Teams Battling for Playoff Spots in Eleague Competition

Monday, July 23, 2018 2:11 PM UTC

Monday, Jul. 23, 2018 2:11 PM UTC

The first round of the tournament in the books, and the next bouts are today and Tuesday. Let's look at which teams are likely to progress to take the fast lane to the playoffs!

<h2>Winners Matches</h2><p>Astralis will face off against Liquid in the Group A winner's match. Both teams took 2-0 victories over their opposition on Saturday. We saw Astralis struggle to close out Inferno against Cloud9 even with both pistols. Similarly, their T-side was not too hot on Overpass (their own map pick). This does not reflect too well on a team that was supposed to be the clear favorite in terms of firepower, strategy, and team play. Give C9 their due credit though; despite only getting the opening kill in 4/26 T-rounds they managed to win 10. Also their utility damage was second only to the Danes in the opening round of matches. They have clearly put some thought into their team play.</p><p>In the Liquid/Mibr match we saw the first halves closely contested, followed by Liquid winning both T-pistols and running over the Brazilians in the second half. Liquid posted an incredible 52% of rounds won when losing the opening fight. Contrast this with 11% in Cologne. That is an astounding improvement even for a relatively small sample size. They will need that against an Astralis team that gets the opening kill around 60% of the time.</p><p>Part of the reasoning behind backing Mibr on Saturday was an expectation that Liquid may not have corrected the errors of Cologne. That is not the case. Liquid have historically had some very close series against Astralis and I believe they will have prepared will for this match. If teams are anti-strating the Danes it would explain the lack of dominance in their matches. I would not be surprised if TL beats Astralis straight up either!</p><p><strong>Pick:</strong> Liquid (+1.5) v Astralis, -110 at <a href=";book=Pinnacle" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Pinnacle</a> (Today, 2 p.m. ET)</p><p>Today's other tantalizing matchup is one we have got somewhat accustomed to seeing over the last four months - Natus Vincere against Mousesports. These two rosters have played each other on 12 maps on LAN in 2018, with each team winning six. Additionally, Mirage has come up in every series - and again, both teams won twice. I thought Navi's best overall map yesterday was Mirage despite the scoreline. Fnatic had a lot of things go their way to even make it that close. However, on Inferno we saw old Navi crop up a little. Players were visibly tilted over losing rounds they should win and Navi began to forcebuy on the CT-side when they did not need too. I could explain this in greater detail, but it's not too important. What is impressive is their composure coming into Train. Despite some sloppy CT-rounds, they assembled a great terrorist half and closed out the map convincingly.</p><p>Mousesports, on the other hand, had an explosive match from start to finish with Faze Clan. It really could have gone either way, with all three maps going over the total, but as I said in the previous article - all the value was on Mousesports. And sure enough <a href="" title="Sports Betting Odds">as a +175 underdog they won on the decider map</a>. Other than their first half of Train yesterday, Mouse looked very good. Snax was performing like we have not seen in over a year. The one thing that troubles me is how they struggled to get the opening kill on the T-side and their poor use of utility.</p><p>I do think there is value again on Mousesports to win at +140, but I would not be surprised by another 3-map marathon with a 16-11 score on the decider. So for that reason I am taking the series to go "over."</p><p><strong>Pick: </strong>Mousesports/Natus Vincere over 2.5, -105 at Betway (Today, 5 p.m. ET)</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Missed the action today? Check out the best plays right here! &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— ELEAGUE (@ELEAGUETV) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;July 23, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Elimination Matches</h2><p>Despite both losing 2-0, Cloud9 and Mibr had very different performances. Cloud9 made their series very competitive with team play, grenade usage and some basic T-executes on Inferno. <a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">I could see them beating Mibr on this map</a>, which is likely to come up. However the Mibr firepower advantage could definitely play a role in this match. Given that the Brazilian side has recently snatched two of C9's stars; Tarik and Stewie, I could see this being a grudge match of sorts. For this reason I really think the best option is to pass and perhaps play the individual maps. I am thinking a Cache, Inferno, Mirage veto phase is likely to surface. So what I recommend is playing each team on their own map (maybe live) or taking the over 2.5 maps.</p><p>The return of Olofmeister may not have been what many Faze-backers were hoping for, but I thought they played a pretty great game overall. They were one round from breaking the money of Mouse on Mirage which likely would have given them map-point. Yes they have some things to improve on, but they did not perform poorly despite the loss. Alternatively Fnatic capitalized on many pistol/forcebuy wins against Navi. This just is not sustainable over the long term. They seemed to run out of T-side strats and their CT-side on Train was abysmal. In fact, the only round they won in that half was due to some deagle magic. I really think they will struggle to take a map against Faze even with the heroics.</p><p><strong>Pick:</strong> Faze -1.5 (Tuesday, 5 p.m. ET); no odds at press time but should be around -110/-120.</p><p> </p><h2>Final Note</h2><p>As I mentioned in a live-betting educational piece earlier this year, there is some good money to be made betting teams that fall behind early on the weaker side of a map. In many cases you can hedge both sides for +300 odds and greater on individual maps or a series. After Fnatic lost map 1 yesterday they were available at +600 to win the series, and after their 4-1 start on Train you could hedge on Navi at +190. Many of these pop up over the course of a three map series. If you have any questions about doing this, don't hesitate to contact me on Twitter [@lockeqwerty]. Enjoy the matches!</p>
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