Fnatic vs Team Liquid: Esports Betting Analysis @ IEM Chicago 2018.

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The Counter-Strike scene moves to Chicago for the next few days as we head to IEM Chicago 2018. The tournament will see several teams from all across the globe participating in the event. There are a total of 16 teams at the event competing for a prize pool of $250,000. The event takes place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The event started on the 6th of November and will continue till the 11th. While Astralis is considered to be the strongest team in the tournament, we have not seen them perform at the same level of dominance since the FaceIT London Major 2018.

The IEM Chicago tournament will be crucial for the teams aiming to prove themselves on the big stage. While the top teams are obviously competing for the title, many smaller teams are also aiming to prove themselves amongst the bigger fish.

The tournament will feature a double elimination format where every team will get a chance to prove themselves. The format allows teams to make mistakes and yet have a chance to qualify for the Playoffs. So far in the tournament, teams like North, MiBr and Natus Vincere have been eliminated from the tournament.

Primary Broadcast
  • Stage Host:
    • OJ Borg (Oliver James Borg D’Anastasi)
  • Desk Host:
  • Interviewer:
  • Observers:
    • prius (David “DJ” Kuntz)
    • encg (Efren Chuong)
Secondary Broadcast


  • Group Stage: November 6th – 8th, 2018
    • Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups:
      • Each group has eight teams
      • The group stage is seeded using a new “Player-Selected Seeding” [1]
      • Click here for more details on the seeding
    • The initial matches are Bo1
    • All following matches are Bo3
    • The top three teams from each group advance to the Playoffs:
      • Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
      • Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
      • Group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds
  • Playoffs: November 9th – 11th, 2018
    • Single-elimination bracket
    • The Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
    • The Grand Final is Bo5

Fnatic vs Team Liquid


Fnatic Roster:

  • Krimz
  • JW
  • Xizt
  • Twist
  • Brollan

Fnatic was one of the best teams in the world at a point in time. Their ability to run and gun and still win their aim duels perplexed casters and talent for a very long time. However, over time, the Fnatic roster folded [ in very surprising decisions ]. The Fnatic team is no longer as good although they do retain some members of the former roster.

With Krimz and JW on this team, they still have a broad understanding of how the team functions and what is expected of them. However, they also do not have their former In Game Leader. Xizt presents a very different style of play, which has been characterised as unsuccessful in the past. However, this presence on the team stems from their friendship and comfort factor around each other. Together the team hopes to find its groove, especially with the new addition of Twist and Brollan. The two players are very young, but also incredibly talented.

Twist is a Swedish player who has seen multiple Swedish organisations after him in the past. In what is probably a big mystery even now, Twist would often refuse them focusing on playing for much weaker teams. His superior aim means that he almost always wins straightforward aim duels. It is not surprising to see him pre-aim a corner and get a kill on an opponent. The opponent might be standing there waiting exactly for this kind of a peak, but Twist is able to make flashy and yet extremely low reaction time plays.

JW proved to be a surprising x-factor versus Liquid (StarLadder)

Fnatic’s roster depends heavily on how well Xizt can lead them. In the past on NIP, we have seen him allow the players a wide range of freedom. The player would often try to win aim duels despite obviously being at a disadvantage. The NIP roster did not do well and now they have a completely different look [ although even they have retained two of their former players]. With Fnatic, we hope Xizt takes into account the players ability, their positioning and preferred playstyle. It is important not to allow the players to deviate too much from what they are used to. Forming a team does not have an infinite time period and poor results can mean that the roster might change again.

We don’t expect Fnatic to be able to win against Team liquid. They lack the firepower and definitely the team synergy to go against a well-established roster like Team liquid.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid roster:

  • Nitro
  • Elige
  • Twistzz
  • NAF
  • TACO

Team liquid remains one of the strongest teams on paper and in terms of North American results. They are probably the only hope for North America in this tournament. Most of their success comes from an amazing individual skill level which translates into match wins for the roster. The North American squad has been able to put forth really strong performances mostly against the best teams in the world.

EliGE powered Team Liquid to a swift 2-0 victory against Heroic (Beyond the Summit)

The best players on this team remain Elige and Twistzz. The two players have been able to put up the big numbers repeatedly. It is very common to see either or both the players constantly way ahead of the rest of the pack. Their consistency in delivering such numbers is what makes them extremely valuable for the team. They have an amazing read of their team’s positioning and how the round will unfold. A single kill can set the advantage for the North American squad. We have seen Team Liquid double down on these advantages to secure themselves a strong victory.

TACO has been underwhelming of late, especially when we consider what the player is capable of. His ability to turn the round on itself and pull off wins in almost impossible situations is what makes him a very strong player. However, on Team Liquid he has mostly been relegated to an almost support player. This is not a bad thing since it is working for Tema Liquid. Allowing players like Elige and Twistzz to take the lead and the brunt of the opponent’s attacks makes for a favourable trade for Team Liquid.

Overall, the North American squad is a very strong roster and is a contender for the Grand finals of this tournament. With Natus Vincere already out of the tournament, there are just a handful of teams who can truly call themselves better than Team Liquid. Fnatic seemingly is not one of them.


Fnatic and Team Liquid are not the best teams in Counter-Strike.  But Team Liquid has shown us that its capable of winning against the very best. It will not be a huge surprise to see Team Liquid defeat the likes of Astralis, Na’Vi, Faze Clan and Mousesports in one tournament. However, they do not have many trophies to their name which makes them a somewhat weaker team on the International stage.

Their opponents Faze Clan is still findings itself on the international stage. After multiple roster changes, Fnatic is slowly finding its form. That being said, they have had a relatively easier route to this place till now. They did win their match against BIG Gaming. The match was a Best of One match on Cache, which is a very favourable map for Fnatic. As we head into the Best of threes, it remains to be seen if Fnatic can keep up a similar performance across maps.

Team liquid is, without doubt, the stronger team on paper. They have the better firepower and more importantly, there are not many maps that Fnatic can surprise them with. The map pool for both the teams is very similar and Team Liquid is definitely the better team when it comes to their aim and firepower. We recommend a bet on Team Liquid for this match.

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