Cathedral of Counter-Strike Opens Doors to Competitive Field

Monday, July 2, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

Monday, Jul. 2, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

This annual and most well-known esports tournament begins Tuesday and runs until Sunday, with all of the best teams in the world attending.

<h2>The Write-Offs</h2><p>The talent is very diverse and the tournament so stacked that there are <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/" title="Free Sports Picks">not many teams that I would categorize as having zero chance</a> to make it through to the playoffs. However there are a few; Ence, Boots, and Renegades. These three lack both the talent and current form to make any impression on this tournament and will likely go out having not won a map (unless they play one another).</p><p>Ence only having been formed in the last couple months have looked quite decent against their competition online and in qualifiers. Unfortunately they are facing the tournament favorites in the opening match and then playing either Cloud9 or Nip following that. As disappointing as those two have been lately, I think Ence will struggle to take a map unless we see them pull out Dust2 or Nuke. Renegades recently lost their coach Kassad, and since then have completely dropped off the radar as a team who can upset or even beat equally talented opponents in their region. Against the likes of the best in the world, I don't fancy them to beat anyone besides Boots.</p><p>Speaking of which, the team from Singapore has done well recently against other Asian rosters, and they might even steal a map or upset Renegades, but we won't see them in the playoffs. You can maybe find a good spot for them on one map but do not risk much of your bankroll on this team, they will lose more often than not and quite quickly.</p><p> </p><h2>Teams to Beat</h2><p>The whole world knows that <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/" title="Sports Betting Odds">one team stands apart here: Astralis</a>. You can comb through my numerous other tournament predictions over the past two months to understand why they are priced as favorites, and rightly so. The other two organizations that have a genuine shot to take down Astralis and/or make it to the finals are Natus Vincere and Faze. We saw Faze upset the Danes in a best-of-five in Sydney with Xizt. Since then they have posted consistent good results with new addition, Cromen, against every team besides Astralis since. Personally I don't see him as a stand-in at this point. Faze is performing very well on both sides with the Norwegian and he has shown excellent fragging and clutch power at times.</p><p>The other team, Natus Vincere, had some hot and cold performances in China before eventually exerting their dominance and 'plowing' over Virtus Pro. Even though I still think they are a bit dependent on Simple on t-side to find openings or clutch out a 1 versus X at times, they too are playing at the highest level. Recently old veteran Edward has stepped his game up considerably; even getting multi-kills in pistols rounds again and again. In the past it was the weak links that let Navi down. If they can get everyone gelling then they might certainly have a shot at their first (impressive) title as a five-man roster.</p><p> </p><h2>Darkhorses</h2><p>Typically the description of a darkhorse in sports relates to a team or player that comes out of the blue to win the title. I suppose if any of the following teams were truly a darkhorse, I would not be giving them a chance to win! Made in Brazil (Mibr), the recently acquired SK roster, has still not won anything important since Stewie joined - and at times looked downright out of place in the tier one tournaments. However, I can say with complete sincerity, they are improving. It should be noted that they looked very lost on their t-side against Mousesports on a notoriously terrorist favored map, Dust2. Then only managed one round on a classic Fallen-map, Train. This is now the third tournament I have put them in this category, but the value at 13.00 - 15.00 is there if they can figure out their terrorist sides on enough maps.</p><p>If we saw how Mousesports can do with Nothing, then imagine how they might do with Snax. I for one am very excited at the possibilities of this roster. The biggest question will be the communication with Snax who I am pretty certain has only ever played in a Polish roster. This factor cannot be overlooked for anyone thinking of putting down some bets on Mouse either on the outrights or match markets. However if they can communicate, the firepower on this team is second to none - yes, including Faze. ChrisJ looked perfect as the primary awp player in Belo Horizonte. I wonder how that will play into the team chemistry, not to mention Snax has been known to be a clutch awper on some ct-sides.</p><p>The final roster which could either go past the semifinal or bomb out without a victory is G2. Word has it they have been bootcamping since the Dallas tournament, which was definitely needed. I don't like them much to win in Cologne but if their bootcamp was effective they could make some noise here. Be very observant of their map pool as no one is really certain what they may consist of. If they have made improvements we will know right away.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;The revival of a once legendary brand: &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/mibr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@mibr&lt;/a&gt; 🇧🇷&lt;br /&gt;Can they step up to their legacy at &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/ESLOne?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#ESLOne&lt;/a&gt; Cologne?&lt;a href=\"https://t.co/uc9RAxHMaJ\"&gt;https://t.co/uc9RAxHMaJ&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/YJrFXQn1gN\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/YJrFXQn1gN&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/ESLCS/status/1013074687000076289?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;June 30, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p> </p><h2>Props</h2><p>It should be noted that the opening round is best-of-one, followed by all Bo3s until the grand final, which is a Bo5.</p><p><strong>Highest Rated Player</strong><br />Niko (ml) v Coldzera @ -125<br />Rain (ml) v Krimz @ +100<br />Twistzz (ml) v Ropz @ -125<br />Mou (ml) v Allu @ -125</p><p><strong>Most Maps Played</strong><br />Gambit (ml) v Renegades @ -125</p><p><strong>Highest CT Win %</strong><br />Train @ +275</p><p><strong>Highest T Win %</strong><br />Dust @ +250</p><p><strong>Most Played Map</strong><br />Inferno @ +200</p><p>All of these lines can be found at <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4581&amp;book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bet365</a>. I have not had a chance to look at the statistics yet, but a couple other prop markets to consider are "number of maps which go to overtime" and "number of aces in the tournament." These are listed as an over/under -- quite straightforward to understand! As for the opening round of matches, there is still lots to look at.</p><p>Will be tweeting out my Round 1 predictions tonight and Tuesday morning(@lockeqwerty).</p>
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