ESL Pro League Finals 6 CS:GO: North vs. SK Betting Analysis, Odds, and Predictions

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Introduction

Another tournament that is a part of the Intel Grand Slam, the ESL Pro League LAN Finals shows a drastic variety of teams. Some of which compete at the most top level of CS:GO, whereas some have proven themselves online to be up and coming competitors. Some old faces appear again, while new lineups and teams will be looking to make a splash at this LAN.

Coming right of Blast Pro Series are Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, SK Gaming, FaZe Clan and Astralis(?), who all played admirably in the past few months to either rise or maintain their spot as a tier 1 CS:GO team individually. New teams like HellRaisers, NRG Esports, OpTic, and Luminosity Gaming are eager and hungry with young/old talent alike to prove their weight in gold at this LAN event. On the other hand, a team like Liquid will have to face the music as they’ll be playing with coach zews instead of steel (due to roster restrictions).

The ESL Pro League Finals has always delivered a plentiful amount of close and competitive matches, and it comes back for a 6th time to reintroduce the reason as to why CS:GO is the most popular FPS esport in the world. A game and organizer combined with a storied history within esports, get ready again and prepare to be amazed by the level of competition at the ESL Pro League LAN Finals.

Format

Credit to Liquipedia

  • Group Stage
    • Two round-robin format groups (6 teams each) [1]
      • Top team from each region becomes a group head. They then pick a team to go into the others’ group.
        The picked teams then pick a team to go into the other group, this repeats until all teams have been put into the two groups
    • All the matches are Bo1
    • In Regulation winners receive 3pts
    • In Overtime winners receive 2pts, losers receive 1pt
    • Top team in each group advances to the semifinals
    • Second and third teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals
  • Playoffs
    • Single elimination bracket
    • Quarterfinals and semifinals are Bo3
    • Grand final is Bo5

_________

North

  • MSL, aizy, k0nfig, valde, cajunb

North come into this tournament after a string of good results, and it seems that adding valde to the team has added the synergy lost during the time with Magisk. Having valde play a lurk role on T side whereas MSL and k0nfig work together to entry-frag has proved wonders for the North side. Plus, with valde, they find a flexible rotate/anchor player on the CT side. To the agenda of North, valde fits in perfectly with MSL’s leadership plans.

Their last results have been considerably subpar, considering the peak form that this North lineup once showed at ELEAGUE and with the old roster that had Magisk instead of valde. Group stage exits at EPICENTER and not making it to the grand finals after a great start at Blast Pro Series surely will disappoint a lineup like North’s. They’ll be looking to bounce back at the EPL Finals, and in a month that will precede the upcoming ELEAGUE Boston Major in January.

North’s strategies are based off of MSL’s calls, and can be seen in their matches at Blast Pro Series wins against FaZe and Astralis. Playing the entry-fragger and calling role, MSL leads by example, while the supporting cast of k0nfig, valde/aizy, and cajunb will be working right behind him. Depending on the map, either aizy or k0nfig will play the lurk role on the other side of the map, catching off rotating CTs or going for potential opening picks at their intuition. The lineup of North is a grey line in terms of their position among the best, seeing as one day can be the EPICENTER 2016 North (then Dignitas), or a North that looked nearly demolished at the last two major showings. Nonetheless, brains, pure aggression and aim, and the clutch ability of cajunb work together to form a great trio for the Danish lineup.

SK Gaming

 

  • coldzera, TACO, FalleN, fer, boltz

SK Gaming came in swinging in their first event with boltz, surprisingly winning the event at EPICENTER 2017. Beating FaZe Clan and a revolted Virtus.Pro along the way, the SK Gaming seen at the event saw a huge difference with boltz at the lurking position instead of felps. coldzera and FalleN returned to form, whereas boltz and fer seemed to fit their roles respectively. Same happened at Blast Pro Series, where they exacted their revenge on Astralis to take the grand finals in an otherwise-flawed format.

Many have critiqued TACO’s play at IEM Oakland. Being caught out on rotations and in many positions in SK Gaming’s time to play on the stage, many have questioned if he is still adjusting to the old SK play style. Regardless, SK Gaming are winning, but very uncomfortably. Most of their wins and losses have gone down to the wire, and shows a very vulnerable SK Gaming compared to the one at EPICENTER. Can SK Gaming pick it up?

But, much like with the addition of boltz, both TACO and the former have been fulfilling roles that are necessarily for fer’s timely aggression, FalleN’s control-game AWP, and coldzera’s fragging power to succeed in a match. With boltz and TACO’s team roles taken into consideration, it’s the reason as to why SK Gaming have been very successful and the reasons for FalleN and coldzera’s MVPs at their last two tournament wins. Having a passive and entry lurker like boltz and a sacrificial entry fragger like TACO can do wonders for an SK Gaming lineup whose team-oriented style is regarded as one of the best in the entirety of CS:GO’s history.

 

Prediction

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