mentioned that Tyloo was the worst team in the group and indeed they failed to cover either map. To be fair to them they had chances on both t-side Inferno and ct-side Mirage to gather a few more rounds but unfortunately Faze Clan was on point and hitting headshots when they needed to.

This round initiated a string of 9 in a row for Faze and shouldn’t be happening if the bomb is in mid. Taking fights they don’t need to is somewhat a calling-card for Asian cs I suppose.

Today I am on Tyloo’s opponents. You might be thinking ‘but why Adam, Tyloo is still a big dog and they are playing a worse team?’. Right on both accounts of course. In plain terms, OG is not that much worse than Faze in comparison to Tyloo. Where Tyloo closed at Pinnacle yesterday was roughly an 85/15 split, this match with OG being set at 73/27 (at the time of writing). There is significant value on the OG moneyline down to about 80%… however, I know no one reading this enjoys betting -350 favorites – you’re still in luck as plays to the series and map spreads are warranted.

Keep in mind that I have bet against OG in almost all their matches since they formed at the end of 2019. They have some big names, one of the most powerful organization’s behind them and certainly a high skill ceiling. However, they have been supremely overvalued from the outset. The difference today is they are facing the worst team they have played thus far… yes I would put Kova ahead of Tyloo, at least in terms of tactics and teamplay.

The biggest concern is the OG map pool however it is important to keep in mind who the opposition is. Tyloo can have a 90% win rate on Mirage while OG can have a 30% win rate and OG might still be significantly better than their Chinese opposition.

Swole Patrol vs. Team Liquid

Swole played a helluva series against 100 Thieves yesterday. A few more clutch rounds in their favor on Inferno and they likely take that series. It was clear that they had the firepower to match the Aussies and tactically they were not too bad either.

Today they face a different animal in Liquid. For starters, the first map Swole picked up was Train and they played respectably on it. However, that is Liquid’s perma-ban so right from the get-go, the underdogs are not in a great position. Liquid can really go anywhere with this veto and feel supremely comfortable. Swole picking Overpass might be a good fit, but we already know Liquid can play that. They could also choose Nuke which TL has only played in one official, an overtime loss to Evil Geniuses.

The biggest concern here is what kind of t-sides SP can muster. While I genuinely find their firepower not to be lacking for the field of teams in this group, and would likely take them against MIBR depending on how big a dog they would be, Liquid’s teamplay combined with the best firepower in the region should see them cover two of three map spreads today. I just don’t see a veto that doesn’t fall squarely into Liquid’s wheelhouse. That said this core on Swole has covered against this iteration of Liquid and even stole Overpass from them when they picked it back in September. I just haven’t found it to occur frequently enough with their numbers coming into today.

If you find that the veto is favorable for Swole than you might be inclined to play their side or their map pick. Nothing wrong with that either, just not how it broke down for me.

Evil Geniuses vs. 100 Thieves

The talent on the EG roster is second to only Liquid in the North American region. For a brief period just after the second major last year, it looked as though Evil Geniuses would claim the position of the best team in NA when they beat Astralis in both a best-of-three and a best-of-five at ESL New York. However, it was not to be. As we closed out 2019 and the new circuit began they have struggled to string wins together.

In 2020 EG has won just two series. One against the Mad Lions, and the other against today’s opponent, 100 Thieves. With the Aussies it often seems against the top teams is that it takes them not playing well to score the upset. While my system holds the value to EG worth a 2u play, I decided to put just 1.5 down. Even though 100T struggled to close out an inferior opponent like Swole, they did not play ‘bad’.

Within our discord server, it is a frequent meme of how Evil Geniuses run their vetos. It often lands them in hot water when they pick an Inferno or a Nuke that they really have no reason to do so. Map picks should generally be to a team’s strengths rather than an opponent’s weaknesses.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

ESL Pro League

We get to have a first look at a bunch of new teams today!

For those of you who were finally getting used to the same esports teams, names and map strengths being thrown around, sorry! We are about to put you through the cycle again. Today we have the final two groups kicking off the round-robin stage of ESL Pro League Season 11.

Instead of alternating days between groups, the scheduling is split. Both groups receive at least one match per day, with one of the groups getting two. There is still the exact same amount of games, they are just changing it up due to one of the groups being solely in North America instead of both from Europe, like Groups A & B.

MATCH BETS – March 26

  • Tyloo (+1.5) vs Faze @ +200 [BetOnline]
  • Tyloo (moneyline) vs Faze @ +650
  • Tyloo (+5.5) map1 vs Faze @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • Tyloo (+5.5) map2 vs Faze @ +100
  • Swole Patrol (+1.5) vs 100 Thieves @ +120 [BetOnline]
  • Swole Patrol (moneyline) vs 100 Thieves @ +410 [BetOnline]
  • Swole Patrol (+4.5) map1 vs 100 Thieves @ -110
  • Swole Patrol (+4.5) map2 vs 100 Thieves @ -110
  • MIBR (+1.5) vs Liquid @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • MIBR (moneyline) vs Liquid @ +300

Faze vs. Tyloo

Tyloo is the worst team in this group by a mile. I have no misconceptions regarding how truly awful they can sometimes perform. Faze can, undoubtedly, win this series 2-0, as can most of the teams in this group when they face the Chinese organization.

In order for this +1.5 to cover today we are going to need Faze to not be at their best, lose a couple of pistols, not use their utility properly… that kinda thing. We will also need some big counter-terrorist sides as this Chinese club sometimes struggles mightily at the top tier events to get the bomb planted.

Maybe we get a bit fortunate with the veto process too and Faze pick a favorable map for the Chinese like a Mirage or Dust. To clarify those are favorable in comparison to other maps out there, it does not mean that Tyloo is favored to win on those maps.

Day1 of an online group round-robin, let’s see what version of Faze is on the server today. In order for you to find value on the Faze side you would need for them to not drop a single map against Tyloo if they played at least three successive best-of-threes. I think they’re good, but not that good.

Swole Patrol vs. 100 Thieves

It’s adorable that Freakazoid made peace with his brother Cooper and they are once again on the same team. You can find a nice little synopsis of the incident here:

The roid-rage was real in that sequence, but somewhat understandably so. It has come full circle now however as the results of Cooper quitting on his brother’s team weeks before they had a chance to qualify for Pro League didn’t amount to anything significant. He is now back with the same club, slightly different roster, but they have attained that Pro League spot.

Due to roster changes like the one above, which are all too frequent in the North American scene, Swole is one of those teams that we rarely see at the bigger tournaments. However their firepower is not at a significant disadvantage from the 100 Thieves side. What will impact the result far more is how these teams match-up tactically. While I have been impressed with the improvement of Renegades/100Thieves under Kassad, since they added Lias and Gratisfaction, they are equally capable of going missing on the server.

Similar to the Faze match, I want to see the incredibly short favorite earn their value before I price them at 80% against anyone that was good enough to make Pro League.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

So which three teams will proceed from Group B?

Today we have a jam-packed (I originally wrote ‘jammed pack’ by the way, what comes out of my mouth is always a toin coss) schedule with both Group A and Group B concluding the round-robin portion of the Pro League.

For those football/soccer fans out there, you will be familiar with the group stage scheduling at the World Cup. On the last day of the round-robin, all four teams in each group start their matches at the same time. It is a simple measure of trying to ensure competitive integrity. In their infinite wisdom, ESL has implemented this for the three matches in both groups. While it is not ideal from a spectator standpoint, it is a necessary measure that should be encouraged in the sporting world when teams can be eliminated prior to their tournament actually concluding.

MATCH BETS

  • Fnatic (moneyline) vs Natus Vincere @ +100 [Bookmaker]
  • Big (moneyline) vs Forze @ -105 1.5u
  • North (moneyline) vs Complexity @ +108 [BetOnline] 1.5u

Natus Vincere vs. Fnatic

Two top-five teams with deep map pools, in reasonably good form and still needing wins here today. Fnatic was the only team to defeat Navi at IEM Katowice, though it was the CIS team that had the final laugh as they lifted the trophy.

In a historical sense, the Navi roster with Flamie and Simple has owned the Fnatic duo of JW and Krimz. Many different roster swaps through the past two years since Simple signed, but with their current five, the Swedes have taken both best-of-threes from Navi. Should be noted that the Russian-majority roster was playing with Guardian back in December.

While the future is bright for Navi, this past week their performance has been lacking. Let’s compare it to the market. They have covered exactly 0 series spreads, though given a very nice selection of maps to do so, and two map spreads out of ten, being Dust2 and Nuke against Complexity last night. They have gone 2-2 in the price range of 70-85% through four matches. We must always compare apples to apples, so let’s examine how Fnatic has done on their side of the market. They have covered a singular series handicap, but have cleared their map spreads in 6/11 maps. Additionally, their price range has not been as heavy as Natus Vincere.

If this were lan, the Navi numbers were even slightly better, I would be on their side at 56%. However, I have taken the Swedes whom, though they have also dropped their own map pick a couple of times and went missing on t-side against Big on Mirage, have been the far more consistent team on a wider array of maps.

As we’ve seen time and again you can never rule out a team with the firepower that Navi has, but it’s only barely dragging them through matches at this tournament. I have no idea where this veto will go. First phase should be Vertigo and Train getting the axe. Navi picking Dust would be the obvious play though they’ve dropped it twice this week and against Fnatic at Katowice. The numbers for Fnatic are generally good enough on Overpass, Mirage or Inferno that I would not have a problem with any of those choices though they’ve swapped maps themselves a couple of times at Pro League. Should be interesting!

Big vs. Forze

For a third time, I am going to mention Big’s pistol conversion issue. They are winning 50% of their pistols but only converting 50% of the second round anti-forcebuys. What this means is they are giving the opponent the economic advantage in 75% of halves. Teams are going to struggle mightly to put together enough gun rounds against this field of opposition to win consistently if starting on the back foot in three out of four halves in the first two maps.

This occurred yesterday against North when they went 0-2 on pistols on their own map pick of Inferno. They then won both pistols on Vertigo only to see North steal round 17 and make a phenomenal comeback to close out the series. Not only did they lose round 17 making the score 11-6, but they then lost the forcebuy war making it 11-7, and then they double-saved bringing North all the way to 9.

As an IGL with a big brain, like MSL, this is heaven. Not only do you get gifted 3 bonus rounds, but you can also save your strats for fewer gun rounds. Okay, Adam, chill…rant over.

Really the crux of this diatribe is to say that Big are shooting themselves in the foot far too frequently. One thing I do find interesting about today’s match against Forze is that they have both won and lost against the opposing teams.

Big Clan took down the two titans of the group, Navi and Fnatic on the opening two days then followed it up with losses to North and Complexity. Forze have done the exact opposite with 2-1 losses to both Fnatic and Natus Vincere, and victories over the other two.

I do wonder now about that North ban of Inferno against the Russians but not against Big. Anyway, I am on the German clan today not because of any level of confidence in their ability to win pistols or convert them. If teams don’t sort that out it usually impacts their projection in my system based on worse map scores anyway. So I will go with the biggest value on today’s card at 58% and hope that they’ve paid a little attention to their anti-ecos…finally.

Now you’ll recall that Big was only 56% yesterday and they lost. However, I also favored North heavily against Forze which they also lost. Such is the merry-go-round of CSGO projections. This is not to say that Forze cannot or will not win.

Complexity vs. North

Was a bit surprised this one isn’t sitting where the other two matches are. As the one team without a shred of hope to progress, I expected the line to reflect that at least slightly. Behind Navi, Col have been the most overvalued team all week long. We took them against both Navi, yesterday, where they performed pretty damn well all things considered and against Fnatic…where they didn’t, at all.

While Col winning this match would not surprise me, I will happily go against them every time we see this overvaluation. The over 2.5 could be another good one here. I imagine North would ban Mirage or Train. Given what we’ve seen of the Danes this week on both of those maps it would make sense. Complexity’s terrorist sides have been slightly better against Navi and Big. Additionally even after the 9 rounds, North put up on ct Inferno I still want to see more of that aggression and initiative regardless of which maps they end up on.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

ESL Pro League

Which teams will keep their Pro League hopes alive?

SPOILER ALERT

I was looking for shows to get into when the sports world announced their cancellations and postponements. One recommendation that came from a friend was The Wire. Last night I reached the episode where Butch gets ‘butchered’, yet dies staying true to his guns and without a shred of regret.

As I concluded the episode both the Ninjas in Pyjamas and Contact were being dismantled in their respective matches. And of course, this was after Team Spirit failed to cover on either of the first two maps. However, like Butch, we have a philosophy that we are going to abide even when being tested.

The perspective I speak to is value over all. This message needs to be hammered on days like yesterday where people like to jump ship. While the grizzly murder of a beloved character is probably the most dramatic analogy I could think of, the timing was meant to be.

When I bet Nip to beat Astralis last week or North to beat Navi I had many people making remarks like ‘great call’, ‘the favorites don’t care about online’, ‘the favorites are saving strats I guess’. However when we see an Astralis absolutely steamroll the server I get the other kind ‘why did you like Spirit’, ‘Astralis -1.5 was the clear play’, and my favorite ‘bad picks’.

Let me say this very clearly – the process is the same regardless of if they play cashes or not.

I am not trying to guess the winner of the series. I am not going to chase the steam because ‘Ence look good, Godsent look bad’. A buddy of mine in the discord took Ence at +140 prior to them playing Astralis and they closed at as low as -170 at some books by the time the Godsent match began. He was right to take them when he did, but as I mentioned in our article yesterday, this was a 52/48% match in favor of our European mix, not a 60/40 in favor of the Finns.

Yesterday I got a few of the ‘so who wins this’ line of questioning. Our focus in esports, just like traditional sports, is not in guessing who wins the match it is in judging the line, based on an infinite amount of possible approaches, and isolating the value. That is how we come to profit long term. So like Butch, we will stick to our philosophy, even if it means only Pro League ends with a tasty ROI, while Flashpoint suffers.

Without further delay, let’s get to the matches.

MATCH BETS

  • Forze (+1.5) vs Fnatic @ -155 [Bookmaker] 1.5u
  • Forze (moneyline) vs Fnatic @ +210 [BetOnline]
  • BIG (moneyline) vs North @ -145 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Complexity (+1.5) vs Natus Vincere @ -140 [Bookmaker] 1.5u
  • Complexity (moneyline) vs Natus Vincere @ +222 [BetOnline]

Forze vs Fnatic

My greatest concern with taking Forze today is that when their players are not dinging domes entering bomb sites on t-side, their loose play-style leads to inconsistent performances. The Russians have played three respectable teams so far, however, Fnatic‘s ct sides, when on point, are second only to Astralis and perhaps of Navi now as well. This is what cost Forze the series against their CIS-rivals and could against the Swedes again today. Today I have Fnatic at a touch below 60%, including their numbers at Pro League.

Fnatic has been prone to their own inconsistency; getting crushed by North on Overpass, not posting a single gun-round against the Germans…and, no that’s all. Golden’s calls have been excellent overall, JW is back to doing JW things, Brollan is looking like the next Swedish superstar, Flusha is looking through walls, and Krimz hasn’t smashed any desks.

Big vs North

In this series, we have two of my favorite teams over the past few years. Why? Because they always play little brother to other teams in Europe. They have the talent, experience, and support from their organizations to both retain top10 rankings, but they don’t. A lot of this comes down to beating the best in the world and then days later showing a significant drop in performance.

While I hold this match at only a 56/44 in favor of the German clan, there is a significant distinction that cannot be ignored. If you’ve done your homework, or even plainly watched the matches, you will be aware of the struggling Danish ct-sides. North is one of only three teams to hold below 50% win rate on counter-terrorist rounds at Pro League. The other two – Ence and Godsent. Not exactly company they should feel too good about.

In terms of what both teams offer, there isn’t a lot separating them. Both hold quality firepower, respectable play-calling, and a top10 capable map pool. While it is not often we speak to ct-sided struggles between comparable teams, this could absolutely be a distinction today.

We commented on Big’s failure to convert their pistol rounds in their match against Complexity. Think of winning the pistol like a great punt return. Then on the next possession instead of gaining ground the running back fumbles the ball. This is why we often hear of winning the turnover battle as being correlated with winning the game. When a team loses a conversion round or against an eco it is like turning the ball over both in the round sense, but also the momentum and economic sense.

So not only am I going against the probability on this match, but I am also risking an extra unit. Not a practice I commonly employ, nor would ever recommend frequently. It is based on the significantly weaker ct-sides and more vulnerable map pool of North.

Complexity vs Natus Vincere

Not many people would have suspected these two clubs fighting for their Pro League lives after three matches, but that’s where we are. A loss today for either spells elimination, while the victor will still need to win their next match to go through.

The most value on this match is the Complexity +1.5 at around 60%, and I personally, believe to be heightened at this competition’s version of Natus Vincere. When Col have struggled it’s been even worse than Navi this week, however, their price is what makes them the play…not the consistency. In their one meeting this year in the ‘Group of Death’ of BPS, the CIS team came away with a dominant 2-0 victory.

However, Navi also won three of four pistols and reset the Complexity economy multiple times on Train. On Mirage Complexity looked like they did against Fnatic – dead in the water. It should not be such a difficult map to get up to 5/6 rounds on t-side at the very least. With the added bench in mid and a self-boost being possible even in 4v3 disadvantages you can still flank or just control ct rotations relatively easily. Think if we go to that map we will need to see improvement.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. I just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

What surprises will Pro League bring us today?

To begin today’s schedule we have a battle of the bad in Ence facing Godsent. Both teams are currently 0-3 in their round robin matches with the Finns needing to still play the Ninjas, and the European mix having not played Spirit. At 0-3 neither club has a chance to progress to playoffs this season. Interestingly however with Ence being one the 13 majority stakeholders in Pro League it is impossible for them to be relegated. That said I am sure they would not wish to be the only team to walk away without a victory in their group.

Ence were priced as underdogs against Godsent up until that performance against Astralis. As of this morning they are in the -150 to -165 range. I don’t like it at all. If you were quick enough to snatch Ence before this significant move than good on ya! However the implied probability of the line (from Pinnacle) is that this is roughly a 60/40, when in fact it is much closer to a 52/48…in favor of the mix! If you grabbed Ence pre-emptively at a plus figure than that was value, but not where it sits now.

So what did Ence do to deserve the significant movement. For starters they have actually won two maps this week – both Inferno, both picked by their opponent, and both featured incredible terrorist sides. Magisk in his post-game interview mentioned he didn’t think they played that poorly when the Finns won six straight rounds to close out map2. His interpretation of it, other than not having a bank, was that they were a bit ‘lucky’. Magisk believed they just happened to make the right call regarding which bomb site to attack in 4/5 rounds straight. This element will always be present in CSGO, like any sport. Those who followed my work in the NHL this season know about what we call ‘puck luck’ – referring to a teams shooting percentage going through irregular highs and lows. In CSGO such it might be seen as timing, or mid-round calls that seem far too on point. That player who happened to turn his back right as the opponent crossed into his line of sight perhaps?

All the same, Ence have had two solid performances on Inferno against two teams that should have likely won it above 50% of the time. However there is a performance on that map that wasn’t so pretty this week – a 16-2 loss against Spirit in which their own ct-side got steamrolled to a 13-2 scoreline. So perhaps Astralis and Vitality were baited into picking this map that classically the Finns have been struggling on? Are Ence willing to pick it though, or allow it to be the decider. That’s the real question.

While Ence do have more firepower and the higher skill-ceiling with this roster I cannot side with a 60% price. If we do, we are chasing the line and that becomes a dangerous practice to get into.

MATCH BETS

  • Godsent (moneyline) vs Ence @ +125 [Bookmaker]
  • Spirit (+1.5) vs Astralis @ +120 [BetOnline]
  • Spirit (moneyline) vs Astralis @ +405 [Bookmaker]
  • Spirit (+4.5) map1 vs Astralis @ -105 [BetOnline]
  • Spirit (+5.5) map2 vs Astralis @ -115
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Vitality @ -150 [BetOnline] 2u

The big dog in Pro League today is Spirit taking on Astralis. Both of these teams have played the same three opponents thus far running 2-1, and both dropping 0-2 to the Ninjas. You could say Spirit was maybe a bit unfortunate not to pick up Mirage against Nip. It took some incredible 1v3 clutches from Nawwwk to close that one out. Astralis has those players as well, namely Xyp9x, known as the clutch master. Really any player at this level is capable of pulling those off – Astralis just seems to have a couple that do it more frequently. Or perhaps it appears they do it more frequently because they win more matches and we see them further in tournaments…a real chicken or the egg situation I’ve created for myself.

It is okay to take Spirit +4.5 today on both maps, I just found this great price on the 5.5 at Pinnacle. Some other shops are offering the 5.5, but I would only take that up to around -120/-125, or 55%. I have the dog here around 28% to win straight up. Low right? Keep in mind the line suggest this is an 80/20 game when in fact it should be a 70/30. Might not seem like a big deal but, over the hundreds of Pro League maps we will be betting, being on the value side is our goal here. If we do get to see a third map in this series will decide based on the veto if it should be 4.5 or 5.5 and will post if I take anything.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions this week.

Two short favorites in the final two matches today!

Soooo…what is up with Natus Vincere? Let’s backtrack for a moment. At the end of 2019, they cut the dead weight from the team in Edward and Zeus. In comes Boombl4 to replace Edward and be trained, quite literally if you’ve seen the exercise videos, by Zeus as the next IGL for this team. Then Zeus retires and Perfecto, a relatively unknown entity at the top levels of CS, is signed in December. Navi goes from 9th to 1st in the world over the span of only ten to twelve weeks or so. It is the first time this organization has attained the #1 spot since 2016, though they seemed to be around 2 and 3 for some long patches. Now this is only the HLTV rank. Similar to tennis, ranks are attained based on quality of league or tournament and quality of opposition.

So far with this roster, Navi has finished second at the Ice Challenge (loss against Mouseports #2), top of the group of death at BPS Spring (win against Vitality #6, Astralis #1, and Complexity #22), and then won Katowice (win against Faze #9 twice, Nip #12, Liquid #3, Astralis #1, and G2 #8). In fact, up until this week, this new Natus Vincere had only competed against top 10 teams, with the exception of Nip and Complexity, and had only lost four of their sixteen matches – all respectable opponents.

Then they return home with a #1 rank in their pocket and suffer, not just two losses, but fail to pick up a single map. Here’s a trivial fact for you; in their five years as a CSGO organization, Navi has never lost back-to-back best-of-threes of the same tournament by a scoreline of 2-0. In other words, this is the first time any iteration of Navi has failed to pick up a map in two best-of-threes. And yet this is what many are expecting to be the most talented team the CIS region has ever put together. For a comparison, Liquid has lost back-to-back best-of-threes, without winning a single map, three times in five years including last month at Katowice. Another long time organization, Nip, has fallen into this category five times in five years.

This note is not useful in the least from a betting perspective. I was merely offering context to how shocking the opening two series for Navi have been with a historical comparison. It is not enough to say they are online and don’t care or can’t play as well online. That said, it was noted on the stream the other day that the Navi organization had not played an online match since 2018. Is that an excuse? Somewhat. While Natus Vincere will not go on losing 0-2, their numbers are incredibly poor this far. Given that only one map was really a blowout, it could have been possible for their short price to still hold some value. However it doesn’t. And now, due to the cancellations caused by the coronavirus, they are facing ‘the onliners’.

MATCH BETS

  • Forze (+1.5) vs Navi @ -140 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Forze (moneyline) vs Navi @ +225 [BetOnline]
  • North/Fnatic (o2.5 maps) @ +110 [BetOnline]
  • North (moneyline) vs Fnatic @ +225 [Bookmaker]

We get this number on North today because of the absolute shellacking Fnatic handed to Complexity. However, the Danish performance this week, even at 1-1 and an ugly ct side on Train against Forze is better than Complexity, not worse. The reason for taking the over two maps is the way these teams respective map pools ‘should’ run. A North advantage on Vertigo or Nuke and a Fnatic advantage on Mirage or Overpass. Fnatic do have the deeper map pool and that’s the greatest reason why I will not be taking the +1.5 on North.

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. If you have worse prices, you don’t bet more to compensate. Just want to make that clear based on some of the questions yesterday. Also, check out what’s going on with CSGO Flashpoint.

We get our third look at the Group A teams today!

The first match today features two teams that find themselves on opposite ends of the table after the opening two matches. The Ninjas in Pyjamas are 2-0, with a 4-0 map score and +31 round differential, facing Godsent, 0-2, 0-4, and -30. Round differential is like goal differential in hockey. It is possible to hold a negative goal differential but have won more games than you have lost and vice versa. However, through the opening two days of Group A the difference in performance between Nip and Godsent has appropriately separated these two.

Last night I took a peek at the lines and was surprised to find that the Ninjas were not an implied price of 75%, but rather around -200 and even a -180 at one shop. Overnight we have seen some movement towards their side with the Nip moneyline sitting around -250 on the board now.

Godsent does not have poor results because they are just playing ‘bad’. Their teamplay is lacking, their firepower is lacking, and when they don’t win the pistol they struggle to put up respectable halves. While I don’t think there is anything wrong with this team, it is clear they lack the necessary fundamentals that these better teams play with. ESL Pro League has never been a field of average European talent like Godsent might be used to playing against.

As we saw on the opening day against Vitality, with both pistols and a good t-side they can probably scrape out a map win against Nip. That is if a lot of things go their way. However, and this is a big one, what map do they pick here. Against both Vitality and Astralis, they picked Vertigo. While I don’t believe it was a poor pick, they really only showed a solid performance in part of one half, both times. And why I would question this pick against the Ninjas is that it has also been their pick against Astralis and Spirit.

This is the perfect example of not having a strong map pool. Godsent have some wins on a few other maps, but they don’t have another that they can say ‘we certainly play this map better than 66% of teams we face in Pro League. For that reason, they can still steal a map, but over a three map series I am going to maximize the better performance and map pool of Nip here.

So while this price would make sense prior to Pro League starting, how much work could Godsent have realistically put in with matches every other day. (Some books will not offer map3 lines until it is 1-1 in the series, so just keep an eye on the score whether by using hltv.org/matches or one of numerous esports mobile apps.)

MATCH BETS

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (moneyline) vs Godsent @ -250 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-3.5) map1 vs Godsent @ -106 [BetOnline]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-3.5) map2 vs Godsent @ -106 [BetOnline]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-2.5) map3 vs Godsent @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Vitality (-2.5) map1 vs Spirit @ -122 [BetOnline]
  • Vitality (-3.5) map2 vs Spirit @ -106 [BetOnline]
  • Vitality (-2.5) map3 vs Spirit @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Astralis (-1.5) v Ence @ -200 [Bookmaker]
  • Astralis (-5.5) map1 vs Ence @ +100 [BetOnline]
  • Astralis (-5.5) map2 vs Ence @ -120 [BetOnline]

We are looking for a Vitality win on two out of three maps here… astute, Adam. What I mean to say is we are looking to beat what I believe to be the weaker line on the Vitality/Spirit match; the map handicap. While the logical outcome is a Vitality win, what I am doing is saying for the time Vitality wins this match they do so by scorelines not remotely reflected by the market… meaning we ought to see -4.5. However for the times that Spirit does pull the upset they likely need three maps based on my projection so we only lose the one unit as the discrepancy on Vitality’s pick should, in theory, be a dominant win.

We know Vitality is not fully up and running under Apex yet, but they have done a mighty fine job to scrape through their two series on five different maps. The one eyesore was that Inferno lost to Ence. A map that Spirit absolutely crushed the Finns on. Given that Vitality very likely would still rather play Inferno, than Train (if the Russians choose to go there), it would not wholly surprise me to see them drop it. But again, to reiterate, we are just looking to grind out that unit of profit on two out of three maps. So I better not get any questions like ‘What do you think about Vitality 2-0?’

Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. If you have worse prices you don’t bet more to compensate. I just want to make that clear based on some of the questions yesterday.

We continued our nice run through yesterday’s Group A matches, only narrowly dropping the Ence moneyline play at the very end. Today we similarly get to look at the second round of matches from Group B.

The first game on the schedule is North facing Forze. Both these teams scored upsets on Tuesday, with the Danish squad shocking most of the CS community by a 2-0 score against the recently crowned #1 team in the world, Natus Vincere. Despite a significant firepower disadvantage, they grinded those map wins with excellent tactics. MSL, the leader for North, mentioned on the stream afterward that they had scrimmed several times with Navi and it helped them generate a confident gameplan. I mentioned on Twitter that I was very impressed with not just the scoreline, but the maps that they were able to defeat the CIS team on.

Forze took a 2-1 victory of Complexity in their opener. I mentioned on a buddy’s podcast yesterday that while it was by slim margins they won, I thought they were the better team on all three maps and could have closed it out a little easier had they polished their gameplay on the terrorist side of either Train or Mirage. Their ‘onliner’ moniker served well in getting the win.

I look at Forze as a less-talented version of the new Navi team, under Boombl4. They rely heavily on their players winning aim battles to get entry into sites or lock them down rather than brilliant calls, rotations, executes or trades. While I wouldn’t say North has a firepower advantage over the Russians, its not as though Forze will continually be able to dry-peek into ct angles and achieve sustainable rounds that way. This is what lead to Complexity winning 36% of rounds on ct side in which they were in a 4v5. Forze had the opening kill in 49/86 rounds but won less than 70% of those rounds. On T-side they had the opening kill 52% (phenomenal), but only converted 64%.

Of course this is only a sample of one match and they certainly could have made some adjustments to clean that up prior to today. I was merely giving an example of what I meant by not converting rounds they could have.

My first inclination was to expect the first two bans today to be Train, for North, and Vertigo, from Forze. A buddy was leaning towards North removing Inferno in the first phase and I don’t disagree that would be a solid ban to begin. My only issue with that being the first is it is such a common map that if the Danes have put in work on their pool surely that would have been one of the maps they prepped for Navi on. Either way if North bans Train or Inferno I’ll be happy. I will add that either team could be paranoid about an overpass play because we just don’t have a relatively solid sample on that map. I do think we start to see North raise their map win percentage on a few today however. I am taking their side for a somewhat chalky price based upon improvement to map pool and more polished counter-strike. If this is the North we see, this price will be much shorter in a few weeks time.

MATCH BETS

  • North (moneyline) vs Forze @ -150 [Bookmaker] 1.5u
  • Big (+1.5) vs Natus Vincere @ -110 [Bookmaker]
  • Big (moneyline) vs Natus Vincere @ +300
  • Complexity (+1.5) vs Fnatic @ -180 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Complexity (moneyline) vs Fnatic @ +164 [BetOnline]

Both BIG and Complexity present similar value for severely different prices. The German’s match with Navi presents roughly a 30% chance to win but we did see improvement on two maps that could come up. I don’t think anyone would be very surprised to see Dust2 swapped into the same veto that Fnatic picked Overpass. The handicap only being at 4.5 was a pass from me but if you want to take a look at Big live +5.5/6.5 after they lose a pistol I wouldn’t criticize such a play provided you don’t start chasing. Navi at their best can do to Big what they’ve done many times before.

Today we come back to Group A which saw their opening set of round-robin matches on Monday. Once more the Pro League card features three short favorites with Nip, Astralis, and Vitality.

The Ninjas face Spirit in round two. Both teams won their opening match with convincing 2-0 performances, but we have a tricky time guessing the veto here today. I had a chat with a colleague this morning regarding the map veto and Spirit should, in theory, hold the advantage. In 2020 they’ve had far more experience on more maps. For this reason, I will be avoiding the Ninja’s match and map handicaps. While Spirit can play Vertigo, and Nip can play Overpass I don’t think either would be willing to pick those, nor let them be the decider. Train and Nuke are both maps which Spirit have great results on, but have the Ninja’s put in the work… that is the question!

The other thing I was wondering regarding Nip is how good their Mirage currently is. In yesterday’s ESL Pro League article, I mentioned that in order for Big to beat Fnatic they would need to have improved on their Mirage or Inferno. Sure enough, we saw both appear in the veto and Big were the far better team on the terrorist side of both. The Ninja’s similarly need to have practiced this in preparation for Spirit as it is such a comfortable map for Spirit.

Sure Nip are 0-3 in 2020 but they’ve also faced three of the best teams in the world in Navi, Liquid, and Faze whom all have been good on that map for some time now. Reminder this is not a ‘Nip beat Astralis therefore they will beat Spirit’ bet. This type of approach will not get you very far and tends to lead to chasing the line. However, I have taken the Ninja’s as their price is justified going on the assumption they have put work into their map pool.

MATCH BETS

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (moneyline) vs Spirit @ -200 [Bookmaker] 2u
  • Astralis (-1.5) vs Godsent @ -170 [Bookmaker]
  • Astralis (-4.5) vs Godsent @ -120 map1
  • Astralis (-4.5) vs Godsent @ -125 map2
  • Astralis (-4.5) vs Godsent @ -120 map3
  • Ence (+1.5) vs Vitality @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Ence (moneyline) vs Vitality @ +269 [BetOnline]

If Godsent does happen to steal a map, and we go to map3, you can preemptively place a spread bet now. Some books will not offer map3 lines until it is 1-1 in the series. Reminder this is all 1u risk [1% of bankroll]. If Godsent covers map1 and wins it straight up, that is not an excuse to bet 5u on Astralis map2 handicap. We are exposing more units on this series not because it is going to win each time but because we should be getting at least a 5.5 at this price and, depending on map, potentially a 6.5.

This is the biggest price tag we have ever had on Ence facing Vitality. While Ence’s struggles are well documented since adding Sunny and dropping Aleksib, they are severely underpriced. This is a team that has played many close series with the French team, and one of those was after their controversial player swap. If you add the fact Vitality has a new play caller the probability and the line just don’t match frequently enough. Vitality certainly has the firepower and form advantage. Their new acquisition Misutaaa looked very composed in his debut against Godsent. Recall two clutch rounds that not every pro would have won. His aim isn’t lacking either. However again, I would like to see him and Vitality a couple more times before I am willing to justify their price where it is today.

We have three pretty short prices today for Pro League!

The first match today features Forze and Complexity. Col is the heavy fav, but it wasn’t that long ago that we were looking at Forze the same way we are looking at Complexity’s start so far in 2020. With the North American/European picking up wins against both Astralis and Vitality to start their campaign, they got the CS community’s attention immediately. As impressive as those victories were, Col has also dropped matches to GenG, Smash, and Furia.

Forze have had a reputation as ‘onliners’ for some time now. This is a criticism of particular clubs’ performance contrasted from the internet to lan. However as we know the Pro League matches are all running online. While i don’t think it gives Forze an ‘edge’ over Complexity, it certainly does not give Col the obvious edge over Forze on lan they might otherwise have.

Despite Forze’s inconsistencies this year, and my initial lean to take Complexity on the -1.5, I will be looking the other way. At only ~35% for a 2-0, there’s some nice value on the Russian side.

MATCH BETS

  • Forze (+1.5) vs Complexity @ -145 [Bookmaker]
  • Forze (moneyline) vs Complexity @ +205 [BetOnline]
  • North (+1.5) vs Natus Vincere @ +130 [BetOnline]
  • North (moneyline) vs Natus Vincere @ +400
  • Big (+1.5) vs Fnatic @ -132 [Betonline]
  • Big (moneyline) vs Fnatic @ +267 [Bookmaker]

I didn’t expect to be on the BIG side either today, but they have shown legitimate improvement in 2020 despite mostly playing lesser teams in the European region. That final match is probably the one I would most understand someone playing the other side however. Big being capable of playing Mirage or Inferno is paramount here. And so we somehow are running with three dogs today!

ESL Pro League Season 11 gets underway today with some powerhouse squads from both Denmark and France!

We’ve been working on one of the two major Counter-Strike leagues over the weekend, Flashpoint. This one is currently running from a studio in Los Angeles. Today begins another, Pro League. Unlike Flashpoint, EPL (not to be confused with the soccer league which won’t get any more matches this season) is in its 11th season. While the prize pool might be slightly smaller than FP at $750 000 instead of the cool million offered by their competitor, Pro League is considered the best league annually and has been for some time.

ESL was quick to announce that it would not cancel their season under the health concerns going on globally, but would move the matches online. This also includes the playoffs which were originally rescheduled to be played in Denver from Malta. The tournament ends on April 12th.

The group stage for this tourney is 24 teams broken into four groups which play a round-robin best-of-three series. Three of six teams in each group will move onto the playoffs, the other three are eliminated. The team which finishes first place in Group A and Group B will play each other for either a bye to the semifinal or quarterfinal (as do the winners of C & D). Second and third place in each group will qualify for the round of 12.

I posted Spirit moneyline this morning against Ence as the first play today and will cover the other two matches here.

Vitality was one team that let go of their long time IGL, since their inception into the CSGO scene, in fact, Alex. With his assistance and the birth of a new CS prodigy, Zywoo, the French fans once more had a team to rally behind. They went from 40th in the world to #2 in under eight months. Then Shox joined to replace NBK, again… and then he convinced his teammates to kick their IGL!

No, that last part is not true. Though Shox has been known to be overconfident in his tactical side, Alex stepped down of his own accord. For now, the replacement appears to be Misutaaa, a rather unknown 17 year old within the French scene. This is both good and bad. Good because perhaps, and I am just speculating here, he won’t have to unlearn the poor habits taught my subpar teammates and IGL’s, and also that he won’t have to play on LAN for his first promotion to a higher grade of opposition.

Apex will be taking the reigns as IGL, and while he is a good aimer, leader and experienced player it will be interesting to see what he has done on the tactical side. Perhaps he will implement Hadji’s strategic grace of ‘just flash n’ go’!

MATCH BETS

  • Godsent (+1.5) vs Vitality @ -164 [Betonline
  • Godsent (moneyline) vs Vitality @ +179 [Bookmaker]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (+1.5) vs Astralis @ +165 [Bookmaker
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (moneyline) vs Astralis @ +650
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (+5.5) map1 vs Astralis @ -103 [Betonline]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (+5.5) map2 vs Astralis @ +103

When Astralis is on, they look untouchable – very few teams can say that. Recently we have seen Navi say the same perhaps and we have also said this about Liquid in the past year. Every other opponent can be having the game of their lives and still needing triple overtime to get past the Danes. We will find out very quickly which Astralis has turned up.