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CSGO ESL Road to Rio Major Qualifiers

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Adam Boothe’s 2020 Rio Major Record (updated daily)

PicksWinsLossPushAvg. PriceAccuracyProfit
3301691610+13551.21%+29.68u

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 – May 17

We walked away with two 2-0 victories in the CIS region yesterday. Winstrike might have needed overtime to secure the cover on map one, their pick of Vertigo, however, they were the far better team on it. Just a couple sloppy errors brought that scoreline closer than it should have been. On Mirage they just pummelled the A-site with crisp execution again and again.

In the Nemiga series I was a bit concerned when I saw Nuke come out as their pick. It was a map they got destroyed on by some better teams earlier in the tournament achieving very few t-side rounds. However it was clear from the early going they had put some work into it and, combined with Syman being of a lesser pedigree on this map won it easily. Moving to Overpass we saw a far tighter affair, but Nemiga had just enough in the strat book to close it out.

So how does North continue to perform to such a high level even with their coach playing? Let’s compare their numbers with Kjaerbye at the qualifiers to with Jumpy. Now before you say ‘well Kjaerbye is their star player and can kill WAY more people than Jumpy, also his mechanics are better, he knows the strats and setups better’, I want to remind you that this is a team game. It is ONLY about how the team performs with both, not how much better one player is than another (which is obvious given Kjaerbye’s history and major-winning pedigree there is not even a point mentioning).

With Kjaerbye, Northh went 6-7 on maps with a 0.93 K/D ratio. With Jumpy the team went 5-5 with a 0.94 ratio. It does not matter where the kills and deaths come from, there is a fixed number of kills attainable in a map to 30 rounds. Separate this from a game like basketball where Lebron James can put up an infinite amount of points within what is physically possible, but there is no limit. It is only possible for a team to hold 150 deaths in a 30 round game. Someone is always going to have to be the lowest fragger, there simply is not enough to go around. So by pulling Kjaerbye out, the next best performer on the day can take his place. Does that mean that player will die more? Probably, but all that matters is winning the round.

North’s round win percentage under Kjaerbye was 48%, while it was 49% with Jumpy. Their multi-kill percentage with Kjaerbye was 70% for lowest in the tournament until that point. With Jumpy it was 76%. Now there were some statistical categories which got worst, but that’s obvious isn’t? You would expect every single one to be worse.

The point here is none of the categories were significantly different in either direction. So ask yourself, why the price change? As I have harped on about numerous times, you NEED to quantify what a player change is worth in the context of the team. It is useless to say

‘Jumpy has not played competitive cs for three years therefore it is inconceivable that North could cover any spread, let alone win’. If CS:GO was a series of battles on a 1v1 server, the logic for ‘Jumpy will lose them the game’ would make sense. However the strategy surrounding CS is so significantly different that you cannot simply compare player stats as methodology for impact. You can’t even use player impact as a measure of impact if by lessening it for one, it increases it for others. North covered nearly every single spread they were handed after the news of the player swap. Why? Because the market overreacted in each and every series without realizing the Danes were not playing THAT much worse.

I have no qualms with anyone betting against a team playing a coach or stand-in, but do not ignore the team performance as the far more important piece of criteria. Sometimes it is better to look at the stats by covering the names. Ask yourself ‘if this was not Navi attached to these numbers, would I find value in this 80% favorite?’

CIS

  • Winstrike +1.5 vs Spirit @ 1.7 [BetOnline]
  • Winstrike ml vs Spirit @ 3.5 [BetOnline]
  • Virtus Pro -2.5 map1 vs Hard Legion @ -110
  • Virtus Pro -2.5 map2 vs Hard Legion @ -125
  • Virtus Pro -2.5 map3 vs Hard Legion @ -120

Europe

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas -2.5 map1 vs Heretics @ -105
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas -3.5 map2 vs Heretics @ -125 [Heritage]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas -3.5 map3 vs Heretics @ +100 [Heritage]
  • G2 +2.5 vs Astralis @ -140 [1.5u]
  • G2 +1.5 vs Astralis @ +250
  • G2 ml vs Astralis @ +450

Enjoy the final day of what has already been a great tournament. Don’t go blowing it all on the final day of matches. We have Dreamhack Masters beginning in only two days time!

Please Read:

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. Please do not attach my plays in parlays, you are costing yourself extra money trying to cut corners. If your local only provides moneylines do not tail until you find a sportsbook for adults.

MATCH BETS – May 16

The singular CIS match yesterday had Spirit defeating Virtus Pro 2-1 with a close Inferno followed by some lopsided results on the final two. The difference in that opening game was a few runs of the same thing, Astralis wrecked Faze with: flanking B site through the ct smoke and killing the player at coffin. If teams are playing dedicated 2B and 3A then it is much easier to take B site by eliminating the crossfire threat. Even if a CT is aware that a B split is coming in you can create this problem for him. At least one cannot be dedicated to holding the entrance to B from banana the whole time. However, if teams are trying to run a B split through CT spawn from A it is often too telegraphed to be successful. So by running through the smoke at the cross, you can get that immediate coffins guy.

Why don’t the T’s always do this? It is dependent on either knowing the opposition’s setup or simply just needing to take a risk. With all the chaos of a B execute and multiple players throwing smokes, flashes, and molotovs one player can easily get lost and surprise the two ct’s there or the rotator.

So how does a team counter this? The secondary B player holds on the edge of the corner waiting for such a manoeuver, spamming the smoke, and generally accepting that the one CT in the site will be left to fend for himself. The other option is to play a 2-1-2 setup instead. While it weakens the A site, the rotator playing in library or arch and get to B much faster. This will then allow the ct’s to have the dedicated crossfire without concern that they are being flanked.

Both Astralis and Spirit had some key rounds which exposed this weakness in the setup. The decisive round between VP and Spirit was one in which James was sniping from coffins and even though it was a possibility that Mir could be behind him but the timing was not with him.

A buddy wanted to breakdown what cost Faze the Dust2 map. Other than it being the very obvious poor synchronization on t-side, it was the decision to split B on anti-ecos. Whyyyyyyyy?! This is the most difficult strat to pull off on Dust2 even if you briefly have control over ct-spawn.

Calling it against pistols is just plain dumb. On the first one a taser kill and team kill helped the cause, but why was there a taser and TK? Because Faze chose to go through a narrow chokepoint on an anti-eco in which they were going to get in each other’s way. Oh, and they happened to go to the only site Astralis had players.

They also did a terrible job ‘faking’. And both times with Dupreeh standing behind the doors, not being mollied out nor flashed off the angle, he heard all the steps from Faze moving from catwalk down mid doors. They still had a minute on the clock. There was not even reason to make so much noise or with that urgency… 322, right?

Onto the positives! G2 ran one less B split unsuccessfully than Faze and it resulted in a win. That series with Vitality though… Woah! Incredibly tight all the way through. On all three maps you had a feeling the team trailing would find a way to come back into it and thanks to good calling, brilliant clutches from both sides and the IGL’s delivering in the frag department we had three 16-14 maps. I am not sure we could have handled the Astralis match being equally competitive!

Today is a series of lower-bracket matches in both CIS and EU regions. Spirit and Astralis wait for their opponent in the grand finals already which runs tomorrow. The North against Godsent match is a seventh-place decider, while Nip and Heretics run their fifth-place match tomorrow. Enjoy the final two days!

CIS

  • Winstrike -2.5 map1 vs. Hard Legion @ -125
  • Winstrike -2.5 map2 vs. Hard Legion @ +110
  • Winstrike -2.5 map3 vs. Hard Legion @ +105 [BetOnline]
  • Nemiga ml vs. Syman @ -125 [2u]

Europe

  • G2 ml vs. Faze @ +130 [2u]
  • North ml vs. Godsent @ +150 [BetOnline]

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. Please do not attach my plays in parlays, you are costing yourself extra money trying to cut corners. If your local only provides moneylines do not tail until you find a sportsbook for adults.

MATCH BETS – May 15

We waved goodbye to the Ninjas in Pyjamas yesterday as they were eliminated from this round of qualifiers by losing four of their final five maps, all of which went to overtime. The Ninjas have played 58 maps in 2020, yet prior to Wednesday, only three had seen extra rounds. We like to find patterns and make sense of outliers so we attach descriptions like ‘it means more to them’. Which it does, yet we cannot simply use that as the reason it goes to overtime, though there could be additional value to the overs in tournaments like these.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, when we get to these late-game situations where the teams are only separated by a round or two, both teams can and deserve to win. I saw this tweet yesterday:

It was not made under a sports betting context, but it is entirely applicable. Narratives like ‘G2 lost to a coach, therefore, they cannot beat Heretics’ are overused and complete ‘garbage’. If you find yourself thinking in these terms instead of quantifying the form of North with Jumpy then you will be buying the wrong teams and for the wrong reasons.

G2 struggled mightily to put away their domestic opponents last night. No matter what iteration of this org we have seen, they seem to always find a way to be their own worst enemy. While it would have been nice to see Heretics get that upset, the silver lining is that undoubtedly the two best French teams will do battle today.

I believe this will be the first time that Shox and Kennys will face one another since Shox was captain of G2 and Kenny was still the star sniper of Envy. Kenny played against Shoxie under six different iterations for that org. Apex was also a part of about half of them, as was RPK. This will be the first time these clubs are playing since G2 revamped their roster to include Hunter and Nexa. It should be fun and hopefully, we come out on the right side of it!

We have the best version of Faze facing off against the best team in the world in the upper-bracket finals. Both have been two of the top performing teams in many statistical categories, and both hold 50% win rate or greater on every single map. Faze has a perfect record on Dust [2], Mirage [4], Nuke [2], and Train [3].

In their last meeting at Pro League, we had the Danes moneyline for two units at -175 and their map spreads at -2.5 for both at +100 and -110. The price justifiably is shorter on Astralis today, but just past the point, they should be.

So Faze it is! While Astralis will undoubtedly ban out Mirage, Faze could go to a couple of different places including their prior pick of Nuke including what has looked like a pretty solid Train game.

Europe


MATCH BETS – May 14

We had returns on four of our six wagers yesterday with the two that lost coming from the Nemiga and Ninjas moneylines. Interestingly both won their map choice rather dominantly before dropping their opponent’s pick in overtime. Incredibly tight series and both ones that I was happy to be on the dog side.

On map three Nemiga looked like a fish out of water. They really did not know how to handle the slow methodical executes of Virtus Pro, and their re-takes were even worse. I know VP have a good Dust2, but based on what we have seen from Nemiga on both now, have to say they likely would have stood a better chance there.

We got the over 2.5 in the Nip/Faze series just barely. I was rather impressed with the Ninja’s t-side there against one of the best Mirage teams in the world. When you get to these overtime and double overtime games you can’t make arguments for one team or another deserving the win. Both squads played at a very high level and we marginally came out on the losing end.

So G2…what the hell are you doing with your economy! Thankfully their mismanagement on Vertigo allowed our -2.5 on Astralis to cover. I believe HenryG said it best ‘they are overthinking this’. I am all for diversifying the buys and incorporating some other weapons based on a strategy you are planning to execute. So perhaps I am too critical due to us never actually seeing what G2 was going to do. On one such buy where I believe it was just pistols and smgs the Danes had handed them 300 damage and killed two players before G2 even took control over A ramp.

Moving to Overpass I want you to reflect on G2’s stomp of Contact gaming last week on this map in contrast to what they were up against yesterday. From running the same predictable setups to countless missed nades and team flashes, to not flashing on obvious positions, Kenny not checking stairs and then later stomping into playground…I almost felt bad for G2. Except the reason I didn’t was they put themselves in that position with their veto. Many teams have banned Nuke against the Danes, however, you better hope your perma-ban is now up to snuff against them. I am sure Zonic was laughing when he saw that roll out.

Europe

  • Vitality ml vs Ninjas in Pyjamas @ +140 [BetOnline] 1.5u
  • Heretics ml vs G2 @ +170

Yeah, I like Nip‘s form, I took them yesterday. In case you have not noticed yet there is not a lot separating these teams at the top level and your pricing should reflect that. Don’t believe anyone splitting hairs telling you ‘well if Plopski pops off Nip can take this.’ All the players can post incredible numbers, win clip-worthy clutches. Yeah the Ninja’s could beat Vitality but not woth taking at 57%+ or whatever they are at. One thing we don’t get enough of is true pick’em lines. Well, that’s to our benefit anyway!

MATCH BETS – May 13

Today the four best teams from the Europe division battle in the upper-bracket. None face elimination, it only means if they win they move to the upper-bracket final, while a loss relegates them to the lower-bracket.

The first match features Faze against the Ninjas in Pyjamas. Both have been excellent so far, they are in the upper-bracket after all, with both holding a 50% win rate or above on the majority of maps. It’s safe to say we shouldn’t see Vertigo or Dust2 come up.

Faze ought to be picking Nuke or Mirage here. While the Ninjas choice is a lot tougher given their inconsistencies through the group. However, I think they should test Faze on Overpass, Inferno or Train. While Faze hold excellent win rates on all three over the small sample of the Rio group stage, I am not sure on their depth on those.

While I think the two choices for Faze should hold a considerable advantage in their favor, if two of the other three come up, which I project will happen, there is value on Nip winning a three-mapper here.

A Dust2 or Vertigo win for G2 on the other hand is a lot more contentious. The French calling card is supremely talented teams, wildly inconsistent depending on their mood that day. Given their string of wins Vertigo should be their choice.

One analyst commented that he believes G2 to be the best team in the world on this map at the moment. That’s fair, but keep in mind the current iteration of the map has only been played 16 times at this level of competition.

And, despite what other analysts have said about it being the most t-sided map, through those 16 games the ct side has won 57% of rounds making it 0.3% less ct-sided than Train which currently favors the defense more than any other. This is certainly impacted by Astralis putting up a 12-3 half on it against Complexity on day one, but that’s still only 15 of the 400 rounds played on it so far.

I would like to see the Danes go to Inferno here. While I will never protest at a Nuke pick from them, their dominance on it is all but gone. The Danes t-sides have not been electric like we have seen at times from them. They seem to be playing a far loser brand of CS recently (Adam does not like this for this team), resulting in the second lowest trade percentage at this tournament.

It should also contrast they hold the second lowest on Vertigo of which G2 has been the best. That said it’s too rare a sighting to get a -2.5 on the Danes and, though I have enjoyed going against them in most of their matches, hold the value to their hand.

Europe

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas ml vs Faze @ +140 [BetOnline] 1.5u
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas/Faze o2.5 @ +100 [Bookmaker]
  • Astralis -2.5 map1 vs G2 @ -115
  • Astralis -3.5 map2 vs G2 @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • Astralis -2.5 map3 vs G2 @ -125

MATCH BETS – May 12

That was one hell of a weekend with the Rio cards. And now we head into the final stretch of this tournament with six days remaining. Today the playoffs begin in the Europe region, with CIS starting on Wednesday.

There are four matches running with two being placement matches only. Ence facing Copenhagen Flames to decide 9th , while Fnatic plays Movistar Riders for 11th. Now keep in mind it is not for the prize money that these matches are important, but the points associated with qualification to the Rio Major.

While this is not the only qualifier, the European division is by far the most stacked. And you have to be thinking that Complexity and Mousesports, who finished 13-14th will both be back with a vengeance. Afterall the extra 100 points between 9th and 10th could make the difference whether a team is able to attend the one and only major in 2020.

The most interesting storyline this weekend revolved around North‘s ability to upset over both Movistar Riders and G2 with their coach, Jumpy. And, even though Movistar closed as a dog against MSL and co, it is still an upset to win with a coach at this level of competition regardless of the pedigree of the specific team.

However if you have been betting CSGO for any length of time you will be aware that coaches have had to operate as stand-ins at the top level of competition on more than a handful of occasions. In those matches they frequently cover, and sometimes win straight up.

If you are interested I recommend looking up Guerri (Furia), Zonic (Astralis), and the infamous Hardstyle (Space Soldiers). [I would love to dive into this more actually, but I am going to put a pin in it for an educational piece at a future date. There is a lot to discuss here.]

We had North +5.5/+6.5 all three maps, but after the first two that was down to 3.5 and even some 2.5’s…ridiculous. The fact that we won on North +6.5 is not a justification that taking them +2.5 would have been a good wager.

Remember we are seeking value first and foremost, with every line, no matter the circumstances it eventually switches sides. This is as true for a team playing with a coach as it is for a team playing on a back-to-back or any other conditions that are a diversion from the norm, whether an anomaly or just moderately infrequent. If this point is not clear, please reach out.

It is of utmost importance that you always price these things out and never resort to a mindset that a particular outcome under these circumstances is an impossibility. If people can make arguments for Connor McGregor going twelve rounds with Mayweather and winning then you should have heard it all by now.

Europe

  • Vitality -2.5 map1 vs Godsent @ -120
  • Vitality -3.5 map2 vs Godsent @ -105
  • Vitality -2.5 map3 vs Godsent @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Fnatic -3.5 map1 vs Movistar Riders @ -120
  • Fnatic -4.5 map2 vs Movistar Riders @ -115
  • Fnatic -3.5 map3 vs Movistar Riders @ -115
  • Copenhagen Flames ml vs Ence @ +160 [Heritage]
  • North ml vs Heretics @ +145 [Bookmaker]

MATCH BETS – May 10

We pulled some profit from all four regions yesterday including the overnight Oceania which offered Order a chance at revenge against Renegades. I woke up halfway through map two at a 12-3 score for our boys on Inferno. Unfortunately they couldn’t close it out then and there, and lost another close one on map three.

Europe held the greatest returns on their four game card. A 2-1 comeback from Nip over their Swedish rivals, a clutch quadruple overtime cover from the Complexity ‘juggernaut’, Ence coming oh so close to taking down the Danes, and Apex calling a good couple of t-sides on both Nuke and Dust2 after all. This is usually where we say ‘Adam your picks were so good I just wish I put more down!’…right?

Wrong! The win or loss does not indicate a good or bad wager. You should have standards of performance for you to put certain exposure on a side and assess the result based upon those standards. My expectations for a -150 are different than a +400, but it is never that either ‘wins’. This is why when I am elaborating on Natus Vincere losing to Syman it is not with the focus that ‘how can Navi lose’, it is ‘examine how Navi lost’.

The one match I felt a bit ‘lucky’ on yesterday was the Envy wagers against 100 Thieves. I thought it was a mistake to go to Mirage over Nuke. It worked out because I undervalued Envy’s Inferno, though 100 Thieves are still the significantly higher-rated Inferno team. However despite 100Thieves beating up on Evil Geniuses on Nuke, thought that pricing on Envy holding value relied on them getting to play Nuke. Which they did, but just barely. So the luck comes into play, not by the fact Envy won, it is more in contrast to the way I expected they would need to win. To a lesser degree you can put the Ninjas in this category yesterday given their inconsistencies on Mirage.

Europe

  • Mousesports -2.5 map1 vs Copenhagen Flames @ -125
  • Mousesports -3.5 map2 vs Copenhagen Flames @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Mousesports -3.5 map3 vs Copenhagen Flames @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • Faze -4.5 map1 vs Contact @ -110
  • Faze -5.5 map2 vs Contact @ -120
  • Faze -4.5 map3 vs Contact @ -120
  • Godsent ml vs Movistar Riders @ -190
  • North +1.5 vs G2 @ +160 [BetOnline]
  • North ml vs G2 @ +510
  • North +5.5 map1 vs G2 @ -120
  • North +6.5 map2 vs G2 @ -120
  • North +5.5 map3 vs G2 @ +100

North America

  • Envy +1.5 vs 100 Thieves @ -160 [2u]
  • Envy ml vs 100 Thieves @ +180
  • Liquid ml vs Furia @ -140 [2u]

Yes, I know about Jumpy as mentioned in the prior entry. North American card will be posted a little later in the day!

MATCH BETS – May 9

I considered droning on about Natus Vincere and Virtus Pro today, but let’s just scream ‘322’ and be done with it! Obviously resorting to Twitch chat levels of description is not becoming, however, it is also a lot easier to explain away results like those matches. Remember when Liquid lost to Envy and I isolated three examples of plays they would normally not do but did and the lopsided scoreline in favor of the underdog resulted rather easily? I won’t do that with Navi and VP today.

You would have to go to the MLG Columbus Major in 2016 to find a worse result for this organization on Overpass. And that was against the eventual #1 team in the world, Luminosity. Funny enough taking Navi on Overpass was perhaps one of my first ever map wagers on that team. They had excellent numbers on it heading in. Unfortunately the ct side locked down by a Fallen awp was their undoing. Fair, it is a ct-sided map generally. So keeping this in mind, what was Navi’s excuse yesterday?

We have seen some teams have excellent t-sides on Overpass before. However an 11-4 t-scoreline has only occurred about 600 times out of 8000 professional matches on this map. Now keep in mind Navi WON the ct pistol which historically would lead to up to 57% probability to win the map. Also should know that this is based on many comparable teams playing one another. Not a team ranked in the top five in the world playing

Alright let’s look at Train. Again opening pistol, before being broken en route to 11-4 t-side. This has occurred in about 0.5% of professional matches and, just to get this point down, if we include the disparity in probability between these two teams I would venture it looks closer to 0.1%. So depending on your definition of ‘anomaly’ this may or may not fit. Looking at Virtus Pro on Train only 0.3% of professional matches have seen a 14-1. So I got the short end of it yesterday.

When I take big dogs it is not hoping for these kinds of anomalies to occur. Well, maybe sometimes… I did post Liquid moneyline at last year’s MSI at +1160. My point being I try to project teams performing with their current expected levels rather than ‘well if Fnatic has their worst game of the year and Dignitas plays their absolute best can they pull off the upset?’ That ‘style’ of ratings could be profitable within a certain tournament and price range but how about when you get to those teams between the 30-50% each way. Anyway if you were on the other side of those two yesterday, well played!

Europe

  • Complexity -2.5 map1 vs Dignitas @ +100
  • Complexity -2.5 map2 vs Dignitas @ -125
  • Complexity -2.5 map3 vs Dignitas @ -110
  • Ence +1.5 vs Astralis @ +110
  • Ence ml vs Astralis @ +325
  • Ence +4.5 map1 vs Astralis @ -120
  • Ence +5.5 map2 vs Astralis @ -125
  • Ence +4.5 map3 vs Astralis @ -115
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas ml vs Fnatic @ +140

North America

  • Envy +1.5 vs 100 Thieves @ -160 [2u]
  • Envy ml vs 100 Thieves @ +180
  • Liquid ml vs Furia @ -140 [2u]

It’s been a long time since we had a derby with nine French players and one Belgian. If anyone cares to look back and find out the last time Scream played in a major tournament with the likes of a Shox, Kioshima, RPK, or xms would love to know! Like the Swedish rivalry of the old Nip vs the new Fnatic the French scene has had some excellent rivalries between the Shox group against the Happy core. Times long gone now and we see the French old guard still very much kicking. You can make arguments for Vitality having the edge in firepower today with 2019’s world #1, Zywoo, but I assure you that it is not worth quantifying more than a percentage or two.

My biggest concern with Vitality is how hot and cold they have been during the Rio tournament. It is a sign that the synergy under Apex still is not there yet. A win on Mirage over Fnatic at 16-11, and a loss to Ence there at 16-9. On Inferno a 16-3 over Complexity and a 16-4 loss to Nip. These jekyll and hyde patterns are hard to get enthused about.

Contrarily however Heretics main issue seems to be their map pool. Beyond Nuke and Inferno they have a singular win on one map, Dust 22-18 over Complexity. Prior to Alex leaving this game would not be priced where it is today. However my ratings have it every bit as a 61% to Vitality even though their pedigree prior to the major was significantly improved to what we are seeing here. The other issue is that Heretics performance on maps not called ‘Nuke’ is almost 10% worse across the board. This creates a situation where they have one really good map that is inflating their actual performance. For that reason I am giving the edge to Zywoo and co…and crossing my fingers Apex calls a good game.

MATCH BETS – May 8

We had good results yesterday in the CIS and North American regions, while Europe fell flat in two 2-0 series. Unique was able to cover on both maps against Forze yesterday losing 16-10, 16-10. Sadly they got nine of their ten rounds from the economic start in three of four halves. 6.5 rounds is a big number to cover consistently in CSGO, and even against the utterly poor Unique side, wasn’t able to come through on two good maps for xsepower and co.

Winstrike was our greatest exposure in the CIS and they played very well in their sweep of Gambit Youngsters. While the double-digit scorelines do look somewhat close, Gambit was almost always playing from behind and seemed like it would be a matter of time before Winstrike closed it out.

The final series was not too surprising. Perhaps the rounds differential on Inferno is; yet, Spirit have been a bit inconsistent on this map going back to week one of Home Sweet Home Cup. Dust, which seems to be their best map at the moment was especially tight in the first half however, once Spirit got onto that ct-side, looked excellent as usual.

Moving to Nuke, Nemiga continued to have very ugly t-sides. To be honest I am not sure why they removed Overpass in the second phase of the veto. Yes, Spirit can play Overpass, and pretty well too. Nevertheless, to go from picking it against Forze on day one to banning it yourselves, after winning it, is surprising. Perhaps Nemiga thought Spirit would ban Nuke instead of Overpass?

Heading to Europe, we got a look at Jumpy, North’s coach, playing in Kjaerbye’s place. Jumpy is a former pro although short of a few stints as a stand-in for his prior club of Fnatic. He has not played competitively since 2016. Yet it did not seem to matter. MSL, in-game leader for the Danes, did plenty to make up for the missing firepower. Playing with a coach or stand-in for Esports is not always a ‘gg’. Most are retired pros and, in the case of coaches, know or even created many of the strategies and setups of their teams.

The biggest surprise in the G2/Contact series was the choice of the French side to go to Overpass. Contact did not expect that to come up or they thought their Overpass would be stronger than G2’s, but either way, it was an excellent pick… at least from that one match. That was the first time this core of G2 had played it in 2020, and the first time they have ever chosen it as their pick.

At a time when people were calling into question their Dust2, and knowing that Contact had not played an official one, it was the perfect chance to show it off. They had a high-tempo aggressive offense which is only possible if you’re hitting B or know how to manipulate the ct rotations.

Additionally, it helps if your opponent doesn’t really know how to lock down either site with high consistency. Just to note, it is one thing for G2 to play it against a Contact, but far different against a Fnatic or Astralis. Even a less talented team with a better structure in place may fair better than Contact did.

Europe

  • Godsent ml vs Mousesports @ +350
  • Godsent +4.5 map1 vs Mousesports @ -120
  • Godsent +4.5 map2 vs Mousesports @ +100
  • Godsent +4.5 map3 vs Mousesports @ -115
  • Copenhagen Flames +1.5 vs Faze @ +125
  • Copenhagen Flames ml vs Faze @ +430
  • Copenhagen Flames +4.5 map1 vs Faze @ -115
  • Copenhagen Flames +5.5 map2 vs Faze @ -120
  • Copenhagen Flames +4.5 map3 vs Faze @ -120

North America

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. Please do not attach my plays in parlays, you are costing yourself extra money trying to cut corners.


MATCH BETS – May 7

The powerhouse clubs of the CIS region flexed on their opposition Wednesday with some lopsided halves to open up. Both beginning on the dogs map choice and ct side we saw Navi and Virtus Pro put up staggering 12-3 and 13-2 scores on Inferno and Mirage. Despite being on the opposite side of both of these 2-0 results it’s not like you can say scorelines like this are unexpected.

It’s like if you have the Dolphins +14.5 at home to the Pats. There may be any number of factors that would lead you to be on the worse performing team for that amount of points and at the end of the day you might get fortunate with a cover. However if Brady ends up putting five touchdowns on the board before the half is over you’re not really surprised that happened as the discrepancy in skill and size of the line was already an indicator this could happen. What is more important is that if your process is sound over five years of meetings between the Patriots and Dolphins in Miami you hit on the right number in a significant enough amount that it is a worthwhile play. This does not mean Pro100 is now bad afterall and Natus Vincere now knows how to play online. Pro100 was, is, and will continue to be far weaker than Navi, while the CIS kings just performed as they were supposed to in contrast to their opponent. Keep this in mind when taking shots on these large underdogs.

Another example was Ground Zero against Renegades last night. GZ was +200 to take one map in the series and their handicap for map two, Renegades pick was 6.5/7.5 across the board. Ground Zero actually got to map point at 15-14 and were in a 2v1 with the bomb down. The one counter-terrorist had only an mp9 (which you’ll recall from another entry is a terribly poor gun to have for the long-range duels on this open map).

Well not only did the GZ players not take long-range fights with him, but they also peeked for 1v1 battles despite both being within feet of each other. Somehow the ct won both and Renegades went on to win in overtime. Unlucky? Sure, we can call it that. However I am also paying for a weaker team, with less firepower, to make worse decisions among their five players. If Astralis had played out that round in the same way it would be a microcosm of severe poor performance over a series.

Europe

  • Contact +1.5 vs G2 @ +160 [Bookmaker]
  • Contact ml vs G2 @ +550
  • Contact +4.5 map1 vs G2 @ +100
  • Contact +5.5 map2 vs G2 @ +100
  • Contact +5.5 map3 vs G2 @ -120
  • Movistar Riders ml vs North @ +150 [Betonline] 1.5u

North America

  • Liquid ml vs 100 Thieves @ -180 2u
  • Liquid -2.5 map1 vs 100 Thieves @ -115 [BetOnline]
  • Liquid -2.5 map2 vs 100 Thieves @ +100
  • Liquid -2.5 map3 vs 100 Thieves @ +110 [BetOnline]

Despite Liquid at 65% today this is still very much a buy low situation. Yes they have been upset several times recently, yes 100T should have closed out their previous meeting, but this price is too good for me to pass on. There is a grand final and consolation final on Sunday evening for the North American region.

MATCH BETS – May 6

A couple of ninja defuses added some hilarity to yesterday’s matches but also might have made the difference with a nice swing on some dogs! Ninjas fall into the category of ways to lose rounds that you shouldn’t. It is simply part of the entertaining aspect of sports, but near impossible to account for. The true crux however was both defuses took place on the same map, on the same site, within a fex pixels of each other.

The first occurred between Forze and Winstrike on the second map. The score was 12-10 for Winstrike. They had the opening kill on Jerry as they came down secret. Instead of right-clicking the throw smoke button he left-clicked. Minor detail? Well, a smoke blooms on impact when it settles. The further you throw it the longer it takes to have an effect. When good players hold lower they right-click the smoke at the choke-point to prevent the t’s from seeing where they have gone. Alright so the Winstrike players take the site getting four kills and leaving it in a 4v1. They plant behind the silo and then exit the site fully but all leave by going towards ramp…the one place they have no direct line of fire to the bomb. It’s funny because ESL had already displayed Hobbit as the impact player of the round, though you cannot dispute the significance of a ninja defuse to keep the Forze buy going. Spunj had even called that round game-deciding within seconds prior to the cheeky play. The caster’s curse is real!

The second one was less of a mistake from Godsent and more of a great mid-round call from Niko. The T’s pushed into lower again, this time throwing a cover smoke to plant the bomb next to the door. However Godsent, unlike Winstrike, chose not to fight for the site. This is incredibly tricky for the CT’s to know how to handle. However you could almost see the recognition from Niko at what had just happened. A teammate then smokes of the door and stands in front of the IGL to act as both a human shield and return fire against the low hp terrorists behind the door. An interesting call from Krystal that nearly worked.

While writing this, in one map of Aussie CS on Mirage, an 11-1 lead for Chiefs turned into a 11-13 deficit. Ground Zero then decided to purchase an auto-sniper to hold B-apartments. Even in matchmaking casual games it’s mocked as being a bit cheesy. In professional CS, competing in major qualifiers of which you have never had success, it’s entirely ridiculous. Ground Zero went on to lose four of their next six rounds, including having to eco (who knew that the economy in CS is finite and buying an auto wasn’t a fiscally responsible decision), and then eventually losing in overtime. To be fair, as far as entertainment value at 4 am while writing a piece about CS, it is actually about the best you could ask for. However, I am spoiled by mostly sticking to the upper levels of European and North American counter-strike and would find this level a bit annoying to watch after a while.

Was fun watching some old relics of the Aussie scene like Rickeh and Ustilo taking it to the new Renegades. That second half of Train and Inferno were oh so very close to scoring an upset, maybe next time!

CIS

  • Espada (ml) vs Hard Legion @ +100
  • Pro100 (+1.5) vs Natus Vincere @ +130 [Bookmaker]
  • Pro100 (ml) vs Natus Vincere @ +450
  • Pro100 (+4.5) map1 vs Natus Vincere @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • Pro100 (+5.5) map2 vs Natus Vincere @ -110
  • Pro100 (+5.5) map3 vs Natus Vincere @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Syman (+1.5) vs Virtus Pro @ -150 [BetOnline]
  • Syman (ml) vs Virtus Pro @ +250

Europe

  • Fnatic (-2.5) map1 vs Complexity @ -125 [Heritage]
  • Fnatic (-4.5) map2 vs Complexity @ -110
  • Fnatic (-3.5) map3 vs Complexity @ -115
  • Vitality (-2.5) map1 vs Ence @ +100
  • Vitality (-3.5) map2 vs Ence @ -110
  • Vitality (-2.5) map3 vs Ence @ +100

North America

  • Cloud9 (ml) vs Envy @ -150 [1.5u]

Nip is running today at the usual start time. Some betting sites have voided and some are letting it run. There are a few places that have put it back up on the board. It’s up to you to decide whether you still like the price headed to Vertigo for a best-of-one.

MATCH BETS – May 5

We opened up with a fun win on Virtus Pro beating the gatekeepers of the CIS counter-strike team for the past year or so. Will there be more upsets to come? Well given VP’s form in contrast to some of their region’s field, I would lean heavily towards ‘yes’. And I don’t mean your traditional sports upset where you get excited about hitting a +160 dog for the first time that week. I am speaking about more +300 legitimate underdogs which we come to love in esports.

So VP played an excellent game of Inferno to start that series off. They got a bit carried away with the aggression down banana once they reached 15, and it allowed Natus Vincere to bring the score almost back to overtime. In game two I was pretty surprised with Navi‘s soft t-side. I didn’t mind the pick of Train, the yellow and black have had a beautiful run on it for the entire time this core has been together. In fact that was just the second time they had lost it with the only other defeat coming at the hands of Astralis. That game was equally as lopsided in the first half. Interestingly in both, the ct’s, Astralis and Virtus Pro, opened up by winning the pistol only for Navi to break them and convert over the next three rounds. However after that the tactics of Boombl4 would surmount to only two more rounds…dreadful. For a team of this caliber on their map pick to muster only two gun rounds against this version of Virtus Pro is a sign that they are not on the same page.

Navi still showed their incredibly strong counter-terrorist side when we switched halves and brought it from 6-11 to 14-12 before eventually losing 16-14. About the only thing I didn’t like in that second half from Simple and co was that they forced on round 29. I’m not saying this because it didn’t work either. The VP bank was solid enough that they would have buys in both rounds. Being at the end of the game there is no reason for Navi not to save in round 29 so that they can buy in round 30. It’s kind of like in football electing to kick by believing that your defense is going to get a quick stop so you don’t need to go for it on 4th and short. Simple had 8k, the rest of his team had 2k.

What they could have done, to still give themselves a chance in this round, was having Simple buy a scout and drop some pistols to the rest of the team while still keeping enough for an awp into round 30. We have seen Mousesports work a strat like this to great success. The scout tags all the t’s as they enter the lanes, the deagles stick close to the bomb site or various choke points killing the low hp players. This type of buy is incredibly dangerous on Train. This would leave a couple of players needing to buy a famas, but at least you would all have rifles, nades and kits. Instead they forced entirely, sure Simple had an AWP and he dropped an M4 to Electronic, but beyond that Flamie had a scout, Boomble4 a a P250 and Perfecto a deagle. Oh and no one had kits. So a Virtus Pro rush to outer where they could trade with better weaponry and then smoke off the site was a brilliant call.

CIS

  • Winstrike (ml) vs Forze @ +100 [Heritage]
  • Nemiga (ml) vs Gambit Youngsters @ +125 [Bookmaker]
  • Spirit (-6.5) map1 vs Unique @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • Spirit (-6.5) map2 vs Unique @ -110 [Heritage]
  • Spirit (-6.5) map3 vs Unique @ +105 [Heritage]

Europe

  • Godsent (+1.5) vs Faze @ +110
  • Godsent (ml) vs Faze @ +450
  • Godsent (+4.5) map1 vs Faze @ -120
  • Godsent (+5.5) map2 vs Faze @ -120
  • Godsent (+4.5) map3 vs Faze @ -110
  • Dignitas (+1.5) vs Astralis @ +160
  • Dignitas (ml) vs Astralis @ +700 [Bookmaker]
  • Dignitas (+5.5) map1 vs Astralis @ -120
  • Dignitas (+5.5) map2 vs Astralis @ +100
  • Dignitas (+6.5) map3 vs Astralis @ -125 [Heritage]
  • North (ml) vs Contact @ -160 [2u]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (ml) vs Heretics @ -200 [2u]

Is today the day riding these 15 or 20% dogs catches up? Maybe, doesn’t really matter though does it because you all are going to be able to see this tournament through because you’re all placing the correct stake, right? We happen to be on a lot of big numbers today but it’s only a matter of happenstance with the scheduling and form. The answer to the question ‘why do you like so and so?’, is always the same ‘value’. It is the same for the +500’s as it is for the -200’s. If you have specific questions about the match-up my inbox is open.

There’s no North American matches tonight, however there is some Aussie qualifiers! Will post for those later in the day and they begin around 10:30 pm eastern.

MATCH BETS – May 3

Relatively break-even day yesterday on the twenty trades. Series of the day was undoubtedly Evil Geniuses against GenG. If you were listening to the broadcast the commentators mentioned the narrative of Daps, in-game leader of GenG, having been kicked in favor of Stanislaw twice. None of these motivational factors ever make their way into my pricing, but I do find them interesting. Daps had never beat the core of EG since being kicked however he is currently with the best team since it most recently happened.

Train, GenG’s pick, though I don’t know why, started off incredibly rough. They got to six rounds however ALL six rounds came off the pistol or breaking EG on the second pistol. They did not win a single full buy round. That’s as bad as a 16-0 in my view, maybe worse. Moving to Nuke, EG’s choice, things started off rough once more. Stanislaw’s side started 8-3 and finished their t-side with a very respectable 9-6. Live spreads at the time had GenG at +4.5 and +5.5 and I remember thinking ‘nah, that’s going to be something GenG will struggle to hit’ reflecting on what I knew about their t-sides and what we witnessed on Train.

One thing I did not account for, and I don’t think many bettors would have, was that Evil Geniuses played incredibly sloppy on their ct-side and cost themselves several key rounds. In round 17 a 3k on the force buy put EG into a 4-2, however, the EG players had help-a-friend syndrome and decided to push a smoke throwing their lives away and eventually losing the round. Many clutches later, most from GenG’s side, and they found themselves in overtime. Evil Geniuses had a 17-15 lead with a chance to go for the perfect 3-0 on ct-side as they were in a 4v2. Instead of falling back to the sites or even just to lobby, where they already had control over the bomb, Brehze pushed towards t-spawn where he died to Daps. This was followed shortly by Stanislaw pushing up from secret and being killed by Som, Ethan pushing out from hut moments later and also being killed by Som. Tarik was now left in the very uncomfortable position of knowing the position of both terrorists, and having control of the bomb, but with so much time on the clock and too many angles to hold in lobby he needed to make a play…he was killed seconds later. That my friends, is how you turn an almost ‘unlosable’ (no idea if that’s a word but it is the only word that works here) round into the one t-round needed to close out a map.

Moving to Dust2 we had a 16-14 finish in which GenG won both pistols and conversions, a couple more clutches and a ‘deco’ round. They needed every bit of these to get across the finish line. Though in that 30th round the stream was disconnected and we never got to witness it! If anyone knows how it went down let me know!

Additionally Daps had, what I thought, was his best series against a top20 team since beating Gambit at IEM Shanghai in August of 2018 or perhaps against North in March of 2019. It was the first time since playing North that he won four clutches in a series.

Europe

The North America card will be posted a little later this afternoon, just wanted to get these up first for others!

MATCH BETS – May 2

Yesterday was a good day from the Rio qualifiers with just over six units added to the pile. Reading my messages however you might not have thought so! They were almost entirely filled with ‘can you believe Espada/Syman/Ence choked’ variations. We profited in each region yesterday, but there was not a single mention of Pro100 2-0’ing Virtus Pro, nor the comebacks from MIBR, Ence, or Furia. Are we so spoiled that +300 dogs are just the ‘norm’ now? I am joking of course, but try to keep a positive and balanced mindset. For every win you thought was stolen, remind yourself of a winner you were fortunate to get.

I am going to say very clearly (hopefully) – Counter-strike is a game of two halves. Every map leans ever so slightly to one side or the other. Until that 16th round is achieved there is always a possibility of a comeback. It is like tennis in this respect. Yes, Federer might have three match points in a fifth set tiebreak, but that is only three points. And if his opponent is Novak, don’t throw a pity party if the best in the world loses to an even better opponent.

You should not use the live odds to dictate how unlucky you believe you are in what seems like a ‘safe’ lead. The prices are intentionally shorter than the ‘true’ probability almost every single time and, with Esports margins being the way they are, live moneylines are not the indicator to use. 4-6 round ‘comebacks’, especially in the early stages of a game are incredibly common. One team being closer to the finish line improves their likelihood to win the game however, economy being equal, it does not change their round by round win probability. If you are planning to bet counter-strike, and watch it, be prepared for the high frequency with which a team will be several buy rounds in the lead and lose it.

In the first four days of the FACEIT London Major I was on the wrong side of the four biggest comebacks to that point:

You will recall MIBR being up 12-1 on Train against Mad Lions in the final of CSGO Flashpoint and losing 15 of the next 16 rounds to lose the match entirely. Yesterday MIBR was down 10-0 on the same map to Envy, brought it back to 10-10 before going down 15-11, and again bringing it back to overtime. In OT they actually held match point at 18-17 and were in a 3v1 (on B) against only Calyx and his golden Famas. The Turkish star got all three kills pushing us to a second overtime. MIBR did not win another round on Train after that.

So instead of being tilted, or feeling like the CSGO gods have cursed you, use the information on how teams perform on certain sides of a map to your benefit. And certainly prepared to see more of these today!

I think the play of the day yesterday might have been Coldzera’s 4k on A site. There were probably a handful that I have overlooked, or forgotten, but the rapid execution of two one taps and then the kill on they guy sandwich was one to make your jaw drop. AND I came out on the right side of the Mousesports/Faze match this time! We are only just approaching the halfway point of the Road to Rio qualifiers.

Europe

  • Vitality (+1.5) vs Fnatic @ -185 [2u]
  • Vitality (ml) vs Fnatic @ +185 [Bookmaker]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-2.5) map1 vs Complexity @ +105
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-2.5) map2 vs Complexity @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-2.5) map3 vs Complexity @ +100
  • Heretics (+1.5) vs Astralis @ +125
  • Heretics (ml) vs Astralis @ +500 [BetOnline]
  • Heretics (+4.5) map1 vs Astralis @ -110
  • Heretics (+5.5) map2 vs Astralis @ -120
  • Heretics (+4.5) map3 vs Astralis @ +100

North America

  • Cloud9 (ml) vs 100 Thieves @ +145 [2u]
  • GenG (+1.5) vs Evil Geniuses @ -200
  • GenG (ml) vs Evil Geniuses @ +190

MATCH BETS – May 1st

My CIS campaign opened with a good start hitting 4/6 spreads. Nemiga/Forze was the one series that held an upset with the Belarusian side closing it out 2-0. Yes, they won all four pistols and 80% of the clutches, but they were also performing far better in the majority of gun rounds. Spirit and Winstrike demolished their opposition with Gambit Youngsters and Unique not reaching double digits on either map. Winstrike even entertained us with a 16-0 performance on Unique’s pick of Nuke. Even against a lowly team, it was good to see Hobbit popping some domes again!

Europe G2 handled Movistar’s Inferno much better than Mousesports did. For starters, they put nine t-rounds on the board despite losing the pistol. Vertigo was a quality pick from the French side as we saw their class on a map that the Riders clearly were out of place on.

So, it was generally accepted that Mad Lions usurped North as Denmark’s second-best counter-strike team. Is it time to move MSL’s squad down another peg? Perhaps even behind Heroic if they lost to them this morning? A 2-0 handed to them by Copenhagen Flames would suggest so!

I don’t think the Mirage pick was a poor one, but Overpass was the clear play here. North’s numbers are not great on either, but I think their quality and tactics would have held a superior discrepancy on Overpass. Worked out for us, but MSL would be a bit mislead if a win on Mirage over a struggling Mousesports made it their home map.

The final series was perhaps the match of the day with Astralis getting a re-match against Nip after getting 2-0’d by the Swedes, last month at Pro League. Nip squeezed a 16-12 victory on their opener, Vertigo. Thankfully the Ninjas recovered from a 2-6 start because they needed every bit of those eventual 9 rounds. In the second half, the Danes made the march back before eventually losing to an eco round at 15-12.

Moving to the other two maps, I was a bit surprised by the Ninjas’ struggles on t-side. While I have respected Astralis as holding the best ct teamwork for a long time now, Nip gave up rounds they should not. And once the Danes have that ct bank they are incredibly hard to defeat in successive rounds.

The first round I am referring to is the 4v2 at 11-8. Plopski has just got his third kill of the round, the most recent being Dupreeh lower. Nawwk and Rez are outside trying to make the cross to secret, Lekro is in lobby. Nawwk takes a fight with Xyp9x but is killed by Magisk. Now, either he thought it was the same player during the second he looked away or did not communicate that there were two by mini.

Either way, there was a very simple way for Nip to play it on in the 3v2, even if they only knew the position of one player. Lekro pushes through squeaky to look for Magisk, Plopski is in vents down lower. Lekro can merely hold vents for Plopski to come up top. There were an entire 55 seconds left on the clock. I get that Rez was low HP, but they did not know he was still there. Instead, his inaction and poor mid-round calling lose them the round.

Even in the situation that Plopski is rotating back up secret (where he died with his knife out) to help Rez get lower or to flank outside, whatever the plan was, it was not ideal based on both theories – both Magisk and Xp9x being outer or just Magisk there and the other ct’s position unknown.

On Inferno, I think you will all know the round in which the troubles began. It was 11-6 for the Ninjas, they had converted the second round after winning the pistol. Nip was up against a couple of five-sevens, a deagle, and a taser with only two counter-terrorists having kevlar.

In just 10 seconds into the round, Plopski had already reached sandbags meaning he had complete control of banana and got the opening kill on Device. They threw their ct smoke and coffin smoke, molly’d a couple key corners where ct’s could be, and then Glave pushed through the ct smoke and killed Plopski.

One of the WORST calls you can make mid-round on any map is to full on rotate when you have no map control. It was currently a 4v3 with all the terrorists at nearly full health. Why do the Ninjas decide to rotate all the way to A? Does it honestly matter if the Danes have stacked B? There are four of you with full weaponry and utility against three pistols. Instead, they hold W all the way to A and walk into a close-ranged crossfire with Dupreeh taking all the aggro and Glave spamming his five-seven into the side of their head.

Of course these are both only a single round of MANY that Astralis won on their solid ct sides of Nuke and Inferno. They are both embarassing rounds for Nip to lose and, after these two pivotal rounds happened, the Ninjas were only able to post a single T round between two maps. Astralis won 19/20 rounds after both of these – incredible!

CIS

  • Espada (+1.5) vs. Natus Vincere +250
  • Espada (+6.5) map1 vs Natus Vincere -110
  • Espada (+6.5) map2 vs Natus Vincere -120
  • Pro100 (ml) vs Virtus Pro +333

MATCH BETS – April 30

As per the Twitter poll yesterday, I’ll keep my promise to ‘breakdown’ Liquid’s performance against Envy. So let us begin with the maps. In 2020 TL have played Nuke five times with wins over Furia and Evil Geniuses (twice) and losses to Evil Geniuses and Bad News Bears. When they play BNB earlier this week they actually chose this map and only attained three t-rounds in the opening half. Yesterday’s performance was much worse.

The final words from the desk host, Machine, were ‘the analysts are already worried about what it [Nuke] means for Envy’. In reference to them starting on the terrorist side of one of the most difficult maps to attain T-rounds and against one of the top rosters in the world.

The trouble for Liquid began in the opening pistol. Envy executed a very simple wrap outside into mini and popped Twistzz in the dome while he was standing without any cover and staring at squeaky. Is this his fault? Well it depends. Either he was supposed to be in mini or watching for that wrap, which is common, or the responsibility fell to Naf who was outside near hell spotting for the push to secret. So either Twistzz thought Naf was more aggressively watching all outside activity, or it was his responsibility.

In the next round HenryG, one of the analysts, said Liquid’s form in 2020 is starting to get back to where it was. Those are the famous last words I think here, right? Well TL broke back in round two with a force-buy and some deagle heroics from Elige to go up 4-1. And that is when the trouble began. In the next two gun rounds Liquid were simply outmaneuvered in outer and showed no patience. The communication must have continued to be poor as their players were consistently making noise and being shot in the back while they stomped like elephants around a map with a huge number of sound cues. At 4-3 they forced with their remaining funds and Naf got the two opening kills outside with the awp. He was then traded and Envy could wrap heaven and mini simultaneously while Moose came through squeaky. The first mistake here was Elige trying to push his way up vents with a deagle while Stewie is already flanking Lobby and you still have Twistzz in hut. That play is somewhat forgivable if he didn’t know that Calyx was close, but he was killed from Michu in heaven anyway. Stewie kills Moose in lobby, and Twistzz kills Michu in rafters. We are then left in a 2v1 with 10 seconds on the clock. In CSGO it takes approximately 4 seconds to plant the bomb. The proximity of both CT’s to the site means that Calyx will not have cover and will only be able to ‘fake plant’ once. The correct idea would be to double peek when the bomb plant sound signals. However instead they were lining up their pre-aimed angles out of hut. The problem? Calyx had already walked his way past the angle they were lining up for and was able to shoot both in the side of the head.

The mistake here is that they simply gave him the opportunity to make probably the only play he could to win the round.

I don’t have time to cover all the rounds in which Liquid made mistakes which they do not usually make. The one additional incident I will comment on is the round at 12-5 when Nitro and Twistzz are in a 2v1 against Moose. The bomb is planted ‘safe’ meaning that when Nifty plants it he is protected from every angle – long, short and ct due to the arrangement of the boxes on site. Planting in a position like this means it is easier to get the bomb down, but it also limits your ability to defend the bomb from those angles I just mentioned. At the point in which Calyx is killed long and they know the bomb is planted safe, there is only one place on the entire map that the defuser can now be killed without the terrorist walking out into the open…bet you can guess where! The callout is a very apt ‘ninja’, the position where short A meets A site at the elbow. So the fact that you have the high hp player defusing is already an error. Combine it with the fact you’ve still got 30 seconds to discover where the terrorist is and a 2v1, both with kits, why not push up to ninja and double peek him?

Instead Nitro taps the bomb, meaning its a fake defuse, and then stares at ninja is entirely stupid. Even if the fake works and lures the player out there is still only one of you staring at that position and you have an smg against a deagle. Again none of these rounds on their own would make a difference and they happen dozens of times in professional play. The difference is that these are basic errors that quality teams should not be making. The play on the server was somewhat disguised by Liquid winning three of four pistols and breaking Envy in the one they did not win. 10/12 rounds over the two maps were off of pistol conversions. This is TL’s worst lost

The summation here is that it was merely a flat day for Liquid. They may have lost anyway on these maps against an Envy team which was performing to a higher degree than they have so far as a roster, however, the distinction of their atrocious numbers must not be attributed to ‘Liquid is bad now’. None of this information has any effect on my betting. It’s like if the Lakers shoot 50% from the free-throw line one night. Are you going to now make adjustments for them missing half of their FT’s for the rest of the season? However, say their FT shooting percentage goes from 80% to 70% over the course of half a season would that be worth noting?

Again we only lose two units on this. However chasing down the rabbit hole of ‘Liquid is going to make a comeback anytime now’ is very dangerous. I may take a higher quantity of underdogs, but I still will lose on favorites, so do not attach extra units to any short prices because you think I must be more confident in them.

How rare is this loss? Well this iteration of Liquid has played 196 maps together over the past 18 months. This is just the second time through all those maps they lost 2-0 without reaching double digits on either, and it is the first time to a team outside the top thirty (the previous incident was against Faze earlier this year when they also lost 3/4 economic starts). They have been 2-0’d two other times by underdogs to Sharks, ranked #32 at the time, in ECS (16-14, 16-13), and by Grayhound #28 (16-10 and 16-13) at Dreamhack Masters Malmo. Those are the only other times they have dropped an entire series against comparable teams to Envy over this year and a half. Could there be more to come? Certainly, but we do not credit this loss to Envy is equal to or even comparable to Liquid. This has a similar taste as the Contact/Mousesports side in which Contact was nearly priced the same as Envy but got trucked on the final two maps.

CIS

  • Spirit (-2.5) map1 vs Gambit Youngsters @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Spirit (-3.5) map2 vs Gambit Youngsters @ -120 [BetOnline]
  • Spirit (-3.5) map2 vs Gambit Youngsters @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • Forze (-3.5) map1 vs Nemiga @ -115
  • Forze (-4.5) map2 vs Nemiga @ -110
  • Forze (-4.5) map3 vs Nemiga @ +100
  • Winstrike (-3.5) map1 vs Unique @ -115
  • Winstrike (-4.5) map2 vs Unique @ -110
  • Winstrike (-4.5) map3 vs Unique @ +100

Today the CIS region begins their journey to the Rio Major. This Eastern Europe pool of teams can be quite volatile but also very profitable. There are many you may not have heard of and we have not seen at this level of competition for some time.

MATCH BETS – April 29

With 8 matches running yesterday it is far too much to recap, so instead I will focus on the four which lost. As an aside, this is not a matter of focusing on the losses to be negative. It is instead an exercise analyzing what was unexpected about those busted plays, would we make it again…introspection is a good thing in the right quantity.

So a lot of bets went my way yesterday but there were four which did not – Ninjas failed to cover on the first two maps, Faze did not cover on their opening map, and Copenhagen Flames lost the series.

The only map Godsent clearly outperformed the Flames was map2, Dust2, their pick. On the final, Nuke, a 16-14 loss was powered by a strong 7 rounds from Godsent’s t-side. I would absolutely make this wager again if the pricing was the same. The big concern for Copenhagen Flames was their pistol conversions. On all three maps they won at least one pistol but were broken by Godsent’s second round force-buy. On Nuke, with a 16-14 loss, this can be enough to be the difference.

In the Ence against Ninjas in Pyjamas series the first two maps went to overtime. Interestingly, the team that won both pistols on those lost their own pick, pretty rare. In their prior meeting these two played Train, Overpass, and Inferno, in that order. Yesterday we saw the exact same veto play out however it went far differently. The outcome was the same for me, Nip covered 1/3 maps but it was obvious that the teams had put in some work on the maps they had previously lost. In the ESL Pro League match the scores were 16-10, 4-16, 16-8 in favor of Ence. This time they traded each other maps 22-19, 17-19, and 16-5 to the Swedes. Getting a slightly better number on Nip this time around, and my system finding more value on them, I gave Lekro and crew another go. It’s funny I thought on the first two maps Ence was actually better than their prior meeting. But Nip did just enough to steal it. Anything shorter than this pricing on Ninjas in their next meeting, assuming it was tomorrow, I would be looking to the Finns side.

Movistar Riders absolutely crushed their opening t-half of Overpass against a respectable Faze ct. However after that they only managed to post one good half in the next two maps. On Mirage they acquired a singular t-round, and on Inferno not a single ct-round. What a contrast from their t-side numbers against Mousesports and Contact. Now that we know Overpass could be a go-to for Movistar it is definitely worth being cautious of, however, I would absolutely take Faze again on the -4.5 spread for those 52-55% prices.

Europe

  • G2 (-4.5) map1 vs Copenhagen Flames @ -110 [Heritage]
  • G2 (-5.5) map2 vs Copenhagen Flames @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • G2 (-4.5) map3 vs Copenhagen Flames @ +100 [Heritage]
  • Godsent (ml) vs North @ +145 [BetOnline]
  • Contact (+1.5) vs Mousesports @ 130
  • Contact (ml) vs Mousesports @ +400
  • Contact (+4.5) map1 vs Mousesports @ -110
  • Contact (+5.5) map2 vs Mousesports @ -120
  • Contact (+4.5) map3 vs Mousesports @ -130
  • Vitality (-2.5) map1 vs Dignitas @ -125
  • Vitality (-3.5) map2 vs Dignitas @ -120
  • Vitality (-3.5) map3 vs Dignitas @ +105

Contact has been pretty poor so far, particularly on t-side, on Train, and, get this, t-side of Train. However we need to weigh the bad in regards to the price. Through two matches we have seen Mouse priced at 80% and greater, while Contact has been between 55-60%. Their numbers in performance are comparably bad, but look at the Mousesports pricing today. The expectation is always that the higher pedigree team will have an easier time correcting errors, and they should. If Mouse was even in the 60-66% range we could have a talk about their superior map pool or ability to perform on Train or even try to make rationalizations for a spread bet. However we cannot bet based on the ‘well if Mouse is more motivated to win this will be easy’. Mousesports has the higher caliber players, the more experienced IGL, and has achieved far more. However we cannot bet them blind because of that. Do not use assumptions on player motivation for your sports betting. Both teams want to win, both teams have looked bad so far and both could do again today. The difference here is one is priced 20% too steep.

PLEASE READ:

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.

MATCH BETS – April 28

Sunday went a little better picking up wins on the two big underdogs in Heretics over Ence and North over Mousesports. Both took 2-0 victories despite both closing around 33% and 25% respectively. Heretics opened up with a convincing 10-5 t-side of Nuke, something very difficult to do, although we have seen it a few more times than I would have expected this past month. The French side converted their ct pistol and closed it out rather quickly. Moving to Ence’s choice, Inferno, it was more of the same – Heretics took both pistols, had a few nice clutches, and closed it out without the Finns ever sniffing double digits. Even for being on Heretics I did not expect that level of scoreline.

North defeated Mousesports in a much closer series. Even if they had lost it, there is nothing about the mixed team’s performances through two matches that would justify their pricing in those two. Hindsight I know, however there are very few halves in which they are playing clean CS consistently. In order for a team in this region, stacked with the quality of opposition in every single match, to be priced at 70%+ they have to be on point in every single series. Winning 75% of pistols while not picking up a singular map win is pretty bad for most teams, but even worse when you factor in the short odds on Mouse.

The G2/Faze series was one that a lot of the community was looking forward to and it delivered once more. I had Faze at +110 when they played G2 at ESL Pro League Season 11 last month, and this time the G2 side, again as a marginal underdog. Both were incredibly tight to the point you can look at any number of rounds and say either team could have won if only they had done one thing slightly better. Don’t play this game, it will only make you go insane!

Contact‘s t-sides were their undoing once more, and it again occurred on Train. Well, they showed a slight improvement on that map I suppose. Where in the Flames series they only acquired two t-side rounds, this time against Movistar Riders they got to 3! There is a certain disconnect when trying to get on the sites. They have some very talented aimers but that really only gets you so far at this level. I believe all of their t-rounds won came down to clutches. They also let slip some rounds they should not where they had control of the site but did not clear angles, watch flanks or their teammates were on the other side of the map. Just sloppy all around, though slightly better than the prior performance. A 16-11 score does not look terrible, but again they dug themselves such a hole in the first half that any mistakes in the second lead to a rather quick loss. The core of this team, which played under the banners of Crazy and Valiance, had some good runs on Train in 2019. It is not as though I would ever have called them a top10 team on it, but they were 32-20 on it last year with wins (on lan) over Mousesports, Sprout, North, Fnatic, Furia, Nip, Intz, and Godsent. These are not exactly all the best of the best, however, they are all consistently outperforming Copenhagen Flames and Movistar Riders.

Teams have had at least 1-2 days off with which to prepare for Tuesday’s matches. This could certainly impact things. Tuesday and Wednesday has 6 European and 3 North American series scheduled, so we will be busy! The start times are the same for both days; 3 games at 9 am, 3 games at 12:30 pm, 3 games at 4 pm (eastern).

Europe

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-3.5) map1 vs Ence @ +120
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-3.5) map2 vs Ence @ +100 [Heritage]
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (-3.5) map3 vs Ence @ +125
  • Dignitas (ml) vs Fnatic @ +530
  • Dignitas (+4.5) map1 vs Fnatic @ -110 [Heritage]
  • Dignitas (+4.5) map2 vs Fnatic @ +110 [BetOnline]
  • Dignitas (+4.5) map3 vs Fnatic @ -115 [Heritage]
  • Copenhagen Flames (ml) vs Godsent @ +190 [BetOnline]
  • Copenhagen Flames (+1.5) vs Godsent @ -175 [BetOnline]

No series handicap on Dignitas in their series today against their domestic nemesis. Will post the remainder of the card, a little later on in the day for the other three Europe matches and the North American side.

PLEASE READ:

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.

MATCH BETS – April 26

Fnatic began Saturday’s Europe card with a thrilling performance over Astralis. If not for some very clutch headshots in game two of Inferno the Swedes likely close that out in two. In the decider, Overpass, Fnatic absolutely ran over Astralis from the more challenging t-side. Similarly, Astralis mounted a comeback, but this time some timely reads and two wins with just a half-buy allowed Fnatic to close it out.

The Complexity and Vitality series played out quite differently from the possible ways I thought it might…said every sports bettor of all time. Not in terms of veto, but the poor halves Col put together on all three maps. Even on their choice, which they did win, a very weak t-side and then overly aggressive ct-side but also not contesting middle with any consistency. On Dust2, Col had a good opening half even without the pistol, but their terrorist side was incredibly disjointed. Moving to Inferno that was the poorest ct performance so far at Rio. A singular gun round made it a 12-3 half. I commented in the prior Vitality game of Inferno that the slow-paced lurking of Shox trying to go through the arch-side was not working. Well we saw the true Apex form of calling show up this time around – hold W and go! And it worked brilliantly. Complexity looked completely out of their element to counteract it and when they did have some man-advantages were unable to shutdown the clutches of Vitality’s stars.

Moving to DOTA BTS North America I missed the cover on one of the Furia versus Bad News Bears maps due to a 2v4 and 1v2 in back-to-back rounds. Now those are not meaningless rounds, as a game of CS is never over until its over, but it does feel a bit like a backdoor cover in basketball due to unlikely back-to-back three’s from half-court. On map two Furia really crushed both halves once more, thankfully no backdoor cover this time around.

Those of you have been following since the middle of March may recall I had MIBR against Liquid in CSGO ESL Pro League when they got absolutely dismantled on Overpass and Dust2. The day after I wrote the following:

“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!”

Things returned far more to the ‘norm’ this time around, however Liquid just being more polished in the late game scenarios. And once they had a full bank they knew how to use their utility and trade off each other in both ct-halves. But I will say there was a chance this time around!

Envy had their most dominant win with this 5-man core of all time yesterday over Yeah. Two 13-2 halves and that was that! Very little to dissect really. Didn’t mind the maps for Yeah, just severely outplayed and the firepower discrepancy also shone.

Europe

There are no North American matches today, only Europe. NA returns on Tuesday with three more. There is also no ESL Rio matches on Monday – I am sure I can find something on the cards!

PLEASE READ:

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.

MATCH BETS – April 25

The Mousesports debut in the Major Qualifiers was disappointing, not just in outcome but in preparation. The European mix are well aware of their struggles on Inferno, as is everyone it seems. However, they have had two weeks since the conclusion of Pro League with which to prepare for one of the most popular maps in the pool. There is just no way they can expect to continuously do well if Overpass remains their perma-ban and they cannot play this incredibly frequent map of Inferno. And if you are thinking ‘well they did not play poorly, they still got 12 rounds’ it is worth being reminded that six of those rounds were the result of pistols and conversions.

On Train, we saw Mouse open it up by completely crushing Movistar to begin the first half. Then they began losing rounds that they should not and it quickly turned into 8-7 for the Spaniards. That scoreline is easily recoverable moving to ct, however it never transpired. They lost two retakes with two-man advantages in that second half as well as a 4v2 on B pre-plant in which Karrigan was left in a 1v2. Movistar played their best series in almost two months and did so on the right maps against a very vulnerable looking Mousesports.

I mentioned in yesterday’s piece that Dignitas counter-terrorist sides really struggled against Heretics. Well, it got even worse for the Swedish legends as they only put together two rounds on that side of both maps. Let that sink in – TWO ct gun rounds. Through a small sample, they have clearly the worst numbers on the defensive end at the tournament. It seems to be a firepower issue. If F0rest isn’t having one of those games and Hallzerk is not consistently finding impact with the AWP, Dig is just run over. On a lot of rounds yesterday it had nothing to do with poor reads or brilliant t-sides from Nip. Dig’s ct setups were fine but it came down to fights. It is not often this is a recurring problem for teams at this level of play. These old fellas should probably start purchasing the AUG as their reaction time and accuracy is not what it once was (old in esports years only of course)!

In the remaining four series only Orgless and Cloud9 won their respective map picks, however I lost on the decider map of all four. That works out to a 12u swing if they had all won! That being said, Copenhagen, Cloud9, GenG and 100 Thieves were the significantly better team on all of them. In the EG and Contact series it was plain ugly – four rounds on ct-side Nuke and two rounds on t-side Train will lose you those maps close to 99% of the time regardless of opponent. Triumph and Orgless both had respectable t-halves on Inferno, but C9 and GenG won their second half pistols and just ran away with it. Both had some incredibly convincing rounds.

Europe

  • Complexity (ml) vs Vitality @ +100
  • Complexity (-2.5) map1 vs Vitality @ +120 [BetOnline]
  • Complexity (-2.5) map2 vs Vitality @ +140
  • Complexity (-2.5) map3 vs Vitality @ +130

North America

  • Furia (-4.5) map1 vs Bad News Bears @ +100
  • Furia (-4.5) map2 vs Bad News Bears @ +100
  • Furia (-3.5) map3 vs Bad News Bears @ -115
  • Yeah (+1.5) vs Envy @ -105 [Bookmaker]
  • Yeah (ml) vs Envy @ +280 [Bookmaker]
  • MIBR (+1.5) vs Liquid @ -110 [BetOnline]
  • MIBR (ml) vs Liquid @ +280

Fnatic had an incredibly tight series with the Danes in their prior meeting at Pro League. Will need to play as well as they did then to get the win again today. I still believe Astralis to be the best team in the world most consistently but they have been shown to be vulnerable this year. In 2019 they were brilliant with 118-40 record on maps played, far too dominant. However in 2020 Astralis is a good, but not great, 26-17 on maps, and 11-7 in series.

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.

MATCH BETS – April 24

Dignitas faced Heretics in what was certainly the closest series of the day. Two 16-14’s and a 16-12 was all that separated these two. There is a common theme that has followed Dignitas from Flashpoint into their opener here – they are struggling on ct-side. They won 10 counter-terrorist gun rounds over three maps. That is absolutely atrocious for this level of play and if it continues there is no question that Dig won’t be able to muster a brilliant enough t-side enough times to get them through this stage.

North had a great series with Faze. I know their t-side of Overpass did not look great judging by the score however, it was not nearly as had as it seemed. If they have gotten one of the two pistols there they would likely have had the win on the opener. Moving to Inferno, an 11-1 t-side opening turned into a 13-16 loss. Similarly to Faze’s ct-side on overpass, North never built a bank on their Inferno T despite having a huge string of rounds. When it looked like they were on the verge of being broken, they won their force buys sprinkled in with a few clutches. Moving to Nuke on map three, Faze was certainly the better squad here. They did get both pistols once again, but were far more comfortable and converted their man-advantages to a greater degree.

In the third European series, we got a couple of wins with G2 covering on the opening two maps. My curiosity on this series was Godsent picking Dust2 into a French team that still considers it one of their best maps. If I had been on Godsent, I would not have been very pleased to see that as their choice. That being said, G2 had indeed shown some weakness on it in recent months while Godsent had been pretty consistently good on it. With that logic, it makes slightly more sense and it was not as though they played poorly on it against G2 either. The French-majority squad then brought the series to Vertigo. This one had some significant discrepancy and it showed on the scoreboard.

Regarding North America, Liquid had one of the worst performances on their own choice of Nuke. It could be an outlier, which we won’t know until we continue to see them on it but that opening half was not even close in most of the rounds either. Beyond the three rounds, Liquid won on t-side. They only planted the bomb in one other gun round. Moving on to Overpass as the decider, both teams put together some impressive t-sides and BNB nearly made an incredible comeback.

The two Brazilian squads had a map that ran to overtime, however, they were the better clubs on their respective series as a whole. Envy had an impressive t-side performance on Nuke which surprised me, so I might have to be cautious of that moving forward. MIBR were quite loose on Mirage and dug themselves into a hole which they thankfully were able to streak some rounds together on the ct-side of that map and eventually close out in double overtime.

MATCH BETS – April 24

Europe

  • Contact (ml) vs Copenhagen Flames @ -135 [2u]
  • Mousesports (-5.5) map1 vs Movistar Riders @ -120 with BetOnline
  • Mousesports (-6.5) map2 vs Movistar Riders @ -115
  • Mousesports (-5.5) map3 vs Movistar Riders @ -120
  • Dignitas (+1.5) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas @ -115
  • Dignitas (ml) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas @ +300

North America

  • Evil Geniuses (-2.5) map1 vs 100 Thieves @ +100
  • Evil Geniuses (-2.5) map2 vs 100 Thieves @ -125
  • Evil Geniuses (-2.5) map3 vs 100 Thieves @ +100
  • Triumph (+1.5) vs GenG @ +100
  • Triumph (ml) vs GenG @ +360
  • Triumph (+4.5) map1 vs GenG @ -140
  • Triumph (+4.5) map2 vs GenG @ +100
  • Triumph (+4.5) map3 vs GenG @ -110
  • Orgless (+1.5) vs Cloud9 @ -190 [2u]
  • Orgless (ml) vs Cloud9 @ +160

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.

MATCH BETS – April 23

The major qualifiers started in true esports fashion with two dogs priced at 20% pushing the favorites the distance and one winning straight up! Let’s begin with the good and bad of the Fnatic/Ence series. First up, Fnatic picking Mirage instead of Overpass. Ence are going to have poor numbers on most maps while Fnatic have a deep pool, as we discussed at length during Pro League. The difference here is Overpass is a far more technical map and less likely to have been practiced to a respectable degree by the Finns. Of course there is always the possibility that Fnatic was working with more information than the official map statistics, however if I had been on the Swedes that is where I would have liked them to go with the veto. Didn’t think there was anything special from Ence. They played a standard game they have always been capable of, had two maps that were as good as any for them to get in the first two, and Fnatic had an off day.

I rambled on a couple weeks ago about teams choosing Vertigo without having any knowledge of if the opposition cannot play it. Add to this the recent updates to the map, yet again, and you are left with a ‘is this map even ready to be in the professional pool’. I have lost track of the number of updates and these are not minor changes to textures or bugs on stairs. You know how in MLB you have a right to void action where there is a change to the starting pitcher? I’ll happily deposit with any book that allows me to avoid action if Vertigo is played… ok not sure where that came from. I suppose my feelings towards that map are as unresolved as its meta.

Maybe Col had good reason to go there and just happened to run into an Astralis that will put together a 20-win streak on it. Who knows at this point. There is no denying Complexity looked far more cohesive on the other two maps. Train was one that the mix could have put together a few more rounds on as well.

I was incredibly impressed with the Ninjas t-side of Nuke today. The quantity of utility they used made you think it might have been their map choice. Vitality could have 2-0’d this series, Nip could have as well. The third map of Inferno however was utterly pathetic from the Frenchies. Yeah the Ninjas had a good ct-side, but there was no adaptation on a layout that should not look so difficult. The Shox form of lurking does not play well into that map unless they are consistently getting the opening kill, which they did not, or have frequent 3v3 situations with which to manipulate long rotations, which they also did not.

Moving to North America, that was the best series we have seen from GenG since their one run at that tournament I cannot recall and cannot be bothered to look up. Two decent maps for them of course, but also two that the Aussies have been pretty consistent on since Kassad took the reigns. Well, I did not say consistently good. In 2019 100 Thieves, then called Renegades, had a 21-13 record on Mirage with wins over Nip, Ence, Astralis, Navi, Faze, Vitality, Mibr and Fnatic. They had almost an even split of rounds won from t and ct side and an 80% conversion rate when getting the first kill. In 2020 the Aussies are 0-5, have 60% of their rounds coming from ct and a very ugly 50% win rate after the opening kill through 130 rounds.

I did not mind the Dust2 play from them. They let a few rounds go in the first half that probably could have turned that into a 10 or 11 round start. On the ct-side 100 Thieves were poor in holding either short or long and kept getting stuck in spawn. The other issue was their economy. The two rounds they did win, if I recall correctly, came down to only a player or two alive, and they had players on mp9’s in the following round. Dust2 is one of the absolute worst maps to play a ct-side smg, especially on long. Fair enough if you have an awp hold the jump to pit with a short-range gun by stairs or in B, but that was not really what was happening.

The absolute highlight of my day was seeing Evil Geniuses not pick Nuke today. I am sure they could have won it, but its a very poor map for the style of play they seem to excel. If you want your talented four players to shine then don’t stick them through narrow choke points into a plethora of ct off-angles.

Cloud9 played a pretty poor series overall. Even on the one map they did cover, Inferno, they were incredibly fortunate to get to 11 on t-side, and then still almost saw that lead disappear. 16-9 looks not so bad, but given where they began this year and how they performed at Flashpoint should have not struggled the way they did against Triumph. Map 3, Train, again many mistakes. At 6-3 they had successive rounds with man-advantages they failed to close out and actually lost that half 9-6.

Now this is not a bad scoreline, however, you still need to look as a whole of their play. It is like leaving runners on base, not scoring in the red zone, missing free-throws, or not converting on the powerplay in hockey. Do it enough times and your opponent is more efficient and you lose a game you probably should not. Into the second half of Train C9 had a 13-11 lead, still no bank, and were punished with a tec-9 and deagle rush outside. Triumph was the perfect team to capitalize on Cloud9’s sloppiness.

Europe

  • Dignitas (ml) vs Heretics @ +105 with Heritage 2u
  • North (+1.5) vs Faze @ -110
  • North (ml) vs Faze @ +300
  • G2 (-3.5) map1 vs Godsent @ -110
  • G2 (-4.5) map2 vs Godsent @ -110
  • G2 (-3.5) map3 vs Godsent @ -115

North America

  • -Furia (-4.5) map1 vs Envy @ +100 with Heritage
  • -Furia (-4.5) map2 vs Envy @ -110
  • -Furia (-4.5) map3 vs Envy @ +100
  • -Liquid (-5.5) map1 vs Bad News Bears @ -120
  • -Liquid (-6.5) map2 vs Bad News Bears @ -110
  • -Liquid (-5.5) map3 vs Bad News Bears @ -115 with Heritage
  • -MIBR (-1.5) vs Yeah @ -160 [2u]

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. Don’t forget to also check out our betting picks for DOTA BTS North America and visit SBR’s Betting Forum to talk more about Esports with other bettors.

MATCH BETS – April 22

The turnaround time for another prominent CSGO tournament is very short as we look to the next ESL matches. The ‘Road to Rio’ qualifiers begin this week for the re-scheduled major now occurring in November. The CS majors are the biggest tournaments in this esport’s landscape. This year’s tournament promises to be extra special with the prize pool doubling to $2 million due to there only being one major instead of the regular two.

This also happens to be the first major with the new format. There are no direct invites to the lan, instead teams will acquire points based on their performance in their regional competitions. Points are awarded on placement with each receiving a specific number of spots divided between the three stages of the majors; Legends, challengers, and contenders. The amount of teams representing each region is as follows; Europe 10, North America 6, CIS 5, South America 1, Asia 1, Oceania 1. Only teams from Europe, North America, and CIS have the ability to qualify directly for Challengers and Legends stages.

I will be sharing wagers for the Europe, NA, CIS, Oceania, and Asian regions with the odd one out being South America. There will be a group stage for each followed by placement into a playoff bracket. All regions will be concluded over the first two weeks of May. Just like the Los Angeles online tournament last month, ESL will adhere to a rigid schedule with match times running at the same times daily.

Europe

  • Complexity (+1.5) vs Astralis @ +110 [Bookmaker]
  • Complexity (ml) vs Astralis @ +380
  • Complexity (+4.5) map1 vs Astralis @ -115
  • Complexity (+4.5) map2 vs Astralis @ -110
  • Complexity (+4.5) map3 vs Astralis @ -115
  • Ence (+1.5) vs Fnatic @ +105
  • Ence (moneyline) vs Fnatic @ +380 [Bookmaker]
  • Vitality (moneyline) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas @ -140 [Heritage]

North America

  • Cloud9 (-3.5) map1 vs Triumph @ -110
  • Cloud9 (-3.5) map2 vs Triumph @ -120
  • Cloud9 (-3.5) map3 vs Triumph @ -110
  • GenG (ml) vs 100 Thieves @ +160
  • GenG (+1.5) vs 100 Thieves @ -200
  • Evil Geniuses (-1.5) vs Orgless @ -150 [1.5u]

The Ninjas will need to have worked on their map pool beyond Vertigo and Overpass coming into this week. What began with a nice win over Astralis slowly devolved into some wins on the same maps and shallow performances on the rest. Vitality themselves were not perfect in their group stage either with very sloppy performances on maps they should be comfortable on. The value goes to them on what could very well still be a three-mapper.

One more thing to note is that many of the player statistics, due to the Krieg meta, will be rather misleading. The previous ESL tournament did conclude on the old patch, however the changes to a few guns could certainly be felt in the early going of the coming qualifiers.

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. Don’t forget to also check out our betting picks for DOTA BTS North America and visit SBR’s Betting Forum to talk more about Esports with other bettors.